Mobile homes – Residential site licence
The Mobile Homes (Wales) Act 2013 is designed to improve conditions on sites and give more rights and increased protection for mobile home owners who live permanently on a residential site.
Most residents own their mobile homes as their permanent home and pay the owner of the site a pitch fee. Some residents are tenants who rent the mobile home where they live. Mobile home residents are generally dependent on their site operator for ensuring reliable electricity, gas and water supply and for all park maintenance and improvements.
Key changes are:
- Site owners will be required to apply for a licence from their local authority to operate a site. The licence will last up to five years
- Site managers will need to pass a ‘fit and proper person’ test before being awarded a licence
- Site owners will no longer be able to block the sale of a mobile home. The mobile home owner will be free to sell their home to whom they wish
- Pitch fees can only be increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index
- Site owners and residents will be able to appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal in certain circumstances
- Local authorities will be able to inspect sites and issue a fixed penalty notice to site owners if conditions on the site are not kept properly
- In more serious instances, local authorities will be able to issue the site owners with a compliance notice to make sure that site conditions are upheld
- Site owners will have 12 months to make and set individual site rules in consultation with residents
Mobile homes vary in size and shape - some look like a caravan whilst others look more like bungalows. A mobile home is defined as a structure designed to be lived in, but that can be moved (for example, towed or transported on a trailer) or a motor vehicle that is designed to be lived in.
The maximum size of a mobile home is 20m long, 6.8m wide, 3.05 high (inside). If a porch or extension has been added it may take it outside this legal definition.
If you own a mobile home site you must apply for a licence.
We aim to process your licence within two months of receiving a complete application. We will check you have the necessary planning permission and your documentation. In some circumstances this may be extended, but we will contact you to explain if this is the case.
The fee for a site licence is dependent on the number of pitches on the site. The level of fees charged is outlined in our fees policy.
If a campsite or caravan park has been operating without planning consent, it may be possible to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness based on historical evidence. Please contact the relevant planning department for further information:
As a mobile home site owner you must pass a ‘fit and proper’ person test before you can manage the site. We will assess whether you or any site manager has been:
- Convicted of any relevant offence
- Subject of any relevant enforcement action
- Refused a licence previously or had a licence revoked
We can refuse a licence if you have a history of criminal offences or breaches of licence conditions; had a site licence revoked within the last three years if there is no planning consent; if the courts have prevented a licence being issued, or other reasons prescribed in the Mobile Homes Act (Wales) Act 2013 and associated regulations.
If we refuse to issue or transfer a licence, we will write to you with an explanation.
Licence conditions attached to a site licence are based on The Model Standards 2008 for Caravan Sites in Wales (.pdf). They have been included in the licence conditions to promote what is 'normally expected as a matter of good practice on sites.'
They apply only to residential caravans and can cover areas such as the layout of mobile home parks and the provision of facilities, services and equipment for them. Appeals to site licence conditions will go to the Residential Property Tribunal.
These standards introduced a number of changes, the most significant relating to:
- dealing with park site boundaries
- making clearer what should and shouldn't be allowed within the six-metre separation space between homes
- permitting a single car to be parked between homes
- requiring a concrete hard standing for all homes
- extending park drainage requirements to include the pitch
- making sure that common areas of the site are maintained in a good condition
- setting out the minimum standards required for the supply of water, electricity, drainage and sanitation
- making it clear that land allocated for recreational space is required only when children live on the park
We have powers to take enforcement action for breaches of the licence conditions. As a site owner, you may be served with a compliance notice that lists the necessary action required to address the issues. If the terms are not complied with we may decide to prosecute in the Magistrates Court.
In an emergency - if there is an imminent risk to health and safety of others and you, as the site owner, has failed to comply - we may decide to take action and recover the cost of carrying out any work. You would have the right to appeal if you consider our actions were unreasonable or if you believe your residents were not in imminent risk of serious harm.
You, as the site owner, may set your own site rules to help the community to run smoothly. This will form part of the contract between you and the homeowner - these may be similar to the licence conditions. We are required to keep and publish a register of the site rules when you notify us, however we do not enforce these site rules.
You must use prescribed forms to amend your site rules, download and print the following:
You must use prescribed forms to sell or gift a mobile home, download and print the following:
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