Renting vs Buying A Park Home


Posted by Justin Allitt in Buying, April 1, 2016

Over 250,000 people in the UK today are living in park home accommodation.

Whether you are approaching retirement and are looking to downsize to more convenient and easy-living accommodation, or perhaps you are looking to purchase a holiday home that you look forward to staying in year after year with your family, park homes can make a fantastic purchase for a number of reasons.

If you are considering purchasing a park home, you might have started to think about your options as to whether you should rent or buy outright.

Given that renting works differently to purchasing a park home, you might require some additional information so that you understand what is included in a renting tenancy agreement, as well some of the points that you might want to take into consideration when looking at your options for purchasing a park home.

Rental tenancy rights

In general terms, your tenancy rights for living in a park home come from the law and the agreement set by your landlord.

Within your tenancy rights, your rights for living in the mobile home itself will be determined by the tenancy, whereas the rights regarding you living on the site or park itself are assessed by different laws and will also depend on whether or not you are situated on a protected site.

Contract agreement

If you are paying rent to a landlord, then you will have a rent contract. Your contract stating your agreement doesn’t necessarily have to be in writing as it can also be a verbal agreement, yet just because it is not in writing this does not mean that your rights are any different.

Furthermore if your contract isn’t in writing, then according to Gov.uk, you should still be able to remain on your premises for a year from the date of when you moved in.

A written contract ought to state the duration of your tenancy in the park home. The landlord could ask you to leave if either your contract states a notice period of four weeks before you have to leave, or the terms of the contract have been broken and the owner then asks you to leave.

At the end of your contract agreement, the landlord should give a notice period of four weeks. If you refuse to leave, then the owner may appeal to a court for an ‘eviction order’ requiring you to leave the property.

‘Dwelling house’

You may wonder whether or not your mobile home is a ‘dwelling house’. Shelter Scotland state that your tenancy may either be an assured, short assured or regulated tenancy known as a ‘dwelling house’ if you are renting a park home.

Your park home may be classed as a dwelling house if it has mains supplies of electricity, water and telephone, is used as a form of permanent residence, is static or is big enough that it can’t be moved.

Tenancy types

There are two forms of tenancy for renting a mobile home which will depend on the date on which you moved into the property and started to pay rent.

If you moved into your park home before January 15th 1989 and started paying rent, you will have a regulated tenancy. However you will have an assured or assured shorthold tenancy if you moved into your mobile home and began to pay rent after this date.

Asserting your rights

There are some cases in which a landlord may not accept that you are an assured, short assured or regulated tenancy with rights.

If you are in a situation in which you are trying to assert your rights, for example you might have asked the landlord to make alterations to your home and have been refused, then your next best option would be to contact and ask for assistance from a local adviser which can find here.

Rent or buy?

So now you’ve taken a look at some of the information surrounding the tenancy agreements and your individual rights for renting a park home, it’s now time to take a look a look at some of the considerations that you might want to think about when looking to either buy or rent a park home.

Permanent or temporary residence

One of the first things that you should probably consider is whether you are looking to use your park as your permanent UK residence, or whether the mobile home is just a stop-gap as a temporary solution.

For example, perhaps you are temporarily looking to relocate somewhere and understand that you will only be using the park home for a short while, then perhaps renting would be a more suitable option for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a premises that you can see yourself living in for the foreseeable future, then purchasing the park home could make an a better alternative.

Cost

The cost of the park home is another factor that you’ll have to consider. Although park homes do tend to be cheaper alternatives to conventional brick-built properties, you may not be in a financial position in which you can buy the park home outright, therefore renting could be a more feasible option for your situation.

The resale value of park homes could potentially be lower than what you originally bought the park home for. Furthermore in the selling of park homes, the park owner is entitled to receive ten per cent of the total sale price, as stated by the Government in the Mobile Homes Act.

As a result, this is one of one the reasons why purchasing a park home as your long term residence could be a more financially viable option.

Flexibility

Another point to think about when looking to buy or rent a park home is how flexible you will be to make changes to the park home.

It must be remembered that with park homes, unlike traditional bricks and mortar built properties, you will take ownership of the mobile home itself; the land it is located on though belongs to the site owner.

However, buying a park home may provide the buyer with more opportunities to make changes to the décor and features of the home. You may not be given this freedom if you are only temporarily renting the home.

Different sites will specify the changes that you are allowed to make, therefore it’s essential that check this with the site owner.

There are clearly benefits and drawbacks to either renting or buying a park home that you will hopefully find useful taking into consideration. There is no right answer to whether you should rent or buy a park home as it really is a personal choice based upon your own situation and how you intend to use the park home.

Whatever your decision ends up being though, one point that we would like to draw awareness to is that if you are looking to rent or buy a park home as your permanent UK residence, you must ensure that the site you are looking at is fully licensed for twelve months of the year, allowing you to stay on the premises permanently.