Inheritance Rules for Park Homes
The inheritance rules for park homes are different from a ‘bricks and mortar’ house and are worth getting to know for your peace of mind. If you have lost someone and are worried about your own future and the future of your park home this guide is designed to help.
If you live in a park home and are concerned about what happens to it and to the future security of anyone who may live with you, this guide should also assist you.
Can I live in the park home I have inherited?
When a park home owner dies, all the provisions of the Will or intestacy (if there was no Will) apply to the park home itself. However, you may not have an automatic right to live in the park home you have inherited. This will depend on whether you were living in it at the time and on your relationship to the deceased, knowing what the rules are can help reassure you.
If you lived in the park home already:
If you were living in your park home with a spouse, partner or other family member when they died, you can stay where you are. Be assured that the written occupation agreement (between the deceased and the park home site owner) will automatically pass to you. You may simply need to prove that you are a family member. ‘Family member’ includes parents, grandparents, children (including stepchildren) and grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, civil partners and cohabitees.
This is the case even if there is no Will and if you are not named on the occupation agreement. You will automatically have the right to continue living there under the terms of the agreement.
This also still applies even if ownership of the park home is left to someone else in the Will of the deceased. For instance, if you were living with the deceased as partner or spouse but they left the park home to another family member or another person in their Will, the occupation agreement still passes to you with all the rights and obligations of occupancy. The executor of the Will may need to assign the occupancy agreement to you and may also need to show the residential park owner the death certificate and/or grant of probate if there is one. You should check this with the residential park owner.
Be aware that actual ownership of the park home still rests with the person named in the Will but you do have rights to occupancy, which means it cannot simply be sold out from under you. Depending on your situation, you can seek a buyout agreement, as the mutually beneficial way out of any potential conflict of interest between the new owner and you.
If you did not live in the park home already:
If you have inherited a park home you were not living in, there is no automatic right to live there. Once the assets of the estate have been distributed, if you want to live in the home you will need to have the occupation agreement transferred into your name.
Remember that the majority of residential parks have strict rules about who can live there. These often involve a minimum age limit and rules about car and pet ownership.
It is worth remembering also that obligations included in the occupation agreement for maintenance and pitch fees, will now be the responsibility of the new owner, whether they have the right to live in the home or not. Remember that maintaining your park home is a condition of your park home insurance. Our previous news items provides some tips on park home maintenance.
Can I sell the park home I have inherited?
Yes, you can. Your inherited park home is your property to sell or rent out as long as there is no conflict with an occupying partner. You will need to inform the residential park owner. The new occupant will of course need to meet the residential park regulations on age and pet and car ownership.
Don’t forget to declare to HMRC which of your homes is the main residence within two years. And remember to declare any income if you are renting it out.
If you are concerned about any of this, consult a lawyer who specialises in park homes.
To find out more about insurance for your park home, call our specialist insurance advisers on 01604 946 796. To stay up to date about topics like this, please like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.