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Councils to be enabled to ‘tackle exploitation’ on mobile home sites

Words: Laura Edgar
Mobile home park / Konmac, Shutterstock_488075914

Housing and rough sleeping minister Eddie Hughes has set out stricter rules to ‘clamp down’ on the 'small minority' of rogue mobile site owners and managers, better protecting mobile home residents in England.

The measures will see councils gain greater powers so they can confront bad practice and exploitation of residents, including a failure to address residents’ complaints or antisocial behaviour by site owners. Strong enforcement powers will be available to local authorities for use against those who don’t comply.

The government explained that a ‘fit and proper person’ test would be introduced that managers or owners of mobile home sites will have to pass to prove they are suitable for the job.

Applicants will be judged by councils based on their past behaviour and that of their associates to 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.

Should an applicant fail, councils will have the power to choose who replaces them.

Should a site be operated without a “fit and proper” manager in place, or if false information is provided in an application, the person in question will be taken to court and could face an unlimited fine.

Councils have until 1 July to prepare to receive applications from site owners, said the government. Site owners can submit applications from 1 July 2021 until 1 October 2021.

Hughes said: “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.

“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.”  

The guidance can be found on the UK Government website.

Image credit | Konmac, Shutterstock