Can you live in a static caravan all year round?
In recent years, as the ‘cost-of-living crisis’ bites and at the same time more people seek to live an ‘off-grid’ lifestyle, the question, can you live in a static caravan all year round, is often asked. The short answer, as is often the case, is that it depends.
It is important to check that you can legally call your static caravan your permanent residence before selling or moving out of your current home. This is because the consequences of getting this wrong can be severe. If you do not have a permanent residence, you may not be able to access certain services such as banking, doctors, vehicle and home insurance and may face eviction by the local council authority.
This article aims to clarify some of the things you may want to think about if you are considering moving into a static caravan.
The location of your static caravan is vitally important if you are looking to make it your permanent residence.
Can I live in a static caravan all year round in a residential park?
You may be able to live all year round in a static caravan on a residential park that has been licensed by the local authority for this purpose. The park is obliged by law to display their license and planning permission which will stipulate several things such as the number of dwellings they are allowed to have on site. Before taking up residence on a residential park you may be best served by checking that the one you choose is indeed complying with laws and regulations set by central government and local authorities.
You might also want to check the park’s own regulations before committing. Many have age restrictions (with a lower limit) to ensure a more peaceful atmosphere for residents, for instance. There may also be rules about pet ownership and the number of vehicles allowed to be parked on site.
Can I live in a static caravan all year round in a holiday park?
Holiday parks are not licensed for all-year round living and most have a 28-day limit to your stay, after which you have to leave for 48 hours before returning. Some holiday parks also have licence conditions which mean they are only able to remain open between 8-10 months of the year which could leave you having to find alternative accommodation whilst the park is closed. Holiday parks which break this rule may be in violation of their planning permission and subject to closure leaving the residents facing eviction.
Can I live in a static caravan on my own land?
You may be able to live in a static caravan on your own land, but only if you are granted planning permission from the local council. Rules about this differ from authority to authority, so you may want to investigate these in your area, or the area where you want to move to.
If your static caravan is in what is called the ‘curtilage’ of your home (the drive or garden but not other adjoining land) you may be granted permission from the local authority. However, you must still have your main dwelling as your permanent residence and the static caravan must not be treated as a self-sufficient unit (with its own separate utility supply etc.). You may use it to house guests but you cannot rent it out.
When you are building your main home, you may, in these circumstances be granted planning permission by the local authority to site a self-sufficient static caravan on your land for the duration of the build. This will be a monitored temporary arrangement that you may be able to negotiate with your local council.
Even if you have planning permission from a local council or you are going to site your static caravan on a residential park, it must meet certain build standards (a minimum standard is set as EN1647) before it can count as your main residence. You might also want to check with the park owners that there are not further rules specific to them, with which your static caravan must comply. Many parks for instance insist on at least a twin area dwelling, i.e., it has at least two separate living spaces such as a bedroom and a living area.
Finding the right place for you
Once you have found the best residential park for your needs or you have secured the right planning permission from your local authority, you are set to enjoy the freedom and relative simplicity of living in your caravan. This very often means being closer to spectacular scenery, with natural beauty on your doorstep, a vibrant community of like-minded people and a more affordable lifestyle.
We hope this article helps you to find the information you need to make the decisions most suited to your circumstances. If you decide that a residential static caravan is right for you, we are here to help with the specialist static caravan insurance cover you will need.
This is a marketing article from Park Home Assist, multi-award-winning providers of residential park home insurance. If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding insurance for your park home, please contact our friendly team in our Northampton office on 01604 946 796.
Please note that all insurance cover is subject to acceptance of terms and conditions.
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Published – 22/09/23