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Question

England | Investing in a Property (England) | Pre-tenancy (England)

Static Caravan to let on driveway

9 Sep 2021 | 4 comments

I have purchased a static caravan to be sited on the side driveway of my home in a Midlands suburb.  It fits ‘within the curtilage’ of my house building.  I have for some time been providing Excluded Licences (as apposed to ASTs) for furnished units within my own home, each of which each enjoy private bathroom facilities & food preparation areas all effectively self-contained BUT, have the addition of communal space (living room and kitchen) AND the provision of services provided by me (cleaning & laundry, hence no exclusive rights?) as part of the contracts.  I had originally intended the caravan to simply be an additional unit, with exactly the same services and provision (except that access through the main house would only be required for utilising communal areas). I would like some information & advice please:

  1. Despite my preference for what I am already familiar with (excluded licences), I would be prepared to consider a variety of income generation methods for the static eg. AirBnB; short-term business lets ….. What would be the best/ most appropriate let scenario please?
  2. I have an electrician & gas fitter on standby assuming it best to bypass existing stand alone provisions to connect (& certify) the services as an extension to the house. Would this be the best way forward?
  3. I have heard that because Planning Permission will at some point be reinstated, I am obliged to (or perhaps best advised) to request a ‘certificate of lawful development’ from the local authority. What are the issues here/ your thoughts?
  4. Anything I have neglected to consider?

Any assistance gratefully received.

Answer

4 Comments

  1. guildy

    Firstly, we’re slightly confused about what’s in the caravan but it sounds like that will be a fully self contained unit and there will be no need to share “accommodation” with the landlord whatsoever.

    As such, the tenancy agreement would need to be an assured shorthold tenancy where the tenant is an individual and they occupy as their only or principal home. We don’t think a lodger agreement is suitable for the caravan.

    The questions are answered in order:

    1. We only generally deal with longer term lettings (i.e. assured shorthold tenancies) and we don’t deal with holiday lettings or business tenancies. It all depends on market conditions but perhaps speaking with a local agent might be best.
    2. Because it’s a caravan, it may be best to ensure it relies on the utilities from the main house (see next question)
    3. We don’t know much about planning permission but we found this article which might be useful
  2. bdixon

    To clarify my intent: to provide the static renter with exactly the same as my house lodgers (private room with facilities; communal lounge; laundry & cleaning service). There would be no washing machine or facility for drying clothes in the static.
    The replies to my questions are much appreciated & the link spot on.

  3. guildy

    We don’t think that would be right for a static caravan. We believe that it would be seen as a sham in order to prevent the tenant from having the protections of the Housing Act by calling it an excluded licence.

    A dwelling doesn’t need to have a kitchen to be called a dwelling so the lack of washing machine and drying is irrelevant in our view (washing clothes would be available by a laundrette).

    In order to be excluded under Protection from Eviction Act, they would need to share accommodation with the landlord and not just visit next door occasionally to do their washing.

    A tenancy (or licence) is whatever the law says it is and the words on any agreement have no bearing.

    Obviously, this is just our view and the court may agree with you that there is true sharing but this sounds like a “separate dwelling” to us and as such is an AST despite any labels put on it.

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