Vetted info from other sources.








The Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign
agrees with and is happy to put out this contribution
from Tony Turner of the JBS Residents Action Alliance
to help Park Home Residents with






Is ERYC Facing A Possible £10m Claim?
Posted on August 25, 2016by andystrangeway

LAKEMINSTER PARK LTD – PRESS RELEASE    
For immediate release – 24 August 2016

Lakeminster Park Ltd and resident Alan Coates have been granted permission by the Court of Appeal to appeal His Honour Judge Pelling QC’s decision (of 6 November 2015) not to revoke his ruling (made on 14 April 2015) to strike out Lakeminster Park Ltd’s and Alan Coates’ appeal claim.

The claim relates to their joint appeal against the decision of the Planning Inspector Diane Lewis in September 2014 when she upheld East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s (ERYC) refusal of planning permission for permanent residential occupancy at Lakeminster Park, Beverley.

Lakeminster Park Ltd and Alan Coates are also seeking to put forward new evidence and introduce another resident as a co-appellant in the case.

A representative of Lakeminster Park Ltd said:

“We are very pleased to have been granted leave to appeal the rulings made by Judge Pelling QC last year. We are now in the process of preparing our case for the appeal hearing, a date for which has yet to be set.

“We have written to the remaining residents of Lakeminster Park, who have supported our appeal from the beginning, to update them on our ongoing legal action in respect of the planning inquiry decision.

“We remain committed on their behalf to take this case back to another planning inquiry to prevent any remaining resident from being evicted from their homes.”

Ends.



Email To Nigel Pearson, Chief Executive ERYC
Dear Nigel,

I was made aware that Cllr Harold held a public meeting last night regarding Lakeminster Park.  Ironically, this was on the day I received a Press Release regarding Lakeminster Park Ltd and their ‘right to appeal’ Judge Pelling QC’s ruling of 14th April 2015 which struck out Lakeminster Park Ltd and Alan Coates’ appeal claim.
My source tells me that Gosschalks have lodged a claim on behalf of the residents against the developer of Lakeminster Park for £5 million plus costs.
If the appeal is won then it would stand to reason that the developer will sue the council for losses in excess of £5m which with aggravated damages etc could escalate to a figure approaching £10m or more.
Can you or Diane Hayden advise what provisions have been made to mitigate this potential cost, for example, do you have a CFA or ETA agreement/policy in place?  The council has a ‘duty of care’ and a ‘duty of candour’ to explain what is happening.
Finally, could I request that the information on the ERYC website in relation to Lakeminister Park is update to reflect the latest developments?
Regards,
Cllr Andy Strangeway

Pocklington Provincial Ward

Probity In Public Office










The Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign
was pleased to be able to assist Age UK with their Petition

"If she hadn’t had her family to help you, where would she be? The council are just overstretched." Daughter of Carmel, 84

You make a difference to the lives of older people and we really appreciate it.
The time you spend campaigning with us is so important. We can’t do this without you. You help us to make a huge difference to the lives of older people.
Last year you:
Helped us to bring the plight of thousands of older people living in cold park homes to the attention of the Government – over 7,500 signed our petition calling on the Government to roll out an energy efficiency scheme specifically tailored to park home residents, to enable them to reduce their heating costs and keep warm and well in winter.
Park homes
We are delighted to report that a cross party Parliamentary group has been set up to look into the issue and we’re continuing to work with MPs and industry representatives to keep the pressure up.
Attendance allowance
Helped us to call on the Government to abandon plans to transfer responsibility for the disability benefit Attendance Allowance to local councils – more than 14,400 signed our open letter to Government voicing deep concern over their proposals for the future of this benefit, and asking them to think again. More than 2,000 also emailed their own MPs about the issue, and we will be letting you all know about the outcome shortly.
Highlighted the issue of loneliness among our ageing population with our 'No one should have no one campaign' – almost 57,000 signed our petition to demonstrate that loneliness in later life is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently. We handed this in to Number 10 Downing Street in March.
No one
In response to the campaign, the Health Secretary said “As our population ages, it is so very important that people are not overlooked and left without human contact and interaction… This is a wonderful campaign from Age UK and I encourage everyone to lend their support and consider those on their own."
If you want to know more about what Age UK does across the country and around the world – visit our website www.ageuk.org.uk.
Thank you again for all you have done for older people this year. I hope you had a wonderful festive season and we wish you all a very happy new year.
Thank you,
Ceri Smith
Age UK Campaigns Team

www.ageuk.org.uk/campaigns





RESIDENTS STATEMENTS OF ACCOUNTS - COUNTY COURT PROCEEDINGS

CLAIMANT: ANTHONY TURNER ALSO REPRESENTING OTHERS AS NOMINATED v JEFFREY AND BARBARA SMALL T/A INTER ALIA AS J B & J SMALL PARK HOMES.

( Jeffrey & Barbara Small also trade as Sovereign Park Home Estates Ltd., & Sovereign Park Home Developments Ltd.,Taunton )

UPDATE ON PROCEEDINGS

Following the Hearing at Plymouth County Court before District Judge O`Neil on November 25th 2016 concerning the provision to home-owners at St Dominic Park of accurate Statements of Accounts, it has been ordered that the matter be referred to His Honour Judge Cotter QC for consideration on the papers and further directions. HHJ Cotter QC ( Circuit Judge and Deputy High Court Judge at the Queens Bench Division and Administrative Court). is currently the senior resident Civil Judge in Devon and Cornwall. By 4pm on the 3rd February 2017, the parties are directed to identify the outstanding issues on liability for the charges set out in Messrs Smalls accounts delivered to residents on 23rd November 2016.

NOTE: All home-owners are entitled to site owner transparency in applied charges. These proceedings followed the determination of a Ist Tier Residential Property Tribunal and a subsequent Application by residents to Taunton County Court and when not complied with by the site-owners, a further Application to Plymouth County Court. Whilst these necessary proceedings underline the anomaly that Ist Tier Tribunals are not enforceable other than by a County Court, when referred such matters are taken seriously and Judges are willing and able to assist, including where necessary the holding of site owners who do not comply with their obligations to account. I urge all home owners who have evidence of overcharging or other financial abuses to make use of our justice system by first Applications to Ist Tier Tribunals and where there is non-compliance with its determinations, to refer any consequential dispute to a County Court. Whilst the procedures are cumbersome and where neither majority local Authorities are willing to assist and the police generally regard financial abuses including attempted or committed fraud as civil issues or evade their responsibilities in the taking of criminal action, the civil Courts remain the only viable means of properly resolving such disputes. The rogue site owner element rely upon the apathy, unwillingness or fears of home-owners to take collective action and the turning of the tables is the only current viable option. Government reviewers of the 2013 Act are asked to take note that no-one purchased their home in the expectation of either needing to concede to such abuses or to face years of litigation and therefore that site-owner financial transparency must urgently be enforced by meaningful legislation.







 APPAULING TREATMENT OF THE ELDERLY AND VULNERABLE.

SURELY THIS SHOWS THE NEED FOR FIT AND PROPER TO BE INTRODUCED IN ENGLAND

SCUMBAGS  supplied to the JUSTICE Campaign by Tony Turner of the JBS Residents Action Alliance.
Some may say that the work and efforts invested into the public exposure of retirement park owners Jeffrey and Barbara Small have already revealed much about the consequences that can fall upon those that have little or no option but to contend with their appalling regime. However, the depths to which their negligence’s and belligerences can sink is further exampled below.
Some two years ago, a home-owner in his eighties at one of Smalls parks approached me and said
“ Tony, we have received this bill from the Smalls for about £1,500 . I know we don't owe this money but I'm going to pay it because if anything happens to me, I don't want to leave my wife with the worry of a financial dispute with these people“ According to the quoted records, the full bill was then paid.
Within the past two weeks, his similarly aged widow received a draft account from Smalls which record what are believed to be those paid monies as outstanding arrears. It was handed to her just 24 hours before the inquest on her kind and unassuming husband following his passing away after a fall in their garden which for years had been his pride and joy
I cannot on this page sufficiently express my outright disgust at this latest event - but I do accept the risks that are a consequence of the consent order obtained without trial of the evidence in Smalls contrived defamation claim that was intended to stifle such exposures. Should they make a further Application to the High Court and succeed in what will be their third attempt for my committal to prison for exposing their unfitness to operate in any housing sector, hopefully we will share the same cell !
Please help others by sharing this and other posts below as widely as possible







PROTECTION FROM HARASSMENT IN THE PARK HOME SECTOR

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 gives both criminal and civil remedies to residents from abuses. There are two criminal offences: • pursuing a course of conduct amounting to harassment and a more serious offence where the conduct puts the victim in fear of violence. Harassing a person includes alarming the person or causing the person distress. A “course of conduct”, which can include speech, must normally involve conduct on at least two occasions, although there are exceptions to this. In addition to the criminal offences, a civil court can impose civil injunctions in harassment cases as well as awarding damages
Commons Library Briefing, 18 May 2016 Summary)

Sadly, it is the widespread experience of many park home owners that the authorities fail to protect them from repeated abuse that may be verbal, actions intended to intimidate outside of their homes, threats of legal proceedings including eviction that if pursued could not possible succeed - and perhaps the worst of all, the encouragement of some gullible or vulnerable neighbours to involve themselves in contrived allegations or bullying against a neighbour who has complained about the site owner on the likely promise of favourable treatment. Even more sadly, Local Authorities do not use their powers and the usual response from the police service is that such event on private land are civil issues.

To overcome the obstacles, there are steps you can take to try to stop harassments which could also help if you decide to take legal action.

Keep records. Ask your landlord to put all communications with you in writing. Do the same yourself and keep copies. That way, you will have a record of all dealings with your landlord and of any disputes as they happen. If you do decide to take action against your landlord, any records you keep will be useful evidence. This can include a diary, notes on your calendar, photos and videos.

Contact your landlord. Write to your landlord to ask them to stop the harassment. If this doesn't work, write to them saying that if the harassment continues you will take legal action.

Contact the police. Call the police on 999 if you are being threatened and are in immediate danger, otherwise file a report and if you are not satisfied by the response or outcome, contact your local Police Commissioner.

Contact your Council but if you are similarly dissatisfied you might be able to make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman about private landlord harassment.


Contact your MP and make a surgery appointment.

Get an injunction. Legal aid is available for injunctions against landlords who harass tenants.

An injunction is a court order that orders someone to do something or stop doing something You'll need the help of a solicitor or adviser to get one.
You may be eligible for legal aid if you claim certain benefits or have a low income.

Contact the Park Help Line during office hours when you will be able to talk in strict confidence with another park home owner who will do their best to refer you to someone who can help. The number is 0203 8466601

Of Course, there is no place in any housing sector for bullying landlords but it is a factor of life, however, you have a right to protect the enjoyment of your home and environment, but where doing nothing can be seen by the rogue landlord or his or her employees or agents as a sign of weakness that can be further exploited.






COURT PROCEEDINGS – UPDATE

An Application for an order requiring Jeffrey & Barbara Small to supply their residents with accurate Statements of Accounts is the subject of a Directions Hearing listed for 25th November 2016 at Plymouth County Court.

Following the filing of a claim for damages under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, permission has been granted by the Court to serve the claim upon the defendants Jeffrey & Barbara Small at their Taunton trading address.


( Jeffrey & Barbara Small trade as SOVEREIGN PARK HOME DEVELOPMENTS LTD and SOVEREIGN PARK HOME ESTATES LTD, also believed to be trading as JBS Park Homes, J & B Small Park Homes, JB & J Small Park Homes, J Small Park Homes, B Small Park Homes and B & J Small Park Homes )







PETITION:  Direct Council to use the Mobile Home Powers devolved to them, without option.





Tuesday 21st March 2017

OUR DAY


On this day in 1965 Dr Martin Luther King led 3,000 civil right demonstrators in a march from Selina to Montgomery in Alabama. On 21st March 1981 the Charles and Dianne wedding procession started from Buckingham Palace to St Paul`s Cathedral. On March 21st 1990. 100,000 took to the streets in poll tax demonstrations and on the same day in 2009, thousands marched through Naples in anti-Mafia protests.   I doubt that our JUSTICE Campaign commission protest will similarly end up in the history books -but 21st March 2017 will still be OUR day.

Anecdotally, the sales commission emerged when land-owners long ago decided to take a cut when assisting the sales of holiday caravans and this went to become what park home site owners variably described as a deferred payment to subsidise the up-front losses incurred in the sales of new homes, or as an exit fee to cover the costs of pitch reinstatement when a used home was sold. Both attempts at justification were clearly contrived nonsense and having demolished the invention, the storyline has since changed to the commission being an essential part of their revenue streams, without which their businesses will become unviable. Dismissing the tens of millions pocketed as a consequence of decades of sales blocking, the latest industry ploy is to effectively blackmail Government by warning of the potential collapse of an important housing sector if their demands for the continuation of this inequitable levy upon home-owners assets are not met.

The true economics of the industry have never been transparent. At the current realistic valuation of£30,000 per pitch rented out at just £150 per month, the non risk return on capital ( this being the rate of return calculated by expressing the economic gain, or profit, as a percentage of the capital used to produce it ) equates to 6% and annually increases by the RPI in parallel with or against increases in land valuation. Whilst this return may seem modest, where parks were purchased at the time when the pitch value was just £10,000, the return becomes 18%, some 50% higher than the average profitability of UK  private non-financial businesses producing a net rate of return of c12% based upon the latest data - and if a site is new or expanded and new homes installed, millions can be made from those sales.   Add the service charges and the 10% commission on all sales and the site-owner protests of commission dependency falls apart. Accounting practises will vary – but it is clear that a full and transparent review of the finances of the sector are essential to any final conclusion.   Doubtless the industry representatives will co-ordinate the squeals and the accountants will become even more inventive - but there is no other housing sector where an owner occupier is obliged to pass 10% of usually their main asset to a third party, and especially where that asset has likely already been eroded through the deliberate negligences of the ultimate profiteer.

Tuesday March 27th can be regarded as every park home owners last chance for decades to call for a full review of what is a usually applied 10% commission payable to wealthy and often exploitative land-owners and sometimes convicted fraudsters - and everyone who is able and mobile should register their intention to join the Park Home JUSTICE Campaign Rally on the day. Leaving it others, apathy and distant support will change nothing.  The resources of the industry will amalgamate and we can and must make March 27th 2017 OUR day. Government will listen but what is certain is that it cannot hear the voices of those who do not attend.

    TO REGISTER CONTACT sonia.mccoll.phojc@gmail.com


Tony Turner






IT WOULD APPEAR THAT OTHER LANDLORDS ARE JUMPING ON THE 10% BANDWAGON.  


WESTMINSTER 2 BED LEASEHOLD FLAT £.1,900,000

Comfortable ground floor flat with small terraced garden area situated between Victoria Station and Parliament Square. Monthly ground rent with undetermined annual increases No buildings maintenance. Utility suppliers at landlord discretion. Stunning views over the local tip. Vendors fee to landlord ( payable by purchaser upon completion ) £190,000. Further 10% fee to landlord when sold.

I wonder how many MP`s who need a London base would queue up at the estate agents ?


info supplied by Tony Turner.





After looking at the link below regarding 
Alfie Best -  the Big Fat Gypsy Fortune Star 

One has to again wonder why

PARK OWNERS
Have the audacity 
to tell us that they need the 10% commission (from our equity) when we sell our homes

as it is in their words
A NECESSAREY INCOME STRAND
without which they would not be able to operate.

Take a look at the link below to see the Park Owners Life Style
and make up your own mind.

Surely this must be another nail in their coffin.

AND IT DEFINATELY SHOWS THAT
 FIT AND PROPER
and an Independent TRANSPARENT Review of the 10% Commission
has got to be the next step by Government in dealing with all Park Owners.


My Big Fat Gypsy Fortune star Alfie Best attacked in car park with machete by his daughter's new husband





As you are all aware, Our JUSTICE Campaign 
with the backup of your petition signatures is actively asking Government for an INDEPENDENT TRANSPARENT REVIEW OF
 THE 10% COMMISSION CHARGE 
with full sight of the Park Owners audited accounting. 

 Therefore as TRANSPARENCY is key to putting things right I am happy to post the following from Tony Turner (which has been vetted from information supplied) and hope that it will help all Park Home Owners.
Sonia


SHOULD YOU BE ASKING FOR STATEMENTS OF ACCOUNTS ?

A Statement of account is a document issued by a supplier to its customer listing transactions over a given period, normally monthly. It should include details of invoices, payments received and any credits approved with a resultant balance payable by the customer.

OWNERS OBLIGATIONS

Although clearly a matter of good practice, there is no specific written requirement for a site owner to provide them. Sec 22 of the Mobile Homes Act refers to a site owners obligations which include `the owner shall, if requested by the occupier, provide ( free of charge) documentary evidence in support and explanation of (i) any new pitch fee; (ii) any charges for gas, electricity, water, sewerage or other services payable by the occupier to the owner under the agreement; and (iii) any other charges, costs or expenses payable by the occupier to the owner under the agreement` Whilst this wording is not specific to the supply of Statement of Accounts, the clear and unambiguous implication of this term is that a site owner must be transparent in accounting.

CURRENT COURT APPLICATION

On this basis, an Application has been made to Plymouth County Court by residents at St Dominic Park, Cornwall, seeking an order that they be provided with accurate Statements by Jeffrey & Barbara Small, who trade under various names including JB & J Small Park Homes, Sovereign Park Home Developments and Sovereign Park Home Estates, Taunton. This follows a long-term dispute between residents and the site owners over monies discovered to be recorded as outstanding arrears but to which they had no lawful entitlement, even though without merit or legal basis, threats of legal proceedings against occupiers were made if their demands were not met.

CONSEQUENCES

A lack of financial transparency by a site owner can have have serious consequences. It can mean that any unscrupulous site owner can, without the residents knowledge, hold records of monies alleged to be owed and eventually make a demand for payment, either in seeking to counter a later dispute, at the point of the sale of a home, or to a beneficiary or an administrator of a deceased residents estate who will be unlikely to have the residents full financial records and therefore simply pay up. Such possible circumstances again confirms the need to instruct experienced Park Home solicitors in any home purchase or sale transaction.

TAKING THE INITIATIVE

If you have reason to suspect that your site owner is not entirely open in his financial dealings with you, then either collectively through your Residents Association or individually, you can write and request an up-to-date Statement of Account. If this is provided and shows monies owed but disputed you can then attempt to resolve any discrepancies. If they are not forthcoming or refused, then you probably need to be concerned and seek advice as to how best you can ensure that they are provided and although its orders are not enforceable other than at a County Court if not complied with, take proper advice as to whether a First Tier Tribunal Application may be your first step.

NOTE. The direct Application to a County Court rather than to a Tribunal in the dispute between residents and Messrs Smalls is due to the circumstances of this particular case )

Tony Turner

JBS Residents Action Alliance





CAN  YOU BELIEVE YOUR SITE LICENCE CONDITIONS!!!!

A letter from our friends in Wales and a few photo's of DRAINAGE.
following a freedom of information request.

Hello Sonia,
                      Denbighshire C.C. our licensing authority, have confirmed in writing that the wording in our site license (and presumably every other park ) " All drainage and sanitation provision must be in accordance with all current LEGISLATION and BRITISH and EUROPEAN STANDARDS " is not applicable to park home sites.
                      You may wish to include this little gem in your news letter, the wording in the license, is deceiving prospective purchasers, who are led to believe by their solicitors, that whilst building regulations do not cover mobile homes, they are safeguarded by site license conditions.
                                                   Best Wishes,
                                                          Joseph Bowe,Morfa Ddu Park Residents Association.  





PLEASE HELP THE RESIDENTS OF PENTON PARK
AND OTHER RESIDENTS IN SURRY
by signing their Petition
TO
STOP BUS CUTS
To all residents

Please take the time to sign this important petition regarding our bus service, our services are being gradually taken from us and your voice needs to be heard, please talk to your neighbours who may not have internet and ask them to sign. Even if you do not use the bus service this will affect you in some way if not now it will in the future. Just click on the link it will take just one minute of your time.

Regards

Alan  from Penton Park





PODCAST - CORNWALL COUNCIL - PARK HOMES  /  Ref: made to Messrs SMALLS

Below is the podcast link so you can watch and listen to the proceedings.  The subject commences c 1.51 minutes into the podcast and references are made to Messrs Smalls and the difficulties experienced by both the Council in addressing them and some of the problems experienced by their residents.  We are informed that the issues remain ongoing.









BE WARNED 

HOW NOT TO LET THEM DELIVER A PARK HOME!!!

AND ALSO SPARE A THOUGHT OF SYMPATHY FOR THE POOR OWNERS
OF THIS NEW HOME
THAT IS SHOW BELOW AS THEY TRY TO DELIVER IT!!!












AUGUST 2016

Messrs Smalls workmen in the process of delivering a new park home  for a new customer at St Dominic Park.
Not having measured the entrance to the site, the only method was to ask a nearby nursery if they could use their land to drag it over a field and deposit on the park roadway.

Supplied by Tony Turner









As you will all be aware, our JUSTICE Campaign is fighting for an INDEPENDENT TRANSPARENT REVIEW OF THE 10% COMMISSION CHARGE THAT INCLUDES PROOF OF THE PARK OWNERS AUDITED ACCOUNTS.

Below is a letter from Tony Turner on the 10% subject.  If you would like to add your thoughts on this subject, please send them to Sonia at the JUSTICE Campaign.
ALL LETTERS ARE VETTED BEFORE THEY ARE ALLOWED TO BE PUBLISHED. 


----------------------------------------------------------------------


KEEPING ALIVE THE ISSUE OF THE 10%


There are numerous anecdotal explanations as to the origins of the 10% sales commission, the most logical being that the owners of land upon which holiday caravans were sited saw frequent sales and simply decided to take a cut. At the time when the costs of a caravan was just a few hundred pounds, a commission to the land owner who helped the sales was no big deal - but so the practice has expanded to where we are today.

Since then, the expansion of residential homes, of retirement parks and the industry targeting of the retirement sector on the back of the property boom and the promoting the concept of downsizing, this nice little earner can now yield sales commissions of up to £25,000 and now that the site owner is removed from the sales transaction, this has morphed into nothing more than n unearned bonus, frequently added to the losses in the value of homes that are a consequence of site owner's negligences in park maintenance. Therefore, what was once a reasonable cut has since become an inequitable levy imposed upon home-owners assets, where the level of the commission permissible is such that the industry is yet again fighting tooth and nail for it to be retained.

As we all know, there are problems with it. The first is that it restricts mobility where after the commission, estate agents fees and moving fees this substantially hacks into residual equity. The second is that 10% of deceased home-owners assets do not go to the beneficiary of the estate and thus into the wider economy and the third is that any interpretations of the use of the word `commission` in any job or market , implies that the payment is based upon performance.

The question is how the balance of interests can be restored where the industry argument ( albeit so far unevidenced ) is that the survival of a site owners business is dependent upon the 10% and would need to be compensated for by increased pitch fees – And that of the home-owner who sees it as the legalised transfer of a significant part of their assets, frequently to site owners who have made their retirement a misery and simply use it to fund their personal and often vulgarly extravagant life-styles.

The answer is not yet clear, but what is certainly needed are sample reviews of site owners accounts by Government appointed independent auditors to assess the advocated dependency alongside all other revenue streams, ( both open and undeclared ) and the linking of a reasonable sales commission to a set performance criteria. Quite how such a formula could be be arrived at is a matter for debate, but I suspect that a reasonable commission payable to a site owner who properly manages his park would be regarded as acceptable and where such gearing would collaterally provide the unscrupulous site owner with some incentive to do so.

Whatever the substance of the conflict, a blanket 10% sales commission continues to be an unacceptable and inequitable imposition upon home-owners. There needs to be a full review and and if the industry wants to keep any sales commission, they should at least be required to earn it.

Tony Turner









Our JUSTICE Campaign has been informed of
Important Information for Park Home Residents
regarding
CHARGES FOR PRIVATE SEWERAGE SERVICES

The members of our JUSTICE Campaign who regularly visit the pages of our campaign web site will be aware of what has been a six year hard fought battle between Tony Turner ( JBS Residents Action Alliance ) and his site owner over the costs imposed for private sewerage services. 

The site owners had adopted close to the local water company charging formula ( in this case almost three times the costs of water consumed ) and asserted that they were lawfully entitled to do so. Tony Turner maintained that because the park owner is responsible for the maintenance of the park`s infrastructure, residents need only pay a contribution to the costs.

The real battle commenced in 2012, when the site owner ( before the advent of Park Home Tribunals ) issued legal proceedings against Tony at a County Court and succeeded in obtaining an order that he should pay the site owners demands.   Tony responded by taking the dispute to the High Court, and later to the Court of Appeal but sadly he was unable to overturn the order due to Court Procedure Rules. However, in an extraordinary twist and having notified the site owner that yet further proceedings would be issued, THE SITE OWNER HAS FINALLY CONCEDED and reached an agreement that now applies to all residents at the site. The agreement reached is that residents will make advance payments of £12.50p per quarter per home ( there are 80 homes ) for the private sewerage services and at each anniversary, the site owner will provide his documented costs and if proven to be higher, the residents will pay the difference and if lower, any over-payments will be credited.

What finally proved Tony`s long-term position to be right was a later determination by the Upper Lands Chamber at Appeal where another site had decided to similarly question the site-owners use of a local water company's charging formula and although the site owner is understood to have made Application for a further Appeal to be heard mid 2017, the determination stands as follows:

“ That the liability of the residents in the payment of sewerage charges is limited to the respective proportions of the site owners costs, which include only the unit price of electricity required to operate the sewerage system at the rate paid by the site owner to their suppliers, the charges of third party contractors engaged by the site owner to empty and service the system and any fee paid to the Environment Agency in respect of it.` `In addition to the right to occupy a pitch, the occupiers receive the benefits of obligations by the owner to provide and maintain the facilities and services available to the pitch from time to time, which include the utilities themselves. Each of these is an example of a service which can only be provided at a cost to the owner, yet for which there is no separate agreement to charge and each must therefore be taken as included in the pitch fee”.

There are thousands of home-owners nationally who may also be similarly charged at or close to the local water company's charging rate. In many cases this came about when park owners were not unreasonably afforded the right to pass on the costs of sewerage services where sites were connected to the infrastructure of a local water company, but also where the pitch fees would be reduced accordingly, creating a reduced income stream from pitch fees, fully compensated for in the permitted passing on of the water company's charges to occupiers.

However, the less scrupulous saw an opportunity to mislead occupiers at sites where the sewerage system was privately operated and some home-owners were led to believe that this change was all inclusive and rather than proportionately reducing the pitch fees, simply added and applied the equivalent of the local water company charging formula.

At the time, many home-owners were less familiar with the regulations that applied and were forced to concede - or the breach of resident Agreements were otherwise implemented at the time of a sale when the site owner ( who could then be involved in the sales transaction ) unlawfully added these charges to Agreements where the service had previously been included within the pitch fees.  I am informed that many site owners then combined water and sewerages charges to be applied at a daily rate so as to disguise the manipulation

This imposed arrangement suited the rogue owners well and I believe that it meant that they could charge the equivalent of the water company whose services were not engaged, minimise their costs in maintenances that were their own operational responsibility and secure a not insignificant profit from what was essentially a premeditated fraud. Since then, they have adopted the inaccurate position that this method of charging has become - which in turn is the accepted standard within the industry.  Whilst this may have become the case between unscrupulous site owners, it did and does not mean that it is compliant with regulation.

If you are in similar position, then I am advised that you should first approach your site owner and set out what has been determined as the only costs that can be passed on and if the site owner declines to entertain the issue, then you should locate a solicitor who is familiar with park home law and ask his advice as to how best you can remedy the position and whether you are entitled to recover the monies that have previously been over-charged. Alternatively you could take the issue to your local CAB and ask them if they will refer the dispute to your local Trading Standards office.

Of course, what is illustrated is yet another aspect of why it was necessary to remove site owners from involvement in sales transactions that was fought for by our Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign. It also shows another income stream that is relevant to site owners assertions that the survival of their businesses has been dependent upon a 10% sales commission.

In addition, it confirms what can be achieved when residents form Residents Associations and become determined to confront abuses,  over-charging and then follow them through. In reviewing the particular cases referred to, the work has already been done by Tony Turner and I am informed that the determination which confirms what charges a site owner may pass on can now be used by any other site which is being overcharged.

If you need further information you can contact the Leasehold Advisory Service between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on 020 7832 2525 - or if you are a member, the Advisory Services IPHAS or NAPHR.  You can also go to the following link which deals with the issue of administration charges.
020 7832 2525

I have spoken with Tony Turner (the man who has brought this about) and if you have a similar problem he will be quite happy for you to contact him direct by email at: ferrier57@btinternet.com  and I feel sure that he will be happy to offer his advice.

I hope this information will be of help to you all.





If you agree with the “MUSTS” below.  Please send to your MP as directed at the bottom of this letter.

THE MUSTS OF THE 2017 REVIEW

As the fight against the rogue traders who pollute the residential park home sector continues, Government hopefully understands that those of us who bought into it are not third class citizens and that the outcome of the planned review must recognise that whilst we are ultimately classified as `caravan dwellers`, all of us have contributed to society in ways that entitle us to at least the same protections and justice afforded to virtually every other home-owner or tenant. The 2013 Act made good and genuine attempts and although it has quelled but not entirely eliminated sales blocking, in all other areas the objectives have failed. It is the symptom of the omissions and ambiguities contained within the laws and regulations that apply, that of the delegation of responsibilities to Local Authorities who can choose to ignore them, a police service that can fail to understand the impact upon the more vulnerable and a justice system that can be manipulated by the rogues.

There are obvious remedies. These include the clear definition of what the payable pitch fee includes and excludes, the requirement for a site owner to create a sinking fund for maintenances to be allocated to projects approved by the majority of occupiers, the requirement that all utility services are removed from the control of site-owners and where each home is independently metered, a Tribunal system that excludes representations by solicitors and counsel from all disputes that do not include allegations of criminal activity and which should be referred by a Tribunal to a higher Court and 1st Tier determinations that are as best nationally consistent in their interpretations of the laws and regulations that apply. And finally, a full and transparent review of sales commissions.

Consideration should also be given to the tearing up what has become an anomalous Act created largely by secondary legislation and to start from scratch - but if not, to at least implement more radical controls, where otherwise the sector will increasingly morph into what can be described as unopposed nationally organised exploitations and underlying crime.

The position can be summarised in the passing over at a County Court to one multiple site owner of a copy of the Mobile Homes Act with a request to read a particular clause and where his open response to the Court was that so far as he was concerned, it represented nothing more than pieces of paper stapled together, that he did not agree with its content and therefore had no intention of taking notice of it. Sadly, this orientation remains both widespread and openly tolerated.

I look forward to the 2017 review so long as it has the intention of restoring the market back to what it should always have been, that it treats the overtures of the industry with due scepticism and sees and listens to what is actually occurring. We may be a minority but we do not deserve to be relegated to a scrap-heap and nothing less than a full and comprehensive review will do.

If you agree with the above, please add your name address and the date, copy, paste and print this item and send it to: your local MP, asking that they forward it to Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning at the Department of Communities and Local Government. You can find your MP at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/


Tony Turner





ASTOUNDED  
by Tony Turner

I may well be labouring the point - but I continue to astounded at the number of buyers who commit to purchases of new or previously occupied homes without having instructed a park home specialist solicitor to oversee the transaction. Frankly, it is a reckless omission and one where if subsequent problems arise, they have only themselves to blame.

The residential Park Home sector nationally consists of hundreds of operators who know that the sustainability, growth and profitability of their businesses is dependent upon their reputations for complying with their obligations, however, as these pages frequently imply and as in any other market, there are traders whose will neglect or evade their responsibilities and prey upon those who have failed to take proper `buyer beware` precautions, usually to save what is likely to be small hundreds of pounds as a vital investment in their own protections. It is against this self created neglect that the rogue element thrive and continue to damage the market as a whole.

A part of the problem is that prospective buyers are of a generation who have historically placed trust in the seller of any product or service and unwitting fall or the rehearsed patter and false charms of the rogues. I see buyers who enter into verbal agreements, the terms of which were never intended to honoured and who allow themselves to be manipulated without written contracts, who pay large deposits and staged payments where there is no agreed schedule and who can end up either conceding to what was never agreed, or forced to become involved in costly disputes where the buyers resources are unlikely to match those of the unscrupulous site owner.

It is reasonable to say that a good proportion of disputes are those that emerge from both buyers and home-owners who have taken possession of what is likely to be their only substantial asset without have undertaken due diligence and in many cases not even properly read their Agreements or understood the terms or the implications of their commitments. In such cases, the instruction of a specialist solicitor at minimal cost would have avoided many of the problems before they arose and again in all frankness, many are the victims of their own negligences.

When finding a home, it is the buyer who holds the ace card. It is the buyer who is ultimately responsible for avoiding the joker and in also knowing the rules before putting cash on the table. I cannot sufficiently emphasise the need to engage a solicitor the moment you have made a decision to move forward and to also research the market so as to avoid those who may take advantage of your first-time experience.  Not to do so is foolhardy and a potentially costly mistake

website: www.parkhomefacts.co.uk





TRIUMPH FOR RESIDENTS WHO STUCK TO THEIR GUNS

Hello Sonia

Just a few lines to let you know that we have just won a tribunal case re: Pitch Fee Dispute.
In a nutshell our association was formed in 2004 when we found our pitch fee had been raised way above RPI with no justification or explanation.  Initially nearly all residents joined the association agreeing that we would continue to pay our pitch fee in line with RPI and await their explanation - which of course never came.  Then, the following year they did the same again; increasing the pitch fee above the RPI.
We took legal advice and were assured we were correct in what we were doing.  Numerous letters were sent to the park owners asking for an explanation – which of course was never forthcoming – but most of us received THREATENING letters which continued over the years; so much so that a lot of residents gave in to their pitch fee demand and paid the alleged arrears.
Eventually it got down to about 15 of us who stuck to our guns; ignored their threats and in some cases blackmail.  In some cases, when a home was sold the park owner arrived on the day of the move and would not allow the new residents to move in until the alleged arrears were paid; which of course the vendor did.
When the legislation changed we realised we could take them to tribunal.  The remaining (by now 8 of us did just that.)  We took advice from IPHAS and the tribunal office were very helpful.
It took a while to sort out all the paperwork (which we did) and submitted our case in May.  The site owners had until early June to submit theirs.  We were advised by the tribunal office that the park owners had engaged the services of a solicitor and requested more time to get their paperwork together.
To cut a long story short, last Saturday I was notified by the tribunal office that the site owners did not wish to contest the issue.
The judgement result is: that we have no arrears or interest to pay and we are correct in the pitch fee amount that we are paying.  I just want to add that there was no fee for the tribunal services.
We are OVER THE MOON.  Just sometimes things go right.  I just feel sorry for those that gave in, but now of course this has put neighbour against neighbour as some are saying it is unfair that we are paying less than them.
But they had the same choice as we had so nothing can be done as they entered into an agreement with the park owners  BUT WE STUCK TO OUR GUNS.

Name and Address supplied.





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