2020 has been a hard year for caravan holiday home owners after more than 365,000 of them saw their parks closed during both lockdowns. Now, after a survey conducted by In2Town Lifestyle Magazine, more than 72% of owners are demanding the Government bring in new laws to protect them if a new lockdown is announced.
Static Caravan owners want the Government to bring in new laws that allow holiday parks to stay open for caravan owners. Most owners who took part in the survey said they were disgusted they were still paying full site fees. A lot of those surveyed said they agreed that facilities on caravan parks should be closed. However, they felt caravan owners should still be allowed to use their caravan as there would be no risk of catching or spreading COVID19.
Caravan owners we spoke to said they could not understand why caravan parks were closed for owners. They felt they would be safer at their caravan than at home. Static Caravan owners are pleading with the Government to bring in new laws to protect them if a third lockdown is announced. They want the Government to keep caravan parks open so they can use them and stay safe during a lockdown.
An owner from Hull who did not wish to be named said: “The caravans are not near to each other on our site. There is no chance of catching COVID19 if people stick to the rules of social distancing. I have serious health problems and I would feel safer at my caravan than in Hull where I live.”
The 68-year woman explained that she had not left her home during the first lockdown due to the fear of COVID19 and has not left her home during the second lockdown. She explained being forced to stay indoors was affecting her mental health, whereas if she was at her caravan, she would feel free and would be able to have a walk outdoors.
Caravan owners are not just calling on the Government to keep caravan parks open during a third lockdown. If caravan parks are not allowed to open, then they want the Government to protect them and stop caravan parks from charging full site fees. They want the same protection as holidaymakers.
During both lockdowns, most caravan parks closed to holidaymakers and caravan owners due to Government guidelines. However, while holidaymakers were issued with refunds most owners of holiday homes were forced to pay their full site fees.
The average yearly cost of site fees for a caravan owner stands at £4,000 plus other charges. One caravan owner who approached our caravan and camping magazine editor said she was disgusted that her park had only issued her with a £500 refund.
The 42-year-old woman from Birmingham who did not wish to be named explained: “I pay over £5,000 a year to have my caravan sited on a holiday park. The park has only been opened for less than five months this year. I am not blaming the caravan park, but I am blaming the Government.”
Another caravan owner who wanted to protect her identity has a caravan in Devon. The caravan owner who lives in Manchester said she was disgusted with the Government and her caravan park. She explained that her holiday park gave her a £450 refund for the site being closed when she pays more than £6,000 in site fees. She believes that caravan owners should have the same rights as holidaymakers and should receive a full refund of site fees for the time period the site was closed.
“Holidaymakers who booked a holiday on our park received a full refund, when we as owners only received on average £450. Why should we be paying full site fees when the caravan park is closed.”
One thing that we found with our survey is the Government is ignoring caravan owners With the caravan industry contributing more than Six Billion pounds to UK Economy, it is very surprising how caravan owners are being ignored
Carole Keeble A spokeswoman from the Holiday Park Action Group, advise all owners of holiday caravans to use the online Competition and Market Authority (CMA) portal, set up by the Govt to report Park Operators who are operating unfairly during the covid 19 pandemic.(https://www.coronavirus-business-complaint.service.gov.uk/).
“This includes where they refuse refunds for fees paid in advance or deliberately threaten owners who challenge them regarding their failure to provide refunds,” explained Carole.
Carole is asking those people who have suffered a bad experience from owning a caravan should visit The Holiday Park Action Group www.facebook.com/groups/1488700298019076