Caravan Usage FAQ
Here are a few questions that we regularly gets asked about the use of holiday caravans for residential purposes.
Q: Why can’t I use my caravan as my main place of residence on a caravan park?
A: There are lots of reasons; the main reason is the Parks licence and planning permission. Tree Tops is licensed for “holiday and recreational use” only. If you are found in breach of the park licence then you could be asked to leave and take your caravan with you. You would undoubtedly incur disconnection charges as well as transportation costs. You should also know that very few parks let customers site their own caravans, so you may struggle to find somewhere to relocate to. Please Note: In June 2013 Welsh Government started the process of creating new laws to stop Caravan Holiday Homes being used as a main residence. Please do not buy a caravan to use as a you home unless it is on a registered park home site.
Q: What is the right way to live in a caravan
A: The only way you can safely and lawfully live in a caravan is to purchase a Park Home on a licenced Residential Park. On a residential park you should be given agreement under the Mobile Homes Act 1983, this agreement protects you and your home and gives you unlimited tenure. This is not the case on a holiday park where the park owner could terminate your occuapation if you make a holiday caravan your permanent residence. The other thing to remember is park homes generally hold their value and you can expect their value to increase in line with the housing market. Residential Park Homes are often aimed at people looking to downsize as part of their retirement, they are a safe way to release equity whilst maintaining a high quality life style. Some of the major park home developers such as Tingdene will tailor new homes to your exact needs and budget. An associate of ours has a small exclusive Residential Park Home Development in Prestatyn, with Park Homes from £120,000. if you are looking for a well run residential park please contact us and we will happily give you details. Please do not be tempted to purchase a caravan on holiday park, we see the disasters that this has caused in some people lives.
Q: Why do the council have such a problem with people living in caravan holiday homes?
A: Apart from the planning and licensing issues they are also loosing out on Council Tax. Remember that you will still want the use of Doctors, Schools, Libraries, Hospital etc. these have to be paid for. Tree Tops does pass on a charge for Council Rates to its customers, but this is a fraction of the cost of council tax and because they are actually business rates they go to central government, the local council do receive much benefit from it.
Q: Tree Tops is open of 41 weeks of the year, therefore I can stay while the park is open and go somewhere else while you are closed?
A: In theory this is true, however you must prove to the park that you own another property where you pay council tax, we may ask for several other forms of proof of residence such as bank statements and driving licences. Remember it is against the law to register your driving licence to an address that is not your main place of residence. You cannot use the address of another family member as your own. Also we will not accept mail addressed to you, we will not allow you to use the park address for any purpose. You should remember that any park that closes for any period, even if it is just one week is probably not licensed for residential use.
Q: My caravan holiday home is double glazed, central heated and has extra insulation, and therefore it’s OK to live in.
A: Actually it is likely that your caravan is built to BS1647 standard that covers caravan holiday homes built for leisure use only. Residential Park Homes are built to BS3632 and there is a lot of difference between the two. You may not realise that by making a caravan holiday home built to BS1647 standard your permanent home you could invalidate the warranty. You may also accelerate the life of your caravan causing it to “wear out” and depreciate more quickly.
Q: Once I’m on a park I will be OK, the park owner cannot make me leave?
A: If you try to live on a caravan park that is not licensed for residential use the owner of the park has every right to remove you. You have no security of tenure on a caravan park or any protection under law that you would have on a residential park. If you are found to be in breach of your contract or the parks licence you can be asked to remove your caravan.
Q: Other parks allow people to live in caravans?
A: Obviously we can’t comment on what other parks do. If you are planning to living on a caravan park we would strongly suggest that you ask the park owner if they have a residential licence before you commit yourself and if you will be issued with a residential contract.
Q: Can’t you turn a blind eye to me living on the park?
A: The impact to our business could be huge if we did this, we could be seen as attempting to collude with you to defraud the council. We understand why people want to live on a beautiful park like Tree Tops, but it simply is not something we will allow to happen.
Q: I still want to sell my house and live in a caravan holiday home?
A: Ultimately this would be your decision, we often see people who have done this and have found that their dream lifestyle is actually a nightmare. Remember you have no security of tenure on a park if you are in breach of the park license, you are living in a caravan that will depreciate, and you may never be able to get back into the property market. You will have to find somewhere to live while the park is closed. All in all you are putting yourself into a very unsafe situation.
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How to find us
Located in beautiful North Wales, just five minutes from Prestatyn, thirty-five minutes from Conwy and an hour from the Isle of Anglesey. Why not pay us a visit and see why Tree Tops is recognised as one of the best caravan parks in North Wales