In this article, we will answer the following question: Do I need a solicitor to buy a static caravan? We will give you essential tips for buying a static caravan and tell you what to pay attention to before signing the deal.
Do I need a solicitor to buy a static caravan?
You do not need a solicitor to buy a static caravan unless you have any concerns or believe you have been treated unfairly. Generally, there is no requirement for legal aid when purchasing a static caravan or any other type of motorhome.
However, when you use the services of a solicitor, you can be reassured that there is no hidden clause in the purchase contract, or the legal advisor may help you better understand certain conditions in the contract, such as:
- The break down of the purchase price;
- Additional costs imposed by the caravan park;
- What benefits do you get from the campsite during your stay there;
- If you are allowed to sublet the static caravan and other details.
Becoming an owner is not just about buying the static caravan! Above all, it is about choosing your future second home, the model that will appeal to the whole family, the environment and the land in which you want to settle it to spend your weekends or holidays.
The static caravan remains the best way to acquire a second home inexpensively and as quickly as possible. However, its installation responds to a specific procedure and legislation.
Unlike a house, it cannot be installed on private land, but rather on a plot for rent in a residential campground or in a residential leisure park. The choice of land will be made mainly according to your desires and your budget.
Do not forget that to the price of the mobile home, you must add the entrance fee to the campsite and the annual operating costs (rent of the plot, electricity, gas, etc.). It is an investment to be considered over several years.
Where can I live in my static caravan?
Before choosing a static caravan, it is advisable to select the site on which to set it up. Indeed, in most states, the law prohibits the installation of a mobile home on land other than a campsite or residential leisure park.
It is therefore impossible to put it in your garden or on a family plot. You cannot live there year-round either, because according to the legislation in force, the mobile home must remain a second home.
Some land managers sometimes make access to their free plots conditional on the purchase of a mobile home of a certain type or of a particular brand. If you do not want to comply with this kind of approach, go through your dealer who often collaborates with campsites.
Remember to sign the rental agreement for the lot. Renting a lot in a campsite or residential leisure park must result in the signing of a contract between the two parties, the site manager, and the static caravan owner.
Although it is not mandatory, still require a rental contract, because it is this contract that governs your rights and duties but also those of the lessor. It is therefore essential in the event of a dispute.
This contract is generally concluded for one year, renewable by tacit agreement. The renewal of the lease is not automatic and the lessor can terminate the contract at the end of it for no particular reason. However, the lessor must inform the owner of this by giving notice, generally two months before the end of the term.
How to choose a static caravan
Unless the campsite – or the caravan park – offers you a selection of new or used static caravans, it is customary to go to the dealership to find a model. The plan and interior decoration remain a matter of taste.
On the manufacturing side, the general structure varies little according to the brands.
- It consists of a galvanized steel frame on which a floor is generally made of water-repellent and insulated chipboard (then bubble, foam, injected, mineral wool, etc.).
- The walls are made on the principle of a lattice of wooden studs to which insulation is added.
- The proposed insulation differs according to the level of the range (glass wool, polystyrene, thermo-reflective film).
- The outer luggage can be vinyl, wood or aluminium. The openings are double glazed.
- The exterior shutters can be decorative, swinging (real shutters) or rolling. The double-sloped roof is insulated (glass wool, thermo-reflective film) and covered with steel pan imitation tiles.
- The static caravan is always delivered furnished and equipped, ready for use.
- The number of bedrooms can vary from one to four (mezzanine model). The living room can be in the centre or at one end, on the panoramic mobile.
Don’t hesitate to negotiate for your static caravan
The price of a static caravan generally varies between 20,000 to over 60,000 dollars for high-end models. This price can be announced as “ex works” or “delivered”. In the first case, the customer takes possession of his residence directly at the factory and must have it transported at his own expense to the campsite or the leisure park.
For a given “delivered” price, transport to the campsite entrance is included. To slightly lower the bill, you can negotiate some mobile home equipment such as a dishwasher or microwave, or additional accessories such as the terrace or the garden shed.
Transport cost: A static caravan must be moved in an exceptional convoy. It is an expensive and restrictive mode of transport, especially as convoys are often forced to take “alternative routes”. To lower the bill, you can try, if possible, to share the convoy with another mobile home.
The installation costs of the static caravan are on the lot: The dealers, as well as some campsites, offer their customers all-inclusive packages where transport and installation (rigging, connections, etc.) are included in the price of the residence. If the final grade exceeds your budget, there are ways to finance your purchase.
Buying a static caravan: How to finance your purchase
You can have your purchase 100% financed by a loan, whatever the amount of the static caravan but for a maximum period of 15 years. As with any credit, the law establishes a withdrawal period of 7 days. However, it only applies to loans for an amount less than $21,500 and a duration of more than 3 months.
The loan offer must mention the conditions, the amount borrowed, the amount to be reimbursed (with and without insurance) and the number of costs.
This offer is valid for 15 days. The law also allows early repayment without charge or penalty.
This is the case where it may be a good idea to hire a solicitor to help you get a fair deal.
Find out about the taxes incumbent on the static caravan
Do not forget that beyond the rate for the residence, taxes are added to the static caravan :
- Entrance fee: The campsite imposes it. This amount, generally between $1,000 and $4,000, corresponds to the cost of servicing the lot, to the equipment and services offered by the land.
- Wedging and connections: Installing his residence on the lot is a prerequisite that only a professional can do. The concessionaire generally has specialized teams who are responsible for making the connections for the water supply, wastewater evacuation, electric cables and gas.
- Tourist tax: Not being considered as a construction, but as a vehicle, the static caravan is not subject to the housing tax. On the other hand, all occupants must pay the tourist tax of the campsites. It is generally included in the annual rent.
Any passing guests must also pay this if the site regulations so specify. Reception arrangements differ depending on the location, some allow immediate family members to use the mobile home without additional charges, others may impose a limited period or the payment of a fee for the stay.
- The annual rent of the lot: Not being the owner, but the tenant of the lot on which your static caravan is installed, you must pay a sum of $1,000 to $7,000 per year depending on the size of the lot or the equipment on the land. Please note that the rent may increase from year to year without notice.
Know the rights and duties of a static caravan owner
Campsite managers set up internal rules for the site which owners of mobile homes must respect.
These regulations give precise instructions concerning the development and maintenance of the plots. In turn, the campsite managers cannot do just anything in terms of the layout of their land.
For example, a garden shed must not exceed 2m2 on the ground and a height of 1.50 m. In these conditions, it does not fall within the 30% rule.
A terrace can be added but it must remain removable at all times and not rise more than 60 cm from the ground. We can add a retractable awning that must be attached to the front of the mobile home.
For the rest, be aware that there is a “code of good conduct” governing the relationship between land managers and owners of mobile homes.
The bottom line
As you read in this article, buying a static caravan is not as easy as grocery shopping. You have the right to hire a solicitor to deal with all the legalities when it comes to buying a caravan, renting a lot and discussing the annual fees.
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