On 2 May 2023, The Mobile Homes (Pitch Fees) Act 2023 received Royal Assent. What will change to the inflationary index mean for you?
The Mobile Homes (Pitch Fees) Act 2023 received Royal Assent in May 2023. The Act brought in changes to the inflationary index which is applied to pitch fee increases for protected mobile home sites. These changes have now been brought into effect, with the inflationary index changed from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the lower Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Kayleigh Whitman, Associate at Coodes, shares more details about the changes and what this means for you.
What is a Protected Site?
Throughout the UK, there are mobile home and caravan parks which are classed as ‘protected sites’. A protected site is one which has a site licence and planning permission to be used for year-round residencies. This is instead of limited holiday use at certain times of the year. Furthermore, an occupier of a protected site has the protection of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (the Act’).
How are mobile home pitch fees increased?
On protected sites, the occupier owns the mobile home, and rents the pitch space from the site owner. For the right to do so, mobile home owners pay a pitch fee to site owners to station their home.
Site owners can increase the pitch fee annually by providing 28 days’ notice in writing. However, this notice must be accompanied by a pitch fee review form. In addition, the pitch fee can only be changed by agreement between the occupier and the site owner or by the determination of the First Tier Tribunal.
The Act permits a site owner to include within the pitch fee increase any sums expended since the last review date on improvements:
- for the benefit of the mobile home occupiers,
- which were the subject of consultation, and
- to which most of the occupiers have not disagreed in writing.
Where the above does not apply in relation to improvements, the pitch fee shall only be increased or decreased by a percentage no more than any percentage increase/decrease in the inflationary index.
Changes to the inflationary index
The Mobile Homes (Pitch Fees) Act 2023 changes the inflationary index for annual pitch fee reviews from the Retail Price Index (‘RPI’) to the lower Consumer Price Index (‘CPI’). The changes apply to all pitch fee review notices served on or after 2 July 2023.
It is important for site owners to serve the written notice and pitch fee review forms correctly to obtain the occupiers agreement to the pitch fee increase. Site owners should be aware of the changes ensuring the pitch fees are increased by the CPI to prevent challenge.
If you have any questions regarding the Mobile Homes (Pitch Fees) Act 2023 or require assistance in serving pitch fee review notices, get in contact with the Coodes team. Call 0800 328 3282 or use our online contact form.