03:12, March 30 363 0 theguardian.com

2018-03-30 03:12:09
Your problems with Anna Tims  Can the landowner evict tenants from a residential caravan site?

I am the site manager of a protected residential caravan site licensed by the council. Tenants pay ground fees to the landowner and place their caravan on an allocated pitch.

The landowners have recently got into financial difficulties and the five residents came home one day to find eviction notices taped to their doors. They had been placed by a bailiff acting on behalf of the landowner’s lender.

I have spoken to the lender who says they were unaware that there were residents on the site. I outlined the protection from eviction in the Mobile Homes Act 1983 which the residents are covered by.

The caravans are their main residence and they pay council tax and have bin collection by the local authority. It has been difficult to get any answers due to data protection. AK, Lincolnshire

If land is used as security for a loan, most contracts prevent the borrower from granting rights over that land without permission from the lender.

Assuming this is the case, and landowners allowed the residents to move onto the site without the lender’s permission after the loan was signed, the residents’ right to remain is voided, says Adam Colenso, partner in the property litigation team at Wedlake Bell. They are only protected by the Mobile Homes Act if they occupied their pitches before the landowner entered into the loan, or if the lender gave permission to move in after the agreement.

Under the act, a resident can only be evicted if they are in breach of contract, if the home is no longer their main or only residence, or it is so shabby it compromises the site.

So if they were already in situ when the landowner signed the loan, or if the lender granted them permission subsequently, they can’t be moved without a court order.

Residents should seek advice from a specialist solicitor.

If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number. Publication is subject to our terms and conditions.