Can you live in a static caravan all year round?

10 August 2020

Static caravans are booming. According to the NCC, the caravan industry’s trade body, there are at least 365,000 caravan holiday homes in the UK, plus an additional 100,000 residential park homes.

While it’s clear that static caravans are rising in popularity, we appreciate that many people have questions surrounding how they can be used. In this article, we discuss whether you can live permanently on a holiday park, and highlight several advantages to making a static caravan your permanent residence.

What’s the difference between a holiday park and a residential park?

In the UK, the Mobile Homes Act states that you can only live all year round on a park with a permanent residential licence.

Most holiday parks are non-residential. These parks either close for part of the year or have a limit to the number of days you can spend there. But even holiday parks that never close and don’t have such restrictions cannot house you permanently. It isn’t legal and it isn’t practical, because you can’t vote or register with a GP from an address on a holiday park.

It’s always wise to check a site’s status with the local authority before agreeing to buy a home and rent a pitch there. If a site’s licence says “for holiday use only”, you simply need to look elsewhere for your permanent address, however desirable the location.

As well as the different types of licence, there may also be a difference in the static caravans themselves. Some holiday park homes are built to a lower specification than residential homes. However, it’s good to know that Willerby static caravans are made to the exacting British Standard for residential mobile homes, BS 3632.

What are the advantages of moving permanently to a static caravan?

Most people who move into a static caravan do so because they have decided to sell their home and downsize, often when they retire.

That’s because the main advantage of moving to a park home is that they are cheaper to buy and cost less to run than most bricks and mortar properties. Energy bills are often less expensive, too. For instance, modern static caravans are so well-insulated that heating costs are often far lower than they would be for a conventional property.

However, it’s essential to cost your move carefully. Include items such as pitch fees and park maintenance costs. They may be higher than you are accustomed to on a holiday park.

Can you put a static caravan on your own land?

The golden rule before considering putting a static caravan on your land is “talk to the local council first”. That’s because different local authorities have different rules and interpretations.

If you want to move into a mobile home while rebuilding or renovating your main home, most councils will allow that. But only on the strict understanding that it’s a temporary arrangement.

What about if you buy a piece of land away from your current home and want to live in a static caravan there? In this situation, you will need planning permission. The safest course of action before buying land for a static caravan is to speak to your local council.

Other tips before moving to a residential static caravan are:

Choose your location carefully, bearing in mind practical matters, such as how close you are to the nearest shops. Access to public transport too. This is where you’re going to be living, not just a holiday spot.
Talk to people who already live there; you’ll discover things that aren’t in the brochure or on the website.
Get legal advice to make sure the transaction goes through smoothly, especially if you are selling as well as buying.
Be clear about how you’re financing your purchase. Remember that mortgages are not available for static caravans. If you need a loan, you may find the park owners very helpful, but it’s always wise to shop around for finance.

If you’re new to the world of static caravans, you can start by exploring the Willerby range. Here you can see how luxurious a mobile home can be when it’s tailored to your specifications.