House on wheels

Welsh rules on caravan owners paying council tax

Not all stationary caravan and chalet owners have to pay, so read on to find out who pays and who doesn’t.

There are calls across Wales for all stationary caravan and chalet owners to start paying council tax on the grounds that local councils are losing money because of a ‘loophole’ that allows some owners to avoid paying.

The Caravans and Floating Houses Notice (VAT Notice 701/20) clearly sets out the council tax rules for caravan owners. It says: “If a caravan is used as a person’s sole or primary residence, it is generally subject to council tax for which the occupant or owner of the caravan or floating home is responsible. Caravan houses in seasonal parks or holiday parks are not subject to council tax (unless it is used as a person’s sole or primary residence).

“Instead, the owner of a caravan park will be required to pay non-household rates for the entire site. field or rental fees and will have a standard rating.”

And this is at the heart of the debate. The increase in caravan parks would mean dozens more homes, none of which would be taxed because they are in a seasonal or holiday park. Earlier this year, the Welsh Government increased the maximum level at which local authorities can impose council tax on second homes to 300% from April 2023 . If the caravan is your main property, you pay council tax. If the caravan is in a seasonal park, only the owners of that park will have to pay council tax.

Park owners may charge caravan owners for the following:

  • general maintenance and upkeep of the caravan park as a whole (its common areas), in which case they are part of the general charge for your supply of the pitch and are responsible for its responsibility.
  • certain services provided to specific residents, in which case they are usually regarded as standard

Powys councillor Sue Jones said in January that she considered the loophole a “particular problem in North Wales” when discussing her community’s dissatisfaction with caravans. And Gwynedd councillor John Brynmor Hughes said: “In my view, a house is a house and every house should pay tax depending on which group it is in.

“I wouldn’t like to know how much we have lost in this area (because of the conversion to non-domestic rates), but I want to say one thing: where we are losing the most is in caravan parks. A caravan, even a tourer these days, is like a bungalow, they have bedrooms and they are huge, but they hardly pay any tax. We have caravan parks that are open all year round, they don’t pay any tax at all. a chalet on Warren (in Abersoch), I’ll name it, can cost half a million to a million pounds, but still pay £100 tax, it’s a joke.

“This is where we lose tax and they use our roads, dump their rubbish, use public toilets and everything a house could use. I think we are losing here. m vs 100% (premium), I always have been, but I think we are losing, especially during a pandemic with caravan parks popping up everywhere. I would suggest we take another look at this and look into caravans.”