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Implied terms

This content applies to England

Implied terms in a mobile home agreement.

Agreements regulated by the Mobile Homes Act 1983 all have certain terms implied into them.[1] Each term is considered below.

Duration of agreement

An agreement under the Act will continue indefinitely, unless:

  • the agreement is terminated by either the occupier or the site owner (see below)
  • the site owner's interest in the land is insufficient, or planning permission limited, to enable her/him to grant the right to occupy for an indefinite period.

Where the site owner's interest is limited, the agreement will end when the owner's interest ends if it has not been ended before. However, if the owner's interest is extended (eg because planning permission is renewed or the site owner's lease is extended), then the agreement is automatically extended to last as long as the new planning permission or lease.

The Act does not allow for the creation of 'fixed-term' agreements.

Termination by mobile home occupier

The mobile home occupier must give at least four weeks' notice in writing if s/he wishes to terminate the agreement.[2] A longer notice period may be agreed by the parties.

Termination by site owner

A site owner can enforce the right to terminate a mobile home occupier's agreement by obtaining a court order. The court must consider it reasonable for the agreement to be terminated. The site owner can apply to the court to terminate an agreement where the:[3]

  • occupier has breached a term of the agreement
  • occupier is not occupying the mobile home as her/his only or main residence
  • condition of the mobile home is such that it is having a detrimental effect on the site.

If the site owner makes a successful application to terminate the agreement on one of the above grounds, the site owner must obtain a further order from the court (which will normally be applied for in the same proceedings), authorising her/him to regain possession of the pitch.

Breaching a term of the agreement

Before applying to the court to terminate the occupier's agreement, the site owner must serve a notice to remedy on the occupier requiring that the breach is remedied within a reasonable time. What constitutes a reasonable time for remedying the breach will depend on the facts of the case.[4] If a further breach occurs only after the reasonable period has elapsed the site owner must serve a fresh notice. There is no prescribed form for a notice to remedy and a warning letter was held to constitute valid notice. [5] Common breaches include antisocial behaviour, failure to pay pitch fees or to keep the mobile home in a decent state of repair

Where the breach of the agreement is so serious as to be not capable of remedy, for example a serious act of violence, there is no requirement to serve a notice to remedy on the occupier.[6] Before applying to the court for an order to regain possession of the pitch, the owner would still be advised to give notice to the occupier stating that s/he considers the breach incapable of remedy but that in the event the court takes a different view, state that s/he is giving notice requiring that the breach is remedied within a reasonable time.

Not occupying as only or main residence

Temporary absences by the occupier will not give the site owner the right to terminate an occupier's agreement.

Condition of the mobile home

Where the application is made on the grounds of the detrimental effect of the condition of the mobile home, the court can adjourn the proceedings where the occupier has stated s/he will carry out the necessary repairs and it is reasonably practicable for her/him to carry those out. An occupier should be advised to seek expert help in preparing a schedule of repairs to put in front of the court.

This ground is comparative, so if other mobile homes on the site are in poor condition, it may be difficult for the site owner to show that the mobile home is having a detrimental effect.

Recovery of overpayments by occupier

Where an agreement is terminated, the mobile home occupier is entitled to recover any payments made to the site owner in respect of a period of time after the date of the termination.

Right to sell on the site/assign the agreement

Where the site agreement commenced on or after 26 May 2013, the mobile home occupier is entitled to sell her/his mobile home (and assign the site agreement) to whoever s/he wishes. There is no requirement for the seller to notify the site owner of the sale.

For site agreements entered into before 26 May 2013, the seller must serve notice of a proposed sale on the site owner, and the site owner can then apply for an order to refuse the sale on the grounds only that the proposed occupier would breach a site rule (in existence at the time of the sale) on age, keeping an animal where prohibited, or on the type or number of vehicles allowed on the site.[7]

See the page Right to a written statement for information on what a seller must provide to a prospective purchaser.

The site owner is entitled to a commission on the sale. This is set by an order of the Secretary of State and is currently set at a maximum of 10 per cent. No VAT is payable on this figure. In England, commission must be paid within seven days of receipt of the site owner's bank account details.[8]

The assignment of the 'pitch' agreement must be made in writing in a prescribed form. In addition, the purchaser/assignee must notify the site owner of the assignment within seven days, and must provide certain prescribed information including the purchase price and a statement that s/he agrees to comply with the site rules.[9]

Gift of a mobile home

The mobile home occupier is entitled to give the mobile home and assign the agreement to a member of her/his family. The mobile home occupier must serve a 'notice of proposed gift' on the site owner, who may only refuse to consent on certain grounds.[10] These are that the proposed owner would breach one of the site's rules (in existence at the time of the gift) on age, keeping an animal where prohibited, or on the type or number of vehicles allowed on the site, or that they have failed to provide the site owner with relevant evidence that they are a member of the existing owner's family.

A member of the family includes a spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, people living together as spouses or civil partners, relatives by marriage or half-blood, and stepchildren, adopted children, and illegitimate children. No commission is payable to the site owner.

Re-siting the mobile home

The site owner can only move a mobile home to another pitch for essential emergency or repair works. If the owner wants to move a mobile home for any other reason, s/he must make an application to the county court. The court must be satisfied that the move is reasonable. In addition:

  • the new pitch must be broadly comparable to the original pitch, and
  • the park owner is liable for any costs incurred during the movement of the home.

If the mobile home is to be removed for repairs to the pitch, the site owner must return the home to its original pitch on completion of the repairs, where the resident so requests or the court so orders.

Quiet enjoyment of the mobile home

The mobile home owner is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the home and the pitch. The only exceptions relate to the site owner's right to enter the pitch (see below) and the re-siting of the home (see above).

Owner's right of entry to the pitch

The rights of entry apply to the pitch only and not the mobile home itself. The owner can enter the pitch:

  • between 9am and 6pm to deliver written communications, including post and notices, or to read meters for services which they supply, or
  • to carry out essential or emergency works, having given as much notice to the resident as is practical, or
  • for any other reasons, with 14 days' written notice of the date, time and reason for her/his visit, unless agreed otherwise.

Pitch fee review

The pitch fee can only be changed with the agreement of the resident, or if the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)[11] considers it reasonable for it to be changed and makes an order determining the new amount. The pitch fee is open to negotiation.

In reviewing the pitch fee, the following conditions apply:

  • the pitch fee can only be reviewed annually
  • the site owner must serve a notice on the resident at least 28 days before the review date, outlining any proposed increase and the reasons for it, along with any relevant documents. The site owner must serve such information in a prescribed form.[12]

In reviewing the pitch fee, the site owner must have regard to certain matters, including:[13]

  • any sums expended for the benefit of the residents and on which they have been consulted
  • the effect of any new legislation
  • any decrease in the amenity of the site.

There is a statutory presumption that the pitch fee will only be changed by a percentage equivalent to any change in the Retail Price Index (RPI) since the last review date, unless this would be unreasonable having regard to the matters above.[14]

The costs and expenses incurred by the site owner for the supply, maintenance and administration of utilities services such as gas, electricity, water and sewerage,[15] as well as the cost of the licence fees payable to the local authority,[16] can be recovered from the residents by way of pitch fees.

Resident's obligations

The mobile home owner must:

  • pay the pitch fee and any sums due under the written agreement
  • keep the mobile home in a sound state of repair
  • maintain the outside of the mobile home and all areas of the pitch for which they are responsible
  • on request of the owner, provide evidence of the expenditure for which they are seeking reimbursement.

Site owner's obligations

The site owner must:

  • on request, at a charge of a reasonable fee, provide accurate written details of the size and location of the pitch; the measurements must be taken from fixed points
  • on request, at no cost, provide documentary evidence in support of any changes to the site, such as new pitch fees
  • repair the base for the mobile home if necessary
  • maintain any services that s/he supplies to the mobile home, such as electricity
  • maintain and keep clean and tidy any parts of the site that are not the responsibility of a resident
  • consult residents on any improvements to the site, giving at least 28 days' notice in writing of the proposed improvements, outlining the changes, how they will affect the site, and how representations can be made (these representations must be taken into account before any changes are made).

Provision of the owner's name and address

The site owner must inform a resident or the residents' association of an address in England or Wales at which notices can be served on her/him. If the site owner serves a notice for any reason, it must contain the owner's name and address where papers can be served. If the notice does not contain this information, the notice is deemed to be not served, and/or the charge not payable, until this information is supplied.

Residents' associations

A site owner must acknowledge the resident's association if the criteria are met. A residents' association is regarded as qualifying if:

  • it represents the residents on the park who own their mobile home
  • at least 50 per cent of the residents are members
  • it has a chair, secretary, and treasurer
  • decisions of the association are taken by vote, with one vote per home
  • it is independent from the site owner, whose agents and employees are excluded from membership, even if they are park residents.

In calculating the percentage of residents, each home is considered as having one occupant. If there is more than one occupant then the first name on the written agreement is used.

Local authority Gypsy and Traveller sites

With effect from 30 April 2011, all local authority sites for Gypsies and Travellers are included in the definition of 'protected sites' for the purposes of the Mobile Homes Act 1983.[17] For more information see the page on Travellers and council sites.

Wales

The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] s.2(1) and Part 1, Sch.1 Mobile Home Act 1983, as amended by Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment of Schedule 1 and Consequential Amendments) (England) Order 2011 SI 2011/1003.

[2] para 3, Part 1, Sch.1 Mobile Homes Act 1983.

[3] Part 1, Sch.1 Mobile Homes Act 1983, as amended by Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment of Schedule 1 and Consequential Amendments) (England) Order 2011 SI 2011/1003.

[4] Telchadder v Wickland (Holdings) Ltd [2014] UKSC 57.

[5] Telchadder v Wickland (Holdings) Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 635.

[6] Telchadder v Wickland (Holdings) Ltd [2014] UKSC 57.

[7] reg.7 Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) (England) Regulations 2013 SI 2013/981 as amended by reg.19(2) Mobile Homes (Site Rules) (England) Regulations 2014 SI 2014/5; para 8, Part 1, Sch.1 Mobile Homes Act 1983, as amended by Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment of Schedule 1) (England) Order 2006 SI 2006/1755 and by ss.10-12 Mobile Homes Act 2013.

[8] reg. 10 Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) (England) Regulations 2013 SI 2013/981; Elleray v (1) Bourne (2) Hanning [2018] UKUT 3 (LC).

[9] reg.9 Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) (England) Regulations 2013 SI 2013/981.

[10] regs.5 to 7 Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) (England) Regulations 2013 SI 2013/981; Mobile Homes Act 2013 (Saving Provisions) (England) Order 2013; para 8B(5),Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 Mobile Homes Act 1983.

[11] Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Property Chamber) Rules 2013 SI 2013/1169; the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal (Chambers) (Amendment) Order 2013 SI 2013/1187.

[12] paras 17(2A) and (6A) Ch.2 Part 1 Sch.1 Mobile Homes Act 1983, as inserted with effect from 26 July 2013 by s.11 of Mobile Homes Act 2013; Mobile Homes (Pitch Fees) (Prescribed Form) (England) Regulations 2013 SI 2013/1505.

[13] para 18(1), Sch.1, Mobiles Homes Act 1983.

[14] para 20(A1), Sch.1, Mobiles Homes Act 1983.

[15] PR Hardman & Partners v (1) Greenwood (2) Fox [2017] EWCA Civ 52.

[16] Wyldecrest Parks (Management) Ltd v Kenyon and others [2017] UKUT 28 (LC).

[17] s.318 of Housing and Regeneration Act 2008; art 2 Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (Commencement No. 8 and Transitional, Transitory and Savings Provisions) Order 2011 SI 2011/1002 .

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