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Good morning, please could you offer me any advice? I have owned my static caravan for 11 years based on a caravan site that we pay ground rent for. We can use our caravan from 1st March until 31st October each year. Yesterday l recieved a letter by hand stating as l hadnt payed my March electric bill - a bill l have never received - that l had to pay it immedietly or l would be charged an extra £40 plus interest on top of the bill. I immedietly went to the site office, purse in hand, to ask for a copy of my unpaid bill for my clarification and the office manager said he didnt have one to give me. I said how did l know the bill and amount was correct and he said, "it just is"... I said l wasnt prepared to pay a bill that l havnt even seen, so he went on his computer and made a bill up using the total on he said l owed minusing the standing charge and dividing the rest into units ! To make matters worse he wrote down the bill was for the period Oct 18 - March 19 when the site is closed! When l pointed this out to him he said he can change the dates to anytime, when would l like the bill to be from?! I told him l wasnt happy and that l would leave it with him to produce my original bill and he told me if l didnt pay yesterday he would cut off my electric. I told him to go ahead. If l return to my caravan next weekend and there is no electric, how do l proceed, what are my rights please? The owners of the site have had it for 3 years and all they do is threaten people with pulling their caravan off all the time, its awful... I would be grateful for any advice

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Maybe wise to pay the bill or what you think it should be and get a receipt hand signed by the manager.  Then dispute it.  Citizens' Advice Bureau can put you in touch with a solicitor.  All solicitors will give you a free consultation for 30 minutes.  You probably need one with knowledge of the laws relating to static caravans/ holiday homes.

 

Are you a member of a club?

Edited by Guest
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Also look at the detail of your contract but it could be that the new owners are trying to remove some of the tenants.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Wise advice above.

When do you usually receive your bill? Have they changed the date of issue, or did you simply not notice that you had not received the bill?

 

Check your insurance for the static - some companies include legal advice for exactly this sort of thing, or even you home insurance may have a legal advice helpline.

It could also be worth joining NACO as they can give a lot of advice.

 

If going elsewhere for legal advice (citizens advice, etc) stress that you are on a holiday site, not residential - unfortunately there are many solicitors around who give extremely misleading advice and will start quoting sections of the Mobile Homes Act, which will not apply to you.

However, I believe what does apply in all cases are that (a) a reseller of electricity cannot make a profit from the resale and (b) you are entitled to see details of how the costs have been arrived at.

 

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Unfortunately most static caravans sites have their own sub-meters for each unit therefore are not covered by the regulations.  It seems that the static is 10 years old and they want it shifted.

As suggested pay the bill and then contact Which Legal Services on 0117 4057653 to discuss the best options, but have your T&Cs with you.

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Deal in writing.  Keep copies of any letter you send.  Be polite at all times as losing your temper won't help.  I know this must be very stressful.  Good luck.

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40 minutes ago, Boardbaby said:

Good morning, please could you offer me any advice? I have owned my static caravan for 11 years based on a caravan site that we pay ground rent for. We can use our caravan from 1st March until 31st October each year. Yesterday l recieved a letter by hand stating as l hadnt payed my March electric bill - a bill l have never received - that l had to pay it immedietly or l would be charged an extra £40 plus interest on top of the bill. I immedietly went to the site office, purse in hand, to ask for a copy of my unpaid bill for my clarification and the office manager said he didnt have one to give me. I said how did l know the bill and amount was correct and he said, "it just is"... I said l wasnt prepared to pay a bill that l havnt even seen, so he went on his computer and made a bill up using the total on he said l owed minusing the standing charge and dividing the rest into units ! To make matters worse he wrote down the bill was for the period Oct 18 - March 19 when the site is closed! When l pointed this out to him he said he can change the dates to anytime, when would l like the bill to be from?! I told him l wasnt happy and that l would leave it with him to produce my original bill and he told me if l didnt pay yesterday he would cut off my electric. I told him to go ahead. If l return to my caravan next weekend and there is no electric, how do l proceed, what are my rights please? The owners of the site have had it for 3 years and all they do is threaten people with pulling their caravan off all the time, its awful... I would be grateful for any advice

Whilst all the intentions will be genuine, you cannot base any of your actions on the advice given on a forum such as this.  There will be complexities none of us are aware of. We are not in a position to study any contracts and terms and conditions nor do we have the benefit of interviewing you to ascertain the finer points of your relationship with the site owners since they took over.

I can't stress to you enough the need to seek urgent professional legal advice. One of your insurance policies or a bank account may offer a free service or ring Which? Legal Services as suggested by Durbanite. 

Afterwards, come back and tell us what happened.

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I have no knowledge of these things, but do you have a meter or is it a case of whatever is used is shared out to all the caravans? If it's the first, then you can work out what you owe and if it's the second then ask your neighbour what their bill was.   I think that in any dispute like this , you have to pay the bill and sort it out afterwards. I think that you should take into account that this could take you a lot of time and money to resolve and then it may not be in your favour. 

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Sadly, disputes with static site owners are all too common and as site owners hold quite a few trump cards, the long term outcome is seldom favourable for the caravan owners.

Getting proper legal advice quickly is clearly the way to go in the short term, but even if you win it will likely sour your relationship with the site owner even further.

 

Edited by Stevan
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As you have had the static on site for 11 years you must have some idea of what the electric bill for the period in question should be and previous bills to which you can refer.

Volvo V70 D4 Estate automatic Swift Challenger SE 580

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Generally a static caravan park with a lot of units will have Half Hourly metering or use a 3 phase supply.  There will be only one meter for the whole site and that is where responsibility by supplier plus Ofgem regulations stop.

Site owners then get a private contractor in who then installs sub meters for the pitches.  Generally the tenant for the pitch and also the owner have access to this meter.  Readings are taken and the tenant is charged no more than the cost of the unit as supplied to the site owner.  The site owner should not be charging any standing charges as that is incorporated in the original metering before the sub meters were added.

The big issue is of course that if you don't pay, they can cut off the supply of electric or give you notice to leave.  None of the organisations like Ofgem can help unless you are charged more than the cost of the unit to the site owner. 

This can be a very complex issue and not one where posters on any Internet forum can offer advice.  As said you will need professional advice.

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When I has a boat in a marina my understanding was that the marina owner could not make any profit on the units of electricity but was entitled to charge a standing charge to cover maintenance and other overheads.

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below is the link to Ofgem with the page explaining how the resale works. It is fairly interesting reading anyway.

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/resale-gas-and-electricity-guidance-maximum-resale-price-updated-october-2005

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18 hours ago, kelper said:

When I has a boat in a marina my understanding was that the marina owner could not make any profit on the units of electricity but was entitled to charge a standing charge to cover maintenance and other overheads.

They cannot charge a standing charge, but they can charge you for the convenience of being able to use the EHU hookup.

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On 21/08/2019 at 09:30, Legal Eagle said:

Whilst all the intentions will be genuine, you cannot base any of your actions on the advice given on a forum such as this.  There will be complexities none of us are aware of. We are not in a position to study any contracts and terms and conditions nor do we have the benefit of interviewing you to ascertain the finer points of your relationship with the site owners since they took over.

I can't stress to you enough the need to seek urgent professional legal advice. One of your insurance policies or a bank account may offer a free service or ring Which? Legal Services as suggested by Durbanite. 

Afterwards, come back and tell us what happened.

Good advice

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 21/08/2019 at 14:56, Durbanite said:

Generally a static caravan park with a lot of units will have Half Hourly metering or use a 3 phase supply.  There will be only one meter for the whole site and that is where responsibility by supplier plus Ofgem regulations stop.

Site owners then get a private contractor in who then installs sub meters for the pitches.  Generally the tenant for the pitch and also the owner have access to this meter.  Readings are taken and the tenant is charged no more than the cost of the unit as supplied to the site owner.  The site owner should not be charging any standing charges as that is incorporated in the original metering before the sub meters were added.

The big issue is of course that if you don't pay, they can cut off the supply of electric or give you notice to leave.  None of the organisations like Ofgem can help unless you are charged more than the cost of the unit to the site owner. 

This can be a very complex issue and not one where posters on any Internet forum can offer advice.  As said you will need professional advice.

The site owner DOES charge a daily standing charge on top of the price of the units used in our case...

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On 21/08/2019 at 09:43, joanie said:

I have no knowledge of these things, but do you have a meter or is it a case of whatever is used is shared out to all the caravans? If it's the first, then you can work out what you owe and if it's the second then ask your neighbour what their bill was.   I think that in any dispute like this , you have to pay the bill and sort it out afterwards. I think that you should take into account that this could take you a lot of time and money to resolve and then it may not be in your favour. 

 

Apart from the excellent advice given to seek legal advice, I think discussions with as many other owners as possible could be beneficial. 

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