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Your rights if you rent a mobile home

A mobile home is either:

  • a structure that can be moved and lived in

  • a vehicle designed or adapted to be lived in

A railway carriage or a tent do not count as mobile homes.

Your rights depend on if your rented mobile home can be moved, and where you pitch it. These rights do not apply if you only rent a mobile home for holidays.

Your rights will be different if you own your mobile home and rent a pitch.

You could be homeless if you have nowhere permanent to park the mobile home you live in. The council must help you if you are homeless.

A temporary holiday pitch does not count as a permanent place.

Check your rights if you think you could be homeless

Check if your home is a dwelling house

Your mobile home could be a dwelling house if it meets all of these criteria:

  • it has a mains supply of electricity and water

  • it's your permanent residence

  • it's static and cannot be moved, or is so large it cannot be moved in one piece

If you rent a mobile home and it's a dwelling house, you could have a statutory tenancy. This gives you stronger rights, and makes it harder for your landlord to evict you.

Check your tenancy rights in a dwelling house

Your tenancy rights depend on when you moved in:

If your landlord does not agree that you have a tenancy, contact a Shelter Scotland adviser. They can help you:

  • work out what type of tenancy you have

  • get the correct tenancy agreement from your landlord

Your rights if your home is not a dwelling house

You do not have a statutory tenancy, which means your rights do not come from any specific laws.

Your rights come from the agreement you make with your landlord or the site owner. This is called a common law agreement.

Your agreement can be verbal or in writing. It should tell you:

  • how much rent you pay

  • how long you can live there

  • what to do if you want to move out

  • rules about guests, pets and smoking

  • what service charges there are for things like gas, electricity and water supply

If you do not stick to the terms of the agreement, the site owner could try to evict you.

How long your agreement is

Your agreement should say if there's a fixed term.

At the end of the fixed term, your agreement automatically renews if neither you or your landlord end it. This is called tacit relocation.

Your written agreement might say how long it will be renewed for. For example, it might be for an initial fixed term of 6 months and then renewed every month.

If not, the agreement is renewed for the same amount of time as the initial fixed term. For example, if your fixed term was 6 months, the agreement is renewed for another 6 months.

If you want to move out

Write to your landlord. Use our letter template to end your tenancy.

You must give your landlord at least 4 weeks' notice. If your initial term was for 1 year, you need to give 40 days' notice.

Usually you can end your agreement before your fixed term ends. Your landlord needs to agree. If they do not, you can only end your agreement at the end of the fixed term.

If you’re being asked to leave

Your landlord or site owner can only evict you in some circumstances.

Check your rights if you’re being evicted from your mobile home.

Getting repairs fixed

Your agreement should say who's responsible for repairs.

Your landlord must make sure your home:

  • is fit to live in

  • can be heated adequately

  • does not let in wind or rain

  • has adequate ventilation and insulation

If anything they give you breaks, they're usually responsible for fixing this.

Report any repairs to your landlord as soon as you can. Use our letter template to report repairs.

Your rights if you live on an unprotected site

An unprotected site does not have planning permission or a site licence from the council. For example:

  • a holiday site

  • farmland

  • land owned by your employer

  • someone’s garden

Your rights come from the contract you have with the site owner.

Your rights could be limited, and you may not have the right to stay there if the site owner asks you to leave.

If you refuse to leave, the site owner may need to get a sheriff court order to evict you. While this could give you more time in the property, the court will probably agree to evict you. You could also be ordered to pay the site owner's court expenses.

Your rights if you live on a protected site

A site is protected if it has planning permission to be a mobile home site, and either:

  • is run by the council

  • has been granted a site licence by the council

The site owner must maintain the site according to their site licence.

If you think a protected site is unlicensed

Ask the site owner to see the site licence. It should be on display if there are more than 2 mobile homes in the park.

If they cannot show you a licence, contact the council. They can make sure the site owner licences the site properly. There's a £50,000 fine for running a site without a licence.

If you’re unhappy with the park conditions

Contact the council’s environmental health team. Explain your concerns and ask for their help to put it right.

You can also get help from your local councillor, MSP or MP.

Costs on a protected site

You can claim Universal Credit to help pay your rent and site fees.

If it does not cover the full amount you could apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Charges for gas and electricity

If your gas and electricity come from the mains supply, then the site owner can only charge you:

  • for what you use

  • the rate they are charged

They cannot sell you any supply for profit.

If you’re unhappy with charges, speak to the site owner. If you think your consumer rights are affected you can get advice from Citizens Advice.

Paying council tax

You usually have to pay council tax if you live in a mobile home. If you are struggling to pay, you could get a council tax reduction.

If you're being harassed on site

Harassment by your landlord or the site owner is a criminal offence. It can include:

  • threatening you

  • stopping you having guests

  • cutting off or restricting your water, gas or electricity supply

  • entering your home when you’re not in or without your permission

Check our advice if you're being harassed by your landlord.

Last updated: 1 November 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England