Buy all your VW California Accessories at the Club Shop Visit Shop

When is a caravan not a caravan?

T

Tomcali

VIP Member
Messages
58
I live in a leasehold property.

The lease states:-
"Not to park any caravan or boat on the property"

After using my own allocated space to park my Cali for more than 18 months - out of the blue a written notice was delivered to me. It demands that I remove my vehicle from the estate and not to use my allocated parking space to park my VW Cali as to do so contravenes the above.
Of course I read the lease, thought I understood it and was willing to comply but it appears that I didn't fully understand the requirement.
One of the reasons we bought the property was the extra security it afforded to my Cali, with it being a gated residence.

I have pointed out that my VW Cali is a motor vehicle, as defined by the road traffic act 1988 - I have a V5C, an MOT and I pay vehicle excise duty.
Caravans are not subjected to the same legal requirements.

I have legal expense cover on both my motor vehicle (Comfort Insurance) and home contents insurance but this scenario appears to drop between the cracks and after submitting claims to each organisation both have been denied. Buildings insurance is the responsibility of the Freeholder.

Unfortunately, although I feel my case is water tight, it is a battle not the war.
Even if I was successful at a tribunal in this case I believe my life would be made difficult by the people in power.
On this basis and regrettably after three long months I am seriously considering my sanity and moving my Cali off the gated estate and taking a hit with the increased risk of theft and passing traffic damage to my Cali, while parked on the public highways.
Any advice, words of comfort / support or a listening ear on this forum very much appreciated.
Tomcali
 
calikev

calikev

Administrator
Staff member
Admin/Founder
Messages
15,712
Location
Kettering
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
i am looking to move at the moment and thought about this i own a beach and on the v5 it is classed as m1 passenger car as a lot of convertions are still campervans its the m1 bit that doesnt change so as far as im concerned although mine states its a motor caravan its still legally a passenger vehicle.
what class is yours?
 
T

Tomcali

VIP Member
Messages
58
Hi Calikev,
thanks for your response

My V5c states
Section 4. 'Vehicle details'
item J Vehicle category M1
 
Borris

Borris

Super Poster
VIP Member
Messages
5,235
Location
Canterbury
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Send them a copy of the V5 pointing out the taxation class of your Cali. That should be the end of the matter. If not seek legal advice.
 
kp64zl

kp64zl

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
1,186
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
A few thoughts ...

Any way of having a conversation with the free holders rather than going legal about it?

Are you using the California regularly and can explain it's your daily car?
Are there any rules about vans in the lease hold?
Does the V5C have the words "motor caravan" anywhere on the document? If not then that would help your case.

Do you have community support for the California -- i.e. are your neighbours OK with it? Or is this a neighbour being malicious?

Have the freeholders defined what 'caravan' and 'boat' mean in the leasehold or are they undefined?

I'd try and find ways to de-escalate the situation, which may mean not responding too quickly - and certainly not rush down a legal route immediately which will cost you money, time and anxiety.

Just some thoughts....sorry if I've got the wrong end of the stick
 
calikev

calikev

Administrator
Staff member
Admin/Founder
Messages
15,712
Location
Kettering
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Hi Calikev,
thanks for your response

My V5c states
Section 4. 'Vehicle details'
item J Vehicle category M1
passenger car then as defined on the govement website
Category M: Motor vehicles with at least four wheels designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers.

  • Category M1: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat.
  • Category M2: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat, and having a maximum mass not exceeding 5 tonnes.
  • Category M3: Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat, and having a maximum mass exceeding 5 tonnes.
 
T

Tomcali

VIP Member
Messages
58
The debate is 3 months old.
I've tried most things in my control to convince the various interested parties however,
the people in charge will not back down.
Guess the point is not a technical one so much a cautionary note for any Cali owner considering buying leasehold property.

During conveyance it is very important to ask your solicitor to put a question to the seller regarding the Freeholder or right to manage company to determine what their interpretation is because if they have an issue with a Cali parking on the estate, irrespective of the technical argument they will still have an issue - end of story.
It is like a form of racism, they just do not want our type living alongside them, no matter what.

We do consider ourselves to be considerate, reasonable people who are upstanding members of society - What can you do when you encounter snobbery of such proportions?
Snobs mate end of!
 
larrylamb

larrylamb

Cali owner.
Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
3,531
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Well, I think they don't have a leg to stand on personally but If I was forced to remove the Cali from my parking space because of small minded snobs I would be replacing it with the biggest rust bucket car with a lovely bright pink and lime green paint job i could find. W***ers.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Super Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
21,749
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
I understand all that has been said, but I fear the OP may have a problem.
Government Document - Page 33.

Screenshot 2019-02-18 at 13.21.58.jpg
 

Attachments

  • 150309-enforcement_guidance_final__2_.pdf
    701.7 KB · Views: 31
larrylamb

larrylamb

Cali owner.
Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
3,531
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
I understand all that has been said, but I fear the OP may have a problem.
Government Document - Page 33.

View attachment 41535
Surely that only applies to land designated as a Caravan Site and also it is regarding use of the caravan/motorhome as habitation.
 
Borris

Borris

Super Poster
VIP Member
Messages
5,235
Location
Canterbury
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Well, I think they don't have a leg to stand on personally but If I was forced to remove the Cali from my parking space because of small minded snobs I would be replacing it with the biggest rust bucket car with a lovely bright pink and lime green paint job i could find. W***ers.
My thoughts exactly. I'd even have it doctored to smoke and back fire.
 
Borris

Borris

Super Poster
VIP Member
Messages
5,235
Location
Canterbury
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
What does it state in the lease about muck spreaders?
 
T

Tomcali

VIP Member
Messages
58
The matter was escalated by the right to manage company to The Freeholder who has threatened forfeiture of my lease/property if I don't remove my Cali, she is a private freeholder in London and she states:-

"The lease is in my opinion clear and without ambiguity, therefore please refer to the right to manage Directors".
 
T

Tomcali

VIP Member
Messages
58
Re:
screenshot-2019-02-18-at-13-21-58-jpg.41535


The VW California is a motor vehicle that can be adapted.
When the roof is down and the front seats face forward the Cali is not adapted for human habitation in this configuration.
It is an everyday road-going motor vehicle.

I did offer a compromise of signing a document stating whilst on the estate my Cali must only be used as a motor vehicle ie: I won't put the roof up or turn the seats. This resolution has been ignored - Just move it off the estate they say.

The next 'D' day is this Friday before litigation is filed.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Super Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
21,749
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Surely that only applies to land designated as a Caravan Site and also it is regarding use of the caravan/motorhome as habitation.
If that is the case why mention " Railway rolling stock "?
 
MarkVw2017

MarkVw2017

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
1,290
Location
Wales
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
If that is the case why mention " Railway rolling stock "?
So are you saying @WelshGas you would be happy with that document/ definition you found what a caravan is and ignore what the Oxford, Collins, and Cambridge dictionary definitions of what a caravan is and then move your Cali off the drive away from the gated community?
 
Digger

Digger

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
1,383
Location
caledonia
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Best advice is 'take proper legal advice'. The consequences if taken to litigation are bound to be both costly and uncertain. Get proper advice from experts.
 
larrylamb

larrylamb

Cali owner.
Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
3,531
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
If that is the case why mention " Railway rolling stock "?
The act and its definitions relate purely to caravan site licences and what is allowed to be on site to classify as a caravan site. We all know the definition of the Cali as a campervan/van/motorhome/caravan/high car etc changes depending on which authority or company's t&c's we are looking at. 'Tis a strange beast the Cali, hard to pigeonhole.
 
N

NZCol

VIP Member
Messages
374
Location
Edinburgh
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
I've had a disagreement in a similar way and I would also echo legal advice or accept that wherever this has come from will not let it go.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Super Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
21,749
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Anyhows. A California is NOT a caravan. Simple! :headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang:headbang
I’m afraid what the Legislation defines as a Caravan is what will be used, not the Oxford Dictionary.
I’m not happy with it, but the Freeholders Legal Team probably are. Only a Court of Law can decide. If the vehicle is a California Beach I would be more optimistic of winning as it is more likely to be used regularly, whereas a California Ocean, laid up for 6 months each year, less so.
Also, although the V5 states, M1,, Diesel Car, it also states Body Type - Motor Caravan.
At least it does on my V5c.
 
EddieEagle

EddieEagle

VIP Member
Messages
726
Location
Hampshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
I am really sorry that you find yourself in this predicament.
Having been there for 18 months without any problem must give you some rights! Squatters rights? I jest.......sorry.
WTF is the difference between a Caravelle and a California? How about a work van? Seems you are really unlucky with someone out there who is jealous.
I would find the rustiest heap of a sign written Transit and park that up in its place. The Cali may even get invited back?
Best wishes for a sensible outcome.
 
Mr & Mrs B

Mr & Mrs B

One Life, Live It
Messages
356
Location
Devon
Vehicle
Cali now sold
We also have 'no caravans and boats' in our lease. When we first parked our Cali (and one of our neighbours his small Autosleeper) one of our neighbours complained. We both offered to show him our registrations documents which show that it is a motor vehicle and we heard no more!
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Super Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
21,749
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hmmm, I suppose your just playing devils advocate. o_O
Correct.
The OP is in a difficult position.
I believe he should ask the Freeholders representatives for their definition of a “ Caravan “ in the first instance. In fact, when purchasing the property he should have received a document that clearly defines the terms of the Covenant.
Depending on that definition will determine the way forward.

I doesn’t matter what you or I define as a “Caravan”, it depends on the Freeholder’s definition when writing the Covenant which the House Owner then agreed to when purchasing the property.
 
Top