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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Revised Guidance for Holiday Park Owners and Operators

Government backed free and impartial legal advice provider for businesses, Business Companion, has published updated guidance to support owners and operators of holiday parks.

From complaints handling to contracts, marketing and sales promotions, there are specific rules which owners of holiday caravan parks must be aware of if they want to keep their business healthy and their customers happy.

A holiday caravan or lodge is not like many other consumer purchases. Customers in this sector are seeking a home away from home, a place to spend their hard-earned leisure time and relax away from the stresses of daily life. Holiday park owners and operators who sell holiday caravans and lodges, therefore, are in the business of selling much more than just four walls and a roof – they are selling a lifestyle and an aspiration, as well as all of the expectations that go along with it.

There are factors specific to the holiday caravan/lodge sector which are in many ways unusual, and which are important for businesses operating in the space to consider.

People purchasing a caravan or lodge on a holiday park are entering into a large financial transaction, possibly secondary only to buying a house. They are committing into a long-term contract regarding the location of their purchase, its maintenance and facilities, and sundry other considerations. In many cases they will be making the purchase in a marketplace with which they are unfamiliar, and will to a certain extent be vulnerable as a result.

For all these reasons, it is particularly vital that businesses operating in the sector have a firm grasp of their obligations under consumer law and understand the consequences of getting things wrong.

To help holiday park owners and operators, Business Companion – a free online resource for traders of all sizes who need up-to-date, reliable and easy-to-understand information about consumer law – has published a new guide.

The guide, which is written by experts in consumer law, is divided into four easily digestible sections, focusing on contract law and unfair terms; fair-trading law; sales, marketing and entry into contracts; and dealing with holiday caravan/lodge owners.

It sets out what is required by the legislation to ensure that owners can make an informed purchasing decision, alongside the relevant aspects of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The guide also covers things like how to avoid giving out any misleading information or making misleading omissions in contracts and marketing materials, as well as aggressive and banned commercial practices. It contains examples of everyday mistakes to avoid, as well as examples of best practice that can help boost your business’s reputation and help safeguard you if problems do arise.

Sue Steward, Head of Education & Training at Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), said:

“It is really important that people purchasing holiday caravans or holiday lodges know exactly what they are buying into before they make a commitment. Getting things right and spending a little extra time to make sure all parties are happy and comfortable before any contract is signed, will help everybody in the long run.

“When it comes to consumer law, most businesses are keen to get things right, and no one sets out to disappoint their customers. It can sometimes be easy to make mistakes unintentionally though. Hopefully this guidance will help to keep your business running smoothly and your customers happy so they can enjoy their holidays.”

To view the guidance or download the PDF booklet, click here.

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