One of the attractions of park home living is the sense of community that living on a park brings with it, often there is a park manager or warden but more importantly, because most residents are retired there are always people about, contrast that with a typical residential estate where streets can often be devoid of people during working hours leading to an increased risk of burglaries for example.
It is a fact that incidents of crime on residential parks, be it anti-social behaviour, vandalism or theft are very rare indeed and from an insurance perspective this is of course very good news, but from the resident’s perspective it is a huge source of comfort and peace of mind. You could legitimately argue that parks operate their own informal neighbourhood watch schemes, there is no structure as such but with the majority of homes occupied during the day strangers are quickly spotted and the police or site manager alerted.
Another important and positive aspect of park home living is the abundance of social groups and resident’s associations which bring the community together by organising events, taking up issues with the park management and looking out for vulnerable and perhaps lonely residents. These organisations can take a variety of forms, from social groups organising bingo, coach outings and a Christmas lunch, to more formal local resident’s associations which have an officer structure and regular meetings but which are not formally recognised by the park owner, to Qualifying Resident’s Associations which are quite formal with a structure and annual elections and which are supported by more than 50% of the homes on the park, as such, by law they must be recognised by the park owner and consulted on things like pitch reviews.
Many associations produce monthly newsletters which are usually very informative with articles about park home law, future activities, reporting back on any discussions with the park owner, competitions and other park related news. They are often supported by local advertising and sponsorship.
And finally there are the national associations, notably The Independent Park Home Advisory Service (IPHAS) – www.iphas.co.uk – 0800 612 8938 and The National Association of Park Home Residents (NAPHR) – www.naphr.co.uk – 01746 767298. These two associations are run by park home residents for park home residents, they have thousands of members and charge a nominal annual membership fee of £6 for which you receive newsletters full of really relevant news and content, they are also able to offer guidance and advice on a whole range of park home related issues. Being national associations they can stay above the local politics which can sometimes occur at a local level and they have a huge amount of experience and expertise at their fingertips.
So even if your park does not have a local association you can join one of the national associations, and by joining a local or national association you can make savings on your park home insurance as well! Paul Baker Insurance Services recognise the valuable and vital role played by these associations and to encourage and reward people who join they offer a 15% discount on their park home insurance premiums, this could be worth as much as £48, more than covering the annual membership fee!