How A New Test Is Set To Protect Park Home Residents From Unscrupulous Site Owners

Park home living is a convenient, cost-effective alternative to traditional housing and is becoming increasingly popular, especially with those of retirement age.

In fact, park homes are even recommended by Age UK as a perfect housing option for those in their senior years due to the affordability and community spirit that is unique to park home living. But the danger of attracting elderly and sometimes vulnerable people into this way of life is that sadly there are some site owners eager to take advantage. Cue new laws that have been introduced to protect the residents of park homes and ensure that genuine site owners aren’t been faced with unfair competition from rogue traders.

But what exactly are the dangers of unscrupulous site owners and what is the government doing to protect residents?

The nature of park home living

Park homes are small, static homes not dissimilar to bungalows. Residents generally own their own park home but pay a pitch fee to the owner of the site. There may also be service charges included in their cost and in some cases, residents will also be billed for any repair works needed on site.

The dangers

In some cases, it has been identified that site owners are upping the annual pitch fees and service charges excessively with no genuine reason. Bullying and harassment have also been reported along with the financial exploitation of elderly people, who perhaps aren’t fully aware of what the terms and conditions of their pitch fees and service charges really include. In other cases residents have been found to be paying well over the odds for unnecessary repair works on their residential park homes or those that were completed to a less than satisfactory standard.

What is the government doing about it?

In order to combat this type of fraud and exploitation, the government has introduced a ‘fit and proper person’ test which aims to scrutinise any site owners with previous convictions or criminal records. Local authorities will also have the power to set up a register of genuine site owners and strike off any who are found to be acting immorally or illegally. All of this will help protect the rights of park home owners.

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