We’ve had a lot of enquiries in the past about snow on holiday static caravan parks and as winter is approaching we thought we would clarify a few things for caravan owners and people who are renting a static caravan over the winter period, short or long term.
There are many rules and regulations covering the clearance of snow for caravan park operators. The law requires that users of the park are kept safe but making a decision about taking action against a park owner can be as difficult as making one not to.
There are a few holiday parks that consistently fail to address the problems of snow and ice and this is unfair not to mention illegal! If the holiday park’s licence allows use all year round or covers certain of the winter months, caravan owners and renters can reasonably expect to be able to comfortably enjoy the time spent in their caravans.
However, bear in mind that clearance of snow and ice on the caravan pitch is the responsibility of the caravan owner so if you are renting out the van to holidaymakers ensure that you do it or arrange for someone else to.
Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 Section 2(2)
The main Law that caravan owners should know about is The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and the holiday park operator or owner must ensure:
- Access to the park is safe and this includes steps and paths
- If there are hazards, relevant signs as to what they are should be prominently displayed
Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 Section 2(2) provides:
“The common duty of care is a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there”
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 relates to occupiers, individuals and others liability to those who are legally on their land. For example, you would lawfully be on the land of an occupier if you visited the local shop, bar, hairdressing salon and of course a caravan park. The legislation concerns the liability of occupiers in relation to injuries caused to such lawful visitors and any damage incurred to their goods resulting from “dangers due to the state of the property or to things done or omitted to be done there”.
In addition to ensuring that steps, paths etc., are not hazardous there are other important areas that are covered that apply to holiday parks including:
- Private car parks
- Entrances to shops
- Supermarkets, premises and related businesses
What can caravan owners reasonably expect?
So what is reasonable for the owners/operators of static caravan parks to do in order to be compliant with the law? For example, if the park is not so busy in the winter would it be reasonable to expect the entire car park to be gritted? This may be a grey area but if visitors to the park are to be safe it may be reasonable if all the bays are available. Another option for a park owner is to cordon off the area of a car park that isn’t likely to be used and put up a sign drawing attention to the potential hazard
Nobody wants to get involved with suing people because they have not complied with the law so before you choose a site to pitch your static caravan it may be an idea to ask the other caravan owners whether the park operator clears the snow and ice satisfactorily in the winter. It’s also a good idea to check that it is written into your agreement