Can a Holiday Home be a Main Residence?

The short answer to the question; “can a holiday home be a main residence?” is no. To be classed as a holiday home, your property must not be your main residence and you will need to prove that you have a main residence before buying one.

In deciding which property is the main residence, HMRC consider the following questions: If the individual is married or in civil partnership, where does the family spend its time? If the individual has children, where do they go to school? At which residence is the individual registered to vote?

Home owners’ rights

You may also be interested in the fact that your rights are not the same as the owner of a holiday home in a holiday park as they are when you own a residential park home in a licensed park. Holiday home owners do not receive the protections that residential park home owners can expect under the Mobile Homes Act 2013. For instance, the Act allows you to sell your park home without interference from the park owner. You may want to check with your park management to see what you specifically can and cannot do with your holiday home on their park.

If your holiday home is situated in a holiday park, the whole park will most likely not be licensed for permanent residence (or at least not your part of it). This will mean that certain standards that apply to a residential park will not apply to the park in which your holiday home is located.

Build standards on a holiday home vs a residential park home

Build standards can also be very different in a holiday park home as compared to a residential park home.  The BS3632 standard is a legal requirement that all residential homes need to adhere to.  This standard ensures that properties can be safely and comfortably used on a permanent basis. Your holiday home will not necessarily meet these standards, so your health and safety is another reason why long-term residence is not permitted.

Residency restrictions

You may also find that the park has restrictions on the amount of time you can spend in consecutive days in your holiday home. This will probably depend on the local authority as each area has its own regulations governing this. You may want to bear in mind too, the fact that some holiday parks close down for a period each year, so access to your holiday home can be restricted in this way. As always, it is sensible to check these details first, before committing to any substantial financial outlay.

Confusion over this issue is sometimes raised when the phrase “12 months’ holiday use” is advertised. This does not mean 12 months’ continuous residence is allowed in your holiday home. It means that (subject to the continuous stay restrictions mentioned above) you can begin your stay at any time of year. So if there is a 28-day continuous use restriction, for instance, you could begin that 28 days any time you want.

A residential park home, on the other hand, will be in a park which is licensed by the local authority for all-year-round living, where you do have the right to permanent living.

Second homes

Another distinction you may want to make is that between a holiday home and a second home used for other purposes. A second home can, in certain circumstances, be available to be used as a residence for some of the year and is classed as a residence. It could also be a buy-to-let property or an investment property.

You may want to check the levels of council tax now levied on a second home in the area, if you have one. Since 2023, local authorities are allowed to levy up to double the normal rate of council tax on second homes that are not used as a main residence, particularly if they are not occupied. Again, it may be worth contacting the appropriate local council to check this before you commit yourself.

This is a marketing article from multi-award-winning Park Home Assist.

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Published – 08/03/24