Buying a Park Home – Do I need a solicitor?

We are frequently instructed by clients purchasing a park home, particularly in Dorking and across the wider Surrey Hills area. There is often a lack of understanding as to the legal processes involved in purchasing such a mobile home and uncertainty as to whether it is necessary to instruct a solicitor.

The first point to note is that you are buying the home but not the pitch upon which it is situated. This land remains in the ownership of the site owner who is responsible for managing and maintaining the site. You will pay a pitch fee for the occupation of the pitch and you may be charged separately for any utilities such as gas, water and electricity. You will be responsible for paying council tax to the local authority.

Most of our clients purchase homes from an existing resident rather than acquiring a new home from the site owner. When purchasing a home from an existing resident, the site owner is entitled to 10% commission of the sale price and this is payable on completion. For example, if you are buying a park home for £80,000, we would send £72,00 of this sum to the seller’s solicitor with the £8,000 commission balance being paid directly to the site owner. The same would apply when you come to sell, and you would only receive 90% of the agreed sale price.

As noted in the official government fact sheet (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/buying-a-park-home) the Mobile Homes Act 2013 places a number of obligations on both the seller and buyer and a failure to meet these obligations could result in the site owner taking legal action against either or both parties. There are different rules and procedures to follow depending on whether the existing owner acquired the home before or after 26th May 2013 and it is important the correct obligations are adhered to. This is why we strongly recommend that anybody purchasing a park home instructs a solicitor with experience in this area, advice which is supported by the government fact sheet which states ‘you are strongly advised to take advice from a solicitor…independent from the seller or site owner’.

 

If you have any queries regarding buying or selling a park home or any other aspect of residential conveyancing, please contact Stephen Carr on 01306 884432 or email scarr@meaby.co.uk