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Emmy89

Issues with my chosen storage site

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Hi everyone, im new to this forum.

 

My partner bought our first caravan and we thought we'd got everything sorted and quite excited for all the trips we're going to be doing. ..

But had a spanner thrown in the works.

 

We found a storage site not far from where we live online.  Its new, has new gates, security and lights installed etc and seemed great.

 

A little frustrated with my partner as he viewed it without me intially and committed to the storage contract before i saw the site.

The minute i saw the site alarm bells were ringing.

 

When we first took the caravan i was shocked at the access.

Its off a tiny residential road that is essentially one way due to cars parked. No gripe with the car owners here as theyre not doing anything wrong. All legally parked outside their homes.

Then we have to turn up a steep, single one way culdi sac for maybe 3 houses.

There are gouge marks on the road as the angle is so steep the chasis scrape.

Its so tiny! Theres barely room.

Then you up a steep hill that goes behind the houses and a quite tight turn into the site itself.

 

I couldnt believe the access, its basicallty driving up someones driveway.

We almost couldnt get through the culdi sac because of residents cars.

We had to have several goes.

Again not a problem with these cars. They live there, this storage site is new and theyre just parking outside their houses. From what i can see theres nowhere else for anyone to park.

 

I just thought this cant be serious. How on earth has this site been ok'd for caravans?!

 

We went up to the caravan on Saturday, just dropping some bits off ready for us going away next weekend.

 

We got stopped by a resident asking where we were going. We explained and they said we should know the site owner has no planning permission, that the land classification does not permit caravans being stored and the council and local councillors are all on it and have told the owner hes breaking the law.

Bottom line is, it's illegal for caravans to be up there.

The resident was really lovely, he knows its not our fault and just wanted us to be aware.

Im glad he told us tbh, but im panicking now.

 

We've paid up for this spot.

 We're struggling to find another site to move the caravan to without a wait list.

 

Can we get in trouble for this as we own the caravan?

If something happens to it or it gets broken into would our insurance be void because of this? 

 

Im very new to all this with it being our first caravan. Im so worried.

 

Even though we cant afford it we'll be moving it as soon as can. My mum and dad have offered to lend us until we can try get our money back.

But until then its stuck there.

 

Please any advice ?

Thank you

 

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Do you have a contract, how much have you paid and how, presumably cash, a bit more info and detail might help.

 

If the storage site owner has offered you an agreement for a facility he is not legally able to offer then you should be in a position to ask for your money back, you can ask nicely but it may need a solicitor/small claims court to recover anything.

 

 

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Did you pay by credit card? You may be able to get money back that way.

 

I don't think you can get into trouble, it's the owner of the land that has the problem. However, you need to be prepared to move the caravan at short notice. See if you can speak to the relevant person in the council for their advice.

 

I think the difficulty might be the agreement you made - If you have signed up for a period of time and you remove the van you may not be entitled to any refund.

 

By the time the owner asks you to move and the agreement becomes null and void there might not be any cash left to refund you.

 

I would be asking for a refund now, but don't move your van unless you have been asked to or have been refunded.

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I feel for you, but that is not any real help!

There is a good chance that the council will close the site down, and I suspect that you already know this and would not disagree with the council if you weren't caught up in the middle.

Your priority has to be to find an alternative storage site, whatever it takes, the sooner you are out the better in case the council want the site cleared. You should check with your insurance company to find out where you stand in that respect.

If the council does close the site you should (in theory) get some money back because the site will be breaking the contract not you, but you may have to fight for this with no certainty of success at the end.

I do not think that you will be in trouble with the council because, for you, it was a simple business transaction in good faith.

 

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Are you with either of the two big clubs?

If so they offer limited legal advice which IMO is a valuable no cost option to be better informed of the ramifications etc.

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Thank for the replies, its made me feel slightly less panicked as obviously we had no idea.

Ill get my partner to call insurance this afternoon and ill get on to the council.

He did pay by credit card, so if we have issues im assuming they could help.

We have signed a contract, so ill see if i can find out if it could cause us issues when we leave.

The first opportunity i have i want the caravan off that land, i dont trust the man running it now at all.

Im not a member of any clubs yet as its all new to me, but thank you for that. Which would you suggest would be best to go to? 

 

Thank you

He is also saying hes approved by Cassoa, but surely he cant be if its not a legal site.

 

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Do you need some sort of credit licence to except credit card payments? 

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22 minutes ago, Emmy89 said:

He did pay by credit card, so if we have issues im assuming they could help.

He is also saying hes approved by Cassoa, but surely he cant be if its not a legal site.

 

That's a bit of luck. If it all goes belly up you should be able to get the CC to refund.

 

Cassoa have a website where you can check if the site is registered. https://cassoa. co. uk/ Although it's currently down.

 

If it's not then that's probably a good enough reason to claim the contract is invalid.

 

4 minutes ago, Oscarmax said:

Do you need some sort of credit licence to except credit card payments? 

Nah.

 

You can get a paypal machine that takes CC for a few quid.

Edited by SteveMilner
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Ill keep an eye on when the website is back up, not been able to get any sense out of the council yet. They said that theres no planning permission, he had a chance to apply that passed and that they have no more info at the mo as to whether theyre closing it.

As stressful as this is think it should be closed.  

Ive asked them to call me back with more info so i can get what i need to deal with the contract and money we've paid.

Insurance also getting back to us.

Said that they weren't sure, need to get a supervisor to call back, but it could be like claiming you park your car in a garage or on a drive when you dont.

So could be at risk.

 

 

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Cassoa Website still down. Suggest you use the email address they have on their holding page.

 

Poor not to have it fixed though.

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e mail address

 

enquiries@cassoa. co. uk

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Taking into account the circumstances it may be best to phone CASSOA.   I seem to recall that a forum member had found out that CASSOA in many cases do not bother to check a site before giving them approval.   We landed on one of those sites and got off as soon as we could and found another storage area.

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I suggest get on to your credit card issuer and tell them now what's going on. Don't wait. Tell them you won't pay.

Effectively it's a fraudulent transaction. He sold you a service he can't provide.

Take your van off immediately or the owner will prevent you moving it once he knows what you've done

Good luck.

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Apparently the initial application by a site owner for CaSSOA registration can be  made by self-assessment, and they may not send out an inspector for 3 years!

 

So I don't set great store (sorry!) by CaSSOA registration, and also would be very surprised if they offered the OP any help in this matter.

 

John

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14 hours ago, Johnaldo said:

Apparently the initial application by a site owner for CaSSOA registration can be  made by self-assessment, and they may not send out an inspector for 3 years!

 

So I don't set great store (sorry!) by CaSSOA registration, and also would be very surprised if they offered the OP any help in this matter.

 

John

Sadly the above is what happened with us and we were stuck at the storage for nearly a year before we could move to another storage site.   It was supposed to be a Gold Cassoa site but huge issues with security i. e. arriving at storage to find gates wide open, another occasion lock was broken and had been broken for 2 days.  

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9 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Sadly the above is what happened with us and we were stuck at the storage for nearly a year before we could move to another storage site.   It was supposed to be a Gold Cassoa site but huge issues with security i. e. arriving at storage to find gates wide open, another occasion lock was broken and had been broken for 2 days.  

Even a Cassoa inspection can only confirm that the security provisions are in place at the time of the visit. How the security provision are used or maintained are outside their ability to monitor.

Unfortunately the only way to check whether a site lives up to standard is to make repeat visits over time using your eyes and common sense.

IMHO a site can never be considered secure if there is unrestricted access requiring only a key or code that can be shared or dependent on other users actually locking the gate!

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17 hours ago, Johnaldo said:

Apparently the initial application by a site owner for CaSSOA registration can be  made by self-assessment, and they may not send out an inspector for 3 years!

 

So I don't set great store (sorry!) by CaSSOA registration, and also would be very surprised if they offered the OP any help in this matter.

 

John

Hypothetical scenario.

 

It would be of interest to know what the results of an insurance claim for theft of a caravan would be, if, during investigation, the insurance company found the site had self assessed, but didn't have the actual deterrents, security  arrangements determined by CaSSAO for membership in place and was then not entitled to be classed as a CaSSOA site.

 

Potential of lots of wriggle room for the insurance company.

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3 hours ago, Stevan said:

Even a Cassoa inspection can only confirm that the security provisions are in place at the time of the visit. How the security provision are used or maintained are outside their ability to monitor.

 

Another fault in the CaSSOA system is that they give prior notice to the site owner of any inspection they intend to make … so you get the same scenario as schools who prepare weeks ahead for an upcoming Ofsted inspection … complete waste of time!

 

John

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1 hour ago, Johnaldo said:

 

Another fault in the CaSSOA system is that they give prior notice to the site owner of any inspection they intend to make … so you get the same scenario as schools who prepare weeks ahead for an upcoming Ofsted inspection … complete waste of time!

 

John

For this exact reason Ofsted now routinely only give 24 hours notice!

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57 minutes ago, Stevan said:

For this exact reason Ofsted now routinely only give 24 hours notice!

 

And the HMI didn't give any. .worked wonders.

 

geoff

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I believe the contact telephone number for CASSOA is

0843 216 5802

Their website is still showing as down for maintenance.

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Could part of this also be local resident over egging the pudding as they dont want caravans going in and out. Different story if the cassoa rating is fraudulent.

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It may be that you'll have to travel for your storage site.   Whereabouts do you reside?  I've known some people on this site that travel 40+ miles to their storage site.   If you live in the north-west (Grtr Manchester), there's a storage site in Hyde.   If you can store it in any of those places, wherever it may be, then you can put your name down on the storage sites a lot closer to home and move it when you get a place.   But regarding the one you're on, do not part with any more money (which may be too late now anyway).  Does your insurers know, if they do, then they may cancel your insurance unless you can let them know that you are removing it.   Even campsites have storage facilities, ask them about any spaces they may have

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Guys,

The sites back up and running.

 

https://www. cassoa. co. uk/

 

Tony.

 

EDIT, the search facility doesnt work so they still have a few problems with the site.

Edited by TonySJ
Further info
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