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Holiday park site owners and their responsibilities in times of bad weather

With severe weather seeming to be the ‘norm’ over the last few years, it’s not just caravan and park home owners who feel the effects, but even people living in bricks and mortar homes – no structure is safe from it!

So, what can you do if your caravan becomes waterlogged or snowed in? Here we look at your site owner’s obligations and yours.

Duty of access and safety

Various pieces of legislation place a park site owner under a legal obligation to maintain safe and reasonable access to various areas around their site. By implication, that might mean clearing snow, mud or water from road and paths leading to caravans and site facilities etc.

By contrast, you may have the responsibility, confirmed by site agreement and your own static caravan insurance, to keep your pitch clear and safe.

Of course, the law cannot specify in advance every conceivable circumstance that might arise and therefore definitive answers about what is or is not reasonable can’t always be given in advance.

So, what happens if you have concerns about the current state of your site?

Discussion before escalation

If severe weather has resulted in problems accessing your site or your pitch, remember that the site owners may be trying to deal with numerous problems all at the same time.

Practically, it may be difficult or impossible for them to progress every owner’s concerns simultaneously in exceptional circumstances and they may need to prioritise. Try to understand their priorities and approach – and be patient.

If you suspect that your patience is being abused and in fact they’re sitting on their hands, then speaking to them politely is always the preferable first step. Sometimes inaction arises as a result of an honest oversight or misunderstanding and a friendly word is all that’s required.

If that still results in nothing but inertia and in the meantime, you are unable to safely access your caravan, then you may need to write a formal letter or note confirming the situation.

Make clear, politely, in your letter that you believe the current position means that they are in breach of prevailing legislation demanding that safe access is provided.

That might well do the trick. If it doesn’t, you may need to take legal advice and consider further action.