Guide to owning a holiday home

If you are thinking about becoming a holiday home owner, there is a lot to consider before taking that step in to a new lifestyle.

Understandably, there may be a question you’d like answering or you may be unsure about what something means.

As a family-owned business, we have over 40 years of experience in the holiday home industry and our friendly team are ready to help and answer any queries you may have. We pride ourselves on a laid back sales approach, and when you visit our parks, the time is led by you.

To help guide you through the key questions when deciding if a holiday home is right for you and your family, the 4-steps to ownership are a very helpful tool. We recommend visiting the park you are most interested in to get a feel for whether this is the right park for your family, and help answer the questions below.

If there is anything at all you aren’t sure about, please give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.

We’re always happy to welcome you to our parks, and you can arrange a visit with our team by calling James (Coastal parks) on 01262 676442 or 07984 204501 or Stuart (Country Parks) on 01347 810829 or 07943 593376.

Four Steps to Holiday Home Ownership

Step 1 - Decide if the holiday park is the right park for you and your family.

Is the journey ok?

Does the park have the right facilities for everybody in your family?

What does the local area have to offer?

How long is the park open each year?

Is the park accessible by all the family?

Can all the family and friends use the holiday home?

Step 2- How affordable are the running costs?

What are all the costs involved?

Can we sub-let to cover these costs?

When do we receive the bills?

Can we pay in instalments?

Do we only pay for what we use?

Step 3 - Find a holiday home within your budget that suits your needs.

What do holiday homes cost?

Do we have to buy a new holiday home?

What holiday homes are available?

Are there finance packages available?

What does the price include?

Step 4 - Find a location to suit you and the holiday home you have chosen.

How do we know what plots are available?

What are the different areas on the park?

Do the site fees vary on different areas of the park?

How long will it take to site and make our holiday home ready to use?

Some additional help...

Goosewood-Caravan-Holiday-Homes

Site Fees

A question that comes up often with those interested in a holiday home is about the site fees to pay per year on the parks. As each park has different site fees, and even varying prices within the same park, it’s best to discuss this with our sales team.

What is included in the price?

What is included in the price?

To make things nice and simple, we show you a total price to buy the holiday home. Included within that price are the current season's site fees, two gas bottles and a regulator – if required, steps to your holiday home with a handrail, siting and transport, your connections and gas safety test, and VAT. On some parks the price may also include a barrier fob, WiFi installation and a year of data and a TV aerial, please speak to an advisor about this.

Goosewood-Caravan-Holiday-Homes

What other costs are there to think about?

Depending on the extras included in the holiday home you are buying you may need to consider things such as an aerial for your holiday home, appliances, a drain down at the end of season, and caravan insurance. You may also want to consider adding decking to expand the living area too. All of these you can discuss with our sales advisors and they will point you in the right direction.

Jargon Buster

There are lots of terms used in the holiday home industry which might not make sense to someone looking for their first holiday home. We've come up with a simple jargon buster to explain some of the terms.

Site fees

These are fees which you pay for the upkeep of the park, which include maintenance, grounds keeping, street lighting, bin collections and more. They are paid once a year, before the season starts. Your first season’s site fees are included in the price we state.

Connections

This is the connecting of the holiday home to the gas, electric and water supplies from the park to your holiday home.

Siting

This is the placement of your holiday home on your chosen pitch, plus the necessary work to ensure it is level and stable ready for you to move in.

The Anchorage

Is a luxury holiday home development as part of Fir Tree Park. It is opposite the main park and is exclusive to owners.

Green Acres & Lake View

This is our development from the original, existing park at Goosewood. It shares all the same access from the main park, use of all the facilities and is a luxury extension of the existing park.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ownership
Frequently Asked Questions about Ownership

We are confident you will enjoy many happy holidays in your Caravan / Lodge. This is a holiday park and it is important you consider what that means. The following questions and answers explain the holiday use requirement.

Q. What can my Caravan / Lodge be used for?

A. Caravans / Lodges at our Park can only be used for holiday purposes. This means the Caravan / Lodge may not be someone’s main residence. That is why we ask you about the address of your main residence and will continue to do so while you own the caravan / lodge.

Q. What do I have to do to prove the Caravan / Lodge is not my main residence?

A. Each year, on invoicing for the pitch fees, we will ask you to prove you have a main residence. You can supply recent documentation to prove you have a permenant residence. Details of what is accepted will be provided at the time of writing.

Q. How can I submit my proofs of address?

A. You can send them electronically to us via our online form. Just go to flowerofmay.com/proofs and follow the simple form. Alternatively, you can post them to us at Head Office or show them in person at the Park office or Head Office where we will take copies.  Do not send original documents in the post, copies are perfectly acceptable. 

Q. What is a holiday and how long can a holiday be?

A. A holiday is a period of recreation away from your main residence, during which no work is done. No person may occupy the Caravan / Lodge for more than sixty consecutive days.

Q. How frequently can I have a holiday?

A. There is no limit to the number of holidays which can be taken in the Caravan / Lodge provided that it is not used as someone’s only or main place of residence.

Q. Can I sublet/hire out my holiday home?

A. It is strictly prohibited to sublet for longer than twenty-eight days in total per season. Sublets must be notified to the Park Office in advance.

Q. Can I work locally, and my children go to local schools?

A. No, as commuting to work or school from this Park would be taken as strongly indicating that Caravan / Lodge is being used as someone’s main residence.

Q. I am retired. Can I use the Caravan / Lodge all the time?

A. Being retired does not mean you are on holiday. The test is whether you have a main residence elsewhere.

Q. My main residence is overseas. Does this count?

A. Yes, but all the facts are relevant when deciding

whether the overseas property or the Caravan / Lodge  is your main residence. These would include whether you own the overseas property or, if it is rented, then how long you have rented it for, how much time you spend in the Caravan / Lodge and how much in your overseas property.

Q. What happens if I break the holiday rule?

A. Your Licence Agreement with us contains your undertaking to comply with the holiday rule. If you broke

that we would ask that you stop doing so. If you were to fail to comply, we would be entitled to terminate the Licence Agreement and to ask you to remove the Caravan / Lodge. The planning authority might also take action against you for breach of the holiday rule.

Q. What happens if my circumstances change?

A. Your Licence Agreement does not allow the Caravan / Ldoge to be used as a main residence, even on a temporary basis.

Q. I’ve found a problem with my Caravan / Lodge, what do I do?

A. If you Caravan / Lodge is new, report this to our aftersales team via aftersales@flowerofmay.com. If you bought a pre-owned holiday home there is less scope for us to help, but you may still want to ask our team for advice.

Q. What do my pitch fees cover?

A. Your pitch fees cover the rental of the ground on which the Caravan / Lodge stands. It does not cover costs towards facilities or other park ameneties/services. 

Q. When will the Pitch Fees be invoiced?

A. Typically, the Pitch Fee invoices are sent out towards the end of the calendar year or in the early part of the following year. We will inform you when they have been sent. 

Q. When do I need to pay my Pitch Fees by?

A. The payment dates will be detailed in the paperwork sent to you with your invoice. Payments can be paid in full or split over two payments. You can also pay installments by pre-arrangement should you wish, as long as the amounts paid correspond with the payment dates. 

Q. When will I be billed for utilities?

A. We will send you a bill once a year for any utility charges. Meters are read towards the end of each season. Charges will be made in accordance with the requirements of the law and any relevant utility regulator. We will never charge more than the law allows. Due dates for payments will be detailed on your invoice.

Q. How do I pay?

You can pay your invoices over the phone with a debit or credit card. We cannot accept payment via bank transfer for these bills. 

Q. Can I sell my Caravan / Lodge and what options do I have?

A. Yes, of course you can. You can sell it to us, but only if we agree. You can sell it privately on the pitch where certain conditions apply or you can sell it privately to be removed off the park, again conditions apply with these sales. Please speak to a member of our sales team about these specific conditions.

Q. Can I gift my Caravan / Lodge to a family member?

A. Yes, you can. You can gift the Caravan / Lodge to a family member during your lifetime or in your will. Only a proven family member can receive the Caravan / Lodge and proof will be required of the relationship. A charge of £100 will apply to these transfers. 

Q. If I sell my Caravan / Lodge am I entitled to any Pitch Fees back?

A. Where you have chosen to sell your Caravan / Lodge, you will be entitled to a repayment of Pitch Fees based on the table below:

After 30 JuneNo refund in any circumstances
Otherwise
Months since due 

Payment Date

Percentage refund due
Up to 180%
1 to 270%
2 to 360%
3 to 450%
4 to 540%
5 to 630%
6 to 720%
7 to 810%
8 to 9No refund

Q. Do the park rules change?

A. It may be necessary or desirable to change the park rules from time to time, inlcuding, but not limited to, reasons of Health and Safety, the efficient running of the park, environmental issues, local authority requirements and changes in the law. Any changes will be made to our Park Rules online. You can view them at 

flowerofmay.com/park-rules

Q. Who has a key for my holiday home?

A. Other than the keys handed over to you at the time of taking over the Caravan / Lodge, the only other key is kept in the park office. This is not to be relied upon for sub-letting arrangements or when you have other members of your family visiting. We will give your key to third parties who may be carrying out work on your holiday home on your behalf, unless you tell us otherwise. 

Q. I’ve moved house or my contact details have changed, what do I need to do?

A. It’s important we can keep you informed of key information including urgent updates in instances such as bad weather or disruption to services. To do this, we store your email address(es), postal address and contact number(s). You can update them at any time via our website flowerofmay.com/register

Q. How should I take care of my caravan / lodge during the close season?

A. It is recommended that you have your Caravan / Lodge drained down at the end of the season. This will help prevent pipes freezing and potential problems with your central heating system. Other precautionary measures may include using methods of reducing the moisture levels in your holiday home and removing anything of value from the Caravan / Lodge. Advice on this is widely available online.

Q. Can I visit my Caravan / Lodge during the close season?

A. Yes you can. Access will be permitted on foot only. Access is only for you to inspect your holiday home and carry out essential maintenance. 

Q. Can I register with the doctor locally?

A. Of course, people get ill on holiday and may use the local doctor as a temporary patient. It should not be necessary for someone with a main residence elsewhere to register with the doctor for holiday periods unless they have particular health requirements.

Q. Can I register for Council Tax in order to obtain Housing Benefit?

A. No. Business Rates and not Council Tax are charged for Caravans / Lodges. Paying Council Tax or receiving Housing Benefit to pay the Pitch Fees would be taken as strongly indicating the Caravan  / Lodge is being used as a main residence.

Q. Can I run a business from the Caravan  / Lodge? 

A. Definitely not. This would not be consistent with holiday use. However, if someone wanted to keep in touch with

their work or business whilst they are on holiday, for example, they could use a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Q. Can I have post delivered to the park?

A. We do not facilitate this. If post is delivered as a matter

of course, this would indicate the Caravan / Lodge  is being used as an only or main place of residence.

More information

If we haven’t covered something here that you would like to ask, or you want more detail on questions raised in this section, please call us at Head Office on 01723 584311 or email us on info@flowerofmay.com

Frequently Asked Questions on Ownership

We are confident you will enjoy many happy holidays in your Caravan / Lodge. This is a holiday park and it is important you consider what that means. The following questions and answers explain the holiday use requirement.

Q. What can my Caravan / Lodge be used for?A. Caravans / Lodges at our Park can only be used for holiday purposes. This means the Caravan / Lodge may not be someone’s main residence. That is why we ask you about the address of your main residence and will continue to do so while you own the caravan / lodge.Q. What do I have to do to prove the Caravan / Lodge is not my main residence?A. Each year, on invoicing for the pitch fees, we will ask you to prove you have a main residence. You can supply recent documentation to prove you have a permenant residence. Details of what is accepted will be provided at the time of writing.Q. How can I submit my proofs of address?A. You can send them electronically to us via our online form. Just go to flowerofmay.com/proofs and follow the simple form. Alternatively, you can post them to us at Head Office or show them in person at the Park office or Head Office where we will take copies. Do not send original documents in the post, copies are perfectly acceptable.Q. What is a holiday and how long can a holiday be?A. A holiday is a period of recreation away from your main residence, during which no work is done. No person may occupy the Caravan / Lodge for more than sixty consecutive days.Q. How frequently can I have a holiday?A. There is no limit to the number of holidays which can be taken in the Caravan / Lodge provided that it is not used as someone’s only or main place of residence.Q. Can I sublet/hire out my holiday home?A. It is strictly prohibited to sublet for longer than twenty-eight days in total per season. Sublets must be notified to the Park Office in advance.Q. Can I work locally, and my children go to local schools?A. No, as commuting to work or school from this Park would be taken as strongly indicating that Caravan / Lodge is being used as someone’s main residence.Q. I am retired. Can I use the Caravan / Lodge all the time?A. Being retired does not mean you are on holiday. The test is whether you have a main residence elsewhere.Q. My main residence is overseas. Does this count?A. Yes, but all the facts are relevant when deciding whether the overseas property or the Caravan / Lodge is your main residence. These would include whether you own the overseas property or, if it is rented, then how long you have rented it for, how much time you spend in the Caravan / Lodge and how much in your overseas property.Q. What happens if I break the holiday rule?A. Your Licence Agreement with us contains your undertaking to comply with the holiday rule. If you broke that we would ask that you stop doing so. If you were to fail to comply, we would be entitled to terminate the Licence Agreement and to ask you to remove the Caravan / Lodge. The planning authority might also take action against you for breach of the holiday rule.Q. What happens if my circumstances change?A. Your Licence Agreement does not allow the Caravan / Ldoge to be used as a main residence, even on a temporary basis.Q. I’ve found a problem with my Caravan / Lodge, what do I do?A. If you Caravan / Lodge is new, report this to our aftersales team via aftersales@flowerofmay.com. If you bought a pre-owned holiday home there is less scope for us to help, but you may still want to ask our team for advice.Q. What do my pitch fees cover?A. Your pitch fees cover the rental of the ground on which the Caravan / Lodge stands. It does not cover costs towards facilities or other park ameneties/services.Q. When will the Pitch Fees be invoiced?A. Typically, the Pitch Fee invoices are sent out towards the end of the calendar year or in the early part of the following year. We will inform you when they have been sent.Q. When do I need to pay my Pitch Fees by?A. The payment dates will be detailed in the paperwork sent to you with your invoice. Payments can be paid in full or split over two payments. You can also pay installments by pre-arrangement should you wish, as long as the amounts paid correspond with the payment dates.Q. When will I be billed for utilities?A. We will send you a bill once a year for any utility charges. Meters are read towards the end of each season. Charges will be made in accordance with the requirements of the law and any relevant utility regulator. We will never charge more than the law allows. Due dates for payments will be detailed on your invoice.Q. How do I pay?You can pay your invoices over the phone with a debit or credit card. We cannot accept payment via bank transfer for these bills.Q. Can I sell my Caravan / Lodge and what options do I have?A. Yes, of course you can. You can sell it to us, but only if we agree. You can sell it privately on the pitch where certain conditions apply or you can sell it privately to be removed off the park, again conditions apply with these sales. Please speak to a member of our sales team about these specific conditions.Q. Can I gift my Caravan / Lodge to a family member?A. Yes, you can. You can gift the Caravan / Lodge to a family member during your lifetime or in your will. Only a proven family member can receive the Caravan / Lodge and proof will be required of the relationship. A charge of £100 will apply to these transfers.Q. If I sell my Caravan / Lodge am I entitled to any Pitch Fees back?A. Where you have chosen to sell your Caravan / Lodge, you will be entitled to a repayment of Pitch Fees based on the table below:After 30 June No refund in any circumstances Otherwise Months since due Payment Date Percentage refund due Up to 1 80% 1 to 2 70% 2 to 3 60% 3 to 4 50% 4 to 5 40% 5 to 6 30% 6 to 7 20% 7 to 8 10% 8 to 9 No refundQ. Do the park rules change?A. It may be necessary or desirable to change the park rules from time to time, inlcuding, but not limited to, reasons of Health and Safety, the efficient running of the park, environmental issues, local authority requirements and changes in the law. Any changes will be made to our Park Rules online. You can view them at flowerofmay.com/park-rulesQ. Who has a key for my holiday home?A. Other than the keys handed over to you at the time of taking over the Caravan / Lodge, the only other key is kept in the park office. This is not to be relied upon for sub-letting arrangements or when you have other members of your family visiting. We will give your key to third parties who may be carrying out work on your holiday home on your behalf, unless you tell us otherwise.Q. I’ve moved house or my contact details have changed, what do I need to do?A. It’s important we can keep you informed of key information including urgent updates in instances such as bad weather or disruption to services. To do this, we store your email address(es), postal address and contact number(s). You can update them at any time via our website flowerofmay.com/registerQ. How should I take care of my caravan / lodge during the close season?A. It is recommended that you have your Caravan / Lodge drained down at the end of the season. This will help prevent pipes freezing and potential problems with your central heating system. Other precautionary measures may include using methods of reducing the moisture levels in your holiday home and removing anything of value from the Caravan / Lodge. Advice on this is widely available online.Q. Can I visit my Caravan / Lodge during the close season?A. Yes you can. Access will be permitted on foot only. Access is only for you to inspect your holiday home and carry out essential maintenance.Q. Can I register with the doctor locally?A. Of course, people get ill on holiday and may use the local doctor as a temporary patient. It should not be necessary for someone with a main residence elsewhere to register with the doctor for holiday periods unless they have particular health requirements.Q. Can I register for Council Tax in order to obtain Housing Benefit?A. No. Business Rates and not Council Tax are charged for Caravans / Lodges. Paying Council Tax or receiving Housing Benefit to pay the Pitch Fees would be taken as strongly indicating the Caravan / Lodge is being used as a main residence.Q. Can I run a business from the Caravan / Lodge?A. Definitely not. This would not be consistent with holiday use. However, if someone wanted to keep in touch with their work or business whilst they are on holiday, for example, they could use a laptop, tablet or smartphone.Q. Can I have post delivered to the park?A. We do not facilitate this. If post is delivered as a matter of course, this would indicate the Caravan / Lodge is being used as an only or main place of residence.More informationIf we haven’t covered something here that you would like to ask, or you want more detail on questions raised in this section, please call us at Head Office on 01723 584311 or email us on info@flowerofmay.com