Can I Live in My Static Caravan?

16 Sep 2010

“Can I live in my static caravan?” is a question we frequently get asked. The short answer is yes, there are ways in which you can live in your static caravan. Many travelers and gypsies have been doing so for centuries, and long before we had the sites, technology and resources that make caravanning so comfortable in the present.

If you enjoy a caravanning as a holiday past time you’ll have no difficulty what-so-ever to adjust something you love into a full-time way of life. If you’re a home dweller with little experience looking to live in a static home for whatever reason, be it freedom or saving money, you might find the adjustment a little bit harder but it is still easily attainable.

Here are some options that are available to those looking to move into a static home or caravan for the long haul.

Living in a Static Caravan Park Home

If you want to be able to live in a static caravan for the whole year then you can live in a Park Home. Normally this will involve buying a static caravan from the owners of the park. You will then rent the pitch from them and be liable to pay a variety of fees to live there. This will include council tax, maintenance fees and utility bills. Don’t take any risks when choosing a residential static caravan park, always ask the owners the exact costs of renting the pitch and bear in mind that although you will have bought the caravan the owners may claim a portion of the sale price if you want to sell it on.

Park Homes have a license to operate twelve months of the year as residential housing, which is why you will have to pay council tax. However you can use your static caravan as a permanent address and be entered onto the electoral role.

Living in a Static Caravan Site Home

Static Caravan site

Site homes for static caravans are holiday homes. This means that their license only extends for about 10 months of the year, so you will have to vacate your caravan for two or three months every year. The result of this is that the caravan can not be regarded as a permanent residence and you cannot use the address to be on the electoral role.

Static caravan parks of this type will often allow you to bring your own caravan. Again you will be liable for pitch rental fees and often a maintenance surcharge plus the costs of your bills. Don’t forget to ask the owners the exact amount of time you must be away from your caravan and factor in the cost of staying elsewhere during this period.

Living in a Static Caravan On Your Own Land

There is a lot of contradictory information about using static caravans on your own land. The reason is that different areas have different rules and in the majority of cases you will need some kind of permit in order to use a caravan. As a general rule you are not allowed to live in a caravan on your own land without planning permission. What you can do varies from council to council so you should check with them before making any plans. The law states that outbuildings, including caravans, cannot be used for sleeping in unless permission has been obtained.

Word of mouth suggests that you are unlikely to get planning permission for a permanent caravan residence unless the land is already used for caravans or you are planning to live their temporarily whilst carrying out renovations.

However the best course of action would be to speak to a solicitor who specialises in local planning applications because there is a huge amount of variance across the country as to what is and what isn’t permitted. For instance some new build homes stipulate in the deeds that caravans may not be parked on their land. Some councils will insist upon waste water being dealt with in a particular way, which can make your costs shoot up. Get legal advice before doing anything, otherwise you may be issued with an legal warning telling you to leave.

If you want to dig deeper into the legal side of living in a static home, make sure you read the Mobile Homes Act 1983.

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  • Park Homes

    This is very interesting and it clears up a lot of things. It is good that you can live in a park home as most of these are in beautiful places so you will have a fantastic place to live all year round.

    Comment | October 13, 2010
  • tabatha

    this is been very helpful thanks. has cleared alot up for me.

    Comment | March 26, 2011
  • Good informative blog post. It’ll be good to also average prices and rental costs.

    Comment | June 8, 2011
  • This is a very interesting post. I like how it has been broken down as we get asked this question a lot.

    What it doesn’t say about living in a Static Caravan for 12 months is that with a residential park you are subsequently a tennant and therefore your landlord will have to make an agreement with you. It gets a little complicated then, but I am sure your park will help with the information.

    Once again, a great post.

    Comment | December 13, 2011
  • Thanks for the information-i’ve been looking at putting as static van on my land recently and the planning regulations seem to be a bit of a nightmare! There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there so it’s good to see a bit of common sense. I plan to connect my van up to the maions and use it as an office/spare room so it wont actually be lived in but I guest that makes no difference to the Planning Inspector.

    Comment | December 25, 2011
  • Chris

    I hate this country. We have no freedom to live any other way that doesn’t involve working until were almost dead. All I want is to live in a caravan on some land which I own. I would have solar panels for electric, dig a well for water, buy propane for other utilities and grow most of my own food. Any money I would need would be produced from my website which I have. I just want to be self sufficient which is totally possible if it want for the law.

    Why is it so bad to want to live a simple life of freedom? I am no hippie I just hate working 9 to 5 and wasting my life away for junk I don’t need or want. Working 50 years for a small piece of land to just exist on is not for me.

    I don’t get how people can be happy with: Oh great I paid off my mortgage now I am old and frail and can die in peace after living a wretched slave like existence.

    Comment | January 21, 2013
  • Hayley

    I am with you on that one! It’s crazy!
    I just want to buy a caravan and make it a home somewhere instead of paying £500 a month just for a room! I’d be much happier in a simple caravan close to nature.

    Comment | January 28, 2013
  • Babs

    I am a homeless lady who works and is due to retire next yr. i have a static caravan which i am going to have to live in for 10months of the yr. My question is does anybody know if once i retire could i apply to the benefit office for help with the site fees. I am on the local housing list bidding every month but im not one of the lucky ones. Any advice will be much appreciated.

    Comment | February 14, 2013
  • Helen

    We’re in a similar situation.we rent from friends at the moment but when they retire we will have to move. There are few homes we can afford and the thought of moving every 6 months fills me with dread. We want to home educate but the cost of living means I have to work and we’ve just had enough. I want to buy a small plot of land and a static and live there. I also want to put my tourer there so I can use it as a studio. I’m currently looking for somewhere near Otley either on a farm, small site or on my own land. I’m not fussy!

    Comment | February 24, 2013
  • Lucy

    Hi All, Myself and my husband along with two children are looking at buying a static caravan and living in it but struggling to find where we could site it, we need to be in the Devon area, can anyone help please? Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Comment | February 24, 2013
  • Nyx

    I’m looking to live in a static caravan. Budget is between 7-8k. I know, on a holiday park i’d have to move out for a certain amount of time ( Depends on site usually about 2months a year) Ground rent is usually 2.5k ( Again depends on site) As I understand it if u dont live there all year, you are exempt from council tax, in a residential park you have to pay but are included in the electoral role. Can anyone list the costs involved and any pitfalls please?

    Comment | March 3, 2013
  • tom

    i intend to live in a static caravan on a holiday park for 11 months of the year. however without a permanent home what can i do about a postal address

    Comment | March 9, 2013
  • Tony

    I am the same as above.
    I am moving back to England from Europe and will be moving into a static caravan just to have a roof over my head.Apparently reading these comments tells me I cant receive post and probably not any benefits.
    So what do I need to do? Live on the streets?

    Comment | April 20, 2013
  • Maralyn

    I have a job if Mid-Glamorgan for 3-4 months and want to rent a caravan for that period. Any ideas, [email protected]

    Comment | April 25, 2013
  • I live in a static caravan, we used to collect our post from the site office but now we get it delivered direct. I sent an email to the post office asking for our address to be added. Our caravan has a number so that made it easy. We originally had a post box outside but now just have a normal letter box and we dont have any bother.

    Our site is closed for a month each year but we just have an extended holiday. It is a cheap way of living but we did it originally as we relocated and bought a second hand van so we could start our new life while trying to sell our home.

    We had loads off teething problems, mostly freezing pipes which were a nightmare. We’ve since bought a new caravan rather than a house as we planned as we love where we live. I would advise heat trace wire on your pipes for winter and try to get a van with good heating and insulation, we now have central heating and good insulation, double glazing and hubby has boxed it in to prevent draughts.. Our caravan was by no means the most expensive and we’ve got a bath, walk in wardrobe instead of en suite and I requested that the fitted sofa was not fitted in the lounge. I contacted loads of manufacturers before we ordered our van I found that a lot were totally unwilling to change anything from the plans, Arronbrook were fab and added extra plug sockets where I asked and did a wonderful job fitting out what wouldve been the ensuite to my dressing room. Nothing was too much trouble and 2 and a half years later I’m still smiling!

    I didnt have any problems registering with a gp, dentist etc.

    Good luck everyone

    Comment | April 26, 2013
  • Hi tony,

    I have claimed Employment Support Allowance while we have been here and I didn’t have any problems. You can also claim for site rent I believe through housing benefit if you qualify but due to hubby’s income I never tried.

    Comment | April 26, 2013
  • jackid0

    ive been trying in vain to find out more on permanently living in a caravan, esp scotland, do any of you know of what type of place i should be looking for they all seem to be holiday parks with having to stay elsewhere for anything up to 2 months, its a forever home im looking for not part time, and ive been going round in circles for months, is there certain companies that own and run them if it is how would i find them

    Comment | May 15, 2013
  • Karen Quinn

    Hi. We to are looking for a site we can live on in Scotland. We know that on a holiday park we would need to move out for at least a month a year so we are trying to find a residential site but this is proving very hard. I have googled but it doesn’t seem to bring up anything. We are retiring shortly and don’t want to spend all our pension on private lets as they are very expensive. We have a static on a holiday site at the moment and we could live there 11 months of the year but it is very remote which isn’t good the older we get. It is 25 miles from the nearest town. It is also a holiday van so not double glazed or central heating which will be a necessity.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks.

    Comment | May 20, 2013
  • Denise Bennet

    Can I stay in a static caravan in my daughters back garden and have electric and water from the house connected, without the need of planning permission?

    Comment | June 17, 2013
  • Mike young

    Hi, does anybody know of any residential sites where you can stay for 12 months, (as a permanent residence) in the Chichester, Worthing and West Sussex region please.

    Comment | June 29, 2013
  • We are transferring back to The uk from The european countries and will also be going in the static caravan just to experience a ceiling over our go. Obviously examining these kind of comments tells me My spouse and i cant be given submit in addition to that’s doubtful any kind of rewards.

    Comment | July 1, 2013
  • claire

    hi me and my husband and 3 children are looking to buy a static caravan in the isle of white i work from home and pay my tax and national insurance but we were wondering does anyone now for sure if we still get child tax credits and child benifit for our children still ?

    Comment | January 26, 2014
  • will

    hi im disabled 43years and on benefits and at the end of 2014 summer im going to buy a static caravan for around 8 grand and live permanetly 12 months of the year in peace and quiet for life.I need some help for this, questions and even offers of caravans in east sussex area hastings to Eastbourne battle Bexhill etc.
    q1….how do I find a quiet site easily?or do you know of one or are you a manager of a site and would like to help me.
    q2….does the council pay my rent and council tax living in a flat and I pay the utilty bills?
    q3….are caravans well heated in winter?
    if anyone reads this and lives in a residential home and live on benefits could you e-mail me il give you my number could I come to see your site with one of my carers and even see if there is any caravans for sale.. thx

    Comment | February 2, 2014