MP Bob Seely has welcomed new measures that will better protect mobile home residents from rogue caravan park owners.
Under the new measures, councils will be given greater powers to tackle bad practice and exploitation of residents, such as failure to address residents’ complaints or anti-social behaviour by site owners – with strong enforcement against those who don’t comply.
Managers or owners of mobile home sites will have to pass a new ‘fit and proper person’ test to prove they are suitable for the job. It will be an offence to operate a site without having a fit and proper manager in place, or to provide false information in an application. Anyone found breaching these rules will be taken to court and could face an unlimited fine.
Mr Seely said: “Sadly, I have witnessed intimidating - and generally unreasonable - behaviour from a small minority of caravan park owners towards mobile homeowners.
“This is completely unacceptable and sadly many mobile homeowners don’t have the resources behind them to fight against these bullies.
“Thankfully, these rogue park owners and managers are rare, but I welcome these tighter measures that will empower councils to tackle their behaviour and hopefully prevent them from being in a position of power in the first place.”
Eddie Hughes MP, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing said: “Every park home resident deserves a safe, secure and affordable place to live. That is why we have taken this important step to drive up standards across the country.
“By introducing a fit and proper person test for site operators, we are strengthening councils’ powers to tackle bad practice and to ensure that residents are protected from exploitation by a minority of rogue site owners.”
Councils have until 1 July to prepare to receive applications from site owners. Site owners can start submitting their applications from 1 July 2021 and have until 1 October 2021 to do so.