Holiday vs Residential Parks

The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (IPHAS)

is able to provide information and support to persons who are or who wish to become Park Home Owners.

Legal Differences between Holiday Parks and Residential Parks

With the different uses come different legal considerations. Residential park homes are covered by The Mobile Homes Act 2013, which provides better protection for park homeowners as well as a legal framework for park owners to follow. This includes security of tenure.

However, holiday home parks don’t come under this act, so they don’t receive the same protections. The right to site the caravan at a site may be limited to 10 or 15 years for example.

What’s the difference between a Residential Park Home and Holiday Home?

The first way to know if a home is a residential park home or holiday home is by the standard it has been built to comply with.

Most holiday homes are built to EN1647 standards, whereas all residential homes will comply with the British Standard BS3632. This standard ensures that the home is suitable for permanent use.

Holiday homes aren’t required to reach the BS3632 standard. this is because they are designed for short term occupation. In fact, it is illegal to live in a property full time that doesn’t conform to the BS3632 standard, and you should not live in a home that isn’t BS3632 standard.

One thing to note is that many holiday lodges are now being built to the BS3632 standard. This isn’t a requirement for a holiday home. However, many holiday parks enjoy a twelve-month site license and a residential standard build allows the holiday homeowner to enjoy use throughout the year.

Residential Park, Holiday Park or Both?

Parks can be either residential, holiday or mixed-use. If the park is mixed-use, the park will have both holiday homes and residential plots/ homes.

If a park is residential, you have a ‘right of permanent residence, which allows you to live there permanently.  It can be your full-time home.  You can live there all year, and there’s no requirement for you to have another property somewhere else.

If a park doesn’t have a right of permanent residence, then you cannot live there full time.  You would need to have another residence elsewhere. There will be limits on how long you can stay at the park.  Even if the park is open 12 months of the year, you still can’t stay there all of the time if it doesn’t have a right of permanent residence.

How do you know if it is a Residential Park or Holiday Park?

So how do you know what use is allowed within a park or for a particular home?  The first place to start is the site license.  This license will be available on the park’s noticeboard or in the main office.  You can also ask the local council’s Licensing Department for this information or to see a copy.  Always check this yourself, and don’t take word of mouth as confirmation one way or the other.

A site license is something issued by the local council.  This lays out:

  • How many homes can be in the park
  • What services and amenities must be present
  • Any health and safety considerations

It will also state if the park has a residential or holiday home license or if there is a mixture and how this works out.  The park owner will be able to provide this information for you, and if you are buying a property, you need to know this is all in order before you make the purchase.

If you buy a Park Home

You may have to be over a specified age.

You will enter into an agreement with the park owner.

If the property is new you will receive a copy of a  ‘Written Agreement’

If you purchase the property from an existing owner the property will be assigned to you subject to the written agreement that they already have.

12th March 2024.