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Eviction of mobile home owners from a pitch

If you own your mobile home and you rent a pitch on a protected site, you may be worried about the site owner asking you to leave.

If you buy a mobile home on a protected site, your agreement to rent the pitch it's situated on continues indefinitely unless you or the site owner ends the agreement. This page explains how the site owner can end the agreement and what you can do to prevent this happening.

How the site owner can end the agreement

If the site owner wishes you to leave, they have to serve you with a notice of at least four weeks. If you have not left once the notice has expired, the site owner has to get an order from the sheriff court before you can be forced to leave.

However, the site owner can only ask you to leave in certain circumstances. These are the reasons (or grounds) a site owner can use to end an agreement:

The site owner's lease has expired

If the site owner does not actually own the site, but leases it from someone else, your right to stay there will end when their lease expires.

Planning permission for the site has expired

If the planning permission allowing the site to be used to station mobile homes expires and is not extended, the agreement will have to be brought to an end.

Because you have broken a condition of your agreement

If the site owner wants to evict you for breaking a condition of your agreement, they have to give you a reasonable amount of time to put the situation right before applying the court for an eviction order. For example, the site owner may want to evict you for not paying your pitch fees, in which case you must be given time to pay them back, or for failing to keep your mobile home in a state of decent repair, in which case you must be given time to get the repair work done. The sheriff must decide whether it is reasonable for the agreement to be ended.

Because you are not using the mobile home as your only or main home

You can challenge this if you were only temporarily absent from your home, for example, because you were in hospital, on holiday, or looking after a sick relative or friend. If you are going to be away for a long period of time, it's best to let the site owner know, to avoid any misunderstandings.

Because the condition of your mobile home is having a detrimental effect on the site

The site owner can apply for an order for eviction from the site if:

  • your mobile home is on poor condition, or
  • is likely to end up in poor condition in the next five years, and
  • it will have a negative effect on the standard of the site.

However, the site owner must wait until five years after you moved onto the site before they can evict you on this ground. If the court decides that this ground does not apply, the site owner must wait a further five years before applying on this ground again. The sheriff will look at the condition of other mobile homes on the site and if they are also in poor condition it will be difficult for the site owner to show that yours is bringing the standard down.

If the sheriff does decide that your mobile home is in poor condition but you are willing and able to arrange for repairs to be carried out to bring it up to standard, the sheriff can order you to do so within a certain time limit. If you manage to get the repairs done in time, the eviction will not go ahead.

Going to court

If the sheriff agrees that it is reasonable to end the agreement, they will grant an order for your eviction.

However, the sheriff has the power to suspend an eviction order for up to 12 months. This means that although you will eventually have to leave the site, your eviction will be delayed for up to a year.

The court may impose conditions on the suspension, such as payment of arrears or repair work to be carried out. If you don't comply, for example you don't pay back the arrears or get the repair work done, you will be evicted sooner.

The court can't suspend an eviction order from a site owned by the council.

Recovery of overpayments

If your agreement is terminated, you are entitled to have back any advance payments you've made to the site owner.

Demolition or improvement works by a public authority

If the council, Scottish Government, utilities company or other public authority needs you to move you mobile home so that they can carry out demolition or improvement works to the site, they should offer you another pitch somewhere else. If this isn't possible, you may be entitled to claim a home loss payment. You can find out more about public development works here.

Help and advice

If are worried about being asked to leave the site you are living on, get advice immediately from Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline 0808 800 4444 or Citizens Advice.

You can find out more about your rights as a mobile home owner here.

Can I apply to the council as homeless?

Yes. If you live in a mobile home or houseboat but have nowhere to keep it, you are legally homeless. You can therefore make a homeless application to the council, who will have a duty to offer you:

  • help and advice to find somewhere else to live or keep your mobile home, and
  • somewhere to stay, if necessary (temporary accommodation).

Depending on your circumstances, the council may offer you a permanent home.

What if I own a mobile home on an unprotected site?

Even if you live on an unprotected site, you will have some basic protection against eviction under the common law, although you may find it hard to enforce your rights.

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The important points

  • If you rent a mobile home on a protected site, you should have an agreement with the site owner.
  • Your agreement does not need to be in writing. A contract exists if you have permission to live there and pay rent.
  • Your landlord has to give you a minimum of four weeks notice if they want you to leave, but can only make you leave before the end of your agreement under certain circumstances.
  • The sheriff can suspend your eviction order for up to 12 months if you're renting a pitch on a private site. If you're on a council site, the sheriff cannot suspend your eviction order.

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