What is a park home?
A park home is a detached bungalow-style home. It is however, not constructed of bricks but has a timber frame and is constructed in a factory and is delivered to the park home site. Park homes are raised off the ground and usually enclosed by a brick surround. Park home sites are privately owned often by an individual, a family or by a company, who are in charge of looking after the site maintenance. The homes are situated on pieces of land known as plots or pitches. Whilst you may own the home, you do not own the land that it sits on and you will need to pay a rental fee, usually monthly, to the site owner.
In law, they are known as ‘mobile homes’ and are covered by their own legislation – the Mobile Homes Act 1983, as amended by the Housing Act 2004, and more recently the Mobile Homes Act 2013 (in England) – there are also legal provisions in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Modern park homes are well insulated and have double glazing, central heating and energy-efficient boilers, meaning that they can often be cheaper to heat than a more traditionally built home. The homes are built to comply with British Standard BS3632, which specifies the health and safety standards to which they must comply. There is enormous flexibility in design, layout and size and some manufacturers will allow you to specify the layout and furnishings that you would like. A park home usually has between one and three bedrooms, sometimes with an ensuite, plus a sitting room, dining area, fully fitted kitchen and bathroom/s. Most have manageable gardens and plenty of parking spaces; some have garages. Park homes purchased direct from the manufacturer are usually fully furnished and will be ready for you to move straight into including appliances, soft furnishings all furniture and carpets etc., although you can opt for part- or un-furnished. Park homes are connected to all of the usual services that you would expect in a bricks and mortar property, including water, electricity, gas – which can be bottled, in individual tanks or piped in (sometimes it is Liquid Petroleum Gas), telephone, drains and sewers.
Who lives on the parks?
Some parks will stipulate a minimum age in which you can live on the park with some allowing residents as young as 45 years old, but the majority of park home sites are for older or retired residents.
Do I need to get a survey done on a park home?
The choice is yours, but it is recommended that you get a full survey, just as you would with a bricks and mortar house. It is important that the surveyor gives you an opinion on the condition of the home, including the chassis and any repair work necessary.
How do I arrange insurance for my park home?
Insurance for residential park homes differs from that of traditional brick properties, primarily because of the way that they are constructed. As a result, many ‘home insurance’ providers do not insure park homes but specialist policies are available from companies such as us.
What are the advantages of living in a park home?
There are many benefits to living in a park home and have written this article on our blog which hopefully will answer the question in more depth.
Are there other costs involved?
Just like living anywhere there will be the usual bills to pay, such as council tax (often Band A), water, electric etc. For more details on what you can expect please read our article on the benefits of park home ownership.
What does the ground rent cover and do I have to pay it?
As explained above, whilst you own your home, you do not own the land on which it stands. Therefore a ground rent is payable to the site owner every month.
This rent will go towards paying for the communal areas of the site, general site maintenance, any site staff, road repairs and street lighting, as the local council will not look after these.
How do I find a park?
There are several ways in which you can find the right park –
- The British Holiday & Park Home Association offer a park home and holiday parks guide as well as an online site for locating parks at ukparks.com
- The Park Home Living website is an excellent source of information and has an active forum
- The Park Home and Holiday Caravan magazine publish an annual book of all of the sites in the UK
Don’t forget to do your research! Our article on how to choose your perfect site will help you with the questions you need to think about.
Is there an organisation that gives advice to park home owners
The National Association of Park Home Residents (NAPHR) – are a voluntary organisation. Many sites have residents associations where various literature and information may be available. Also, the Park Home Living forum or IPHAS are available online.
How do I set up a residents association?
We have written an article on setting up a park home residents association, which should answer any questions that you might have.
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