MP Bob Seely has welcomed the planned introduction of new rules designed to protect residents of park homes and other residential caravan sites.
Following a review of park homes legislation in 2017 the Government committed to introduce the ‘fit and proper person test’ – designed to improve the management of park home and other residential caravan sites, thereby protecting the residents who reside there.
Housing and Rough Sleeping Minister, Luke Hall, said: “By introducing an assessment that the person responsible for managing the site is suitable to do so and of good character, this will help target and remove the worst offenders from the sector.
“The test will be an important tool for Local Authority enforcement and marks an important milestone in my department’s work to protect residents of park homes and other residential caravan sites, who are often elderly and vulnerable, from unscrupulous site owners.”
The new regulations - subject to the approval of both The House of Commons and The House of Lords – will mandate that:
- each local authority must set up and maintain a register of people who are fit and proper to manage a park home site in their area. A site owner, or an appointed manager, must appear on the local authority register in order to manage a site;
- when an applicant applies for registration, a local authority must consider, among other details, the applicant’s criminal record and details of all sites in which the applicant has an equitable interest; and
- if convicted of any offences under the Regulations the site owner would face an unlimited fine. Offences include operating a site without being on the local authority register, breaching the conditions attached to an entry on the register, and providing false information in an application.
Mr Seely, who previously campaigned for the rights of static caravan owners, said: “I welcome these new rules which will help to protect residents living on these sites, particularly vulnerable residents.
“People should be allowed to live their lives in peace and not in fear of others. If these rules get rid of even one or two unscrupulous people that can only be a good thing.”