Park home residents still facing ‘legal obstacles’ - MP

Waveney MP Peter Aldous speaking in the Houses of Parliament Picture: PARLIAMENTLIVETV

Waveney MP Peter Aldous speaking in the Houses of Parliament Picture: PARLIAMENTLIVETV - Credit: Archant

Waveney MP Peter Aldous has said he believes there are “some significant obstacles to overcome” over legal protection of park home residents.

Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate, Mr Aldous conceded that while the Mobile Homes Act 2013 has been "a qualified success", he said work needs to be done to prevent "initimidating and sharp" business practices in the sector.

Mr Aldous noted that the fit and proper person test, which was provided for in the 2013 Act, has not led to a single application being refused in Wales.

"The test must be properly co-ordinated and consistent across the whole country," Mr Aldous said.

Mr Aldous said "more needs to be done" when ensuring local authorities have access to the necessary resources and knowledge to enforce legislation.

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"I know that East Suffolk Council is very good and proactive in addressing a problem when it arises. However, there is more work to be done on day-to-day management and the guidance and advice given to both home and site owners.

"Such pre-emptive work will nip potential problems in the bud and ensure they do not develop into the major incidents that cause people so much distress," he said.

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Mr Aldous also raised the importance of protecting the rights of park home residents.

"It is vital that we do not create a system that forces them out of the sector to be replaced by the rogues who circumnavigate the arrangements," Mr Aldous said.

Mr Aldous also raised concern that people are failing to distinguish between holiday and park homes, a situation he described as "like separating Siamese twins".

"The two sectors are completely different, with two different systems of protection against mis-selling and misuse. It is important that they remain as such and that we enforce the two systems fully and effectively," Mr Aldous said.

Mr Aldous' final point was about the "anomaly" of the 10% commission, which he said had "underpinned the sector's financial viability over time".

He concluded: "We must continue to scrutinise the sector to ensure that homeowners have peace of mind, good site owners receive a fair return and the rogues are sent a clear message that they are not welcome and that we will send them packing."

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