East Londonderry MLA Sugden's disappointment at lack of safeguards for north coast caravan owners in review
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Ms Sugden said owners of thousands of static caravans in sites across the north coast had rightly expected changes to some laws which allow for rules which some people see as “unfairly demanding or expensive”.
The Caravans Act is required to be reviewed every five years.
“There have been issues raised with me and my office for years surrounding things like contract length, caravan renewal requirements and increases in fees,” Ms Sugden said.
“I have spoken with previous ministers regarding this, but nothing has ever been changed since the Act was created in 2011. Now, in the absence of an Executive and Assembly, those currently in charge of the Department for Communities have again failed to change controversial laws.
“Many constituents have complained about what they see as unfair demands by site owners to upgrade their caravan once it is over a certain age, with various stipulations being included such as having to buy your next caravan from the site owners or pay for them to service it.
“Contract length is also often based on the age of the caravan. Once past a certain age, many owners have complained they are only then offered year-by-year contracts, creating uncertainty and an inability to plan.
“This review was an opportunity to better understand the issues many caravan owners have with the current regulations and to make changes. It is profoundly disappointing that this opportunity has been missed and that owners will have to wait potentially another five years for another.”