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The term ‘mobile home’ covers a variety of accommodation units, such as a ‘caravan’, ‘park home’ or ‘lodge’, which are located on a site/park and can be transported from place to place. Current law in England and Wales distinguishes between a residential mobile home (in which the owner lives all year round) and a mobile home which is used for holidays.

Private leisure parks allow static caravans (leisure homes) to be parked on site and used as holiday homes. They cannot be used all year round as a permanent residence.

The Mobile Homes Act 1983 applies to residents of sites with residential planning permission; a permanently parked leisure home is not caught by the Act. However, leisure home owners are protected under consumer rights legislation and all leisure home parks are required to be licensed by local authorities under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.

The sale of a leisure home and/or associated site costs are governed by the contractual terms and conditions agreed between the buyer and the owners of the leisure park. The contract is also subject to Part 2 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which protects consumers from enforceability of unfair terms in contracts. In addition, under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 there is a duty on all businesses to trade fairly.

This briefing paper provides an overview of the existing protections available to owners of leisure homes under consumer legislation. In the process, it also considers common complaints made by owners, in particular the mis-selling of leisure homes by some holiday parks.

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