Park homes for sale and rent in the UK

The Fit and Proper Person Test in England: An Update


The Government consulted on views on proposals for a fit and proper test for park home site owners and managers in England last year. This consultation ran from 22 July 2019 to 17 September 2019.

On 15 June 2020, the Mobile Homes Act 2013 (Commencement No. 2) (England) Order 2020) (“the Order”) brought into force section 8 of the Mobile Homes Act 2013 (“the Act”). Section 8 of the Act provides that there is requirement for a manager of a site to be a fit and proper person in England.

However, the recent Order is NOT the detailed regulations required to implement the fit and proper person test set out in Section 8 of the Mobile Homes Act 2013. The Order only brings Section 8 into force which will then enable the detailed regulations.

The Government response to the consultation has been published and is available to read here:  

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/mobile-homes-a-fit-and-proper-person-test-for-park-home-sites

The required regulations will be laid when parliamentary time allows. This will mean that the regulations are to be debated in both Houses (House of Commons and House of Lords) before being implemented.

What it may mean:

Section 8 of the Mobile Homes Act 2013 will amend the law by inserting five new sections into it which provide that the site owner in England may not cause or permit any part of the land to be used as a relevant protected site unless either the:

1. local authority is satisfied that the site owner is a fit and proper person to manage the site (or that the person appointed by the site owner to manage the site is a fit and proper person to do so); or,  

2. the local authority has, with the site owner’s consent, appointed a person to manage the site.

The law may also outline provisions about the consequences for a site owner who contravenes any requirement contained in the aforementioned two points and the sanctions that may follow.

Criminal sanctions:

In terms of criminal sanctions, the law may well create a summary only offence relating to such a contravention which is punishable by a fine. The laws may also provide that where site owner or appointed manager has been convicted of the offence on two or more previous occasions, the local authority may apply to the court for an order revoking the site owner’s licence.

Civil Sanctions:

In terms of civil sanctions, the law may provide that where a site owner contravenes any requirement of the law, the local authority may apply to a First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for an order revoking the occupier’s licence.

Additional requirements under the new enforceable law:

There may be provisions that will be made:

• requiring local authorities to keep and publish up-to-date registers of persons in their areas that they consider to be fit and proper for these purposes;

• for the making of applications for inclusion in a register (and the payment of fees to the local authority to allow for the recovery of costs incurred in connection with the application process);

• for the assessment of such applications by local authorities (who will be able to grant an application unconditionally, grant it subject to conditions or reject it);

• for the removal of persons from a register.

Concluding remarks:

There is no doubt whatsoever that the intention that the Mobile Homes Act 2013 is to raise standards in the Mobile Home industry so that it delivers a more professional service to park home owners. Of course there are excellent site owners, but the legislation provides that those operators and site owners that choose to remain in the sector without reforming their practices will find themselves unable to do so by the introduction of a “fit and proper” requirement.

Authors details:

Ibraheem Dulmeer is a barrister and mediator at Normanton Chambers, 218 Strand, London, WC2R 1AT. Ibraheem has dealt with training on the Mobile Homes legislation for several years and has an excellent understanding on the intricacies of the same. The above is indication of what may happen in his view and should not be taken as conclusive.

Ibraheem accepts instructions directly from the public, as a public access barrister. This means you may instruct him directly, he can be contacted by telephone on: 07939 259 924 by e-mail on: [email protected]

You can also contact him using his website: www.ibraheemdulmeer.com 

The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive. This material should not be replicated without the author's consent. Ibraheem Dulmeer © 2020