Pitch Fee Reviews - How do they work?

The Mobile Homes Act 2013 introduced a new procedure for the review of pitch fees designed to make the process much more transparent and hopefully to reduce pitch fee disputes. In this article we run through the process of pitch fee reviews, from review forms to notice periods.

What happens if my site owner wants to change the pitch fee?

If the site owner wishes to change the pitch fee, and they can only do it once a year on or after the review date stated in the agreement, they must serve a notice informing residents of the change together with a pitch fee review form.

What is a pitch fee review form?

The review form is eight pages long and includes a formula which is used to calculate the fee together with explanatory notes providing guidance on how it has been calculated. If the pitch fee review form is not served the pitch fee cannot be increased.

The notice and pitch fee review form must be served at least 28 days before the review date, if sent later it is still necessary to give 28 days' notice. In these circumstances the review date the following year will remain the original date.

Pitch fee review calculations consist of:

  1. The current pitch fee - adjusted by the Retail Price Index, (RPI), and the official RPI figure can be obtained on the Office of National Statistics web site.

  2. Any recoverable costs – these are typically the cost of improvements to the park carried out for the benefit of residents who must have been consulted, the costs can only be passed on if the majority of residents do not disagree in writing.

  3. Any relevant deductions – where there has been a deterioration or reduction in the level of amenity on the park since 26 May 2013 which has not been taken into account in previous pitch fee reviews.

What happens if I disagree?

If a resident disagrees with the pitch fee review the site owner or resident can make an application to the First-Tier Tribunal for a determination. This is done using Form PH13 or PH9, both of which are available at parkhomes.lease-advice.org. The application must be made no later than three months after the review date, or four months in the event of a late review – that is four months after the date the site owner served the review notice.

Park home residents are not obliged to accept a proposed increase therefore failure to pay the new pitch fee will not result in the resident being in arrears, however they must continue to pay the current pitch fee so there are no arrears.

Information in this article was correct at date of publishing (March 2015).