Park home residents across the UK have improved legal rights thanks to a local campaign
- Credit: Archant
PEOPLE living in park homes in Fenland will be protected against unscrupulous site owners thanks to tough new Government laws being brought in this week.
A raft of new legislation and a national helpline has been set up thanks to the pensioner power of residents at two Wisbech park home sites who campaigned against ridiculous rent rises and rule changes.
One of the rules was a ban from holding charity events, like coffee mornings, on their site green after a complaint they were too noisy.
About 50 residents refused to pay increased ground rents after an ongoing dispute with site owners Tingdene Homes.
Their cause was championed by MP Steve Barclay MP who took their case to Parliament where new laws were passed giving greater protection to residents.
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The laws will stop operators and site owners from forcing up ground rents, deceiving buyers about the condition of homes and imposing unexpected charges or rule changes.
Unhappy residents at Fenland Village and Osborne Park in Wisbech took their site owner, Tingdene, to a Rent Tribunal Commission last November following a decision to hike rent prices across the park by £12,000.
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They were also angry about a series of window-level lamp posts installed by Tingdene which residents said shone into their windows and stopped them from sleeping.
Mr Barclay said: “For too long, some unscrupulous operators have made residents’ lives a misery, intimidating people and manipulating the rules to turn a quick profit.”
“It will be reassuring for residents to see action being taken to combat the underhand behaviour of these site owners.”
Extra legal measures would stop site owners from profiting from buying and selling of park homes, he said, and they would give local authorities more power to enforce penalties, making it easier to prosecute site owners who harassed or made unreasonable demands of residents.
Cllr Virginia Bucknor said after the tribunal last year that the residents’ committee believed they had won a moral victory.
She hoped that in future Tingdene would consult residents first before making any changes.
The national helpline for park home residents is the Leasehold Advisory Service on 0207 383 9800.