Application guidance for site owners
The Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manager of Site to be Fit and Proper Person) (England) Regulations 2020 ('the regulations') introduce a fit and proper person test for site owners or the person appointed to manage the site. The purpose of the fit and proper person test is to improve the standards of park home site management.
An application must be made by a site owner, if they hold, or have applied for, a site licence for the site.
The purpose of this guidance is to assist you with the application form, whilst at the same time providing the key pieces of information from the regulations.
Please read the application form carefully and answer all questions. The application form contains the information that we require, as outlined in the regulations. In summary, please provide the following to us:
- details of site and applicant
- information relating to the site manager
- additional information where another person who is an individual is involved in the day-to-day management
- additional information where another person, who is not an individual, is involved in the day-to-day management of the site
Where the site owner is an individual, the application must be completed by that individual.
If the site owner is a company or corporate body, the application must be completed by the ‘appropriate person’ and where:
- the applicant is a company, this will be a director or other officer of the company; or,
- where the applicant is a partnership, this will be a partner; or,
- where the applicant is a body corporate, this will be a member of the management committee.
This person is known as the 'relevant officer', and information about them is required on page 1 of the application form.
The site owner must provide the following information about the proposed manager’s conduct, and specifically whether s/he:
- has committed any offence involving fraud or other dishonesty, violence, arson, or drugs or listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003
- has contravened any provision of the law relating to housing, caravan sites, mobile homes, public health, planning or environmental health or landlord and tenant law
- has contravened any provision of the Equality Act 2010 in, or in connection with, the carrying on of any business
- has harassed any person in, or in connection with, the carrying on of any business
- is, or has been within the past 10 years, personally insolvent
- is, or has been within the past 10 years, disqualified from acting as a company director
- has the right to work in the United Kingdom
A criminal record check must be submitted for the individual being assessed as the fit and proper person and, where applicable, other individuals responsible for the day-to-day management of the site. If a company, the individual responsible for day-to-day management of the site must also submit a criminal record check.
The criminal record check can be requested by going to the GOV.UK website and it costs £23.
The criminal record check must have been issued no more than six months before the date of the fit and proper person application.
There are some considerations that we may take into account as outlined in the regulations, such as:
- ability to secure proper management of the site (e.g. site licence compliance and long-term maintenance of the site)
- sufficient competence to manage site
- management structure and funding arrangements
- any offences (as outlined above) committed by the person being assessed, as outlined in paragraphs 3 and 4 of Schedule 3 of the regulations
In terms of management structures, we will want to ensure that there are arrangements in place covering matters such as:
- pitch fee collection
- availability of those involved in the day-to-day management of the site
- provision of contact details for residents (including out of office and emergency contact)
- how complaints about the condition of the site are dealt with
- routine and cyclical maintenance
In terms of the funding arrangements, we may want to consider whether site owners have sufficient funds to manage the site and comply with the licence obligations.
We will need information about any individuals who have responsibilities for the day-to-day management of the site.
If a person manages more than one site, they have to make an application is required for each site.
Sites that are exempted from the regulations are those which are only occupied by members of the same family and are not being run as commercial residential sites. There are two parts to this test.
Firstly, we will need to consider whether each caravan stationed on a permanent pitch and used as a permanent residence is used by:
- the site owner, or the site owner and one or more members of their family
- a member of the site owner’s family, or that member and one or more members of their family
A person is a member of the same family as another person if:
- they are married, in a civil partnership or live together
- one of them is a relative of the other
- one of them is, or is a relative of, one member of a couple and the other is a relative of the other member of the couple
Secondly, we will need to consider whether the site is operated on a commercial basis. This would be where the amount that any person is required to pay to the site owner to reside on the site exceeds a fair contribution towards the relevant costs (this includes non-domestic rates, council tax and the site owner’s reasonable costs of repair, maintenance and insurance).
There is a declaration on the application form which makes the site owner accountable for providing the correct information. This ensures that where the site owner asks for information from the relevant person, a responsible person, or anyone else involved in the management of the site, to enable them to complete the application form, they do all they reasonably and legally can to ensure they receive and provide the correct information.
This is important because if it is later found that some or all of the information included in the form is false or misleading, the site owner could be prosecuted for a breach of the regulations.
We will make consider applications as soon as we can and make decisions as soon as reasonably practicable. We will make one of the following three decisions:
- include the person on the register for five years
- include the person on the register subject to conditions
- not include the person on the register
If we decide to include the person on the register for less than five years, or subject to conditions, or if we decide not to include them, we must issue a preliminary decision notice to the site owner.
The site owner then has 28 days to make written representations if they do not agree with the preliminary notice.
We must take into account any representations before making a final decision, and then we will issue a final decision notice to the site owner. This must be done as soon as reasonably practicable after the conclusion of the 28-day period for representations.
A final notice must include reasons for the decision and about the right of appeal against the decision.
A site owner has the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) against any decision to:
- include a person on the register for less than five years
- attach or vary conditions to an entry on the register
- reject an application for an entry or remove a person from a register
The Tribunal can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01243 779394.
Register of fit and proper persons
We hold a register of persons who we are satisfied are fit and proper person/s to manage a site in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council area. The register will be open for inspection by the public during normal office hours and will be published online.
Whilst an individual is on the register, we can review their inclusion if relevant new information comes to light. This review may result in removal from the register, addition, variation, or removal of a condition attached to a person’s inclusion.
Following a review, we must issue a notice to the site owner setting out specified information about any action we intend to take.
The site owner will have 28 days to make representations which we must consider before making a final decision on any action taken.
Having made a decision and taken the proposed action, we must service a notice of action with five working days of the date of the action, setting out the details of the action taken and include detail as to the right to appeal.
We charge an application fee to recover the costs incurred, or which will be incurred in appointing a person to manage a site with the site owner’s consent. This sum has been set at £132. The fee is payable at the time of the application and the applicant will usually be included in the register for a period of five years.
The fee level will be reviewed annually.
There are three offences which can occur within the regulations. They are as follows:
- operating a site in contravention of the regulations
- withholding information or including false or misleading information in the registration application
- failing to comply with a specified condition
A site owner found guilty of any of the above offences will be liable on summary conviction to a level five (unlimited) fine.
We can also make an application to the Tribunal to revoke the site owner’s site licence.
Where to send the application
Completed applications including the correct fee can be returned in three ways:
- using our online form and payment service
- by email to email@example.com
- by post to Private Sector Housing, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Town Hall, Civic Way, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2RS
You are advised to retain a copy of the form for your records.
The Council manages personal data in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations. The information you provide on this form will be used by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for the purposes of the fit and proper assessment.
We may share your information and make any other necessary enquiries with other departments within the council and statutory organisations in relation to the application.
Your personal information will be processed in line with Data Protection legislation and we will not disclose information about you to anyone outside the Council unless the law permits or requires us to. We will retain your data for as long as it is required for our administrative use, after which it will be securely disposed of.
Where the application is being made on behalf of a person appointed, or to be appointed, to manage the site, you are strongly advised to ensure they are aware of the register and the information that will be entered into it. As the applicant, it is your responsibility to seek confirmation that the information they have provided to you is true and accurate.
If you believe the data that we process on you is incorrect you may request to see this information and if necessary, have it corrected or deleted. Please see the Council’s website for further information on data-protection-and-privacy.
If you believe we are not processing your data lawfully you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
If you require any further information, please contact the Private Sector Housing team:
telephone: 01892 554241
post: Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1RS