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Helen Hill
Helen Hill, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 174
Experience:  LLB Law, Licensed Conveyancer and Probate Practitioner, Fellow of CILEx, Trust and Estates Practitioner (STEP)
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I own and run a small caravan park close to Skegness. Within

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Hello, I own and run a small caravan park close to Skegness. Within the caravan site we have a facility for people to store their caravans. They would pay an annual fee to store their caravan within the storage area. What I would like to know is, if someone has left their caravan within our storage area and have not paid their annual storage fee for a period of 2 years, can i hold their caravan as collateral against whats owed? or is their an option for me to take possession of their caravan.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I am a property lawyer. Hopefully I will be able to give you some guidance on your query.

So that I can advise you fully could you please let me know if there is a signed agreement in place with the caravan owners and provide a copy of this if there is? Normally the terms and conditions of such an agreement will provide you with rights if the customer defaults in their payments.

With best regards

Helen

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hello, thanks for your response. There is no signed agreement between ourselves and the caravan owners

Thank you for your response. As there is no agreement in place you must be careful to ensure that you give notice to the owner. I would suggest that you allow a reasonable period before taking any action (2 years is more than reasonable!) and then send a letter to their registered address by recorded post allowing them a fixed period to pay the arrears before action is taken. You must then clearly lay out what you intend to do. I assume you would want to sell the caravan (the sale must be for a fair price) pay the arrears and any costs associated with the sale of the goods and then any surplus funds must be returned to the customer.

As long as you provide suitable notice and can be confident that the customer has received that notice then you can proceed with the sale.

I hope this information is useful and helps you to proceed.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks for your response. Is there any way we can take possession of the caravan instead of a sale?

As the caravan is likely to be of a higher value than the outstanding arrears you could find yourself in trouble for effectively taking possession of the entire value. To avoid a sale of the caravan you would need a formal valuation carrying out so that you can deduct any costs and arrears and return the difference in value to the customer.

It seems unfair when it is the customer who has defaulted on the agreement but you certainly don't want to give them any route to comeback and claim you have acted unfairly.

You could apply to the Court to request that the default in payment is treated as if the caravan has been abandoned but again I believe they would want to see the difference between the value and the arrears (less your costs) be returned to the owner.

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