MPs call for law to protect park home residents
Park home residents are being exploited by site owners in huge numbers according to a report from a group of MPs.
The Communities and Local Government select committee found a fifth of the 160,000 people living in park home sites have encountered difficulties with written contracts with park owners, with many more experiencing intimidation from owners and managers.
A quarter of residents have also experienced problems with maintenance, security or safety standards, according to the committee’s report published this morning.
Labour MP Clive Betts, who chairs the cross-party committee, said: ‘While we recognise that there are some good site operators, the vast majority of the evidence we received suggests that malpractice is widespread across the sector. Complaints from residents about unfair fees, poor maintenance and site owners making it difficult for residents to sell their homes are common.’
The report highlights the practice of ‘sale blocking’, which allows site owners to veto prospective buyers, making it hard for park home owners to sell at market rate. It calls for current legislation to be updated to provide more protection for residents.
‘The current legislation is beyond inadequate,’ Mr Betts said. ‘It fails to deter unscrupulous site owners, fails to give local authorities effective powers to improve conditions, and fails to protect residents, many of whom are retired.
‘Rules governing this sector have evolved piecemeal, and need to be updated as soon as possible.’
In April, the CLG department issued a consultation on legislation for mobile home owners, including proposals to strengthen rules around sales and to empower courts to impose heavy fines on operators who mismanage their sites.