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New, stricter rules are to be introduced to clamp down on rogue park home site owners and managers, Housing Minister Eddie Hughes has announced.
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 do not 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.
Councils will judge the applicant based on their past behaviour and that of their associates and decide if they can be placed on a fit and proper person register. If they fail, councils will have the authority to choose who replaces them.
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.
‘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’, said Hughes.
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.
Approximately 85,000 people in England live in owner occupied mobile homes across 2,000 sites.
The Government has published Non-statutory guidance for local authorities on the implementation and setting fees of the fit and proper person test for the owner or manager of a park home site, Mobile homes fit and proper person test: guidance for local authorities. It has also put out new Information for park home residents in England on their rights and obligations under the Mobile Homes Act 1983, Park homes.