Setting Up A Park Home Residents’ Association

Setting Up A Park Home Residents’ Association

Posted on February 19, 2013 by

Older couple talking to site ownerResidents of any protected site are entitled to set up a resident’s association to represent themselves as home owners. Under the terms of the Mobile Homes Act 1983, specific conditions must be met in order to establish a qualifying residents’ association. Compliance with these conditions will entitle the members to be recognised by the site owner as a residents’ association and to benefit from the rights which come with that status.

Setting up a qualifying residents’ association

In order to be recognised as a qualifying residents’ association, the following criteria must be met:

  • At least half of the home owners on the park must be members. Residents who rent their homes are not permitted to join
  • A chairman, secretary and treasurer must be appointed
  • Certain documentation must be kept. This includes an up-to-date member list, a constitution and a list of any other rules of the residents’ association. These must be available for public inspection
  • Any decisions must be made following a members’ vote. Only one vote is allowed per home. Administrative decisions made by the chairman, secretary or treasurer are exempt from this rule
  • The association must have no links to the site owner. The owner, their employees and any agents are not permitted to join
  • Membership must be open to all home owners who live on the park. For example, if a husband and wife or two partners live in a park home, both must be allowed to join the association, providing the home is owned in joint names
  • The site owner must acknowledge in writing that the association is a qualifying residents’ association
  • If the site owner refuses to acknowledge the association in this way, a residential property tribunal may make an order that the association is a qualifying residents’ association
  • When drawing up the constitution, it is advisable to use an approved template, as these are more likely to be acknowledged by the site owner. This template is available from the Independent Park Home Advisory Service, National Association of Park Home Residents, National Park Home Council and British Holiday & Home Parks Association.

What if an owner owns more than one home on a park?

If more than one home is owned on a park, only one can be counted as their residence for the purpose of becoming a member of a residents’ association and voting. Under the Mobile Homes Act 1983, only one home can be considered a permanent residence. However, if each of the homes is owned by a different person, only the first named individual should be counted for each.

Obtaining the site owner’s acknowledgement

In order to obtain the site owner’s acknowledgement of a qualifying residents’ association, a letter should be sent to the owner, advising of the association’s intentions and asking that the owner’s written acknowledgement is sent to the secretary.

If the owner declines to acknowledge the residents’ association, the association can apply to a residential property tribunal for an order to say that it is a qualifying residents’ association. The relevant application forms and more information on the dispute process are available online.

Graphic of a group of homesChanges to the qualifying residents’ association or the site owner

If changes to the residents’ association mean that the conditions listed above are no longer met, the site owner is no longer obliged by law to recognise the association, although they can decide to come to an agreement with the members to continue the association.

If the site changes hands, the association does not need to seek further acknowledgement from the new owner.

What documents is the site owner entitled to view?

The site owner is entitled to view the constitution, member list and the rules of the association, as these must be available for public viewing and will need to be seen in order to verify that the association is a qualifying residents’ association. The owner is not entitled to view meeting minutes or to have any say into how the association is run.

Rights of a qualifying residents’ association

Once the necessary criteria have been satisfied, the qualifying resident’s association is entitled to the following rights:

The site owner must consult the association about all matters relating to the operation or management of the park. Any improvements must also be approved by the residents association. This applies where the residents are affected either directly or indirectly by the proposals. Under this rule, the site owner must:

  • Give the association 28 days’ notice of any matters which require consultation
  • Describe the proposed changes and any direct or indirect affect they may have on the residents, both in the long term and the short term
  • Advise when and where the association can comment
  • Take any comments into consideration before proceeding with the proposed changes

Can a residents’ association be set up without qualifying?

Non-qualifying residents’ associations can still be set up but will not be eligible for the consultation rights afforded to qualifying residents’ associations. Many parks continue to operate non-qualifying residents’ associations for purposes such as acting as a social club.

Regardless of the presence of a residents’ association, either qualifying or not, residents must always be consulted about improvements which will affect their pitch fees.

Have you encountered problems with your site owner over a residents’ association?  We’d like to hear about your experiences, so please leave us a comment.

Our park home insurance policy is very competitive.  When your renewal is due call us on 01480 402460 to see how we can help you.

Comments

Mireya 21st February 2013

How long did it require you to write “Setting up a Park Home
Residents’ Association”? It contains a large amount of high-quality tips.

Thanks ,Frank

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    Simon Barnes 25th February 2013

    Hi Frank, thanks for your very positive feedback. Sandra has been away at the Motorhome and Caravan show for the last week, I’m sure she’ll answer your question on her return to the office. Cheers, Simon.

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    Sandra Hamilton 26th February 2013

    Hi Frank,

    Fortunately I enjoy researching! It usually takes me a couple of hours at least to research an article properly and then about 3+ hours to actually write the article.

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muriel Lane 8th March 2013

I want to set up a residents association but do not have a clue where to start. The landlord here is a bit of a rogue and thinks he can do what he likes and I feel he’s messing about with peoples homes. Just for example, the site closes from 31st Jan and reopens on the 1st march, but now he’s put a notice up saying that from now on the site will close on the last saturday of Jan and will reopen the first saturday of March, at some point we will have to be off site for 5 weeks!!!, Can he do that ? Yet on our contract it states the site will be closed for February. I woulod be interested in your view. Thanks, Mo.

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    Sandra Hamilton 12th March 2013

    Hi Mo,

    From what you said in your blog comment it appears that you are living on a holiday park which is why the owner is closing down for at least a month every year. If you are in any doubt as to whether you are living on holiday park or a residential park, you can ask the owner to see a copy of the license which should spell it out, or contact your local council and ask them. This article – https://www.lifesure.co.uk/blog/2012/07/how-to-choose-your-perfect-park-home-site/ – gives you some more information on this. The license may also specify that the park must close down for a set period of time every year.

    Unfortunately from what I can gather, if you are living on a holiday park you have very little protection as holiday parks are not protected under the same laws as residential parks. With regards to setting up a Resident’s Association, as you can’t live permanently on a holiday park you would not be able to set one up, but it might be possible for you to set up a caravan owner’s association, but it would appear that the owner doesn’t have to recognise it.

    There is a really good forum for park home owners – http://www.parkhome-living.co.uk/ – that would be worth signing up to. They offer lots of advice and experience that might be of use to you.

    I hope that it all works out for you.

    Regards,

    Sandra

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r,ellery 9th May 2013

i have a mobile home and i have been here for some years and joined an association but later found that we had no planning or was in the protected site,although we have been given planning we are still outside the protected site is this association fully compliant and are we covered under the mobile homes act 1983 and can we be in an asociation

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    Sandra Hamilton 16th May 2013

    As you are in the holiday park section of the park you are not covered by the Mobile Homes Act 1983 as this only covers residential parks. Therefore, theoretically speaking, you cannot be part of the residents’ association as you are not technically residents. There is nothing to stop those of you who are in the holiday park section setting up a caravan owners / holiday park owners association, but the site owner does not have to recognise it.

    The only way to tell if the residents’ association is properly constituted is if it followed all of the guidance in the article. If it was properly constituted, they could represent you to the owner, but unfortunately the owner does not have to listen to them as you are not protected by the Mobile Homes Act 1983.

    If the site owner made promises to you that have since been proven to be misleading, you could have a legal case against them for fraud or you could possibly go to a government appointed planning inspector to see if you could get the planning decision overturned and your part of the park included within the residential status. It might be worth making an appointment at your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau to if they can help you.

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Mrs Margaret Smith 16th November 2013

We are in the process of starting up a qualifying residential association at our park home. Could you please advise us on the setting up of a constitution. I have read on the above list that it is advisable to use the template, could you please let me know where we can download this? Thank you. Margaret Smith

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    Sandra Hamilton 19th November 2013

    Hi Mrs Smith,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I have done some research and found a draft constitution that I have added to the article and that can now be downloaded.

    Good luck with setting up your association.

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Mary miller 1st February 2014

Hi I live on a park home estate in Scotland, are there different rules for setting up an association here.
Would be great to here from you.
Many thanks
Mary Miller

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    Sandra Hamilton 3rd February 2014

    Hi Mary,

    Many thanks for your comment.

    I have looked into this for you and it would appear that the procedure is the same for Scotland. The name of the Act in Scotland is slightly different – The Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment of Schedule 1)(Scotland) Order 2013 which can be found here, but other than that the procedure is still the same.

    I hope this helps.

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Mrs Shirley Percy 4th March 2014

I live in a park home and l would like to know what exactly we are entitled to expect from paying our ground rent.And is it the same at every park home sites.

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    Sandra Hamilton 5th March 2014

    Hi Mrs Percy,

    Thank you for your comment.

    According to the Mobile Homes Act 2013 the site owner, as part of their pitch fees, must maintain any services which they supply to the park home and pitch; maintain in a clean and tidy condition parts of the site which are not the responsibility of a resident (all areas outside of your pitch); and repair the base of the park home if necessary.

    I would also suggest that you read the written statement that you should have received when you bought your home as it may spell out exactly what is included.

    All sites charge different amounts for their rent and they will have different costs depending on the size of the site and the amenities provided.

    If your site owner is, in your opinion, considering raising the pitch fees to an unacceptable level, you can challenge their decision and more guidance can be found in this booklet.

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Sarah 23rd May 2016

Hi there I wondered if it was law to have a residence association on a park homes now kind regards sarah

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    Sandra Hamilton 23rd May 2016

    Hi Sarah,

    Many thanks for your question.

    It is not law to have a resident’s association on a park and in fact I am aware of a number of parks where they do not want to have an association for a number of reasons.

    Associations can obviously be a cause for good on a site and can encourage a sense of community amongst residents. Many associations also use the opportunity to organise park newsletters, trips out and events on the park.

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M Parker 16th July 2016

Could I ask about election of chairman, Secretary and treasurer: we have a secretary and treasurer who are both living in the same park home. We are also having to elect a new chairman as our last one is moving and I can foresee this couple wanting to do this job too, or have their father who lives on site too in a separate home, as one of the officers. It sounds to me as if this isn’t a good idea, but is it in the rules for residents association’s, please?

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    Sandra Hamilton 19th July 2016

    Dear Mr / Mrs Parker,

    Thank you for your question.

    I would firstly check your Association’s rules as according to the draft recommended rules, here for ease of use, no one person can hold more than 1 position on the committee.

    As the main members of the committee have to be elected every year there is no reason why more than one person could not stand for election and then the other residents would have to vote as to who they prefer.

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Karen 10th November 2016

Hi, we would like to set up a qualifying residents association but live on a mixed park of residents and non-residents. My question is, would it be possible to do this?

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    Sandra Hamilton 11th November 2016

    Hi Karen,

    Thank you for your question.

    From what I can ascertain, only the owner occupy residents of the site can form a residents’ association. You would also need at least 50% of the owner occupiers to join.

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Di 26th November 2016

Can a Park Manager stop a Residents Association Committee member canvassing members for social trips by dictating we must do it via meetings and not by knocking on Residents doors we have no Social Club meeting place.

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    Sandra Hamilton 28th November 2016

    Hi Di,

    Thank you for your question.

    I would argue no they can’t stop you, especially if not all residents are members of the Association.

    However, in the interests of keeping the peace, it may be that a resident has possibly complained to the owner about members visiting their home. If this is the case, then it would be worth perhaps doing a survey of the residents to see who would welcome information and who would not.

    Another possible solution is creating a regular newsletter to residents that informs them of what is happening – this can be in print or by email.

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Di 28th November 2016

Hello Sandra
Thank you that is what I thought, We will discuss at our next Committee meeting whether it would be better to post events through Members doors with a cut off date for trips/theatre outings. We are a small Community and think some members might not like to admit it was them who complained.

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Alison Peberdy 12th April 2017

Hello,

We are in the process of setting up a Resident’s Asociation. I have volunteered myself as Treasurer. Another resident has said that because I have taken responsibility for taking electricity meter readings on behalf of the site owner, that there is a conflict of interest and that they could call a halt to the impending inaugural AGM.

I appreciate that an Association must have no links to the site owner. However, since the majority of residents don’t have access to their own meter (they are located collectively in a meter-shed) my stance is that I am actually assisting and acting on behalf of the residents to ensure that precise readings are taken, thus ensuring accurate billing without any doubt of misrepresentation by the park owner.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated,

Kind regards,

Alison

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    Sandra Hamilton 12th April 2017

    Hi Alison,

    Thank you for your question.

    As you say, the rules state that the association must have no links to the site owner. However, if you are not receiving remuneration in any shape or form for taking the meter readings, then I don’t see a conflict of interest.

    The way I see it is you are purely data gathering. I agree with you, that you are collecting the information on behalf of the other residents.

    This person can’t stop the AGM going ahead, and all members should get an opportunity to vote on who stands on the committee. Personally, I would continue to volunteer and add this as an agenda item to your first meeting. That way it can be discussed in the open and voted on by all the members, preferably before the election of the officials. That way everyone knows where they stand and there can be no objections.

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      Alison 13th April 2017

      Hi Sandra,

      Thank you so much for replying, you are echoing similar responses from others. We will do as you suggest and make this an agenda item thus bringing it to the fore for open discussion. Your advice is much appreciated,

      Kind regards,

      Alison

      reply

        Sandra Hamilton 13th April 2017

        Hi Alison,

        I’m always glad to help.

        I hope that you have a successful AGM.

        Regards,

        Sandra

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Di 19th October 2017

Hello
Our Residents’ Association organise coach day trips/theatre trips, should we be insured for public liability?
Also should the Residents’ Association Committee Members be insured against potentially being sued I have read that we should consider it but insurance I have seen seems to relate to relate to managing buildings/homes which we don’t do.

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Di 21st October 2017

Hello
Do you think it is necessary for a Small Residents Association to be insured for day trips/theatre trips, usually a couple of outings a year (public liability), also should the Residents Association Committee Members protect themselves against the possibility of being sued by a resident shoukd they make a wrong decision?
Regards
Di

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    Karina 26th October 2017

    Hi Di

    Thank you for your comment. We would recommend speaking to NAPHR on this matter, they will be able to advise whether such insurance is required. YOu can find contact details on NAHPR’s website: http://www.naphr.org/

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Steve herniman 26th November 2017

Hi just like to say that I have recently moved to a park home and the committee here are having awful problems with site owners don’t won’t to say to much as there is ongoing issues we don’t know what do. When I know more I will let you know and to seek advice

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sue 9th April 2018

hi could you enlighten me as to what the correct procedure is to obtain a new chairman/woman. our last chairman resigned and need another.

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    Ilana 11th April 2018

    Hi Sue. Thank you for your comment. We would suggest you talk to someone at NAPHR who can give you expert advice about obtaining a new chairperson. They are experts on all things park homes and will be able to talk you through any procedures you need help with. You can find more information at http://www.naphr.co.uk.

    reply