Further to the statement by the Under-Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, my hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Wright) on 30 May 2009, in which he announced the Government’s intention to transfer most of the functions of county courts to residential property tribunals under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended), I am today announcing that, subject to parliamentary consent, the residential property tribunal’s new jurisdiction will come into force on 6 April 2010.
The aim of the transfer of the jurisdiction is to provide residents of mobile homes (including caravans) and the owners of sites on which they are located, with a level playing field in the resolution of disputes, by providing access to a dedicated, low-cost specialist (housing) tribunal, which can deal with cases quickly and without the parties needing to be legally represented.
I have also today published a paper setting out the Government’s response to the May 2009 consultation “Further consultation on termination provisions in the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended)”. The response paper sets out the reasons for the Government’s decisions not to transfer the “fact finding” role of county courts to residential property tribunals in respect of termination cases involving a breach of an agreement, or a claim that the resident of the park home is no longer occupying it as his only or main residence, but to do so in respect of claims relating to the detrimental condition of the home to the amenity of the site. A copy of the response paper has been placed in the Library of the House and is available on the Communities and Local Government website at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/ terminationprovisionsresponse