Letting agencies

Letting agents


Letting agents act on behalf of landlords.



What do letting agents do?


There are various different types of letting agencies. Some just find contract-holders for properties (these are often known as accommodation agencies). Others manage properties on behalf of landlords and the contract-holders may never have any direct contact with the landlord.

Letting agencies often:

  • find contract-holders
  • collect rent
  • manage the property
  • arrange repairs
  • provide occupation contracts and inventories.

Choosing a letting agency


Checking the agent has a Rent Smart Wales licence

Letting agents in Wales must be licensed under the Rent Smart Wales scheme. Don’t be afraid to ask the agent if they have a licence. If they do then they must keep to the requirements of a Code of Practice and can face penalties if they don’t comply. You can check to see if an agent has a licence here. See our pages on Landlord registration and licensing for more information.

Checking the agent is a member of a redress scheme

Rent Smart Wales require that letting agents belong to a redress scheme. If you are a contract-holder and you have a complaint about a letting agent, you can raise the complaint to a letting agent redress schemes. It is usually a requirement to have raised the complaint with the letting agent first.  There are two official schemes:

Checking the agent has Client Money Protection (CMP)

Rent Smart Wales also requires that agents have Client Money Protection (CMP) if the agent handles money from any of their ‘clients’ (this means landlords and contract-holders). CMP schemes make sure contract-holders are compensated if the agent cannot pay money they owe, e.g.if the agent goes out of business and should have repaid your deposit. There are a number of CMP schemes, including Safeagent and Propertymark.

Checking whether the agent is a member of another professional body

There are a range of other professional bodies that exist to help, and provide guidance to, letting agents.  There are a number of professional bodies, including PropertyMark, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA). These professional bodies usually have a code of conduct that an agent should adhere to, and they usually list members on their websites.


What else should I ask the letting agent?


Before agreeing to take accommodation from a letting agency find out:

  • what the agency does on behalf of the landlord (e.g. will they manage the property?)
  • what sort of occupation contract they are offering
  • how long the landlord wants to rent out the property
  • what charges you will have to pay before you move in
  • how much the rent is and how often it’s paid
  • how the agency wants the rent paid.

Can letting agencies charge?


Letting fees in Wales are banned. This means it is an offence for landlords and letting agents to charge them. Find out here which fees are banned and what you can do if you are charged a banned fee.

Letting agents should advertise any costs that you would need to pay in order to begin renting a property, including the holding deposit, security deposit and how much the rent is.


‘No DSS’ policies


It is discrimination for a letting agent to refuse to rent to you because you are on benefits or have a ‘no DSS’ policy. If this happens to you, use our Challenging DSS Discrimination toolkit to find out what you can do.


We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
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Landlord registration and licensing

Landlord registration and licensing


Landlord registration and licensing helps monitor private landlords and agents and ensure they are suitable people to let out property.

The registration and licensing scheme in Wales is run by Rent Smart Wales.

If you live in an House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) your landlord must comply with the Rent Smart Wales scheme in addition to complying with extra licensing rules. Our page on HMO’s explains these rules in more detail.



What is landlord registration?


All private landlords of occupation contracts in Wales must be registered with Rent Smart Wales. This means that if you have a fixed term standard contract or a periodic standard contract your landlord should be registered. Your landlord should also be registered if you have a regulated tenancy  If  s/he is not registered then they will be committing an offence and can face penalties.

In order to register, a landlord must provide accurate and up-to-date information about themselves and all of their properties that they operate in Wales. They will also have to pay a fee.


What is landlord licensing?


Any person who lets or manages an occupation contract or regulated tenancy in Wales must have a licence from the Rent Smart Wales scheme. This includes landlords who self-manage their properties and letting agents who may have been appointed by the landlord.

This means that if you have a fixed term standard contract, periodic standard contract or a regulated tenancy your landlord or their letting agent should have a licence. If they do not have a licence they might be committing an offence and could face penalties.


How does my landlord/agent get a licence?


The application for a licence can be made online at the Rent Smart Wales website or by requesting a paper application by ringing 03000133344.

To submit a valid licence application, the landlord or agent must:

  • pay a fee,
  • declare that they are a ‘fit and proper’ person, and
  • provide evidence that they have been on training about their rights and responsibilities as a landlord.

The licence will last for 5 years, after which a renewal application is required. In order to keep their licence, the landlord or agent must keep to the requirements of a Code of Practice. If you are worried about the conduct of your landlord or agent who is licensed you can report it to Rent Smart Wales who will investigate. If your landlord or agent is not following the Code of Practice, they run the risk of losing their licence or not being able to have their licence renewed when it expires. Complaints can be made anonymously if you prefer.


What is the ‘fit and proper person’ test?


The ‘fit and proper person’ test means that private landlords and agents have to meet a certain standard before they can legally rent out property. The test is designed to weed any bad landlords or agents out of the system and to improve the standards in the private rented sector generally. This should give you, as a contract-holder, extra protection from bad landlords.


How does the ‘fit and proper person’ test work?


When Rent Smart Wales receives an application for a licence from a landlord or agent, they will have to decide whether or not the landlord is a ‘fit and proper person’ to let out property.

In deciding whether an applicant is ‘fit and proper’ Rent Smart Wales can consider information showing that the applicant, or anyone associated with them, has done any of the following:

  • committed a criminal offence
  • discriminated against someone in any business activity
  • broken any other laws in relation to housing.

A criminal conviction doesn’t necessarily mean that an applicant won’t pass the test. Rent Smart Wales will have to look at every case individually and decide whether the information received will affect the person’s ability to be a good landlord or agent. They can also consider anything else that is relevant.


What training does my landlord or agent have to do in order to get a licence?


Before they can be given a licence your landlord or agent must show evidence that they have been on relevant training, covering the main rights and responsibilities of renting and managing properties in Wales.


How do I find out if a landlord is registered and/or licensed?


If you’re looking for a place to rent, you should check that the landlord is registered and has complied with the licensing rules before you agree to move in or sign an occupation contract. You can do this by checking the public register online or you can phone 03000 133344.  You will need either the landlord or agents name and the address of the property.

If your landlord and/or agent is licensed but you are having concerns about their conduct you can report this to Rent Smart Wales who will investigate the problem.


What if my landlord isn’t registered or my landlord/agent has not yet got a licence?


If your landlord is not registered, or has not yet obtained a licence or appointed an agent who is licensed, make sure you let them know that they should do so – it’s possible that they may not have realised yet.

Action by Rent Smart Wales or your council
Landlords or agents that are not registered or complied with the licensing rules can be prosecuted. They may also face one of the following penalties:

  • a fixed penalty notice – giving them the option to pay a fixed penalty of £150 or £250 (depending on the offence) rather than have a conviction
  • a rent stopping order (RSO) – stopping rent being paid by the contract-holder for a period
  • a rent repayment order (RRO)– requiring them to repay any rent, housing benefit or universal credit received for a period.

It is up to your local council or Rent Smart Wales to decide what action to take if your landlord or agent does not register or get the right licence. Contact your council’s public protection department or Rent Smart Wales directly if you are concerned.

Action by the contract-holder
Where a landlord has been successfully prosecuted, or a RRO has already been made in respect of housing benefit or universal credit, contract-holders can apply to the Residential Property Tribunal themselves for a RRO so that they can have some of their rent repaid. If you want to do this contact the Residential Property Tribunal Wales. Any application by a contract-holder must be made within 12 months of any conviction or RRO and costs £155 (unless you are on certain income related benefits). The application form for a contract-holder to apply is here.

Restriction on eviction
If you have a fixed term standard or periodic standard contract and your landlord :

  • is not registered, and
  • has not either obtained the proper licence, or appointed an agent who is licensed

any ‘no fault’ notice they may have given you to end your occupation contract cannot be relied on to evict you. This includes the following types of notices:

If you receive a notice and are in this situation, see our eviction pages and get help as soon as possible.


Where can I found out more information?


Rent Smart Wales has produced a Guide for Tenants in Wales, which sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords, agents and contract-holders in Wales, including more information about licensing. You may also stay up to date with Rent Smart Wales on Facebook or Twitter.


We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
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Renting or buying a mobile home on a site

You will need to rent somewhere to put your mobile home


When looking at renting or buying a mobile home on a site, you should take account of the same factors as you would when looking at a traditional home, for example, cost, location, and safety. The page on ‘things to consider‘ has other examples.

There are also other, more specific, factors you should consider when looking to buy or rent a mobile home:


Is the mobile home stationed on a protected site?


A protected site has planning permission and a site licence from the council. In order to receive a site licence, the mobile home site or park must reach certain standards. Find out more about standards and condtitions on protected sites and site licences on the page about mobile home sites and conditions. Mobile home residents who live on a protected site have many more rights than residents who live on an unprotected site, including more protection from eviction.

Before moving in, ask to see a copy of the site licence. Check that the site is licensed for residential use, not just as a holiday site, and that it conforms to the standards set out in the site licence.

Visit the site and check the following:

  • Are there adequate fire safety precautions in place?
  • Are the mobile homes spaced sufficiently apart?
  • Is there an adequate supply of electricity, gas, water and sewerage facilities? You could ask other residents about this.

You could also contact the council and ask if there have been any problems with the site licence. The environmental health department will usually hold the licence.


Does the site owner own or lease the land?


It’s important to find out whether the site owner actually owns the land the site is based on, or whether they lease it from someone else. If they lease it, ask how long their lease will last. When their lease ends, your right to stay on the pitch will end as well. This means that if, for example, the lease is for five years, you may have to leave the site at the end of those five years.


Is the site owner a member of a recognised organisation?


Find out if the site owner is a member of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) or the National Caravan Council. All BH&HPA and NCC members must agree to abide by the Park Home Owners’ Charter, which lays down the rights and responsibilities for site owners and park residents. Generally, this means that the park is more likely to be well maintained and you are more likely to receive a high standard of service.

LEASE has information about site obligations and rights.

Park home site owners may also be registered with a scheme such as the Gold Shield Ten Year Warranty, which will ensure that all the homes in their park conform to British safety standards.


How much will it cost?


Before you move in, ask the site owner about the cost involved.

  • How much is the rent for the mobile home?
  • Will you have to pay a deposit?
  • How much are the pitch fees and how much have they gone up over the past few years?
  • What are the service charges (for example, the supply of electricity, gas, water and sewerage) and how are they calculated?

What do other residents think about the site?


Talk to other people who live on the site to get their opinion. Mobile home parks are small communities: can you see yourself fitting in?


Do you agree with the rental terms and park rules?


Ask the site owner if you can see a copy of the agreement you’ll have to sign and a copy of the site rules. Read this carefully before making any decisions.

  • Does the agreement include a plan of the site?
  • Is your pitch clearly marked?
  • What services are supplied and how much will you pay for them?
  • Are there any rules you think are unfair, for example concerning guests or pets?
  • Can the site owner change the rules without consulting you?

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

Owning a mobile home

If you own your mobile home, you may need to rent a pitch


Most people who own their mobile homes still need to rent a pitch to station it on. If you own a mobile home on a rented pitch, your rights come from the law and from your agreement with the site owner. This page covers both protected sites and unprotected sites.


Rental Agreements


When you rent a pitch to place your mobile home on, you should have a rental agreement with the site owner, which gives you certain legal rights

However, these rights only apply if:

  • you own your mobile home, and
  • you rent the pitch it’s stationed on, and
  • your mobile home comes within the legal definition, and
  • your mobile home is your only or main residence, and
  • you live on a protected site.

So, for example, these rights don’t apply if:

  • you own a mobile home on a rented pitch but only use it for holidays, or
  • you live on a holiday site.

Resolving disputes


Any disputes over your rental agreement can be settled in the county court, or by applying to an external arbiter. However, you can only apply to an arbiter if both you and the site owner have agreed to this in writing.

An arbiter has the same powers as the court, in that they can change or add something to your rental agreement. However, they can’t force you or the site owner to comply with their decision – in this case you would need to go to the court. In addition, once the arbiter has made their decision, neither you nor the site owner can appeal against it.

Arbitration is a cheaper option than going through the courts. However, if the site owner wants to evict you, it’s best to go to the county court rather than an arbiter.


Right to a written statement


Once you have come to an agreement with the site owner to rent a pitch, you are legally entitled to a written statement. This should include:

  • the names and addresses of the parties
  • the date of commencement
  • a description of the land and a plan of the pitch that the mobile home is to be stationed on
  • the site owner’s interest in the land
  • your rights to ‘quiet enjoyment’ (to live in your home without unnecessary interference from the landlord)
  • the site owner’s right to enter the pitch
  • the obligations of the occupier and owner
  • the pitch fee and the period for which it is payable
  • how and when the pitch fee can be increased
  • any other additional charges
  • the statement of terms implied by the law, and
  • any express terms of the agreement.

All written statements should start with an explanation that they set out the terms on which the occupier is allowed to stay on the site. It should also state that an occupier should obtain legal advice if there is something they do not understand.

The written statement is evidence of the agreement between the mobile home owner and the site owner but this is not the agreement itself.

The written statement should be given at least 28 days before the agreement is entered into.

If you’re not given a written statement you can apply to the court for an order requiring the site owner to provide one.


Implied terms


There are terms to your agreement with the site owner that are laid down in law and cannot be changed. These are called ‘implied terms’ and they include:

  • how the agreement can be ended
  • your right to sell your mobile home
  • your right to gift your mobile home
  • your rights regarding succession
  • your rights if the mobile home is to be re-sited.

How the agreement can be ended


You can end the agreement at any time, provided that you give the site owner at least four weeks’ notice in writing.

If the site owner wants you to leave, they must give you at least four weeks’ notice. If you have not left after the notice runs out, they must get an order from the court before you have to leave.


Right to sell your mobile home


Normally when you sell your mobile home you pass on the agreement you have with the site owner to the person you are selling to.

The site owner should approve the new owner, but should not refuse their approval unreasonably. The only factor they can take into account when deciding whether to give approval is the suitability of the new owner. If your site owner is refusing to give their approval unreasonably, you can apply to the courts for a decision. The site owner can claim a commission payable on the sale, but cannot claim any other payment.

You may be able to sell your mobile home to the site owner if they are interested, but they do not have the right of first refusal (being offered the chance to buy your home before anyone else). Even if your agreement says that they do have the right of first refusal, they probably won’t be able to insist on it.


Can I give my mobile home to someone else?


You can give your mobile home, and pass on the agreement, only to a member of your family. The definition of a family member is very wide, covering anyone you are related to by marriage, including stepchildren, and people living together as husband and wife, civil partnerships and same-sex couples. The gift must be made to a person approved by the site owner, but the site owner cannot withhold their approval unreasonably.


Can I pass my mobile home on when I die?


If your spouse or civil partner was living with you at the time of death, they will inherit the agreement with the site owner and all the rights that you had. If there is no spouse or civil partner, any family member living with you at the time of your death can inherit the agreement.

The rules are different when there are no family members living with you to inherit your mobile home. In this case, the person who inherits your mobile home is able to sell it on site and pass on the full agreement to the buyer, provided the site owner agrees. However, the person who inherits the mobile home does not have an automatic right to live there or give it to a member of their family, unless the site owner agrees that they can.


Can the site owner claim commission on a sale?


Yes. The site owner can usually claim commission of up to 10 per cent of the sale price. Site owners can choose to claim a lower percentage, but cannot charge a higher one.

The site owner cannot claim a commission if your mobile home was given as a gift to a family member.


Can the site owner move me to another pitch?


The site owner can only move your mobile home to another pitch for essential or emergency repair works. If the owner wants to move your mobile home for any other reason, and you do not agree with the move, s/he must make an application to the county court. The court must be satisfied that the move is reasonable. In addition:

  • the new pitch must be broadly comparable to the original pitch, and
  • the site owner is liable for any costs incurred during the move.

If the mobile home is to be removed for repairs to the pitch, the site owner must return your mobile home to its original when the work is completed.


Express terms


When you make the agreement, both you and the site owner can agree to add in additional ‘express terms’ or conditions, provided they don’t come into conflict with the implied terms, which are your rights by law. For example, you can include terms about:

  • the provision of services
  • the sums of money you will have to pay for use of the pitch and services, and when you should make the payments
  • any age restrictions for residents
  • your responsibilities to abide by the park’s rules
  • the rights of the occupier to ‘quiet enjoyment’
  • if any pets are allowed on the site.

It is important to make sure that the express terms are included in your written statement; otherwise they may be difficult to enforce.


Can the express terms be changed?


Once a written statement has been issued both you and the site owner can apply to the court within six months to have any of the express terms changed or deleted. Once six months have passed, they become legally binding and cannot be changed, so it’s important to look at them carefully during the six-month period.

However, the right to change the express terms only applies to new agreements. If the mobile home has been given to you or if you have bought a second-hand home in a park, you won’t have the right to change the express terms of the written statement and neither will the site owner.


Pitch fees


Written agreements usually contain a section that states when pitch fees can be reviewed and how any increase will be calculated.

Things that might be taken into account when calculating a pitch fee increase include:

  • inflation
  • money that the site owner has spent on making improvements to the park
  • any other factors to do with the park.

If you are unhappy with a pitch fee review you should write to the site owner and ask how it was calculated. If you are not happy with the response, you should keep paying the old amount but refuse to pay the increase.

The site owner will either negotiate a smaller increase with you or start legal proceedings. You also have the right to apply to the county court to settle this dispute. Get advice from a Shelter Cymru adviser or Citizens Advice Bureau.

The new pitch fee cannot come into effect until both you and the site owner have agreed it or the county court has decided the matter for you. Therefore, until a decision is made, the site owner cannot claim that you have rent arrears just because you have not paid the increase.

However, once the new increase has been decided on, you will have to pay the backdated increase from the review date. This could end up being a substantial amount of money, so it’s best to set aside enough money to cover the full amount of the proposed increase while the dispute is going on.


Will I have to pay any other charges?


Beside pitch fees, you may have to pay additional service charges, for example for the gas, electricity, water and sewerage, or for the maintenance of the site, such as gardening. However, any charges you have to pay must be listed in the express terms.

If you’re not happy about paying for certain services, you can try to get the relevant express terms changed during the six-month period after the written statement has been issued.


Park rules


The express terms of your written statement may well include a responsibility to stick to the park rules. These cover such things as:

  • whether you’re allowed to keep pets
  • where you can park vehicles
  • where you can hang washing out
  • considerate behaviour, for example there may be restrictions on playing loud music at night.

Who enforces park rules?


Park rules are enforceable by the site owner but not by other occupiers. For example, if you have a noisy neighbour you will have to persuade the site owner to take action against them. However, unless the express terms state that the site owner is responsible for enforcing the rules, you cannot make them take action against rule breakers if they choose not to.


Can the site owner change the park rules?


The site owner should not be able to change the park rules without first consulting with the park residents. If your site owner is a member of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, they have to give you 28 days’ notice before they can change rules that affect the park.

If you disagree with the proposals you should tell the owner in writing. If you can get at least of a third of the people living in your park to ask the site owner for a meeting, the site owner will either have to withdraw the proposals or meet with you to discuss and vote on them. If less than a third of the occupiers write to the site owner, the changes will go ahead after 28 days.


Do I need a new agreement if the site is sold to a new owner?


No. When a new owner buys a site, the existing agreements have to be honored. The new owner cannot change your agreement until it has come to an end. The new owner cannot change the park rules either without the agreement of all the mobile home owners.


Do I need to get permission from the site owner if I want to make changes to my pitch?


Yes. If you want to put anything on your pitch or mobile home, for example, decking or a porch, you should ask the site owner first. If possible get permission in writing as it can be useful if a dispute should arise later.


The Park Home Owners’ Charter


Many residential mobile home park owners have signed up to the Park Home Owners’ Charter, drawn up by the National Park Homes Council and the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, along with park home residents committees. This explains your rights and obligations when you buy, live in and sell your mobile home

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

Buying a mobile home

Finding a mobile home to buy


Most people in mobile homes own their own home. There are several ways to buy a mobile home such as a caravan, motorhome or park home. This page explains how to go about finding a mobile home to buy.


A home already stationed on a site or in a park home


If you want to live in a park home, you will probably need to purchase a home already stationed in the park. Most park homes do not rent out pitches for people to station their own mobile homes on. If you are interested in buying a mobile home stationed on a site or park, you can search for mobile homes to buy at the British Holiday & Home Parks Association’s UK parks website. The National Caravan Council website lists caravan parks across the UK.


Direct from a manufacturer, sales centre or dealer


The UK Parks website has links to park home manufacturers in the UK – bear in mind that you will need somewhere to station the mobile home, and most park homes will not rent out pitches for this purpose. Find details of caravan and motorhome dealers near you in the Yellow Pages.


Second hand from a private dealer


Websites such as RV Sales and Autotrader offer caravans and motorhomes for sale.


How much does a mobile home cost?


Depending on their condition, caravans can cost anything from a few hundred pounds, while park homes cost upwards of £20,000, making them significantly cheaper than traditional bricks and mortar property. However, bear in mind that you will have to pay a pitch fee and service charges as well, and that the value of a mobile home will not increase in line with traditional properties.


Can I get a mortgage?


Banks and building societies don’t offer mortgages for buying mobile homes. Some sales centres offer financial packages, while some financial institutions, such as RoyScot Larch, specialise in loans for mobile homes. Bear in mind that the interest rates on your loan will be significantly higher than the average interest rates charged for a mortgage.


Will I have to pay stamp duty?


There is no stamp duty to pay when you buy a mobile home.


Do I need a survey?


If you are thinking of buying a park home, it’s best to get a surveyor with specialist knowledge of mobile homes to look over the property and the site. They may be able to spot problems that could cost you a lot of money in the future.


Will I have to rent a pitch?


Unless you buy land on which to site your mobile home, you will have to pay pitch fees to the owner of the site you live on. Pitch fees will vary in price, but are usually around £70-£120 a month. Read the page on mobile home sites to find out what you need to consider when looking at a site.

There are laws regulating the renting of pitches that give you certain rights, including protection from eviction. When you buy your mobile home, you are entitled to a written statement laying out the terms and conditions of renting the pitch and living in the park.

If you are buying a new home in a park, you will be able to negotiate the terms of the agreement with the site owner. However, if you are buying a second-hand home, you will have to abide by the previous owner’s agreement. This means:

  • on the downside, you won’t be able to change any conditions you’re unhappy with
  • on the upside, the site owner cannot change the conditions either and so, for example, cannot increase the pitch fees when you move in.

The section on owning a mobile home explains more.


Will I need a solicitor?


When entering into any legal contract, it’s best to get a solicitor to look over the rental agreement before you commit yourself. Make sure you find a solicitor experienced in mobile home law, or at least in housing law. You can find a solicitor at The Law Society website. You can also get free housing advice from a Shelter Cymru adviser or Citizens Advice Bureau.


Restrictions on rights


Mobile home owners who rent a pitch do not enjoy all the rights that ‘bricks and mortar’ home owners have.

  • You’re not free to sell or give away your mobile home to anyone you like, or leave it in your will to anyone you like. The site owner must approve the new owner, although they shouldn’t withhold their permission unreasonably.
  • When you sell your mobile home, you have to pay 10 per cent commission on the sale to the site owner. The section on owning a mobile home explains these restrictions in more detail.
  • In certain circumstances, you could be evicted from the site. Find out more by reading the page on eviction of mobile home owners from a pitch.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

Renting a mobile home

Renting a mobile home


Most mobile home residents buy their own park homes or caravans. However, it is possible to rent a mobile home on a site.



How do I find a mobile home to rent?


Most caravans, motorhomes and park homes are only available to rent for holidays. However, some residential parks do offer properties to rent on a more permanent basis.

You can search for mobile homes to rent at UK Parks.

Many mobile home occupiers rent caravans through their family or friends. However, be aware that if you are renting a caravan on someone’s land and they don’t have permission and a site licence, you will have very few rights and can be evicted easily.


How much rent will I have to pay?


Mobile home rents should be cheaper than traditional properties. However, there are no controls over rent for mobile homes, so you will need to negotiate with the landlord.

You will probably also have to pay pitch fees and service charges to whoever owns the site that the mobile home is on.


Can I claim Housing Benefit?


Yes. Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent or pitch fees if you are on a low income. For more information click here.


What are my rights if I rent a mobile home?


If you rent a mobile home, your rights will be set out in the law and in the agreement you have with your landlord. This will either be a written or a verbal agreement. You have stronger rights if you live on a ‘protected’ site.

Many mobile or park home sites have rules stating that you can’t live there all year round. This is usually because the site operator’s licence is for holiday letting and forbids using the site as a primary residence. It is very important that you check whether there are periods when you can’t stay there as you can be evicted very easily from a site that doesn’t permit year-round residential use.

Get help if you are unsure.

For advice if you are being evicted from a mobile home, click here.


We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

Mobile home accommodation

Things to consider if you’re thinking about a mobile home


Moving in to mobile home accommodation can be a big step. There are lots of things you should consider before you buy or rent a mobile home.



What is a mobile home?


Mobile homes can vary greatly in size and type. A mobile home could be:

  • a caravan
  • a trailer or motorhome
  • a prefabricated bungalow (sometimes called a park home).

Why choose a mobile home?


Mobile homes are an economical housing option. Some people, particularly those of retirement age, choose to move into mobile accommodation, often selling traditional property to do so. In many rural areas, where there is not enough council housing available or where house prices are beyond your reach, a mobile home may be your only option.


What should I consider when looking for a mobile home?


When you buy or rent a mobile home, you need to think about:

  • what the home itself is like
  • where you are going to put it
  • whether you can live there all year round
  • how much you will have to pay to the site owner for pitch fees
  • what agreement you will have with the site owner.

Can I put a mobile home on my own land?


Even if you own land to put a mobile home on, you will need planning permission and a site licence, which you can obtain by writing to the council.

Our pages on renting or buying a mobile home on a site explains what you should consider when looking at sites.

What if I can’t live on the site all year round?

Many mobile or park home sites have rules stating that you can’t live there all year round. This is usually because the site operator’s licence is for holiday letting and forbids using the site as a primary residence. It is very important that you check whether there are periods when you can’t stay there as you can be evicted very easily from a site that doesn’t permit year-round residential use.

Get help if you are in this situation.


Are there safety standards for mobile homes?


Yes. Park homes should be built to a British ‘residential’ Standard (BS3632). Various schemes exist, such as the Gold Shield Ten Year Warranty, to ensure that park homes comply with these standards. Make sure that any mobile home you buy is covered by a warranty.

A list of approved caravan, motorhome and caravan leisure home models can be found at the National Caravan Council (NCC) website. The NCC has checked these models and approved that they comply with UK legislation and safety regulations. They will carry an NCC approved sticker.


What are my rights if I buy or rent a mobile home?


Unfortunately, tenants or owners of mobile homes don’t have as many rights as owners or tenants of ‘bricks and mortar’ homes. This is because different laws apply to mobile homes.

To find out what your rights might be take a look at our pages on :

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

Getting an offer

Waiting for an offer


Each council has it’s own policy about how it offers properties in it’s area. The policy should tell you how you will be made an offer and give you an idea about how long you are likely to have to wait.

Depending on your situation, it can take many months, or even years, to be offered a community landlord property.



How do I find out what my council’s allocation policy is?


Each council has its own allocations policy.

A council’s allocations policy should tell you:

  • who can apply to go on the waiting list
  • which groups of people get priority
  • how long you have to live in an area to get on the waiting list
  • the size of property you will be considered for.

You should be able to find your council’s allocation policy on its website. Click here to find your local council. Leaflets explaining the allocations policy are usually available at libraries and council offices.


How long will I have to wait for an offer?


Your chances of getting an offer and how quickly you might get one depend on:

  • what is available in the areas you have asked to live in
  • the type and size of property you need (many areas have very few family sized houses available, for example)
  • how many people have higher priority (known as ‘preference’) than you on the waiting list.

In some areas there is a lot of housing available and you may get an offer quite quickly. But in popular areas, you may have to wait for years. If you don’t have much priority, you may have little realistic hope of being offered a place at all. You may need to look at other options, such as renting from a private landlord or applying as homeless, particularly if you need to move quickly.

You have the right to ask the council whether you are likely be offered a home and, if so, approximately how long it is likely to take. The council probably won’t be able to tell you exactly how long it will take, but should give you a rough idea.


Will I get a choice?


Councils and housing association usually allocate their properties through either:

  • a ‘choice based lettings’ scheme, or
  • a direct offer from the waiting list.

Your council might use either system or a combination of both.

In some areas, you can apply directly to local housing associations and ask to go on their waiting lists. Ask your council for details of any housing associations operating separate waiting lists in your area.


What does ‘choice based lettings’ mean?


If your council operates a CBL scheme, ask them for information about the rules. They vary from one area to another, but in most areas schemes work as follows:

  • Available properties are advertised locally, often in leaflets or newsletters available from local libraries, housing offices and community centres. There may also be a special website advertising properties in your area. To avoid missing out, check these regularly and stick to any deadlines for bids.
  • The available properties will say which type of household can bid for it (ie if it is for an elderly or disabled person, or for a household who needs a certain number of bedrooms).
  • You can then apply (or ‘bid’) for any particular properties that you like. In most areas, you can bid online, by phone, by text or by post. Different councils have different rules about how many properties you can bid for in one go.
  • The scheme then sorts the bids it receives in order of priority, and the person with the highest priority normally gets first refusal on the property.
  • If that person turns the offer down, the next person on the list gets the chance to see it, and so on. In some areas, more than one person may be invited to view the property at the same time.
  • If you refuse a property, the whole process starts again. However, some schemes will penalise you (ie. by taking away some of your priority points) if you turn down several offers, or don’t make any bids at all.

Many councils will give people with the most urgent need for rehousing a ‘priority card’. This will give you an advantage over anyone who bids for a particular property and doesn’t have one. Priority cards usually only last for a certain period of time (eg. 12 weeks) but this can be extended. If you’re worried that your priority card may be taken away because you don’t bid for any of the properties that are advertised, get advice.


How many offers will I get?


Councils and housing associations do not have to make you more than one offer of housing. When you make your application, ask how many offers you will get – most councils will only offer you one property.

Even if your council does have a policy of offering more than one property, you may have to refuse one before you are offered another – you are unlikely to be given a choice. You may also have to tell them why you’re turning the property down, which may cause problems if they think you didn’t have a good reason. Get advice and ask what their policy on refusals is before you decide.


What if the council offers me somewhere unsuitable?


Any housing the council offers you should be suitable for you and your household, as defined in their allocation scheme. The council should take a number of things into account when it decides what is suitable, such as:

  • where the property is
  • what condition it is in
  • whether it is the right size for your household
  • whether you will be able to afford it
  • social factors (such as whether it is close enough to any support services, or special schools that you need access to)
  • whether it will affect your health (eg. if you have difficulty getting up stairs)
  • whether you’d be at risk of racial harassment or domestic violence there.

The council should look at all of these issues, and should consider the effect that moving to the accommodation would have on the health and welfare of your whole household. They should only offer you accommodation that they believe is suitable for you.

If you don’t believe the offer is suitable, you can ask the council to review its decision. However, as there’s so much demand for social housing, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be offered something better, and, if the review decides that the property was ‘suitable’ you may not be entitled to another offer.

If you want to challenge the suitability of an offer, call Shelter Cymru’s helpline for some urgent advice first. Act quickly as there are time limits which apply.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

Who gets priority?

Who gets priority?


Community landlord waiting lists don’t work on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

By law, priority must be given to certain groups of people, such as people who are legally classed as homeless. Priority can also be given to other groups of people within a council area.



How do I know if I will be given priority?


Each council will have it’s own policy which says who gets priority for social housing in their area. This is usually called an ‘allocations policy’. To decide how much priority you get, your application should be assessed using the housing allocations policy.

By law, priority must be given to certain groups of people. This is called giving ‘reasonable preference’.

Each council can also decide who else gets priority within its area, and how much priority they get.

Being given ‘reasonable preference’ does not guarantee you a place. There might be a long waiting list and limited places available.

Many councils produce leaflets explaining their allocations policy. You can find these at the council’s office, or in libraries and community centres. You should also be able to find details online. Click on Gov.uk to find your local council’s website.


Priority if you are homeless or about to lose your home


If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness in the next 56 days, you should be given reasonable preference on the waiting list for a community landlord home.

You are also likely to be eligible to receive some help and advice from the council’s homelessness department, possibly including some emergency accommodation. If you have not already done so, ask to make a homelessness application.


Priority if you are living in very poor conditions


You may be given reasonable preference if your home:

  • is in serious disrepair
  • is overcrowded
  • is insanitary (ie. it doesn’t have proper drainage and sewerage)
  • lacks basic washing and cooking facilities.

The council will need to visit your home to inspect it and assess how bad the conditions are before it decides how much priority you should get. Some housing allocations policies have a scale of priority for poor conditions. If your situation is urgent because your home is in such bad condition that it is dangerous or potentially damaging to your health, you may be given higher priority (this is known as ‘additional preference’).


Priority if you need to move for medical or welfare reasons


You may get reasonable preference if anyone in your household:

  • has health problems that are made worse by where you live
  • has mobility problems that make it difficult to get around your home
  • suffers from a mental illness or depression, that is made worse by your accommodation
  • needs to move for social reasons, for example, a care leaver, or other vulnerable person, needing somewhere stable to live.

When you apply you should give as much information as possible about your health or social problems and how they are affected by where you are living. Explain the difficulties any medical condition causes in as much detail as you can. The council may contact your GP and you should include details of any other health worker or social worker who can support your application.

An assessment of your care or support needs should be carried out to make sure that any accommodation is right for you.


Priority if you need to live in the area to avoid hardship


You should also be given reasonable preference if you can show that there are special social or welfare reasons why you need to live in a particular area. This might be the case if, for example:

  • you or someone in your household is studying at a special school in the area
  • you need to be able to access specialist medical treatment or support in the area (for example if you’re leaving care and need to be close to people who can support you)
  • you need to be close to a relative so that you can look after her/him (or s/he can look after you)
  • you need to move to take up a specific job or training.

Extra priority if you have an urgent housing need


If you fit into any of the ‘reasonable preference’ groups outlined above, you may also be given ‘additional preference’ if you have an urgent housing need. This is like being given a head-start. An urgent housing need might be because:

  • you are homeless because you’re at risk of domestic or other abuse
  • you are homeless because you’ve been a witness or victim of crime and are at risk of intimidation
  • you are homeless because of harassment, threats or being attacked in the area due to your race, sexuality, gender, disability or religion
  • you need to move because of urgent medical needs and your property is unsuitable, or you need to move to receive care (this could be because you or a member of your household, has a life-threatening illness)
  • you are being discharged from hospital and the accommodation available is unsuitable (this applies to others in your household)
  • you need accommodation because you have left Armed Forces accommodation, or have a medical condition or disability caused by serving with the Armed Forces
  • your housing benefit has reduced because of the bedroom tax and you can no longer afford the rent. You would like to move to a smaller, more affordable, property.

These are just some examples. You might be given ‘additional preference’ for other reasons. All of your circumstances should be considered in deciding if you have an urgent housing need. Make sure you explain why you need to move, and what might happen if you don’t.


If you’ve been involved in antisocial behaviour


If the council believes that you, or any member of your household, have been involved in antisocial behaviour, they can take away any priority you have been given. This includes any ‘reasonable’ or ‘additional preference’ you have been given for the reasons outlined above.

When it makes a decision about this, the council will use the same criteria as it uses when assessing whether or not you are eligible. If the council decides that your priority should be taken away, they should write and tell you. If you get a letter about taking away your priority then you should get help. An adviser can look into your situation and may be able to help you show the council that what happened was not your fault, or was outside of your control.

If you have previously had your priority taken away but your circumstances have now changed (for example, you have not engaged in antisocial behaviour for a long time, or the person who was involved in anti-social behaviour has now left), then you can ask to make a fresh application.


When the council can reduce or take away priority


The council can only do this in certain situations, such as if:

  • you’ve behaved anti-socially since you first made your application (see above)
  • you have moved and the conditions in your new accommodation are better
  • you have moved to settled accommodation and are no longer homeless
  • you have recovered from an illness which gave you extra priority
  • you can afford to buy or rent accommodation for yourself.

If the council wants to take away your priority for any other reason and you don’t think it’s fair, get help.


What if I don’t think I’ve been given enough priority?


You can ask the council to review your application and make a new decision. It’s worth getting help first, as an adviser may be able to help you put together your case. For instance, you may need to arrange for a medical report to show how your health problems are affected by your current housing situation.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

Who is eligible to apply?

Who is eligible to apply for a community landlord home?


Eligibility for a community landlord home depends on your nationality, immigration status and if you’ve recently lived abroad. In Wales, it can also depend on your past behaviour.



What does ‘being eligible’ mean?


You won’t be allowed onto your council’s housing list or other community landlord waiting list if:

  • you are not eligible, or
  • you are treated as not eligible because of serious unacceptable behaviour.

Most people who are living in the UK permanently are eligible, but there are some exceptions.

Being eligible doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to be offered a place. It means that you are entitled to be considered for a home and to go on the waiting list. In many areas, there is very little housing available, so there is often a very long wait, and some people may never get an offer.


People from abroad


Only certain people from abroad are eligible to apply for a community landlord home.

Eligibility depends on whether you are a person ‘subject to immigration control’.

People who are subject to immigration control

If you are subject to immigration control you are not eligible for community landlord housing in Wales, unless:

  • you are a refugee
  • you have exceptional leave to remain in the UK, and your leave doesn’t state that you should have ‘no recourse to public funds’
  • you are habitually resident in the UK and your leave was granted without any conditions
  • you have humanitarian protection
  • you are an Afghan citizen who has served the UK Government, or
  • you have limited leave to remain in the UK on the grounds of ‘respect for family or private life’ under Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention and your leave doesn’t state that you should have ‘no recourse to public funds’.

You are not eligible for community landlord housing if your immigration status means you have ‘no recourse to public funds’.

People who are not subject to immigration control

If you are a person from abroad who is not subject to immigration control, you are eligible for community landlord housing in Wales if:

  • you are a classed as a ‘worker’ (or are a member of a worker’s family)
  • you are self employed (or a member of family of someone who is self-employed)
  • you, or a member of your family, have the right to stay here for other reasons

People from the European Economic Area (EEA) whose only right to reside in the UK is as a jobseeker, or who only have an initial right to reside for 3 months, are not eligible to apply for social housing. See our page on EU and EEA nationals for more information.

The council may contact the UK Visa and Immigration Centre if there is any doubt about your status.


UK citizens who have lived abroad


You may not be eligible to apply for community landlord housing immediately if you have been living outside the UK, Eire, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man for a lengthy period. This is because community landlords can only provide housing through an allocations scheme for people who are classed as ‘habitually resident’. When they assess your application, the council or other community landlord will decide whether you are habitually resident, and will look at things like:

  • where you live
  • where you work
  • where you have family or friends
  • the reasons why you have come to live in the area
  • where you intend to live in future
  • whether you have been ‘habitually resident’ in the past.

If it is decided that you’re not habitually resident, get help. The decision could affect your entitlement to benefits as well as your rights to housing.


Transfer applicants


If you already have a secure contract or an introductory standard contract with a community landlord, and are applying for a transfer, you are eligible regardless of your immigration status.


More advice


Immigration law is extremely complicated, so get advice before you apply for housing if you are not sure of your status:


Can past behaviour be taken into account?


You may not be eligible to go on the housing register if it is decided that you, or any member of your household, have been guilty of antisocial behaviour in the past. This may be the case if:

  • you have caused nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours, the landlord or contractors
  • you have used a property for illegal purposes (such as drug dealing)
  • you have been guilty of domestic violence.

In some cases, instead of deciding you are not eligible, the council may agree to put you on the housing register, but not give you any priority when deciding who to house.


What can I do if they say I am not eligible?


If you are in one of the situations outlined above, the council or community landlord you have applied to has no obligation to offer you a home.

They should write to you explaining their decision and the reasons for it. They should also explain to you that you have a right to ask for the decision to be reviewed. They should explain it to you in person if they think that you might not be able to understand the decision.

Asking for a review

You can ask for the decision about your application to be looked at again. This is called a ‘review‘. This might be worthwhile if you think your behaviour was not serious enough to mean you’re not eligible, or it happened so long ago that it shouldn’t count.

Applying for a judicial review

If the correct legal procedure hasn’t been followed when the decision about your application was made, or when dealing with your review, then you might be able to challenge this in court by judicial review. For example, if  relevant information has been ignored, such as how long you have been in the UK, or things that shouldn’t have affected the decision, such as non-housing debts, were taken into account.

You will need specialist help from a solicitor if you want to challenge the decision by judicial review.

Take a look at our page on challenging allocation decisions for more advice.

Making a fresh application

You can make a new application for the housing register if your circumstances change. This may be worthwhile if:

  • your immigration status changes after a time in the UK
  • you have paid off past rent arrears, or
  • you have not behaved in an unacceptable way for a long time, or the person guilty of that behaviour is no longer part of your household.

If the council do not let you apply again, then get help.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.



Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495


Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us