As our readers will be aware, the laws governing the sale and gifting of park homes changed in April of this year. The Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) (England) Regulations 2013 introduced a strict statutory regime, which seeks to oust site owners from the sale process.
A park home owner may advertise his or her home for sale using estate agents, but must not enlist the assistance of the site owner to find a purchaser. Once a purchaser has been found and the seller has, using a prescribed form, given him or her the requisite information about the park home, both the seller and purchaser must notify the site owner about the intended transaction. The site owner has 21 days in which to object to the transaction, but only on very limited grounds, for example that the buyer intends to bring pets onto a site where pets are not allowed.
Once the 21 day time limit has passed without objection (or the site owner has confirmed in writing that he or she is happy for the transaction to proceed), the seller and the buyer are then free to complete the transaction by dating the necessary assignment forms and the buyer paying 90% of the purchase price to the seller and 10% of the purchase price to the site owner as commission.
Following the introduction of the new regulations, we have acted for a number of sellers and purchasers. Although the regime is very strict, it is relatively straight forward to comply with. To aid any transaction we suggest the site owner bears the following in mind:
- Be prepared. If you are served with notice of a proposed sale, be prepared to respond promptly. You can wait for the 21 day time limit to pass, but written confirmation that you are happy for the transaction to proceed will carry favour with the seller and help you to create a good relationship with the buyer.
- Have your bank account details to hand. The purchaser must pay the 10% commission to the site owner after the transaction has completed and within 7 days of receiving confirmation of the site owner’s bank details. The quicker you disclose those details (sort code, account number, account name, reference), the quicker you will receive your payment.
- Be on hand to give objective assistance, but do not interfere. It is an offence to actively seek out and impose specific purchasers on your park home sellers. Instead, have information leaflets on your reception with the details of two or three lawyers and estate agents who are able to assist the sellers. You cannot specifically recommend any of them, but you can be objective and give basic contact details.
At Blacks we have developed a fixed fee package to ensure that sellers comply with the legislation and are guided through the process with ease.
The new legislation is very strict, but seemingly easy for sellers, buyers and site owners to comply with. However, it is still very early days so it is yet to be seen how the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (formerly the Residential Property Tribunal) will deal with any sale that does not comply with the regulations.
If you require any assistance, advice or further information about the new regime to include information regarding our fixed fee packages, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Holiday and Home Parks Department
0113 227 9209