This story reaffirms why you should always use a solicitor who is conversant with park home legislation when buying a new or indeed a pre-owned park home.
The story relates to a small residential park which is licensed for 5 park homes. The site owner decided to add two more homes to the park; without permission, the homes were duly sited and sold. The Local Authority is now pursuing enforcement action against the site owner to remove two homes to comply with the site licence; how he will choose which homes to move is still to be determined but imagine the worry this will create for those homeowners who bought their homes in good faith, potentially two could be homeless because they are very unlikely to find another park which will allow them to site their own homes on a plot.
The situation would have been avoided if the purchasers had used a solicitor because he/she would have checked the site licence conditions with the licensing authority.
It remains to be seen what recourse the two park homeowners will have against the site owner, but clearly, the homes have been mis-sold, and a compensation claim will surely follow, and it is to be hoped will be successful. Many but not all park home insurance policies include legal advice and legal expenses with access to solicitors qualified in park home law, as does the PBIS ‘Select’ policy; it is not a commonly used benefit but can be worth its weight in gold – and peace of mind.
This incident is rare, but it is certainly not an isolated occurrence; we know of other examples where a site owner has extended the park’s boundary and sited and sold homes that neither had planning permission nor a valid license. The park homeowners, in this case, sued the site owner, one we believe was re-sited within the park, and the other received their money back.