CHAPTER 2 - CURRENT LEGISLATIVE POSITION
People who live in 'park homes' on licensed sites are covered by a number of Acts of Parliament as follows:
- The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 regulates the use of land as a park home site.
- The Caravan Sites Act 1968 protects park home residents against being evicted and against harassment.
- Schedule 1 to the Mobile Homes Act 1983 sets out the rights of mobile homes residents by way of a list of contractual terms that it implies into agreements (Part 1 of the Schedule) and a list of contractual terms that a court may order to be implied into agreements (Part 2 of the Schedule).
- The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 amended a number of provisions of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 extending protections. In addition it also gave the Scottish Ministers the power to amend by order the implied terms of Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 1 to the Mobile Homes Act 1983.
Through this consultation, we want to gather evidence and views to support updating the Mobile Homes Act 1983 which outlines the range of terms to apply to any agreement between the operator of a licensed mobile home site and a mobile home occupier. These are known as 'implied terms' and those in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Act are implied into the contractual agreements between site owner and resident and outline the terms and conditions which allow park home occupiers to place a park home on a site and occupy it as their only or main residence. These implied terms reflect the minimum rights and obligations residents have, irrespective of whether they actually appear in the written statement, and even if the agreement contains terms to a different effect.
The power inserted by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 gives Scottish Ministers the opportunity to alter current contractual arrangements by amending or withdrawing any of the terms, or adding new ones.
However, it should be noted, that the section inserted by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (as section 2B of the 1983 Act) which gives the power to amend the terms outlined in Schedule 1 of the 1983 Act, is limited. The limitation within the power states that only at its first use can the amendments be used to vary existing agreements. The implication of this is that for current residents and site owners there is only one opportunity for them to benefit from any changes. It is therefore important that we gather a wide range of views through this public consultation, in order to enable change, in as consensual a way as possible.