Following pressure from the Park Home Owners’ JUSTICE Campaign, the Government has now confirmed that Park Home residents will receive the £400 energy bill rebate. Previously it was unclear if residents who do not have a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with an energy supplier would receive the rebate. An announcement with details on how and when residents can access this support will be made in the Autumn. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/400-energy-bills-discount-to-support-households-this-winter.
Calculation of Pitch Fees Increases
Park Home residents will be aware that annual pitch fee increases are currently based on the Retail Price Index (RPI). With soaraway inflation, increases are likely to be much higher than they have for many years. There has been a long-running campaign to change the basis of the calculation from the RPI to the lower Consumer Price Index (CPI), but sadly this relatively simple change has still not been introduced. The Government, we are advised, remains committed to the change ‘when the parliamentary timetable allows.’ Residents can help bring pressure on the Government by lobbying their own MP. With the cost of living crisis, can there be a more appropriate time to bring in this change?
10% Commission Charge
The Government has now received the report it commissioned from the University of Liverpool and Sheffield Hallam University on the impact of the 10% commission charge levied when homes are sold. The report interviewed park home residents and park owners to get a better understanding of how the charge affects the viability of the park home industry, how it is spent by park owners and how the charge impacts park home residents when they sell. The government has been unable to confirm when the detailed consideration of the report will be concluded.
Whilst the report was lengthy and contained a lot of detailed evidence, it contained no surprises; site owners’ stressed how important the commission was to their business and suggested pitch fees would have to increase to compensate. Park Homeowners reaffirmed how unfair the commission was impacting their equity and allowing the park owner to benefit from investments and improvements to the home made by the homeowner. We await the outcome of the Government’s deliberations with interest, but in the meantime, please do lobby your MP.
One factor which emerged from the report was that whilst over 85% of park homeowners were satisfied overall with their park home, almost half were dissatisfied with the pitch fee, over 40% were dissatisfied with the park operator, and a similar proportion was dissatisfied with the park facilities.