COUNTY NEWS: Caravan park residents ‘living in fear’ after eviction notices

12/2/15- Beauport Park Caravan Park, The Ridge, Hastings. SUS-151202-114829001
12/2/15- Beauport Park Caravan Park, The Ridge, Hastings. SUS-151202-114829001
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Hundreds of residents at Beauport Holiday Park claim they are ‘living in fear’ after being served eviction notices.

They say Park Holidays, which runs the Hastings site, has told a number of holiday home owners they must leave after breaching their contracts.

The move comes after Rother District Council issued letters telling residents at the park they must pay council tax if they do not already pay it on another property.

While the residents are more than happy to pay council tax, Park Holidays insist people are not allowed to use the holiday park as their sole residence and failure to own another property elsewhere is a breach of contract.

One Beauport Park resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “We received a letter from the council to say we had to pay council tax if we don’t own another property.

“We’re all happy to do that but upon admitting we don’t have another property, we’re facing eviction from Beauport Park. We’ve shot ourselves in the foot with our honesty.

“I understand the holiday park has to do what it needs to do in order to keep its licence but our contract states we can live in the caravan for 50 weeks of the year, so long as we vacate it for at least two weeks, which we do. We just don’t know who to turn to about this.”

Another resident added, “We’re all living in fear of eviction – we’ll be homeless if they kick us out. Between 30 to 50 families have already been evicted and hundreds more have been given eviction letters. We’re so worried our family will be next.”

It was also claimed one gentleman who bought his holiday home for £100,000 just a few weeks ago has been offered £30,000 by Park Holidays to buy it back following his eviction notice.

However, a spokesman for Park Holidays said, “Caravan holiday homes at Beauport Holiday Park can not be used as permanent residences.

“This is made absolutely clear to customers before purchase, and the restriction is included in the sales contract.

“If it is brought to our attention a customer has no permanent address elsewhere, and is therefore living permanently in the holiday home, we may have no alternative but to withdraw our agreement to allow that person to occupy the holiday home on the park.

“Using a holiday home for residential purposes is unlawful under the terms of our site licence issued by the local authority, and therefore the company is legally obliged to take steps which will ensure our continued compliance with the licence conditions.

“To date, however, no licence withdrawals at Beauport have been made on the basis of a person’s liability to council tax.

“The difference between the purchase price and the selling price of a caravan holiday home is a factor of devaluation. As with a motor car, the sharpest fall is always recorded in the first year.

“We are satisfied that the trade-in prices we offer are a fair reflection of the value of that holiday home at that time. Owners, however, are not obliged to sell their holiday home back to the park, and are at liberty to seek a private buyer or to relocate it.”

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