Can someone live in a caravan in my garden?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can someone live in a caravan in my garden? We will discuss the rules for living in a caravan in your garden and give you a few alternatives for parking your caravan long term. 

Can someone live in a caravan in my garden?

Someone can live in a caravan in your garden as long as the vehicle is considered an annexe to the house or is used for the extra space. The law states the following:

  • If someone lives in a caravan in your garden for less than 3 months per year: You can install your caravan in your garden without authorization if you are not using it as a home or as an annexe to your home. The caravan must permanently retain its means of mobility (wheels, drawbar, etc.) in order to be able to leave its location at any time.
  • If someone lives in a caravan in your garden for more than 3 months per year: The installation of your caravan in your garden is subject to a prior declaration to be submitted to the town hall. Please note that the local council may refuse your request.
  • The installation of a static caravan in your garden is strictly prohibited, whatever the duration of installation envisaged.

Please note that local town planning rules may impose specific restrictions in the event of installation for less than 3 months. Remember to consult the town planning department of your town hall.

Living in a caravan for more than three months per year

If you want to install your caravan for more than three months a year in your garden, then it must change status. Indeed, the mobile home becomes a fixed construction, deprived of its means of traction, and subject to construction law.

  • If its floor area is less than 20 m², you must make a prior declaration of work to the town hall for its installation, as provided in the Town Planning Code. Your file must be completed with supporting documents and the response time is on average one month.
  • If its floor area is greater than 20 m², you will need to apply for and obtain a building permit from the town hall of your municipality, as in the case of any type of construction. The instruction period is then two months on average and the town hall can refuse your request for town planning, environmental and regulatory reasons.

What to do if your request to park a caravan in your garden is refused?

Has your request to install your mobile home in your garden been refused? Here are the other solutions available to you.

  • Dedicated lands: The Town Planning Code authorizes the installation of mobile homes in campsites, holiday villages and residential parks. All you have to do is find a structure that accepts your mobile home. You will be able to manage, occupy and rent it for a financial contribution.
  • Private family land: The law authorizes the development of private family land for the installation of demountable residences such as mobile homes and caravans for personal use or rental.

The caravan is subject to fewer constraints than the static caravan, in particular, because of its size and its easy mobility. Before setting up a caravan in your garden, check with your town hall that the town planning rules allow you to do so. A caravan positioned in your garden less than three months a year does not require any formality.

On the other hand, you will have to make a prior declaration at the town hall if it is placed there for more than three months per year.

What does the law say about living in a caravan on private property?

When it comes to living full time in a caravan, the circumstances are more complicated than it looks, for the good reason that the mere fact that the caravan is stored on your private property does not justify that you can leave it there permanently. 

You have to make the difference between a caravan or a static caravan installed fixedly and the same caravan or the same mobile home intended to move in the long term. 

Thus, a caravan is considered to have retained its means of mobility when it is still regularly registered and its owner is still in possession of the wheels. In this case, the caravan or mobile home is considered to be parked and no one, under these conditions, can tell you anything derogatory about their presence in your garden. 

However, the case is not the same if the caravan no longer has any means of mobility, that is to say, if you have removed its wheels to better stabilize it on the garden floor. 

Immobilized caravans and mobile homes may then be subject to the usual town planning rules applicable to construction. A caravan placed on wooden blocks and permanently installed in a garden is considered a light leisure dwelling. 

If it is less than 35m2 of net surface area, its parking must only be the subject of a prior declaration to the town hall. If the area is greater than 35 m2, the owner must apply for a building permit.

In any event, the law prohibits any owner from leaving his caravan parked year-round in his garden or on his land. Parking must be the subject, if it is longer than a period of three consecutive months per year or not, of an authorization issued by the town hall of the municipality. In the absence of authorization, the caravan must be placed on an authorized site or in a garage.

The bottom line

Excited about setting up your caravan in the garden? It is possible but not more than three months. Beyond this period, you will have to request authorization from the town hall. 

If it is not granted for administrative reasons, the caravan must be moved to a parking lot or to a garage. If approved, it must not be made stationary by removing the wheels. Thus transformed, it is assimilated to a residential extension and, as such, it is subject to the town planning rules applicable to construction: windows prohibited within a certain distance from neighbours, housing tax, etc.

If you have any questions about the content, please let us know!

FAQ  on Can someone live in a caravan in my garden?

Can I live in a caravan on my land?

You can live in a caravan on your land, but there are a few rules to follow. Caravans and motorhomes can remain on the grounds of a primary residence, but only between uses. They must in no case lose their mobile nature, otherwise, they will be considered as a fixed installation by the municipality.

Can I put a caravan in my garden?

You can install your caravan in your garden without authorization if you are not using it as a home or as an annexe to your home. The caravan must permanently retain its means of mobility (wheels, drawbar, etc.) in order to be able to leave its location at any time.

Can I put a trailer on my land?

To put a trailer on one’s land, the owner of a trailer must have the mayor’s parking authorization to install his trailer on his land. If the trailer is fixed, a building permit is required.

How to live on non-building land?

It is not allowed to live year-round on any non-building land. You can set up a tent or request authorization from the town hall for your caravan or mobile home.

References

Living in a caravan in your front garden? 

Does a caravan that is kept in a garden need planning permission …

RV Laws to Consider | RV Parking, Storage & Traffic Laws | KOA …

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