Environmental health in local councils
All caravan parks in Northern Ireland must be licensed by the district council.
The licence says the number of caravans allowed on the site, their spacing and health and safety matters. Environmental health officers in local councils can investigate complaints about caravan parks.
Trading Standards Service
This service is responsible for enforcing consumer protection law. They give advice and investigate complaints.
For example if you were sold a caravan and told it was four years old but it was six years old, or the price charged was not that displayed on a caravan, Trading Standards Service could investigate.
They can also look at any arrangements that could form an unfair contract term; for example:
- terms that exclude the park owner’s liability to supply a caravan of satisfactory quality, fit for its purpose and matching the description given
- exclude the park owner’s liability for negligence in causing death or injury, or damage to your caravan, car or other belongings
- are not clear about what you have to pay both now and later on
- let the park owner make significant changes to your rights and obligations without consulting you, or for reasons that are not clear
- tie you into buying goods and services from the park owner for no valid reason
- let the park owner move you from your pitch without a valid reason
- prevent you during the period of the pitch licence from selling the caravan and transferring the pitch licence to someone else, though the park owner can legitimately require you to get his consent first, provided he does not refuse it unreasonably
- allow the park owner to make you buy a new caravan to be able to stay on the park, when your caravan is of a good standard and the licence period has not expired
- give the park owner the right to sell your belongings to recover money you owe them
- make you pay an extreme interest rate, or extra penalty charges, for late payment of fees and charges
- allow the park owner complete freedom to decide the meaning of terms in the agreement
- allow the park owner complete freedom to decide whether you are in breach of the agreement and to penalise you
- allow the park owner to end the agreement for minor breaches of the agreement,
- impose unreasonable restrictions or conditions on your use of the caravan
- refer to other documents or terms that you have not seen,
- are long, legalistic or in other ways unclear
- Trading Standards Service
The main associations representing caravan park owners are the British Holiday and Home Parks Association (BHHPA) and the National Caravan Council (NCC).
They have a Code of Practice under which caravan owners are entitled to a written licence agreement.
This sets out how the period of the licence agreement is to be determined and the arrangements for selling a caravan on the park. It also includes details of a complaints procedure and arbitration.
The code applies if the park owner is a member of the BHHPA or the NCC.BHHPA
6 Pullman Court
Great Western Road
The following organisations can also provide help and advice:
If you have any enquiries or would like further information about the Maximum Resale Price of electricity, contact OFREG: