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Clampdown on rogue mobile home site owners

Written by: Emma Lunn
Councils are to be given greater powers to tackle bad practice and exploitation on mobile home sites with strong enforcement powers against those who don’t stick to the rules.

The aim is to better protect mobile home residents with stricter rules to clamp down on what the government says is a ‘small minority’ of rogue site owners and managers.

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 don’t comply.

Managers or owners of mobile home sites will also 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.

Eddie Hughes, minister for rough sleeping and housing, 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.”

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.

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