Pitch fees are an expense incurred by park home owners whose park home property is pitched on a park home site.
Park home pitch fees are charged in order for the owner or owners of a suitable and appropriately licensed site to operate and maintain the site for those who use it.
Pitch fees do not usually cover the cost of utilities used whilst a park home occupies a site. Rather, utilities such as any electricity or gas used by park home owners are payable separately and by park home owners and not site holders, unless a pitch agreement explicitly states otherwise.
It is possible for site owners to include within the proposals for a new site pitch fee agreement costs that relate to maintenance or site improvements made or due to be made to the site. In order for a site owner to include such costs in a site fee review, the proposed maintenance projects or improvements must have been made in consultation with current site users and any site users’ association that may have been set up by the residents who occupy the site. Further, the site owner must be able to show that any opinions, concerns or complaints raised about proposed changes or improvements to the site have been genuinely considered and that the majority of site users have not disagreed to the proposed work or improvements in writing.
Park fees may also include or be calculated to take into account any legal changes in the law which place additional financial costs upon a site owner. For example, subsequent to the first of April, 2014 it became legally possible for Local Councils to charge annually in order for site orders to maintain or obtain a site licence.
Finally, it is important to be aware if you are a park home resident or site user that under no circumstance is a site holder legally allowed to factor into a fee review costs incurred in order to compile, change or prepare a pitch fee review, costs incurred through the site owner having changed their licence or licence terms with the Local Council or costs payable to the Local Council for having expanded the size of a site.
Pitch fees are reviewed and / or changed over time to reflect current inflation rates and the changing value of money just as the cost of all things are subject to similar changes and almost always increase over time.
Hence, site owners adjust their fees to and in response to changes to the Retail Price Index which is published monthly by the Office of National Statistics and measures rates of inflation within the UK.
In order to review or change pitch fees, site holders are required to inform those whose park home occupy their site by means of a written notice. Further, the notice must include a formal Pitch Fee Review Notice and as such detail in full all of the changes intended to be made or imposed.
Further, a Pitch Fee Review Form will be included along with any or all documents forwarded or handed to current site users. This is a UK Parliament prescribed form which is used when reviewing park home pitch fees and is required to be served in order for a site owner’s proposed fee changes to take effect. The form itself numbers eight pages in which explanatory notes and break-downs of how pitch fees on a site are calculated.
Pitch fees are usually reviewed annually, though this is not true in every case. Hence, to find out when your current pitch fees are set to be reviewed, refer to your current agreement documents which will state this date.