by Ian Sheppard, Senior Associate, Sydney Mitchell LLP
Those who, by agreement, live in caravans on protected sites enjoy some valuable statutory protections against eviction. In a case that raised novel issues, the Upper Tribunal (UT) extended that benefit to the occupier of a static caravan – notwithstanding that it floats on a raft.
The caravan sits on a specially designed raft and is moored alongside a pontoon in a marina forming part of a flooded former gravel pit. It has wheels and can be rolled on and off the raft using a detachable ramp. When served with notice to quit by the marina's owner, the occupier of the caravan successfully argued before the First-tier Tribunal that she is entitled to the protections contained in the Mobile Homes Act 1983.
Rejecting the owner's appeal against that outcome, the UT acknowledged that, when taken together, the caravan and the raft constitute a houseboat. However, the fact that the caravan is afloat and forms part of a houseboat does not render it any the less a caravan, as defined by the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. The occupier was entitled to live in the caravan by agreement with the owner.
It was, the UT noted, immaterial that the 'land' on which the caravan is located is covered by water. The site is 'protected', within the meaning of the 1983 Act, in that the occupier is authorised to live in the caravan all the year round by a certificate of lawful use and development previously issued by the relevant local authority.
Our expert lawyers at Sydney Mitchell LLP can advise if you are at threat from eviction and wish to lodge a challenge. Please speak to Ian Sheppard firstname.lastname@example.org on 08081668827 for #legalhelp and advice.