Que Choisir petitions fair mobile home contracts
French consumer association, Que Choisir, has described the contracts that campsite owners impose on mobile homeowners as unfair’ and is calling for government intervention to regulate them to protect the 200,000-odd consumers who purchase a mobile home each year.
The association claims that certain clauses imposed on mobile homeowners are disproportionately favourable to the campsite.
Que Choisir objects to a number of clauses contained within a typical pitch contract. Firstly, the contracts are often renewable on an annual basis, but the campsite is allowed to add extra conditions or raise the pitch fee at their discretion. Secondly, the campsite is allowed to place restrictions on mobile homeowners, banning them, for example, from subletting their mobile home, or limiting the number of people that are allowed to stay at any one time. Thirdly, some campsites are reserving the right to force homeowners to remove or replace their mobile home if it is deemed too scruffy’.
According to the association, mobile homeowners are vulnerable and powerless to question these conditions for the following four reasons:
1) There is a legal obligation to install a mobile home on a campsite because planning restrictions prevent permanent installation on private land.
2) There is a scarcity of available pitches.
3) The prohibitive cost of moving a mobile home (approx. €1,000)
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4) The lack of regulation of pitch contracts