So, you bought several acres and want to place and live in a static caravan on it. It will be far away from the busy city, and your neighbors will be miles away too. The problem is, you do not know whether it is legal or not. Can you live in a static caravan on your own land?
According to the UK Government website, you can live in a static caravan on your own land if you get a planning council license. The planning council may give you specific rules on how your site should be laid out and what type of caravan you can use.
The laws about living in a static caravan on private land vary depending on where you live and how long you will live there. If it is a permanent residence and not an extension to your own home on the property, you will need to get permission from the planning council.
What Are the Laws About Living in Static Caravans on Personal Land?
Certain situations will have to be decided by the local planning council if you want to permanently have a static caravan on your property. However, you can have a static caravan on your property if:
- The caravan is used for builders or seasonal workers
- When members of an organization are approved with a caravan exemption license
- You are a member of an organization and have a caravan exemption license
- You have more than five acres, and you have less than three caravans for less than 28 days per year
- Your site is used for a social meeting place of caravan clubs
What is an Exempted Organization?
There are many different types of exempted organizations. Some of these may include:
- Boy Scouts Association
- Camping Club of Great Britain and Ireland, Ltd.
- Caravan Club
- Girl Scouts Association
- Motor Caravanners Club
Restrictions on Static Caravans on Your Own Land
The planning council may have certain rules about your static caravan. For someone with less than an acre of land, a static caravan will not be approved. Here are some additional restrictions:
- In particular cases, you are not allowed to live within a certain distance of neighbors or businesses
- The actual caravan structure must comply with the legal definition of a caravan based on its size and mobility, to include its method of construction
- The caravan must have proper and sanitary washing and toilet facilities approved by the council
- You can live in a static caravan on your property temporarily while building or working on your permanent residence
- Your caravan cannot be dilapidated or unsightly if it is visible to others in the area
Can Anyone Else Live in A Static Caravan on My Land?
The laws are the same for letting someone else live in a static caravan on your land. If they are seasonal workers and do not live there year-round, you do not need permission. However, some councils have different rules, so it is always best to check with your area council first.
But You Can Live in Your Garden
There is no law against living in a static caravan on your property within the curtilage of your home. The curtilage includes your driveway or garden.
So, as long as the caravan is parked in your garden or driveway and the people who stay in the caravan are also members of the family who live in the main residence, you do not even need a license for the caravan.
Additionally, if the caravan is used for extra room for visitors and the home’s main provisions will be used, you do not need permission or a license.
There is a Catch
You cannot use the caravan for a business or a rental property without applying for a planning council license. Those who stay in the caravan must not use it as a primary independent home. In other words, those who live in the caravan should go into the main household to take a shower or eat once in a while.
Send the Council a Letter
You can also consider sending an informal letter to the planning council stating that you are planning to park your caravan in your garden. State that you understand that you do not need a certificate of permission from the planning commission, but you wanted to confirm that. Give them the basics like your caravan’s size and where it will be located, then send it to your local council address.
There Are Other Options
You may want to consider leasing a caravan site in a caravan park. It may solve your problems if you get turned down by the planning council. Besides that, the park will take care of the property around your caravan, so you do not have to worry about performing your own lawn care. They also check out the caravan owners, so you do not have to worry about being around a bad crowd.
The problems with this idea are you will have to pay rent as well as maintenance. In some cases, you may also have to pay for security and other fees. And you will have to follow the rules like everyone else. Also, being in a caravan park means you will have neighbors nearby. You probably will not like that if you are trying to get away from the crowds.
It is Best to Just Get a License Instead
You cannot use a caravan park as a legal address either, so you will not be able to get your mail or apply for medical insurance at that address. It is also important to know that most caravan parks do not let you live there year-round either, so your best bet if you want to live in a caravan is to get planning approval first. As long as you follow the rules, you should not have any problem getting approval.
How Difficult is it to Get a License Approved?
A caravan is regarded as a chattel, whether it is a mobile home or an actual static caravan, which is movable personal property. To apply for planning permission, just contact your local Licensed Planning Association (LPA).
It is not difficult at all to apply. Just go to the local council website and put in your postcode, and they will direct you to the agency you need. Getting approved is not difficult as long as you are not violating any of the previously stated restrictions. Other items of importance include:
- It has to be large enough for the occupants
- The caravan must have independent living features like running water and sewer hookups
- The land has to be large enough for the size of your caravan
- You must be able to prove ownership
Talk to the Local Council
No matter what, it is best to be sure of your local council’s rules and laws before purchasing a caravan in the first place. You do not want to spend a bunch of money on something that you cannot even use. And once you buy it, the value drops drastically, so you probably will not get back as much as you put into it if you decide to sell.
Talking to your local planning authority or council before moving anything onto your property is also important. They are there to help you, after all, not to punish you. As long as you stay within the local rules and laws, you will not have to worry.