Here are some frequently asked questions on the subject of everyday legal requirements and static caravans.
Do I need a TV licence for my static caravan?
This is a slightly tricky question and requires a little explanation.
The key question is whether or not you will be using any television installed in your static caravan at the same time as your normal television is being used in your permanent home.
If the answer to that is no, then you may not need a separate licence for your caravan. You may be able to simply make what is called a non-simultaneous use declaration* and that should cover you.
If you are likely to be using a TV in your caravan while someone at your normal place of domicile is also using the TV there, then you will need a separate licence for your caravan.
Is insurance a legal requirement for static caravan ownership?
Typically, there may be no formal legal requirement for such insurance (unless you have a loan on the caravan – the loan provider may require some form of cover).
Your site owner may understandably demand that you have a minimum form of insurance in place in order to make sure that third party liability cover is available on all caravans on their site. In most cases, they do not have the right to insist that you purchase such insurance from them, so that mean you can shop around for the most suitable deal.
Can I let out my caravan during the holiday season to obtain income?
There are a number of aspects to this question:
• depending upon your site agreement, you may require the site owner’s permission;
• in some cases, the local authority may not have authorised the site for holiday letting use but only for that of owners;
• if you have existing static insurance, you may need to discuss your plans with your insurance provider and possibly upgrade your cover, as letting your caravan out may invalidate any existing policy if it is aimed exclusively at owner-users;
• if you have purchased your caravan using a loan, some lenders may require that you obtain their permission prior to letting your caravan out as a commercial activity;
• remember that the law may oblige you to declare any income obtained as part of your tax and income affairs.
Can I live permanently in my static caravan?
In principle, there may be no fundamental legal prohibition to doing so.
Once again though, you may not be an entirely free agent and before making this decision you may need to check with several of parties mentioned above:
• your site owners may not permit permanent occupation;
• some local authorities may have licensed a site for occasional recreational use but may prohibit permanent residence;
• remember that your static caravan insurance typically may not cover a static caravan being used as a full time place of domicile.
It would be prudent to check these things carefully prior to simply moving in.