Wales politics

Call to end 'diabolical' rules on sales of park homes

Home

The owners of mobile and park homes are calling on the Welsh Government to scrap "absolutely diabolical" rules relating to the sale of their properties.

Currently, a person who buys a mobile or park home is required to pay up to 10% commission to the site owner.

About 100 park home residents from across Wales are expected at the Senedd on Tuesday morning to lobby ministers.

The Welsh Government said it was launching a consultation on the matter.

The charge has been reviewed several times since it was last reduced from a maximum of 15% in 1983.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBob Mountford said living in park homes has its drawbacks

Bob Mountford, who moved from Birmingham to Caerwnon Park near Builth Wells, Powys, in 2002 has long campaigned for a change to the rules.

The chairman of the Caerwnon Parks Residents Association said: "For many, many years now living in park homes has been very good but it's had its drawbacks and one of the major drawbacks is if it's needed to sell your property for whatever reason.

"Unfortunately, in a park home, 10% of the value of your property goes into the pockets of park owners, which we feel is absolutely diabolical in this day and age."

A law was passed in the assembly in 2013 in order to give more rights to mobile home park residents in Wales - but did not abolish the commission.

It was tabled by former Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black, who told BBC Wales that the 10% commission was "tied into the whole economics of park homes".

Image caption Peter Black said the 10% commission was tied into the economics of park homes

"Essentially, when you buy a home on one of these park home sites, obviously, the landlord gets the commission from the sale to you but you also pay a ground rent or a pitch fee to the landlord every month," he said.

"If we abolish that 10% commission then the pitch fees are likely to go up."

He added that AMs felt if they took a measure that would increase pitch fees "then it would actually unfeasibly disadvantage those poorer people".

Announcing the consultation, the Welsh Government's Communities Secretary Carl Sargeant said commission rates were "a complex issue with the potential for significant consequences".

"I have concluded that we should examine further the level of the commission charged by site owners," he said.

"In light of the very strong representations I have received I am currently of the view that there may be a case to reduce or even abolish the commission, though I will of course want to take full account of consultation responses before coming to a final view."

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said he welcomed the review, stating: "We wouldn't accept the council charging a 10% levy on the sale of our home."

But he said any rule changes "need to be thought through".

"Park home residents will not accept these changes if they lead the difference being applied to higher pitch fees," he added.

More on this story