9 January 2020
With around 250,000 people choosing to live in a park home in the UK, it’s a popular lifestyle choice that appeals to more mature residents and retired people in particular.
So, what’s the answer to the question – ‘Can you live in a park home permanently?’ Well, the simple answer is yes, it is possible! But as with all major decisions in life, it is important to do your research and seek professional advice.
If you are attracted by the financial benefits, tranquil settings, low maintenance, the sense of security and a more relaxed lifestyle a park home can offer, read on to discover how you can live permanently this way.
What is a Park Home?
Park homes (sometimes referred to as mobile homes) are covered by the Mobile Homes Act 2013.
A park home is built to British Standard BS 3632 the ‘Specification for Residential Park Homes’. It is a timber framed residential property, suitable for all-year round habitation and can therefore be used as your main UK residence if sited on a park or location with a residential licence as opposed to one with a holiday licence.
The big difference between a park home and a caravan holiday home is that these are built to EN 1647 which is a lower build standard in terms of the overall structure and level of insulation. Caravan holiday homes are only suitable for seasonal use due to the lower level of insulation and build quality.
Park home manufacturers who are members of the NCC (National Caravan Council), participate in a self-certification scheme which ensures conformity to BS 3632, the residential standard for park homes (and some lodges). Most park homes built to this standard are designed to last at least 50 years, are energy efficient and come with a 10-year GoldShield structural warranty.
If you would like to learn more about what a park home is, please contact us.
How Does Ownership Work?
When you buy a park home, you own the building but rent the ground it is placed upon. You can’t take a mortgage out on a park home, so you will either need the funds to buy a park home outright or look at the alternative financing options that are available.
Some parks offer utilities such as gas, water and electric direct from the supplier in the same way as a traditional home, others may operate a landlord owned supply system which means gas, and water being charged to you by the park owner. There are rules in place to prevent you from being overcharged, for example, site owners aren’t allowed to charge you more than they’ve paid for your energy.
As the owner of a park home, it’s important to understand there are different types of licensed sites on which mobile homes can be located and the different laws that apply to these. All site owners must have planning permission and a site licence from the local authority. This site licence will state whether the site is a holiday site or fully residential; some locations offer both permanent and holiday homes.
What are the Different Types of Sites?
So, what’s the difference between static caravan sites, mobile home parks and residential parks?
Static caravan sites or holiday parks are usually open for around 9-10 months of the year and are intended for holiday use only. This means you cannot live at these sites permanently, and they may have restrictions as to how much time you can spend there in one go.
Residential parks are open all year round and you can live there permanently in a purpose built park home. They do not usually allow static caravans to be lived in. The main reason for the difference is due to the licensing of the premises that we’ve already mentioned and the different regulations in force. Residents are protected with security of tenure by the Mobile Homes Act if the park is registered with a residential licence.
How to Find Lodges to Live in Permanently?
When looking at possible locations for your new home, take the time to do some research and always visit any parks that you’re interested in. If possible, it’s a good idea to speak to the residents, as they will be able to provide valuable, first-hand information on the park and surrounding areas.
If you’re looking to buy a park home that you can live in for all 12 months of the year, you will need to find a residential plot on a park. It is essential to check this with a site owner and get it in writing before making any purchase.
If this is to be your main residence, you will also need to make sure that the park has a full residential licence. If you are unsure as to what type of licence the site owner has, you can ask to see it or contact the local council who will have issued the licence.
Another important document to check is the ‘Written Statement’, setting out the terms in which you will be entitled to keep your home on the park, including details of planning permission. A park owner is required by law to give you a copy of the Written Statement 28 days before you commit to purchase, so you can review the terms and understand what owning a park home and living in it will mean.
If you’re looking to make the move to live in a park home permanently, we can help you find the ideal residential park that perfectly fits your lifestyle. You’ll also get peace of mind knowing that all Omar Group park homes and luxury lodges are built to BS 3632, making them energy efficient and suitable for living in all year round. For further information don’t hesitate to call us on 01842 810 673 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.