Important, please read all this notice as the content will be discussed at the AGM.
Reference: 2023 To 2024 Notice of Pitch Fee Review Reminder letter and attached documents (all undated).
The SBPRA do not have the legal skills to advise on the Pitch Fee Review either way. However, the SBPRA can comment and give a layman’s interpretation of the document, highlighting relevant passages from the notice to Residents so they may make their own decision to accept or reject the proposed increase.
Guidelines For Residents As Per The Mobile Home Act
- Residents may inform Sandy Bay Management (SBM) of their decision not to pay the increase if they wish but are not obliged to do so.
- Important, Residents do not have to pay the increased pitch fee at this moment in time.
- Residents will not be deemed as being in arrears either but must continue to pay the existing Pitch Fee in full on its due date.
Potential Sandy Bay Management response if no agreement is reached regarding proposed pitch fee increase
- SBM may decide to apply to a First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a binding decision on their behalf in an attempt to enforce the new Pitch Fee.
- The Tribunal will investigate the case and decide depending on arguments put forward if the proposed increase is reasonable and proportional. The Tribunal would then make a binding decision on both sides.
- At this point if their decision goes against the Residents the new Pitch Fee, limited to the Consumer Prices Index, will be charged and backdated to the original review date.
- If the Tribunals decision is in favour of Residents, then the new Pitch Fee will be set by them.
- This could result in the proposed new fee being reduced or even canceled entirely.
Documents Attached to Pitch Fee Review Letter
- The documents attached to the Pitch Fee review state that an application to a Tribunal must be made no later than three months after the review date. In this case, SBM would need to submit a request by the 1st of February 2024.
- If SBM fails to make an application to the Tribunal in time, or their application is refused, Residents will still need to continue paying the original current Pitch Fee.
- A Tribunal can consider a reduction in Pitch Fee, if it can be shown that there is a deterioration in condition or decrease in amenities on the site or there is a deterioration of services.
- The Pitch Fee review documents state that any costs incurred by the site owner in connection with the expansion of the protected site cannot be included in the Pitch Fee review.
- The documents state that any increases in Pitch Fee that are solely due to Park improvements can only be considered if the Park Owners have been in consultation with the Residents and Residents Association. “This has not taken place”.
SBPRA Interpretation of the Pitch Fee Documents
- The SBPRA's interpretation is that the site owner “SBM”, is obliged to provide free of charge, on request, documentary evidence in support and explanation of the new Pitch Fee. "No breakdown of Pitch Fee received with documentation".
- This should show charges, costs, or expenses payable by the resident to SBM. If SBM contacts residents concerning the non-payment of the increased fee this should be asked for in reply.
- The SBPRA advises residents not to liaise with SBM about this matter verbally, but instead to insist all communications from SBM are in writing or email. The SBPRA would like a copy of such communications received if possible.
Pitch Fee Arrears If Review Goes To Tribunal
- The SBPRA advises that until any potential tribunal decision is made, the additional Pitch Fee increase should be saved each month.
THE SBPRA REQUESTS THAT RESIDENTS DO NOT RESPOND TO THE SBM PITCH FEE REVIEW LETTER OR PAY ANY PROPOSED INCREASE UNTIL AFTER THE SBPRA AGM ON WEDNESDAY 11TH OCTOBER
(PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A DECISION THAT INDIVIDUAL RESIDENTS MUST MAKE)