‘Sales blocking’ should be outlawed on mobile home sites, says TSI
Mobile home site owners should be prevented from ‘sales blocking’ by changes to the law, says the Trading Standards Institute.
This message, along with support for proposals that home owners must be consulted about changes to site rules, comes as part of the TSI’s recent response to the Better Deal for Mobile Home Owners consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
TSI Policy Officer Sylvia Rook said: “These proposals provide clearer and additional protection for residents of mobile home sites. TSI believes that ‘sales blocking’ is a problem nationally, and that legal changes that limit or eliminate this practice should be put in place in order to protect residents, many of whom may be vulnerable and therefore unable to respond to the unfair tactics. We believe that many residents who have been affected by the practice of sales blocking do not know how to complain, or to whom to complain, so the scale of the problem may be greater that currently understood.
“Sales blocking is a method by which a site owner can prevent an owner of a mobile home from selling their home to the purchaser of their choice, and is often done unfairly. Frequently this means that the only way the home owner can sell up and move is by selling their home back to the site owner at well below market value, which we believe can be an unfair practice.”
TSI also said in its consultation response that home owners should be able to make internal alterations and improvements to their home without consent of the site operator, provided the changes do not alter the definition as a mobile home.
And it supported ‘Option B’ regarding the current site operator’s approval of purchasers of mobile homes on sites. ‘Option B’ says that any future purchaser should be deemed to be approved by the site operator unless (on application of the site operator) a residential tribunal declares him unsuitable.
Sylvia said: “Option B allows the site owner some protection, but prevents him from blocking sales. It would be up to an independent body to decide whether a potential purchaser is
“TSI believes that many site operators operate fairly, but there are a number who engage in unfair practices and these are the ones about whom the Institute is concerned.”
The full TSI consultation response is available on the TSI website at http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/policy/policy-conslist.cfm
In the meantime, the Government’s Communities and Local Government Committee has published its First Report of Session 2012–13, Park Homes (HC 177-I) - www.parliament.uk/clgcom
DATE: 20 June 2012
Notes for Editors:
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