Mobile homes park site- what Letting Agreement?

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    Mobile homes park site- what Letting Agreement?

    Dear Sirs/Madams
    I have read with interest and amusement you're many words of wisdom regarding residential letting questions and quandary's.
    I wonder if you may now be so kind????

    My husband and I own/let 10 properties to be precise park homes aka mobile homes aka caravans!!
    We let these homes on a 24 week license which is similar in itself to an ast, at the end of the 24 weeks the tenant has the option of a periodic tenancy, the licence states a 28 day notice from either party, Along with terms and conditions as to the expectations of residents and LL with regards to rent, behavior towards home etc
    The homes are let on an average of £400.00 pcm inc ground rent and water, the tenant is liable for CT and Electric.
    The homes are technically owned by a trust ( set up in a divorce between inlaws I beleive) whereby my husband is the sole beneficiary, The trustee's being husband ,father in law and a family friend,
    We currently use no TDS, ( have been informed its not actually LAW??) Please clarify
    We do not take deposits but a bond of £500.00 which 9 times out of 10 is returned intact, we use a reference agency for a general check, The rent is set on a direct debit. We have generally a good tenant base, enjoying at the moment 8 long term bachelors 1 elderly couple and 1 vacancy.

    Many of our habits ( good or bad ) are as a result of this being somewhat of a family business in that my father and father in law have been doing this for 30 odd years, and the advice gets handed down no matter how out dated.
    There are some differences( I'm led to believe) between letting "houses" as opposed to "mobile homes" (In this I am also searching for definitive information) which is why we use a licence, among other practice's

    In this correspondence I am attempting to learn from those with more experience, and pick up any information that can improve my MO in any way. I'm hoping that someone may have experience in the park home letting sector, and that there may me some advice/ knowledge on things I'm doing that I shouldn't ,or things I'm not doing that I should.
    Any comments questions or help gratefully received, and allow me to express my admiration for the many great threads and replies supplied since Ive been a member.
    Candice

    #2
    Please be a bit more specific.
    1. Is the site a protected site?
    2. Does the site have a licence?
    3. What is the precise nature of the agreement signed by tenants?

    Since 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords and agents for assured shorthold tenancies (AST) in England and Wales have had to be protected by an authorised tenancy deposit scheme. That's answered one question.

    Comment


      #3
      "Site protected" I'm sorry I don't follow.
      The park is privately owned, The park has site licence for 14 homes, we replaced the old homes with newer larger 5 years ago, decreasing the number that would fit on the land with the boundaries 6M etc, enabling us to improve the quality and the rent.

      The agreement is a four page document used by husbands family for yonks, it is simply a licence between tenant and LL, my father uses a standard oyez agreement I believe, I'm confused as to the most appropriate.
      I feel I should change the agreement but owing to the fact that they are park homes I don't know which type of agreement to go with, or whether or not to add to the licence we already use to include a late payment charge and a rent increase notification for future tenants.
      I'm after clarification on the differences between letting "bricks and mortar" and "caravans" as the advice passed by the fathers may well not be accurate in 2008.
      Regards

      Comment


        #4
        Sorry another piece of potentially inaccurate advice that's been given to me, is that a bond is not a deposit????
        I do not know.

        Comment


          #5
          Deposit protection (via TDS or others) is only a legal requirement for ASTs, but not any other kind of tenancy.

          AST is the default tenancy for a tenancy of a dwelling. The licence you talk of is not suitable for a normal house or flat let. Licences are only relevant as bona fide holiday lets or lodger (resident landlord) type arrangements.

          You are talking about mobile homes; I'm not sure how the law applies to them . It is possible that it is different. Suggest you look at the Housing Act 1988, when AST's were invented, and see what it says to what it applies.

          Jeffrey is hot on this subject if he catches your thread.

          and a bond is a deposit
          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

          * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

          You can search the forums here:

          Comment


            #6
            If you do not know the meaning of "protected site" then you definitely need to learn about the legalities of your business a lot more. I am not in your line, but just five minutes on the net and I learned that sites are either classified by the local authority as protected (ie with planning permission) or unprotected and then licences are issued.

            In which country of the UK is the site situated? I am providing links for England.

            http://www.shelter.org.uk/
            http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-7198.cfm
            http://england.shelter.org.uk/advice/advice-7513.cfm

            Hope this helps.

            Another thing that you need to be sure about is the type of tenancy agreement you ought to be issuing. In my situation, I issue assured shorthold tenancies (AST) and I know how to research the legislation because it is clearly defined as "assured shorthold tenancy". What is your tenancy legally defined as in legislative eyes?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Bel View Post
              AST is the default tenancy for a tenancy of a dwelling. The licence you talk of is not suitable for a normal house or flat let. Licences are only relevant as bona fide holiday lets or lodger (resident landlord) type arrangements.

              You are talking about mobile homes; I'm not sure how the law applies to them . It is possible that it is different. Suggest you look at the Housing Act 1988, when AST's were invented, and see what it says to what it applies.

              Jeffrey is hot on this subject if he catches your thread.
              Thank you for accolade! Yes, but I know v. little about mobile homes/caravans/chalets [delete as applicable].

              In any event, s.1(1) of 1988 Act applies the Act to "a dwelling-house". This is defined [s.45(1)] as including "a house or part of a house"; but the word 'house' itself is undefined. I doubt that the Act could apply to m.h./c./c. as they already have their 'own' legislation.
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Okay courtesy of SHELTER


                What is the legal definition of a 'mobile home'?
                According to the law, a mobile home is:

                a structure designed to be lived in that can be moved from place to place (for example, by being towed or transported on a trailer or motor vehicle)


                What is the legal definition of a 'dwelling house'?
                Your mobile home may be classed as a 'dwelling house' rather than a mobile home if it:

                has mains supplies of electricity, water and telephone, and
                is used as a permanent residence, and
                is static and cannot be moved, or
                is so large that it cannot be moved in one piece.
                If you rent a mobile home that is classed as a dwelling house you will probably be a tenant rather than a licensee. This gives you more rights.


                Well....

                Our homes have mains services water, elec, sewer, phone etc.
                However they are easily split and transported by road, That's how they got here, Am still none the wiser

                Poppy
                As for protected sites, This is something I can honestly say I had never heard of, planning permission is the only terminology I'm quite obviously familiar with, I can only presume from having a quick skim of the links, That it must be aimed mainly at nomads. It is perhaps brought about by the increase in illegal encampments, and the difficulties involved in evictions, However dressed up the phrase it is still just "planning permission".


                I don't know anyone in the park home industry who would willing place homes on a park/site without the necessary permissions and license it doesnt work like that.

                "What is your tenancy legally defined as in legislative eyes?"
                The agreement used is a licence, The Fox Trust is the licensor and the tenant the licensee. This was drawn up I believe by father in laws lawyer,When ?? is a good question. The park was he's and he's father before him, perhaps they were pre 88?. I know father in law is not keen on renting he prefers the sale of hes homes and hes nursing homes, so has maybe paid too little attention to the technicalities of the agreements, or how much they would stand up in court.

                I do appreciate the links, however contradictory some of the information is.

                Bel, I will use you're suggestion of housing act many thanks.
                Please forgive my ignorance "resident landlord" I live In a house on the park, Inside the boundaries of the park, does that count??? I doubt it.

                Jeremy
                Thank you for trying.

                Thank you all for your time and efforts
                Candice

                Comment


                  #9
                  It would appear that mobile homes and caravans etc on protected sites are dealt with under a specific statutory scheme - the Caravan Sites Act 1968 as amended by the Housing Act 2004.

                  I really think you should take some specialist compliance advice for your business asap. Have you tried as a first port of call, for example, the British Holiday & Home Parks Association?
                  Health Warning


                  I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

                  All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    As an after thought this is what we're dealing with

                    http://www.tingdene.co.uk/


                    As opposed to this

                    http://www.havenholidayhomes.co.uk/

                    Which is a common misconception.

                    Regards

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks agent46

                      The BH and HPA are good start, However they are more geared towards sales of homes and the residents rights as homeowners, and the park owners not trying to be naughty with the pitch fees etc, most of the letting side of homes is more often than not holiday lets.

                      I also thought that this would be the best first port of call as a Landlord.

                      Obviously I would prefer to keep a licence as opposed to an AST, As it seems to work in our favour as landlords, for speedy evictions etc having a 28 day notice, but then when the licence is challenged the housing act pops up as the line that must be followed, but are we under the housing act umberella when it comes to A. mobile homes and B. a licence?????????

                      ARRRGGHHH

                      Thanks for the reply

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Sorry, I neglected you're other point, yes the model standards aka caravan sites control development act is the rule of thumb when dealing with most issues of park home life, I am however yet to find a paragraph/section that sufficiently answers the question of which is the best type of agreement for our situation.

                        Candice

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by TheFoxTrust View Post
                          Sorry, I neglected you're other point, yes the model standards aka caravan sites control development act is the rule of thumb when dealing with most issues of park home life, I am however yet to find a paragraph/section that sufficiently answers the question of which is the best type of agreement for our situation.

                          Candice
                          As already suggested, it's really best for you to seek specialist legal advice- perhaps even Counsel- to draw an appropriate letting document of some sort. This is unlikely to be an AST, in my uninformed view, but please let us know the outcome of your investigations.
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well after all day searching I'm no further forward,

                            This is from a man who has advised us on another issue in the past, Mr Tony Beard of Tozers solicitors, specialists within the park home industry. I think he also advises in a legal capacity to the readers of the BH and HPA and Park home magazine.

                            This is an excerpt from a paper he has written.


                            When is a Park home a dwelling house
                            and why is this important?
                            The legislation applicable to residential lettings is complex
                            and has recently undergone change with the coming into
                            force of the Housing Act 1996 in February 1997. This
                            significantly amends the Housing Act 1988. The key
                            difficulty in applying the housing legislation to park homes
                            is that the provisions apply only to a dwelling house.
                            If a park
                            owner lets a caravan or park home to a third party, the
                            legislation under the Housing Acts will apply to that letting if
                            it is the letting of a dwelling house, but the Caravan Sites
                            Act 1968 will apply if the letting is of a caravan.
                            The question of whether a particular letting is of a
                            dwelling house or caravan is entirely a matter of fact
                            in each case.
                            At one end of the spectrum, the letting may
                            be of a caravan on wheels, not connected to services
                            and capable of being towed away very quickly. At the
                            other end of the spectrum, the letting may be of a park
                            home which has been bricked in, connected to all services
                            and sited on the same spot for years on end. Whereas
                            the former will be considered the letting of a caravan and
                            therefore outside the scope of the Housing Acts,
                            the
                            latter will probably be deemed in law to be a letting of
                            a dwelling house.
                            If the Housing Acts apply to a tenancy, the nature of
                            that tenancy will depend on its date of creation. Since the
                            coming into force of the Housing Act 1996 most new
                            tenancies will now automatically be assured shorthold
                            tenancies by default.



                            He then goes on to write

                            Security of Tenure under Caravan Sites Act 1968
                            The broad requirements of the Act in relation to security
                            of tenure are as follows:
                            1. The occupier of the caravan is entitled to 28 days
                            notice to quit, unless the terms of his agreement with
                            the park owner provide for a longer period.
                            2. The Notice must be in writing.
                            3. The park owner must go to Court to get a
                            Possession Order.
                            The Court is given the power to suspend the enforcement
                            of a Possession Order for periods of up to one year if it
                            sees fit.
                            A model form of agreement for the letting of a caravan
                            under the Caravan Sites Act 1968 is set out below.
                            A model form of shorthold tenancy is set out below.
                            These are examples only and they should be adapted for
                            the circumstances of a particular letting.

                            This sounds remarkably like the agreements we use so I imagine father in law had them adapted accordingly.

                            I suppose the handy thing about all the grey area is if the pro's dont really know, I have half a chance.



                            Thank you for the title much more refined

                            Comment

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