The question of living permanently in a static home is a complicated one.
You should not consider this article to be qualified legal advice but it may give you a quick overview of at least some of the issues involved.
What is a static home?
Local authorities and insurance providers may see this as being a question of three very different situations:
- someone living in a static home on a site licensed for permanent 12 months per year occupation. This is typically referred to as being a park home site;
- a static caravan, either on private land or a site licensed only for recreational purposes, which is being occupied on a permanent basis. Note that local laws may prohibit the occupation of a caravan on a recreational site for more than 9-10 months each year – some insurance occupation limits may be lower;
- static caravans on authorised sites being used for the purposes of holidays.
Typically, the first category above is not an issue from either a legal or insurance viewpoint. The same is true for the third category.
It is really only in the case of the second category where things may become complicated and you may find yourself exposed in both legal and insurance terms.
If you compare static caravan insurance policies, you will typically find that they do not permit a static caravan to be lived in on a permanent basis if cover is to be maintained.
They may require that, amongst other qualifications, in order to obtain cover for permanent residency in a static, it must be on a local authority approved site for permanent occupation.
If the site meets the specified criteria, you may be able to obtain cover through what is called park home insurance.
However, if circumstances necessitate you moving permanently into a static caravan on an unlicensed site, you may need to have an in-depth discussion with your insurance provider in order to ascertain what cover (if any) might be available.
Whatever custom and practice may be in some situations, you may find that it is against local authority laws to occupy a static caravan permanently, whether it is on private land or a site approved for recreational purposes only.
In the case of private land, even if it is your own property, you may need to seek planning permission and these days that may be very difficult to obtain.
If you move permanently into a static parked on a recreational site, you may find that court orders are taken out against you and ultimately that may result in eviction.
If the next step in terms of insurance issues is to speak to an experienced provider of static policies, in terms of legal issues you may need to consult people such as the citizens’ advice bureau, the local council or a suitably experienced solicitor.
Take these steps in advance rather than waiting for your occupancy position to become a legal or other issue.