Petition Public Inquiry into Unfair Trading Practices of Holiday Caravan Park Owners
The Government should launch an inquiry into the terms of standard consumer contracts issued by trade members of the NCC and BH&HPA, to establish if the terms and practices are unfair for the purposes of the CRA 2015 and if the practices breach the Unfair Trading Regs 2008.
An investigation is needed to establish if there are systemic unlawful trading practices by Holiday Caravan Park companies across the UK. We believe there is overwhelming evidence of detriment to 1000s of consumers, many of whom face loss of their homes. An Inquiry followed by positive interventions would be an efficient and effective way of resolving a national crisis for consumers.
This response was given on 12 February 2021
Unfair practices are prohibited by consumer law and Trading Standards services and the CMA are responsible for its enforcement. The Government has no further plans to launch an inquiry.
The Government is committed to ensuring we have one of the world’s strongest consumer protection regimes to ensure consumers’ interests are safeguarded in our economy.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) protect individuals who purchase or rent caravans and park homes, and the Competition and Markets Authority is responsible for the enforcement of the CRA and CPRs.
The CRA protects consumers when buying goods and services from traders. Under the CRA, all terms of written contracts must be fair and transparent. If terms in a consumer contract are assessed by a court as unfair, they will not be binding on the consumer, even if the consumer has “accepted” them.
The CPRs prohibit traders from mis-selling, acting aggressively towards consumers and offering grossly unfair contract terms. The broad rules outlining when commercial practices are unfair fall under three main categories:
• A general ban on conduct below a level which may be expected towards consumers;
• Misleading practices like false or deceptive messages, or leaving out important information; and
• Aggressive sales techniques that use harassment, coercion, or undue influence.
Consumers who believe that a trader in the holiday park or any other sector has breached these rules should in first instance contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/) if they are in England or Wales, and contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 (https://consumeradvice.scot/) if they are in Scotland.
The helplines offer free advice to consumers on their rights and how best to take their complaint forward. The helplines can also refer on complaints to Trading Standards who will investigate and prosecute cases as they see appropriate. Furthermore, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regulates unfair terms in consumer contracts, and consumers can report their concerns by writing to the CMA or use the online form at:
The CMA has produced guidance on unfair terms, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/unfair-contract-terms-cma37
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
At 100,000 signatures...
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament