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Renting or buying a mobile home on a site

Usually when you buy or rent a mobile home to live in, you will also need to rent somewhere to put it. For example, you may rent a caravan in someone's garden, or a park home in a residential park. This page explains what you should consider when looking at the site.

When looking to rent or buy a mobile home on a site, you should take into account the same factors as you would when looking for a 'bricks and mortar' home, for example, cost, location and safety. The page on things to consider when looking for a property to rent has other examples.

There are also other, more specific, factors you should consider when looking to buy or rent a mobile home:

Is the mobile home stationed on a protected site?

A protected site has planning permission and a site licence from the council. In order to receive a site licence, the mobile home site or park must reach certain standards. Find out more about protected sites and site licences on the page about mobile homes and sites. Mobile home residents who live on a protected site have many more rights than residents who live on an unprotected site, including more protection against eviction.

Before moving in, ask to see a copy of the site licence. Check that the site is licensed for residential use, not just as a holiday site, and that it conforms to the standards set out in the site licence:

  • Are there adequate fire safety precautions in place?
  • Are the mobile homes sufficiently well spaced out?
  • Is there an adequate supply of electricity, gas, water and sewerage facilities? You could ask other residents about this.

You could also contact the council and ask if there have been any problems with the site licence. The licence will usually be held by the environmental health department.

Does the site owner own or lease the land?

It's important to find out whether the site owner actually owns the land the site is based on, or whether they lease it from someone else. If they lease it, ask how long their lease will last. When their lease ends, your right to stay on your pitch will end as well. This means that if, for example, the lease is for five years, you may have to leave the site at the end of those five years.

Is the site owner a member of a recognised organisation?

Find out if the site owner is a member of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association's (BH&HPA) or the National Park Homes Council (NPHC). All BH&HPA and NPHC members must agree to abide by the Park Home Owners' Charter, which lays down rights and responsibilities for site owners and park residents. Generally, this means that the park is more likely to be well maintained and you are more likely to receive a high standard of service. 

Read more about the Park Home Owners' Charter.

Park home site owners may also be registered with a scheme such as the Gold Shield Ten Year Warranty, which will ensure that all homes in their park conform to British safety standards.

How much will it cost?

Before you move in, ask the site owner about the costs involved:

  • How much is the rent for the mobile home? Will you have to pay a deposit?
  • How much are the pitch fees and how much have they gone up over the past few years?
  • What are the service charges (for example, for the supply of electricity, gas, water and sewerage) and how are they calculated?

What do other residents think about the site?

Talk to other people who live on the site to get their opinion. Mobile home parks are small communities: can you see yourself fitting in?

Do you agree with the rental terms and park rules?

Ask the site owner if you can see a copy of the agreement you'll have to sign and a copy of the park rules. Read these carefully before making any decisions:

  • Does the agreement include a plan of the site? Is your pitch clearly marked?
  • Which services are supplied and how much will you have to pay for them?
  • Are there any rules you think are unfair, for example concerning pets or guests?
  • Can the site owner change the rules without consulting you?

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The important points

  • A protected site for mobile homes has planning permission and also a site license that means it can be used residentially not just as a holiday site.
  • Living on a protected site gives you lots more housing rights, including more protection against eviction.
  • If the site operator leases the land, check when their lease runs out because you may have to leave when that happens.
  • There are professional organisations and schemes for mobile home sites, so you can check if the site is part of any of these.

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us

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