The NCC (National Caravan Council), the trade association for the UK leisure vehicle industry, has issued a stark warning to potential buyers of caravan holiday homes.
Purchasers must understand that a caravan or lodge they buy on a holiday park is for leisure use only and that, potentially, they could face eviction from their chosen park if they live there.
The NCC’s Frank Finch said: “Due to the popularity of ‘staycations’ and the holiday home lifestyle, there is continuing growth in holiday home sales, but new buyers need to be aware that a holiday home is for holidays.
“Holiday parks are licensed by the Local Authority for holiday and recreational use.
“To live permanently in a holiday caravan/lodge could have serious consequences, including the risk of being required to leave the park. Holiday park operators also risk enforcement action and penalties from local authorities.”
Frank added: “The problem of holiday caravans being used as a main home is not new and the current high property prices and shortage of affordable housing can be factors that drive misuse.
“No-one wants to face the challenges of finding somewhere new to live, so the best way to avoid that terrible situation is to make sure it does not happen to begin with.”
“When owners are found living on a holiday park, local authorities may take enforcement action against the park if there are persistent breaches of planning, or if the conditions they imposed in the park’s site are routinely ignored.
“The park will also take action to remedy the situation (e.g. by termination of the holiday home owner’s licence agreement) because it risks losing its site licence if it doesn’t comply with site licence conditions. So, if you are thinking of buying a holiday caravan, make sure you are clear how and when you can use it.”
The NCC has developed new Licence Agreements which its holiday park members use, making this and other restrictions very clear. There is also a free leaflet for holiday home owners, ‘Making the best use of your caravan holiday home/holiday lodge’ available on www.thencc.org.uk which explains this in detail.
Frank added: “Holiday homes offer superb leisure break opportunities, but misuse can limit availability. As more people embrace the staycation trend and discover the benefits of holidays and short breaks in the UK, we want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity of enjoying caravan holiday homes and get the most out of their leisure time.”