Advisor Newsletter

DECEMBER NEWSLETTER

Dear Fellow Members,

We at IPHAS (The Independent Park Home Advisory Service) wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for the future.

During the last few months, we’ve all been busy getting new colleagues trained up to help members with the many varied park home issues that may occur over time. A new computer system was introduced, helping not only the IPHAS team but our valued members as well. This system is far more user friendly and has certainly assisted us when, for example, we communicate with government officials on your behalf.

The telephone of course, will always be available to those who are not computer literate so there will be someone to speak to. Details are in this letter.

Just a few points to remind you,

  • Please ensure you keep your written agreements in a very safe place and your next of kin know where they are and what they are about. Should your Park change hands, on no account, sign any new agreements. The new Park owner takes over your existing agreement with no changes. Should they wish to change anything, they cannot do this without prior agreement with you the residents unless you have agreed to the change. If in doubt seek advice.
  • The Park Owner / Manager may only enter your pitch, having given you 14 days notice in writing, stating the reason why. He / She may of course enter to post letters or to read meters between the hours of 09.00am – 18.00pm or in an emergency.

Please note the IPHAS Help lines will be closed for our team members to have a well-earned break from 16.00pm on the 20th of December 2023 until 10.00am on the 8th of January 2024

Do not agree to any loss of your pitch size, if the Park Owner request`s this to site another home and you agree to it, then you should receive a reduced pitch fee.

The work we at IPHAS do, will continue in helping our members as much as we are able, and we are always working on your behalf both in the team and with the government. Please remember the IPHAS team are volunteers, so sometimes we do have hospital, dental, and doctors’ appointments to keep us going! We do not have an office; we all work from home.

Sometimes it may look as though nothing is happening but, like the duck, not much is happening on the top but plenty going on underneath! Some members donate extra to their membership fee, and we would like to thank you for this as it helps keep the membership fee down, and we are very grateful. We would also like to thank those who pay your fee via Standing Order as this does save us a fee levied on cashing cheques. There is no objection though if you do wish to use cheques.

Our chairman, Ian Pye decided to resign on the 22nd of October 2023 after serving with us for some six years and completing some excellent changes, for which we thank him greatly.

Please remember that RPI has been replaced by CPI from the 2nd July 2023 and the new Pitch Fee Review Form (this can be obtained on www.iphas.live) must be used by your Park owner when notifying you of a Pitch Fee Review. The latest published CPI figure is for October 2023 – 4.6%

Park homes are not equivalent to bricks and mortar, and the procedure for buying and selling a park home is not subject to the usual conveyancing protocols.

The Government fact sheets “Buying a Park Home” and “Selling a Park Home” give some basic guidance to the process involved, Links are shown on our website www.iphas.live to obtain printable copies of these documents and forms.

We have had a few calls from members where their Park owner is threatening to evict them, for whatever reason. Please be assured that this cannot happen without firstly taking the case to the First Tier Tribunal and then it would have to go to Court, so do not worry, but please get advice from IPHAS or a solicitor, should you find yourself in this position.

The Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme 2023/2024 is NOW OPEN.

Charis`s Park Homes Warm Home Discount scheme enables residents living in a Park Home in England and Wales to apply for a £150 payment to help towards the cost of their energy bills. Use the link shown here to obtain more details. This is on a first come, first serve basis, you may still be able to apply.

https://charisgrants.com/partners/park-homes/

Contacting IPHAS — Important changes – Please note that IPHAS will be changing their telephone contact numbers in 2024. Continue to visit our website at www.iphas.live for up-to-date information.

We are currently on the lookout for more volunteer team members, we require people to work in our Membership and Advice Teams. The roles are varied and interesting. No knowledge of legislation or legal matters are required but it would be helpful if you have some basic skills in the use of computers. IPHAS which was formed in 1993, is held in high regard at Government level. Joining us, you will be playing a significant role in maintaining our large database or providing advice to our members nationwide. There are no set hours, training will be given, you can choose how much of your time you are prepared to give. Please note that whilst these are voluntary roles with no payment, expenses will be met. Any postal communication to should be sent to IPHAS, 19 College Close, Probus, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 4LW. This is the only address for postal communication.

Membership Fee Receipts

We have almost 100 Members with the surname SMITH, 31 BROWN, 53 JONES and 31 WILLIAMS. Please remember to use your membership reference when making payments.These are common errors made when making payments,

People shown on our Bank statement as: Mr. A xxxxxx who paid E6.OO as an annual membership fee (no reference )

Ms. C ABCDEF Grandmas Insurance (no reference)

You each have a Membership number, when you speak to us, we can help find the relevant reference numbers. If you pay by Standing Order your reference will be IND- the abbreviation for your County and 3 numbers (IND-LOND123 for example). If you have paid and not received a membership certificate, one of these could be you. Please contact us to sort things out.

Please use the following Telephone numbers to contact us;

Membership 0800 612 6273

Advice 0800 612 6399

 PLEASE NOTE: The IPHAS team offer information on residents’ rights under mobile home legislation, including buying and selling a home on a residential park. The advice and recommendations given in correspondence or through our telephone services are for information only, and it is for the resident to make his/her own decision on action to be taken. IPHAS team members are not lawyers, they are all volunteers who have PLEASE NOTE: The IPHAS team offer information on residents’ rights under mobile home legislation, including buying and selling a home on a residential park. The advice and recommendations given in correspondence or through our telephone services are for information only, and it is for the resident to make his/her own decision on action to be taken. IPHAS team members are not lawyers, they are all volunteers who have studied the relevant legislation. Team members advice is offered in good faith, but IPHAS cannot be held responsible for the consequences of any action taken by a resident, whether or not it was based on information given by IPHAS. studied the relevant legislation. Team members advice is offered in good faith, but IPHAS cannot be held responsible for the consequences of any action taken by a resident, whether or not it was based on information given by I

17th December 2023

Research Report

Park Homes Research Report: The impact of a change in the Maximum Park Home Sale Commission

Discussion document

September 2023

Submission date closed 17th November 2023

Everyone is invited to create their own personal response form and submit it if they wish, use the link herewith, complete the form and send it to; 

Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities,3rd Floor (NE). Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF.

https://www.iphas.live/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Disscusion-Response-Form-template.docx

  1. The purpose of this document is to aide participants in discussions about the

recommendations in the park homes research report – “The impact of a change in

the maximum park home sale commission (2022).”

  1. Park (mobile) homes provide accommodation to approximately 160,000 people in

England. Approximately 80% of residents are over 65 years. When a person

purchases a mobile home on a site, they do not purchase an interest in the land.

They will instead have a licence to occupy the pitch on which their home will sit.

When they sell their home, the site owner will be legally entitled to a commission

of up to 10% of the sale price. The exact rate a resident must pay the site owner

should be set out in the written agreement given to them when they first move

onto the site.

  1. Site owners and residents have different views about the commission and what it

is for. Residents have been calling for the commission to be abolished or reduced

while site owners have argued for it to be maintained. In 2002 research into the

economics of the industry, and other reviews and consultations since then, all

concluded that the commission rate should be maintained.

  1. To ensure ongoing discussions about the commission are based on facts and

accurate data, the Government commissioned research in 2021 to collect data

about the sector. This was to enable an assessment to be made of any impacts

on both residents and site owners of a change to the rate of commission.

  1. The final research report published in June 2022, concluded that there is a high

level of dissatisfaction with some site owners’ behaviour in managing parks. It also

highlighted the complex relationship between the mobility of residents and the

profitability of parks. To address those issues, the report made four

recommendations;

  1. To strengthen the professionalism of park operators;
  2. To consider whether a national enforcement body could ensure a more

consistent and higher quality of park operation;

  1. To explore and clarify the rationale of the commission; and that,
  2. There should be no reduction to the commission rate without financial support,

which should be independent of residents, for smaller parks in particular.

  1. The report’s recommendations have direct implications for residents, site owners

and local authorities. Before publishing the government’s response to the report,

we want to discuss those recommendations with and seek the views of those

directly affected.

  1. To have a structured and focussed discussion, the approach we are taking is for

the recommendations with the strongest links to be considered together. Part 1 of

this document therefore focusses on recommendations (a) and (b) as they are

about professionalising the sector and enforcement. Part 2 focusses on

recommendations (c) and (d) which both relate to the commission payment.

  1. In each part, we have briefly summarised the main issues and asked a series of

questions. Also attached are summaries of residents’ rights (Annex A) and local

authority licensing and enforcement powers (Annex B), as a reminder of what

already exists in legislation.

  1. Each stakeholder group can respond to all the questions or to as many as they

are able to. While the questions are included under the relevant topics in the

document, these have also been collated in the Response Form (Annex C) for you

to complete. We want you to discuss the issues with your members, collate all

their responses and send one combined return for your stakeholder group. The

deadline for responses to be submitted is 17 November 2023.

10.Later this year, we will organise a roundtable meeting for stakeholders to share

and discuss their responses. The final responses will then feed into the

Government’s response to the report.

PART 1: RECOMMENDATIONS ON PROFESSIONALISM AND

ENFORCEMENT

Section 1: Summary of residents’ concerns and the researchers’ recommendations

11.The experiences of living in park homes varied among residents. While some

were satisfied with the social and community aspects of living in a park home,

they expressed disenchantment that their financial obligations to the site owner,

such as the payment of pitch fees, failed to translate into improved site

conditions or amenities.

12.Residents’ dissatisfaction with the experience of living on a park home site was

often framed in relation to the relationships they held with site owners and park

managers and day-to-day maintenance of sites. Residents complained of poor

site maintenance, often with reference to the same large-scale park owner and

regular pitch fee increases were often unjustified given the lack of investment

into site amenities and management.

13.Many residents considered that their site was managed by a “rogue owner” and

many site owners were perceived to have poor visibility to and communication

with residents. Some residents who were previously satisfied with the

management and maintenance of their site, found things changed when the

ownership of the park changed hands. Recent experiences were causing

significant distress and leading them to reconsider their housing arrangements.

14.In summary, there was a high level of dissatisfaction among residents with some

site operators’ behaviour in managing parks. While recent legislative changes

were considered a positive step towards an appropriately regulated sector,

residents felt further improvements were needed to ensure that the sector

worked fairly for both operators and residents. The report recommended

strengthening the professionalism of park operators to help improve their

behaviour.

  1. Residents also had some concerns about the effectiveness of the current

enforcement regime. They felt that the enforcement of breaches of site licence

conditions by individual local authorities was not effective. The report

recommended that further consideration should be given to whether a national

enforcement body could ensure a more consistent and higher quality of park

operation.

  1. In addition to concerns raised during the research about the management of

parks, other concerns about bullying, harassment and intimidation by some site

owners are often raised directly with this Department. They include instances of

site owners speaking harshly to residents, threatening to claim costs against

residents if they exercise their rights at the tribunal and making written demands

for payment of monies not owed. Other concerns raised with this Department are

about the sale of homes on land with no planning permission.

17.These issues appear to be causing great concern among a growing number of

residents. Stakeholders may want to bear them in mind and consider them as

part of this discussion about rights and enforcement.

Section 2: Background to existing legislation

18.To give some context, we will briefly set out what the problems in the sector

have generally been since the 1960s and what legislation was initially introduced

to address them. This will be followed by a brief outline of reforms that have

since taken place to improve residents’ rights and local authorities’ enforcement

powers respectively.

Problems in the sector

19.Weak enforcement legislation – In 1960 the government introduced the Caravan

Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (1960 Act) to tackle the problem of

caravan sites being set up in the wrong places and with poor site conditions. The

1960 Act required a site to have planning permission (to determine the use of the

land) and a site licence (to ensure the site was maintained). The 1960 Act did

not provide local authorities with strong enforcement powers which meant they

were unable to carry out effective enforcement in most cases. This contributed to

the increase in unprofessional site owners in the sector. Where enforcement

action was taken, the fines imposed by the courts were so low that the site

owners preferred to pay the fine than carry out the required repairs to the site.

20.The Caravan Sites Act 1968 was later introduced to address increasing

problems around harassment and illegal eviction. The fines that could be

imposed by the Courts were however very low and did not act as much of a

deterrent to unprofessional site owners.

21.The Mobile Homes Act 1983 (1983 Act) gave residents a wide range of rights

and implied certain terms into every agreement between a site owner and

resident. It later became clear that the 1983 Act did not offer effective protection

for residents in certain aspects. Unprofessional site operators took unfair

advantage of this to financially exploit residents through practices such as

blocking sales and forcing residents to sell their home to the site owner for a

fraction of the price they could otherwise have achieved. There was also a lack

of transparency with how site rules were made which enabled some site owners

to impose rules which gave them an unfair financial advantage. The process for

reviewing pitch fees also lacked transparency which enabled some site owners

to include ineligible costs in the proposed new pitch fee.

22.Lack of advice for residents – The sector has increasingly been marketed by site

owners as idyllic, suitable for retirement purposes and that legal advice was not

required when buying a home. Most purchasers bought their homes without

seeking any form of advice to understand their rights and obligations. One

reason for not doing so was the lack of an independent organisation offering that

service. Some site owners also used bullying and threating behaviour and when

disputes arose, the cases could only be determined by the courts. With quite

significant court costs, being older and living in remote areas, most residents

understandably chose to have a quiet life and avoid any further confrontation

with the site owner.

Reforms

23.In 1998 the Government set up a Working Party to consider the operation of

existing controls and make recommendations on what changes, if any, were felt

to be desirable to achieve a fair and workable balance between the needs and

interests of park owners and home owners. The Working Party’s report ,

published in 2000, made several recommendations many of which were

accepted by the Government and started a series of major reforms to the sector.

24.These included the 2002 research into the economics of the industry and the

commission paid on the sale of a home; amendments to the implied terms in

2006; the transfer of dispute resolution from the courts to the tribunals in 2011;

the introduction of the Mobile Homes Act 2013; and giving the Leasehold

Advisory Service (LEASE) the additional role of providing residents with free

independent advice.

25.In 2017, a review of the effectiveness of the 2013 Act concluded that the

changes introduced in 2013 had been effective in bringing about improvements

in the sector. There was evidence however that some site owners were still

abusing and exploiting residents. In its response to the review, the Government

made further commitments to improve the rights of residents and give local

authorities additional powers. Most of those commitments, including carrying out

research in 2021 in relation to the 10% commission, have now been

implemented.

Section 3: Research Recommendations

Professionalism of park operators

26.During the 2021 research, residents raised concerns about some site owners.

While recent legislative changes were considered a positive step towards an

appropriately regulated sector, many residents felt further improvements were

needed to ensure that the sector worked fairly for both operators and residents.

The report recommended strengthening the professionalism of park operators to

help improve their behaviour.

27.Professionalising the sector could have a variety of meanings but for the

purposes of this discussion, we will consider it to broadly encompass ‘all site

owners understanding their obligations, carrying them out to an expected

standard and which results in minimal enforcement by local authorities and

improved relationships with residents’. We have focussed on four different ways

in which this could be achieved.

28.First, if residents know and understand their rights, they can challenge site

owners effectively when issues arise. Without being challenged, some site

owners may continue with their unprofessional behaviour which then becomes

the norm.

Questions:

Q1. To what extent are residents aware of their rights and obligations?

Q2. Are there any barriers to accessing advice about their rights from all

the existing advisory services for residents or understanding those

rights? Please provide a reason(s) for your answer.

Q3. If there are any barriers, what could be done to improve access and

understanding of those rights?

29.Second, through more residents asserting their rights through the First Tier

Tribunal. Determinations made by a tribunal will clarify the legal requirements

and help site owners understand their obligations and what is required of them.

Determinations could also act as a deterrent to other site owners.

Questions:

Q4. What barriers do residents face in asserting their rights through the

tribunals?

Q5. How could these be addressed and by whom?

30.Third, through learning and development opportunities for site owners and their

organisation. Professional site owners will do this in a variety of ways including

through membership of a trade or a professional body and by undertaking

regular training or courses as part of their work.

Questions:

Q6. Should unprofessional site owners be encouraged to take

responsibility for their own learning and development or mandated to

do so? Please give reasons for your answer.

Q7. For the option you have chosen, how could it be implemented and

monitored effectively?

Q8. Are there existing learning and development opportunities available

to all site owners? If yes, please give examples. If no, how could those

opportunities be made available to those currently exempted?

31.Fourth, through more robust local authority enforcement. Enforcement allows the

local authority to set out what is required and give a site owner the opportunity to

comply. In some cases, it will be necessary for either party to seek a

determination from the tribunal. If used consistently and effectively, both

methods could act as a deterrent to other site owners and also assist other local

authorities in their enforcement.

Questions:

Q9. Do local authorities routinely share good practice with other

authorities either directly or seek primary authority advice?

Q10. If yes, please provide an example(s). What benefits have authorities or

other stakeholders derived from this practice?

Q11. If no, what do you think are the barriers to doing so?

Q12. Do you have any additional suggestions on how the sector could be

further professionalised? Please provide reasons for your answer.

A national body

  1. Residents also raised concerns during the research about the effectiveness of

the current local authority site licensing enforcement regime. Many felt that the

enforcement of breaches of site licence conditions by individual local authorities

was not effective. The report recommended that further consideration should be

given to whether a national enforcement body could ensure a more consistent

and higher quality of park operation.

33.The 1960 Act introduced the existing local authority site licensing system. It

gives local authorities the power to first licence sites in their area and second to

take enforcement action where necessary. A summary of local authority

licensing and enforcement powers is at Annex B.

34.The way the existing site licensing system operates mirrors that in place for other

local authority functions such as housing, planning and environmental health.

For all those functions, the local authority’s role and powers are set out in

legislation which also provides them with the necessary enforcement tools.

Those roles and powers are then applied to each local authority’s area as

necessary.

Questions:

Q13. What role, if any, do you think a national body could play to improve

local authority site licensing and enforcement?

Q14. What challenges and opportunities do you foresee from a change to

the current system?

  1. Residents sometimes say that they do not receive any assistance when they

approach their local authority for site licensing services. Some of the reasons

that we know have been given for local authorities not being able to assist

residents include a lack of staff resources or the site licensing team having

responsibilities for other functions such as private rented sector housing. While

these are important reasons that should be addressed, they are outside the

scope of these discussions. This is because how local authorities structure their

departments and allocate resources to carry out their statutory duties is a matter

for each authority. What we want to focus on in this discussion is how residents

can seek redress where a local authority does not carry out its duties or meet

expected standards.

Questions:

Q15. Do you know what a local authority’s site licensing role is and if so,

what would you say it is? If no, what do you think or suggest their role

should be?

Q16. Have you ever been dissatisfied with the service you received from

your local authority’s site licensing team and if so on what aspect(s)

of their role?

Q17. If you have been dissatisfied with a service you received from your

local authority, did you raise your concerns with the local authority

and if so, how, and what was the outcome?

Q18. Should local authorities engage more with their service users and if

so how and what about? If no, why not?

Q19. Do you have any examples of good practice by your local authority

site licensing team? If so, please provide an example(s).

Other considerations

  1. Residents, site owners and local authorities continue to play important roles to

bring much needed change to the sector. In carrying out those roles, each will

have their own objectives and ways of working. While it is right for them to do so,

any differences could result in those groups working against instead of with each

other to help professionalise the sector.

Questions:

Q20. Are there ways in which stakeholders could work together to develop

and share good practice which would benefit their members equally

and the sector as a whole?

PART 2: RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE RATIONALE AND

PAYMENT OF COMMISSION

Section 5 – Summary of the recommendations

37.The issue of commission has been discussed for decades. There have also

been reviews in that time which considered what the commission was for and

whether it should continue to be paid. From the 2021 research, it is clear that

residents and site owners continue to have different views about the

commission.

38.Briefly, many residents perceive that the charging of a 10% commission is

inequitable to their interests. The commission rate appears to be arbitrary,

and the payment is unfair because operators do not provide any service for

this source of income. If the commission rate is changed, there should be no

increases in pitch fees to compensate for any loss of revenue to operators.

39.Park owners on the other hand tend to see the commission as a vital part of

their income. A substantial reduction in the commission rate would reduce

total income, without actually reducing expenditure, thus threatening the

financial viability of parks. The commission allows them to reinvest in the

parks and maintain higher standards without additional costs for homeowners.

Improving standards in the sector should therefore not include steps to make

park businesses unprofitable.

40.We do not intend to revisit those views and arguments during these

discussions. The purpose of this discussion document is to consider the

report’s recommendations and agree a way forward that will work for all those

involved.

41.To recap, the report recommended that;

  • Work is needed to explore the rationale of the commission and to clarify

this rationale for park owners and home owners. The current lack of a

shared understanding in the purpose of the maximum commission leads to

highly subjective arguments about the commission’s role and impact. A

change to the commission would therefore currently be predicated upon the

impacts of the commission rather than the commission’s justified role in the

park home sector.

  • No reduction to the maximum commission on park home re-sales without

financial support for smaller parks. Whilst a reduction in the maximum

commission would support residents’ mobility, it would need to be

significant to effect a major change (i.e. a maximum commission of 5 per

cent or less). Such a reduction in the commission would result in an

increase in the proportion of parks that make a loss in any year; this will

disproportionally have a negative impact on smaller parks. As the majority

of park home owners do not intend to move, it is not in their interest to

increase regular costs (such as pitch fees) in order to compensate park

owners for a reduction in the commission. As such, a reduction in the

commission remains desirable for park home owners, but only if park

owners (in particular smaller site owners) are supported financially through

mechanisms independent of the home owner to retain the viability of parks.

Section 6 – Rationale of the sales commission

42.In considering the commission payment, previous reviews placed more

emphasis on how the level of site owners’ income could be maintained. While

this is an important consideration, our view is that a more important question to

understand is what the commission is for. We agree with the 2022 report that

without clarity on what the commission is for, a change to the commission rate

would currently be predicated upon the impacts of the commission rather than

the commission’s justified role in the park home sector.

  1. The rate of the commission was about 20% in the 1960s until it was reduced to

15% by the Mobile Homes Act 1975. It is unclear what the precise reasoning

was behind the original decision to introduce a 15% cap. The rate was later

reduced to 10% by the Mobile Homes Act 1983. Some of the reasons that have

been put forward over the years to justify what the payment of commission

represents are that;

  • The value of the home sold is an amalgam of the value of the park home and

the value of the site on which it is placed. Without the pitch/site location, the

park home in isolation would be valued at a lower price for re-sale.

  • The commission payment is payable on the sale of the home, and therefore

site owners are able to offer lower on-going pitch fees to residents, with a

one-off payment being made to match an inflow of income for those

residents at the point of sale. This particularly suits older residents who are

often on a fixed low income on an ongoing basis.

  • A compensation payment to the park owner for the continued loss of the use

of the land on which the home sits. In other words, it is the price for security

of tenure given to the park home resident.

44.From table 5.1 in the report, 98% of site operators are a type of business entity.

In our view it is fair to assume that their reasonable aim is to make a profit. When

a site owner therefore decides to go into the business of operating a park home

site, it could further be assumed that they would be fully aware they would be

giving up the use of their land and would take this into account when setting the

price of the pitch or the home they are offering, to make a profit. Also, the pricing

model that most businesses generally adopt would be to set a price for the good

or service they are offering and if a customer then wished to pay for other

additional services, they would make that decision and pay for them either

separately or in addition to the price. The additional services they will have a

choice to pay for, would normally be made clear to them before or after they

have purchased the good or service.

  1. As a hypothetical example, when a site owner first sets up a site they would sell

mobile homes to the purchasers at a one off price but then charge all residents

an additional monthly fee (which could be increased each year) for the ongoing

repair and maintenance of the pitch, common parts and for utilities (may or may

not be included in the pitch fee). If a resident at a later date, wanted the site

owner to provide them only with an additional service for example another

garage in addition to the one every resident was allocated as part of the initial

price, they would negotiate a separate price with the site owner for that extra

garage.

Questions:

Q21. What in your view is the rationale for charging a commission? Please

provide your reason(s) for your response.

Q22. If, in your view, there is a clear rationale(s) for the commission, how

would you define it in a short sentence or paragraph that could be

acceptable to others?

Section 7 –The commission rate

46.The question of what the commission payment is for, will determine whether it is

justified and if so, what the appropriate commission rate should be. In other

words, if there is no justification for the commission then the logical conclusion

would be to abolish it. If it is justified, then the question would be whether the

existing rate is appropriate. For this part of the discussion, we will assume that

the commission payment is justified in order to explore the recommendations

about supporting park owners financially to retain the viability of parks.

Financial incentives

47.If commission is justified and the current maximum rate is determined to be right,

there will be no need to discuss financial incentives for site owners. If the

commission rate was to however change, it would imply that site owners will see

a reduction in their income. The research report concluded that ‘a reduction in

the commission remains desirable for park home owners, but only if park owners

(in particular smaller site owners) are supported financially through mechanisms

independent of the home owner to retain the viability of parks’.

Questions:

Q23. The report does not specify what financial assistance should be

provided if the commission was to be reduced. What form do you

think these could take and how would they be implemented?

Q24. How would you define a ‘small park’?

Q25. Should the financial support be given only to those ‘small parks’ or

also to other park types and if so which other types? Please give

reasons for your answers.

Changing the commission rate – options

48.Previous reviews considered a number of options in the event that changes had

to be made to the commission rate. Some of these were;

  • Including commission payments in the initial purchase price – for new

agreements, one option would be for the commission payment to be

‘incorporated’ into the cost of the purchase of a new or existing park home.

This could, therefore, allow a new resident to have the choice of paying the

market price of the home and then agreeing to pay a commission upon sale or

of paying a commuted amount at the time of purchase and avoiding a future

commission payment.

  • Sliding Rate – the commission rate could be linked to the length of time the

resident had spent on their respective park.

  • Altered base – the commission rate would be applied to other bases other

than the sales price of the park home, but again maintaining the same total

revenue for the park operator. Those bases could include the land component

reflected in the value of the home, the increase in the value of the land

component, or the calculation on the value of the home excluding the fixture

and fittings and improvements made by the resident.

49.The Government considered these options but rejected them ahead of its 2007

consultation on the commission rate. In developing the consultation paper, the

Government consulted with residents and trade bodies on its reasons for

rejecting those options and the alternative options it intended to consult on.

Questions:

Q26. Do you agree that including commission in the initial purchase price,

a sliding rate or an altered base should still be rejected as options? If

not, why?

Pitch fee increase

50.Other options that have been discussed or put forward previously is for pitch

fees to increase if changes are made to the commission rate, in order to

compensate park owners for a reduction in the commission.

51.The 2022 report however recommends that site owners should be assisted

‘through mechanisms independent of the home owner ‘. If so, any increases in

pitch fees to compensate site owners would be excluded as an option.

Questions:

Q27. Apart from increasing pitch fees or receiving financial incentives

(paragraph 47), are there other ways site owners could generate

additional revenues within the existing framework, to enable them to

maintain and improve parks? If yes, what are they? If no, why not?

Q28. If any loss of income resulting from a change in the rate of

commission payable was relatively small in comparison to total

income over a period of time, should the industry be able to

accommodate such an outcome without seeking compensation?

Please give reasons for your answer.

Other considerations

52.As mentioned in para 46, this part of the discussion assumes that the

commission payment is justified. The debate around the payment of commission

has been going on for decades and all sides have during that time maintained

the same views/positions. It is possible that the debates could go on for much

longer or in order to find a resolution, one side may have to accept a decision

they have previously argued against.

Questions:

Q29. Is there a compromise position around the rate or indeed the amount

of commission paid, that you would accept and if so, what would that

be? If no, please provide your reason(s).

53.If changes to the commission result in a fall in site owners’ incomes, they may

not be able to adequately maintain their sites. This could have an impact on

residents’ health and wellbeing and lead to increased complaints to the local

authority and increased enforcement action. The site owner may however be

unable to comply with compliance notices issued if they still did not have the

resources to do so.

Questions:

Q30. In those circumstances and taking into account any answers you

have given in Section One, what further action(s) if any, could the

parties involved take to resolve any ongoing site maintenance and

repair issues?

  1. An existing resident’s pitch agreement reflects what they were willing to pay to

site the home on the pitch together with future pitch fee payments and a

maximum 10% commission. As the price was determined without coercion, it

follows that the removal or reduction of the commission rate would be a

retrospective change that will disadvantage the site operator.

Questions:

Q31. Is there any justification for applying any change to the commission

payment to existing agreements? If so, what are your reasons?

Annex A – Summary of residents’ rights

The written statement

  • A site owner must give a resident a written statement which sets out the terms implied by

law (‘implied terms’) and any other terms agreed between the resident and the site

owner (’express terms’).

  • The written statement must be given to the buyer 28 days before they sign the

agreement unless they agree otherwise. If the written statement is not given the resident

can apply to the First Tier tribunal for an order making the site owner to do so. The site

owner cannot enforce any express terms in the agreement (including charging the pitch

fee) until the resident has had the written statement.

  • If a purchaser buys a second-hand home from a resident, the seller is required to

provide the documents set out in the Buyers Information form (including the agreement

and written statement) at least 28 days before the completion of the sale and

assignment of the agreement. This is to allow the purchaser time to read and

understand the agreement they are entering into. The site owner cannot give the

purchaser a new agreement or make any changes to the express terms such as

increasing the pitch fee.

Security of tenure and length of the agreement

  • A site owner cannot give a resident a time-limited agreement unless the site owner has

a limited interest in the land (for example, a short-term lease) or unless the planning

permission to use the site for stationing homes is for a limited period.

  • A resident’s agreement will be time limited if the site owner’s interest in the land is

limited. If the site owner’s interest in the land is limited but is later extended or made

indefinite, the resident’s agreement must be extended in the same way.

Ending the agreement

  • A resident may end their agreement at any time, by giving the site owner at least 28

days’ notice in writing. A site owner can only bring an agreement to an end if they get

permission from a county court and only if the resident has broken the terms of the

agreement; is not living in the home as their main home or the condition of the home is

having a detrimental effect on the amenity of the site.

Eviction and harassment

  • A resident cannot be evicted from their home or their home removed from the site by the

site owner, without an order from the court. It is a criminal offence for anyone to evict a

resident or remove their home without a court order or to try to make a resident leave by

threats, violence, withholding services (such as water, gas or electricity) or any other

sort of harassment.

  • It is an offence for the site owner to knowingly or recklessly provide a resident with false

or misleading information if they know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that doing

so is likely to make the resident leave the site or refrain from exercising your rights.

Resident’s general responsibilities under the implied terms

  • A resident must pay their pitch fee and any other charges due under the agreement;

keep their home in a good state of repair; and keep the outside of their home and the

pitch in a clean and tidy condition. Residents also have a right to quiet enjoyment of

their home.

Site owner’s general responsibilities

  • The site owner must repair the base for the home when necessary; maintain any

services which they supply to a home and pitch; and maintain, in a clean and tidy

condition, parts of the site which are not the resident’s responsibility.

  • The site owner must give a resident and any qualifying residents’ association their name

and address. If they do not give this information, a resident can refuse to pay the pitch

fee until they do so. Any demand for a resident to pay the pitch fee (or any other

charges) must also include an address in England or Wales. If not, the resident does not

have to make the payment until they are given the address.

Site owner’s duty to consult about certain matters

  • A site owner must consult a resident and any qualifying residents’ association on

improvements to the site, particularly if the improvements will affect the pitch fee.

Moving a mobile home

  • A site owner can move a resident’s home for essential repairs to the base on which the

home is placed or for emergency work or repairs following a flood, landslide or other

natural disaster. The site owner must return the home to its original pitch when the

repairs are finished. If they don’t, the resident can apply to the tribunal for an order

making them return the home to its original pitch.

  • If a site owner wants to move a home for any other reason (whether temporarily or

permanently), they can only do so with authorisation from a tribunal. In all cases, the

new pitch must be broadly similar to the current pitch and the site owner will have to pay

any costs and expenses that the resident has to pay in connection with the move to and

from the pitch.

Site owner’s right to enter a pitch

  • The site owner (or their employees or agent) may enter a resident’s pitch without notice

between 9am and 6pm to deliver post or other written communications or to read meters

for which they are responsible.

  • The site owner (or their employees and agents) may also enter a resident’s pitch to

carry out essential repairs or emergency work. Before doing so, they must give the

resident as much notice as reasonably possible in the circumstances. For any other

reason, they must give the resident at least 14 days’ notice in writing. A site owner has

no right to enter a resident’s home unless the resident invites them.

Selling a home

  • A resident has a right to sell their home with the benefit of the pitch. A resident can also

give their home and pass on the agreement (gifting), to a member of their family.

Pitch fee reviews

  • The site owner can review the pitch fee from time to time. They must follow the statutory

procedure including the use of a statutory form otherwise the pitch fee review will be

invalid. If a resident is unwilling to agree to a proposed increase, the site owner cannot

unilaterally impose the increase. The site owner must apply to the First Tier Tribunal to

seek a determination (a resident can also make an application but they don’t have to).

  • Where a pitch fee review is invalid but residents are made to pay the proposed increase,

the resident can apply to the tribunal and if it is determined that the review is invalid, the

tribunal may order the site owner to pay back the overpayment.

Site rules

  • Site rules can only be made, varied or deleted if the site owner follows a specific

procedure which includes depositing the rules with the local authority. The site rules

then become part of the express terms of the agreement. Certain site rules such as

those preventing residents from selling or gifting their home to anyone but the site

owner, those requiring residents to use tradespeople appointed by the site owner or only

purchase goods and services supplied by them, are banned and cannot be enforced.

Gas, electricity and water resale

  • For gas and electricity, the maximum amount a site owner can charge a resident (the

Maximum Resale Price) is the amount the site owner paid for the energy, plus VAT at

the appropriate rate. The site owner can recover the supplier’s standing charge.

  • Anyone reselling water or sewerage services should charge no more than the amount

they are charged by the water company plus a reasonable administration fee.

Maintenance costs for water or sewerage pipe work are not included in the resale price.

These costs are usually recovered through the pitch fee or by separate agreement.

Annex B – Summary of local authority site licensing powers

  • All caravan sites unless exempted, require the appropriate planning permission.
  • A site licence will be granted to the site owner once planning permission has been

granted. The purpose of licensing is to ensure the site and amenities are safe and

healthy for residents and other users of the site.

Site licence applications

  • Local authorities have discretion as to whether or not to grant or approve a transfer of a

licence. They have a duty to exercise the discretion and cannot grant or approve a

transfer without making relevant enquiries into the proposed licence holder’s suitability

to hold the licence. It must also take into account the conduct of the existing licence

holder (if any) when making its decision.

  • If the local authority decides to approve the transfer or grant the licence it may do so

subject to undertakings, given by either the existing or proposed licence holder.

Although the local authority can ask for undertakings to be given and must consider any

offered, it is not bound to accept any undertaking.

  • Local authorities can refuse an application to grant a new licence or transfer an existing

licence if the proposal would reduce the amenity of the site, its access or the quality of

any site services. It can also refuse to grant an application, if doing so would mean the

local authority was unable to ensure the site as a whole is adequately maintained or

managed, through the licence or otherwise.

Site licensing conditions

  • Local authorities can attach conditions to a site licence in respect of the amenities on

the site. Site licence conditions can govern matters such as the permitted number of

caravans on the site, provision of roads, utilities, sewerage, fire equipment and spacing

distances between homes.

  • Local authorities cannot enforce (or impose) site licence conditions in respect of the

fabric of the mobile home itself.

  • A local authority has the power to change licence conditions at any time. The local

authority does not require the “agreement” of a site operator to change the conditions

but the local authority must consult on the proposed changes.

  • If a site owner fails to comply with a site licence condition, the local authority can serve a

compliance notice on the site owner listing the steps that need to be taken, within a

specified time period, to comply with the requirements of the site licence.

  • If the site owner fails to comply within the period specified in the notice, the local

authority can prosecute them and if convicted they will face an unlimited fine. The local

authority may then enter the site and do the necessary works.

  • The authority will be able to recover all its enforcement costs including court costs (and

charge interest on the expenses claimed) from the site owner.

  • Authorities have a suite of powers to recover their costs and expenses, including

through a local land charge and if the debt is extensive and remains unpaid by forcing

the sale of the site.

  • Local authorities can charge site owners an annual fee for administering and monitoring

licences. They can also charge fees for considering applications for the grant or transfer

of a licence.

  • They can charge fees for the monitoring and administration of existing site licences

through levying an annual fee.

Fines

  • Not complying with a compliance notice is subject to a level 5 fine (unlimited)
  • Operating a site without a licence now attracts a level 5 fine.
  • Obstructing an officer attracts a level 4 maximum fine of £5000.
  • Directors, secretaries and other relevant officers of a company which is found guilty of a

licence offence will be liable to be punished as well as the company, if it is convicted.

Fit and proper person test

  • In addition to granting a site licence, local authorities must be satisfied that the owner or

manager of a site is a fit and proper person to manage the site.

  • In assessing an application, a local authority must consider a number of matters

including whether the person has a sufficient level of competence to manage the site

and the management structure and funding arrangements for the site.

  • The local authority may have regard to the conduct of any person associated or formerly

associated with the relevant person (whether on a personal, work or other basis) if it

appears to the authority that that person’s conduct is relevant to the question of whether

the relevant person is a fit and proper person to manage the site or proposed site.

  • The local authority can decide whether to place the relevant person on the register with

or without conditions, or not to place them on the register.

  • Where a relevant person fails an assessment and the site owner is unable to identify

and appoint a suitable alternative manager who must also undergo the fit and proper

assessment, the local authority could appoint a person to manage the site, with the

consent of the site owner.

  • It is an offence for a site owner to:

(a) cause or permit land to be operated as a relevant protected site unless they or the

person appointed to manage the site is a fit and proper person to manage the site

(b) provide false or misleading information or fail to provide information in an

application; or

(c) fail to comply with a requirement set as a condition of the local authority’s decision

to include a person on the register.

  • If convicted for any of these offences, the site owner will face a potentially unlimited fine.

Harassment

  • Local authorities have powers to prosecute for offences under Section 3 of the Caravan

Sites Act 1968. Under that section it is a criminal offence for site owners (or persons

acting on their behalf) to evict, attempt to evict or through harassment cause the

resident to give up their mobile home (without a court order), or prevent them from

exercising a lawful right (for example to sell their home) or seeking a remedy.

  • Harassment includes interfering with their peace and comfort or by withdrawing services

or facilities.

  • The maximum penalty for a first offence is an unlimited fine. For the second or

subsequent offence the penalty is an unlimited fine or imprisonment not exceeding 6

months.

17th November 2023.

NEW PITCH FEE

A NEW PITCH FEE REVIEW FORM (SI 2023/620) SHOWING CPI IN SECTION 4(B) MUST BE USED FOR ALL PITCH FEE REVIEWS STARTING 2 JULY 2023. IF YOUR PFR DATE IS 1 JULY 2023, THE OLD FORM (SI 2013/1505) SHOWING RPI IS VALID. CHECK YOURS!

Use  the link below to obtain the review form.

Pitch_fee_review_form-print_version

PLEASE NOTE : The team members of IPHAS offer information about residents’ rights under the Mobile Home Legislation. The advice and recommendations given in our letters and publications are for consideration only and it is for the resident to make his/her own decision on action to be taken using the information given. The IPHAS team members are not lawyers but volunteers who have made a study of the relevant legislation. The advice is offered in good faith but IPHAS cannot be held responsible for the consequences of any action taken by a resident whether or not it was based on the information given.

4th July 2023.

STOP PRESS

URGENT APPEAL TO MEMBERS

Is your name Brown, Morris, Ring, Reid, Turner or Tagliareni?

Have you changed your address or email address?

Some members with these names have forwarded payment to IPHAS without a reference or contact details and we do not know who you are.

Please note that failure to use YOUR MEMBERSHIP NUMBER OR OTHER CONTACT DETAILS when making a payment could mean that in some circumstances your payment could be credited to another account and your membership suspended for non-payment.

We can only help you if we know who you are, so if you think this may be you.

Could you please contact IPHAS Membership as soon as possible, using the message board on the homepage of our website.

Thank you.

May 2023.

 

STOP PRESS – LATEST ADVISOR NEWSLETTER

STOP PRESS – LATEST ADVISOR NEWSLETTER

PLEASE SHARE THE CONTENT WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS

WE WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK SO PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO advice@iphas.co.uk

WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN THE IPHAS TEAM?

IPHAS ARE LOOKING TO EXPAND AND IMPROVE OUR SERVICES TO MEMBERS. WE HAVE AT LEAST THREE VACANCIES FOR PEOPLE WITH A FRIENDLY DISPOSITION, SO IF YOU LIKE TO CHAT ON THE TELEPHONE, AND YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH SENDING AND RECEIVING EMAILS, THEN WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN THE IPHAS TEAM.

NO SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE OR TRAINING IS INVOLVED, SO IF YOU WOULD LIKE FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE EMAIL YOUR DETAILS TO advice@iphas.co.uk

IAN PYE, CHAIRMAN                                                                                                               15TH MARCH 2023

APPLYING FOR ENERGY BILL SUPPORT IF YOU DO NOT GET IT AUTOMATICALLY

IPHAS has now received further information from the Government about the application process for the long-awaited EBSS – AF £400 grant, for those residents who do not already receive this automatically.

Whilst an earlier announcement was made that the application process is now live, it is confirmed that the formal roll-out date for applications remains Monday 27th February 2023. However, we have been advised that any applications made between now and the formal roll-out next Monday, will be accepted by the Department.

It has also been confirmed today that the ALTERNATIVE FUEL PAYMENT – ALTERNATIVE FUNDING grant of £200 (available to those residents using LPG, and without a direct energy supply contract), will be subject to a different application process, the details of which will be announced shortly.

PLEASE NOTE, THE APPLICATION PORTAL CAN ONLY BE ACCESSED BY ENTERING THE FOLLOWING PHRASE INTO YOUR BROWSER BAR –

Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically.

THIS IS FOR SECURITY PURPOSES – NO GOVERNMENT LINKS WILL BE PROVIDED OFFERING DIRECT ACCESS TO THE APPLICATION PROCESS.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ANY TEXTS, EMAILS OR OTHER COMMUNICATIONS YOU MAY RECEIVE INVITING YOU TO APPLY, WILL NOT COME FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

ONCE YOUR APPLICATION HAS BEEN ACCEPTED, YOU SHOULD RECEIVE A COMMUNICATION FROM YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY (WITHIN FOUR WEEKS), TO TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR PAYMENT

If a resident cannot apply online or needs help with their application, they should contact the helpline team on –
Telephone: 0808 175 3287 – Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm OR
Email: alternativefunding@ebss.beis.gov.uk

IAN PYE IPHAS (2021) LTD 23rd February 2023

THE LATEST UPDATE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ENERGY AND INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY

 

IPHAS HAS BEEN ADVISED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS, ENERGY, AND INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY, THAT THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR THE £400 EBSS GRANT DUE TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO QUALIFYING PARK HOMEOWNERS BY ALTERNATIVE FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS, HAS BEEN POSTPONED YET AGAIN.
WE ARE ADVISED THAT THE APPLICATION PROCESS ITSELF WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE UNTIL THE 27th FEBRUAURY 2023.
WE HAVE MADE KNOWN OUR DEEP CONCERN FOR THIS FURTHER DELAY, AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PARK HOME OWNERS ALREADY SUFFERING THE COST OF LIVING CRISIS AND DOUBLE DIGIT PITCH FEE INCREASES.
FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED HERE, AS AND WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE
Ian Pye Chairman 26th January 2023

THE ENERGY BILLS RELIEF SCHEME (EBRS) and ALTERNATIVE FUNDING SCHEME UPDATE

The application process is subject to a pilot testing programme at the moment. If it is found to be successful, it will be trialled on live data before it’s released for the public to register for their payments. Further information will be posted on our website www.iphas.live as it becomes available.

Ian Pye, Chairman 21st January 2023

THE WARM HOME DISCOUNT SCHEME

IMPORTANT NEWS FROM CHARIS GRANTS

IPHAS (2021) LTD HAVE JUST BEEN NOTIFIED BY CHARIS GRANTS, THAT BECAUSE OF SLOW TAKE UP OVER THE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS, THE WARM HOME DISCOUNT SCHEME HAS BEEN EXTENDED.

APPLICATIONS CAN BE MADE VIA THE CHARIS WEBSITE –

Park Homes | Warm Home Discount Scheme | Charis (charisgrants.com)

CHARIS ADVISE THEY STILL HAVE PLENTY OF AWARDS AVAILABLE HOWEVER, THEY MUST ALL BE MADE BY THE END OF MARCH 2023.

Further information can be obtained from the Business Development Director at Charis Grants charisgrants.com Telephone 07731 022 075

Energy Support – Park homes GUIDANCE

Update 2 – 20th December 2022

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) issued a statement on 19 December providing a further update on the £400 discount under the EBSS Alternative Funding (EBSS -AF) and the £200 discount under the Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP).
On the same day BEIS organised a briefing for a range of stakeholders including park home representatives, to provide additional details about the delivery of the payments.
This document provides a brief summary of the statement and update from the meeting.
————————————————————————————————————–
EBSS-Alternative Funding (EBSS-AF)
Online applications will open in January 2023 for households including park home residents who are eligible for the £400 – EBSS AF.

Applicants will need to complete a short online application form via the GOV.UK website. This is the only website where applications can be submitted. There will be no paper applications.

A dedicated customer helpline will be available to assist those who do not have online access. Further details about the helpline will be provided in January.

Once an application has been made, the details will be processed and verified before the payment is made by local authorities.

Local authorities are not responsible for the application or verification process. Residents do not need to contact their local authority now or when the application process opens.

The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by the relevant local authority.

Q. What will the process be for claiming the discount?
All eligible households will be required to apply for the payment through the GOV.UK website. They will fill out a short form on GOV.UK with a few simple details, including their name and address.

Once the details have been verified, the payment will be made by the relevant local authority.

Q. Should I contact my local authority now about the EBSS-AF or AFP payments?
NO. Local authorities are not responsible for the application process so will be unable to assist with any queries.

Residents do not need to contact their local authority now or when the application process opens.

Q. How will applicants find out about the eligibility criteria?
More information will be made available in January.

The GOV.UK page will also include an overview of eligibility and what applicants need to do to apply for the support.

Q. When will more information be made available to residents?
More information and details will be made available in January.

Q. How can residents be sure the GOV.UK website is safe to use?
There will be controls in place to ensure the portal is safe for residents to use.

Q. Will the EBSS-AF scheme call residents and ask them to make an application?
NO. The scheme will not call any resident and ask them to make an application.

Residents will have to apply through the GOV.UK website or call the dedicated customer helpline themselves.

Caution – residents should not at any time provide any information to anyone who calls them and claims to be calling from or acting on behalf of the EBSS-AF scheme.

Q. Will residents be required to provide their site owner’s electricity meter number when they make an application?
No. The application form will not ask for or require residents to provide their site owner’s meter number.

Site owners will not be involved in the process.

 

 

ALTERNATIVE FUEL PAYMENT (AFP)
The government is providing a further £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) to help those households who use alternative fuels such as biomass, LPG or heating oil to meet energy costs this winter.

Park home residents who do not have a relationship with an electricity supplier, will need to apply for the AFP.

They will be able to do so in February, through the same GOV.UK portal as the one that will be used to apply for support under the EBSS-AF.

Further details will be made available shortly.

PLEASE NOTE:
IPHAS TEAM MEMBERS ARE NOW ENJOYING A WELL EARNED BREAK FOR THE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS.
ANY FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT ENERGY SUPPORT RELIEF RELEASED BY THE GOVERNMENT OVER THE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR HOLIDAYS WILL BE POSTED ON THE IPHAS WEBSITE www.iphas.live

Energy Support – Park homes GUIDANCE

Update – December 2022

The government has already announced that it will provide a £400 discount to park home residents to help with their energy bills.

Details of the discount and other ways in which park home residents will be supported were made available in the November guidance.

This document provides a brief update on the delivery of the payment.

————————————————————————————————————–

How will the payment be delivered?

  • The government has worked through a number of alternative delivery options and has concluded that the best way to deliver the scheme is through Local Authorities, who are best placed to process applications and carry out verification checks.

What is the process for claiming the money?

  • All eligible households will be required to apply for the payment. They will be able to fill out a short form on GOV.UK with a few simple details, including their name and address. Much of this data will be verified up-front to reduce burdens on Local Authorities, who will then verify the address and administer the payment.

When can households apply ?

  • The government is currently finishing and testing the application model, including verification and anti-fraud measures, to ensure that it functions as intended before it can go live.

 

  • The scheme will open for applications in January 2023, and the government is committed to delivering the payment to households this winter.

 

  • The government will be publishing further detail about eligibility shortly.

 

Why is this taking so long?

  • This is a critical and complex task.

 

  • Whilst the government understands that speed is of the essence, it must do all it can to prevent errors that could result either in households not receiving the support they need, or in a loss of public money.

When will households get the money?

  • The Alternative Fuel Payment of £200 and the Energy Bill Support Scheme Alternative funding of £400 will be delivered as soon as possible in the new year.

 

  • The exact date that an eligible household will receive support will depend on when the application is made and when the payment can be processed by the relevant Local Authority.

NON-ENERGY SCHEMES:

 

£650 Cost of Living payment for those on benefits

 

  • More than 8 million households on means tested benefits will receive a payment of £650. This includes all households who receive Universal Credit, Pension Credit Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit.

 

  • The Department of Work and Pensions will make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July, the second in the autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on Tax Credits only will follow shortly after each to ensure there are no duplicate payments. The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.

 

£300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

  • All pensioner households will receive an extra £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter. Pensioners are disproportionately impacted by higher energy costs, and many low-income pensioner households do not claim the means tested benefits they are entitled to.

 

  • This payment will go to the over 8 million pensioner households who receive the Winter Fuel Payment. The Pensioner Cost of Living Payment will come as a top-up to annual Winter Fuel Payments in November/December. For most pensioner households, this will be paid by direct debit, is not taxable and does not affect eligibility for other benefits. The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.

 

£150 Disability Cost of Living Payment

 

  • People with disabilities will receive an extra £150 to help with the particular extra costs they face. Six million people who receive Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Scottish Disability Benefits, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Constant Attendance Allowance and War Pension Mobility Supplement will receive the support as a one off payment in September.

 

  • These payments will be exempt from tax, will not count towards the benefit cap, and will not have any impact on existing benefit awards. The government will make these payments directly to households across the UK.

Compensation for Power Outages

Following Storms Arwen, Eunice, and Franklin from late 2021 onwards, the Government energy regulator Ofgem, has “commissioned a review of the GSoP* for Severe Weather to identify amendments that will better acknowledge the impact of extended power cuts on customers”, from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP of London (PwC). A virtual meeting was held on 22nd September last, Chaired by PwC, and attended by Senior Managers from Ofgem, with IPHAS (2021) Ltd represented by Chairman, Ian Pye.

PwC are expected to deliver their findings to Ofgem, by the end of October. When released the findings of this review will be published on the IPHAS website www.iphas.live

LATEST UPDATE ON THE EBSS FOR PARK HOME RESIDENTS

Dear Fellow Members,
Today, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), released information through the media intended to inform homeowners about the various means by which they may receive their Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) grant.
Unfortunately, whilst today’s announcement will help those park home occupiers with a direct supply contract with an energy supplier, no information has been forthcoming about how those of you who purchase your energy through your park owner, will receive your EBSS grants.
For many months now IPHAS has been engaged with BEIS on this issue, and last month we teamed up with officials from AGE UK, who are now supporting our pursuit of answers from BEIS and the Energy Secretary. Some proposals have been put forwards but no final solutions have been notified to us as yet.
This morning, I made contact with the authorities requesting an update on an urgent basis. I am advised that BEIS are in the process of drawing up proposals for delivering the EBSS to park home residents. They have the money secured to ensure support can be delivered but they are still in the early stages of putting together a plan for delivery.
For the future, please keep your eye on our new website www.iphas.live for the latest information.
IPHAS WILL CONTINUE TO PRESS FOR ANSWERS ON YOUR BEHALF.
 
Ian  Pye Chairman,
The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (2021) Ltd.     

UK GOVERNMENT ENERGY BILLS SUPPORT SCHEME – UPDATE

Dear fellow Members,

You will no doubt be aware from earlier posts on the subject, that IPHAS is in dialogue with AGE UK, seeking clarity on how the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS), is to be delivered to your good selves, particularly those who do not have a direct supply contract with an energy supply company. This has come into sharper relief with the resignation of the Prime Minister, and the ensuing Tory Leadership elections. Those of you who have witnessed such contests in the past, will realize that we are unlikely to see a speedy outcome. What does this matter? It matters because until a new Government is in place, and new Departmental heads are appointed, the work of Government may slow down.

However, we have just been passed the following information, provided to AGE UK by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in relation to park homes and the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme.

  • Having investigated park home residents missing out on the EBSS, the BEIS are proposing a local council discretionary fund using section 31 grants or using the Warm Home Discount Park home industry initiative, as a way of delivering the £400 to park home residents. BEIS are in dialogue with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, who they say are already in touch with park home resident associations.
  • BEIS intend to provide charities with further guidance on the EBSS in August and September, so we should hopefully get further details by the end of the summer.
  • Less reassuring is the following statement from BEIS, who are keen to stress that despite the current disruption in government, the EBSS is very unlikely to be shelved and the minister for BEIS, Kwasi Kwarteng, remains in place. There may however be delays in turnarounds on decisions because of ongoing instability.

IPHAS will continue to work with AGE UK and BEIS, to press for a speedy resolution to the issue of fair distribution of the £400 EBSS grant to all park home residents, this autumn.

IAN PYE, Chairman                                                                                    11TH July 2022

IPHAS (2021) LTD.

Letter to members

INTRODUCTION

Dear Fellow Members,

I am delighted to introduce our new user-friendly website! We see this new, contemporary version as being YOUR website and as such, is very much a work in progress. We are keen for you to have ready access to the latest Posts, so please let us have your suggestions for the sort of information you would like us to cover. Further detail about the ongoing development of the website is posted separately.

Thank you all for your continued support of IPHAS during our period of transit

INDEPENDENT PARK HOME ADVISORY SERVICE (2021) LTD.

NEW MEMBERSHIP DATABASE AND PAYMENT GATEWAY

A new, easy to access ‘PAYMENT GATEWAY’ is currently in development and once complete, will undergo a period of testing prior to being made available for members use. As a MEMBERSHIP NUMBER will be required to access the Payment Gateway, we are creating a simple SEARCH FACILITY to aid those who have forgotten their MEMBERSHIP NUMBER, which can be identified through LINKS to our new MEMBERSHIP DATABASE, which is due to be available sometime in APRIL. Members can continue to pay their subscription by STANDING ORDER, or BACS, and although we do still accept checks, we must advise you that this is an extremely time consuming and costly method of payment. We are constantly under pressure by our bank, HSBC, to dissuade members from using this method of payment, when a DEBIT CARD payment can be made by telephoning our FREEPHONE MEMBERSHIP NUMBER – 0800 612 6273.

FREE ACCESS TO INFORMATIONFOR ALL

Anyone will be able to access all our ‘Posts’ which we will endeavour to categorize in due course. To simplify the process, we have included a SEARCH facility on the HOME page, which will allow you to locate and research an item of your choice, by inputting a single word enquiry into the SEARCH FIELD. Any information we hold should then be displayed in descending date order, with the latest information being at the top.

IPHAS VOLUNTEERS

As you will be aware, IPHAS is an entirely voluntary organisation, our team members all work from home, and only receive ‘expenses’ to cover the costs of their activities. We provide support for INTERNET and LICENCE charges, TELEPHONE, and postal costs, as well as Computer and Printing Equipment and servicing, when required.

RECRUITMENT

WITH OUR NEW IT SERVICES COMING ON STREAM SOON, WE WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND THE RANGE OF ADVISORY AND SUPPORT SERVICES TO MEMBERS, AND PARK HOME DWELLERS ON MAINLAND UK. UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE VERY SHORT OF VOLUNTEERS DURING RECENT LOCKDOWNS, ALTHOUGH WE HAVE MANAGED TO CONTINUE WITH OUR DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS, THROUGHOUT THAT PERIOD.

SO, WHATEVER YOUR BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE, WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN OF THE WORK UNDERTAKEN BY OUR TEAM MEMBERS, AND THE VARIETY OF ROLES WE WOULD LIKE TO CREATE, TO ASSIST OUR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT.

Please EMAIL our INFORMATION TEAM AT info@iphas.co.uk or Telephone FREEPHONE MEMBERSHIP NUMBER – 0800 612 6273 AND LEAVE YOUR DETAILS; WE WILL CONTACT YOU AT OUR EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY.

INDEPENDENT PARK HOME ADVISORY SERVICE (2021) LTD