If you own a protected caravan site, you must provide resident caravan occupiers with a written statement agreement setting out the basis of the agreement between you.
A protected site is one which allows caravan owners to place their caravan on the site and occupy it as a main residence for a period of more than 12 months.
What should a written statement contain?
The written statement or agreement must contain:
- the names and address of both parties
- details of the location on the land on which the caravan can be stationed
- the implied terms of the agreement
- the express terms contained in the agreement
Legal requirements for a written statement
The Caravan Act (NI) 2011 came into force on the 16 September 2011. The law states all caravan owners living in a caravan as their main home before that date must have in place a written statement supplied by the site owner. This statement must be agreed between themselves and the site owner. For new occupiers, the written statement must be provided within 28 days from the date of agreement for the sale of the caravan.
It is important for both parties to get together to discuss and agree the terms of the agreement before completion and signing of the written statement. This will ensure that both the site owner and the occupier are aware of and accept their responsibilities and keep disputes to a minimum.
Implied terms for protected caravan site written statements
Implied terms are those that must be included in a written statement. These are determined by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and cannot be amended by anyone other than DfE.
The following implied terms must be included in the written statement:
- the duration of the agreement
- the conditions which apply to the termination of the agreement by the occupier
- the conditions which apply to the termination of the agreement by the site owner
- arrangements for recovery of overpayments should the agreement terminate
- requirements should the occupier wish to sell, re-site or gift the caravan
- occupier's right to quiet enjoyment of the caravan
- site owners right of entry to the pitch
- pitch fee and procedures to be followed if fee is to be changed
- occupiers obligations
- site owners obligations
- site owners name and address
- details of any resident's association operating on the site
Express terms for protected caravan site written statements
Express terms are those which deal with any other matters that you as the caravan site owner consider relevant - eg car parking or the keeping of pets. You should note that any express term not included in the written statement is unenforceable. An express term cannot override an implied term.
You must also comply with rules on unfair terms when using express terms in your written statement. You can get advice on the fairness of terms from Consumerline on Tel: 0300 123 6262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.