Can I let it a Caravan on the driveway?

by Readers Question

10:08 AM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

Can I let it a Caravan on the driveway?

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Can I let it a Caravan on the driveway?

I mainly let to DSS/Housing Benefit tenants. Many of them are referred by homelessness organisations, so most of these are homeless at the time of referral to me, and unfortunately I am unable to house everyone as I don’t have enough flats or rooms (in HMOs) for them. mobile

However, what I do have is plenty of space on driveways and in gardens (as HMO tenants are not interested in gardens and have no cars), so I wondered if there was anything to prevent me from putting a caravan on these drives/gardens and letting out the caravans?

As a little self-contained unit, they are probably more desirable than a room in a shared house anyway, so I would have no problem finding people to occupy them, but is this allowed (or rather, is there some law that prevents this)?

I believe that a moveable structure does not need planning permission to be sited on the drive/garden?

Does anyone have any experience of doing this?

Robert



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:15 AM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Robert,

I found this on the .GOV website :

2. Renting a park home

You have a rent contract if you pay rent to a landlord. It doesn’t have to be in writing.
If you don’t have a written contract

You should be able to stay for a year from the date you moved in even if you don’t have anything in writing.
If you have a written contract

A written contract should say how long you can live in your home.

During this time your landlord can still ask you to leave if:

your contract says they can ask you to leave with 4 weeks’ notice
you break the rules (‘terms’) of your contract and it says the owner can ask you to leave as a result

When your contract ends

Your landlord can ask you to leave as long as they give you 4 weeks’ notice. If you don’t leave the owner can ask the court for an ‘eviction order’ which forces you to leave.
If your landlord tries to evict you

If your landlord tries to evict you (force you to leave), you’ll have more rights to stay if you live on a ‘protected site’.

A protected site is a mobile home park which has planning permission to have residents living there throughout the year. A holiday park isn’t a protected site.

Your right to stay also depends on:

what your rental contract says
whether your home is counted as a ‘dwelling house’, which means you have rights from tenancy laws

To be a dwelling house your park home must be:

your permanent residence – where you live most or all of the time
connected to mains electricity or water
unmovable or so large that it can’t be moved in one piece, eg you can’t drive it or tow it away yourself

Types of tenancy

The type of tenancy you have depends on the date you moved in and started paying rent. You will have:

a regulated tenancy if you moved in and started paying rent before 15 January 1989
an assured or assured shorthold tenancy if you moved in and started paying rent on or after 15 January 1989

Puzzler

10:32 AM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

I think you would need, and not be likely to get, planning permission

Puzzler

10:34 AM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

My edit has not been uploaded - I wanted to add for change of use. If it's a big problem they may grant it.

Alan Loughlin

10:52 AM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

I can see the neighbours being enthralled.

Paul Franklin

11:07 AM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

This isn’t a great idea Robert. While it isn’t necessarily a problem to station your own caravan on your own drive to be used for your jollies etc, it’s another ball game entirely to be renting them out.

Let me put to you first what tenancy agreements would you be giving to these caravan occupiers? Note that S.1 Housing Act 1988 states that “A tenancy under which a dwelling-house is let as a separate dwelling is for the purposes of this Act an assured tenancy”. Therefore in order for those renting a caravan to be assured (or assured shorthold) tenants, as is the case with bricks and mortar accommodation, the caravan must be classed as a ‘dwelling-house’, which yours won’t be. Therefore what agreements will you be using? I suspect you don’t know and that’s the first reason you shouldn’t get into it.

Secondly, S.1 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 prohibits the use of land as a ‘caravan site’ without a site licence. Occupiers of land that cause or permit land to be used as a caravan site without a licence shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of up to £2,500. There are some specific exceptions whereby a caravan site would not require a licence and this includes instances whereby the use is: (i) Within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse and incidental to the dwelling – i.e. not used separately – but I can’t see that this applies to your situation. In addition, site licenses will only be issued when planning permission for a caravan site has been granted in respect of the land, which I doubt you’ll get.

Robert Mellors

16:42 PM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Franklin" at "03/07/2015 - 11:07":

Since posting this question, I found another thread on here which asked something similar (about letting out a log cabin in a garden) see:
http://www.property118.com/can-let-log-cabin-garden/66513/comment-page-2/#comment-57498
so I have commented on that thread, and asked some further questions. However, on that particular thread, someone was renting out a motorhome on their drive, and because they were doing it as a series of short-term lets (i.e. weekly) they felt that it would not need planning permission. Clearly, such usage would not be "incidental" to the use of the house, but they did not appear to need a caravan site licence either.

Michael Barnes

18:33 PM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

If you can do it, then you will probably need to change the agreement with existing tenants, as they probably have agreements for the use of all the land.

robert gillies

19:07 PM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

In Scotland, the Local Authority will not pay LHA to someone living in a caravan.
They will only pay housing benefit for a proper house with a postcode.

This may differ in other countries of the UK.

Robert Mellors

21:00 PM, 3rd July 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Michael Barnes" at "03/07/2015 - 18:33":

The agreements with the current HMO residents does not include any rights to use the gardens, so the agreements would not need to change. Most of my DSS residents are not interested in using the gardens (except to dump rubbish on).

Paul Franklin

10:40 AM, 7th July 2015
About 3 years ago

LAs do pay LHA to caravan site occupiers in England although they may not do in Scotland.

The first thing I would say is that short-term lets and holiday lets are potentially very different things - Holiday lets being excluded occupiers and therefore there's no need for a court order etc to evict - although the arrangement must be a genuine holiday let. What you're suggesting isn't holiday lets - you are suggesting renting a caravan to someone as their sole/principal home.

Although that person in the thread you mention is renting out a caravan on their drive I do wonder who knows about it. I.e. I supsect they need more permission than they realise to do this as per my comment above. Given you are looking to rent to DSS tenants, this would be brought to the attention of the LA, unlike the holiday let example, therefore it's probably more important you do things correctly. It may be worth you contacting your LA licensing team to talk to them about this in the first instance. I'm sure they'd be happy to have a conversation with you.


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