In this section
The following examples illustrate circumstances where caravans may or may not be regarded as rateable together with the pitch.
A family live in a “residential” caravan (ie. one with small wheels which is transported by road on a low loader of a lorry rather than being towed) on a mobile homes park. The caravan has been in place for several years.
The pitch is occupied by the caravan and as it is the sole or main residence of the family the requirements of s.66(3) LGFA 1988 are satisfied and the pitch will be domestic property. The caravan can be regarded as enjoyed with the land in such circumstances and with such a degree of permanence that it can together with the land be regarded as one unit of occupation. The value of the caravan should therefore be included in the valuation.
A showman owns a pitch which he uses as the winter quarters for the caravan he lives in. Half the year he tours the country towing the caravan behind his lorry. For the rest of the year the caravan is on the pitch.
During the winter months the pitch will constitute a dwelling because it satisfies the requirements of the General Rate Act 1967 to be a hereditament, and is “a pitch for a caravan” which is “occupied by a caravan which is the sole or main residence of an individual”. The caravan will not however satisfy the permanency test and therefore the pitch alone is valued to determine the appropriate band. On the facts it appears that when next in use the pitch will be used for siting a caravan which is a sole or main residence and therefore it will be domestic by virtue of s.66(5) LGFA 1988 for the whole year.
A family own a touring caravan which they store in the drive way of their house when not taking it away for weekends and holidays.
The caravan will not satisfy the permanency test and its value should not be included when banding the house. The pitch, ie, part of the drive, will be included in the banding of the house as will the rest of the drive and gardens because it is an appurtenance enjoyed with the living accommodation.
A family own a residential caravan which at list compilation date* they had kept in the grounds of their house for several years. It is used as overspill accommodation for family and friends. The caravan has a kitchen, wash basin, shower and WC connected to mains drainage.
The pitch is occupied by a caravan and as the house and grounds are the sole or main residence of the family, the requirements of s.66(3) are satisfied and the pitch will be domestic. The caravan can be regarded as enjoyed with the land in such circumstances and with such a degree of permanence that it can together with land can be regarded as one unit of occupation and the value of the Caravan included in the banding of the main house and ground. Given the self containment of the caravan, disaggregation would have been appropriate under the (Chargeable Dwellings Order) 1992 but with effect from 1 April 1997 disaggregation is no longer possible by virtue of the Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings, Exempt Dwellings and Discount Disregards) Amendment Order 1997.
*NB. The introduction of a residential caravan as additional accommodation occupied with an existing dwelling will be treated a material increase.