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When is a caravan not a caravan?

Bellcrew

Bellcrew

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The question here is what does the wording of the lease actually say?
If the lease states caravan, then it is surely is for the freeholder to prove that the wording includes a Cali.
If the lease doesn't define a caravan, then any court would use the normal interpretation, which I don't think would include a motor vehicle.
Even if they look to the motor caravan definition, this is a distinct category and would normally be listed separately on a lease (I have seen that).
I wish you all the best. The whole system of leasehold is awful.
It would pay VW and the other van based manufacturers to take this to court, the word caravan appears on a large percentage of deeds/leases.
Most people would not describe a Cali as a caravan, it just requires a judge in a higher court to agree and that would end this dispute, at least until the freeholders change the wording.
 
Digger

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No manufacturer would support this as the costs could be excessive.
It should hopefully make others aware of the importance of reading and questioning missives and other legal documents before signing up. Any dubiety requires clarification to stop this obvious upset which happened to the OP. The solicitors should be made aware and required to clarify with binding permissions. A sad case for the OP.
 
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Bellcrew

Bellcrew

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No manufacturer would support this as the costs could be excessive.
It should hopefully make others aware of the importance of reading and questioning missives and other legal documents before signing up. Any dubiety requires clarification to stop this obvious upset which happened to the OP. The solicitors should be made aware and required to clarify with binding permissions. A sad case for the OP.
"The German automaker set aside an additional €2.5 billion ($3 billion) on Friday to buy back cars in North America. That means the scandal has now cost the company $30 billion in total."
Mere bagatelle to sort out this ongoing faff for many of its customers I would have thought even cheaper if they involved Ford/Fiat etc in the case.
 
ArunAlec

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It would pay VW and the other van based manufacturers to take this to court, the word caravan appears on a large percentage of deeds/leases.
Most people would not describe a Cali as a caravan, it just requires a judge in a higher court to agree and that would end this dispute, at least until the freeholders change the wording.
I think all that would happen is that the word “caravan” would be replaced with a clause that details “any vehicle or boat that can/could/is fitted out to allow sleeping etc”.
 
Meoncoast

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stealth camper van required for these parking spaces.
dark windows
no awning
a petrol decor on water filler.
 
flying banana

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I'd be so cheesed off with this. If snobbery is the case I find it hard to think many motors on that estate would be 50 and 60 grand a piece. I'd be tempted to put a sign on my cali saying ' this is not a caravan' to see what the neighbours say. It must be a neighbour that's whined about it. I would agree more with the lease holder if the clause said no vans. Like some do. And if you Google the word 'boat' you could easily park a ship on your drive. Or a yacht. As they aren't boats.
 
motacyclist

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I think all that would happen is that the word “caravan” would be replaced with a clause that details “any vehicle or boat that can/could/is fitted out to allow sleeping etc”.
This is the wording on ours - house on wheels!

BA21E688-78A1-4D43-9D1B-0D49A3523CB1.jpeg
 
5i1ver8ack

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Until the turn of the last century, many domestic dwellings had no (internal) toilets, but they were still houses.
 
shudycamps

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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![/QUOTE
Make very certain you are prepared to exit your property; you won't get a second chance. If the debate had been ongoing for 3 months, it's because they are trying to pressure you and avoid legal costs because in the eyes of the law, your Cali is NOT A caravan. They know this. If they are not on your Xmas card mailing list, don't sweat it. All you have to do is say; "see you in court." And let them make the absurd, expensive folly. They have had to taken legal advice - count on it.
 
jts46

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And a toilet without anything else was an outhouse.


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In our house the outside loo with strips of local newspaper hanging on the wall with a nail was called a "privvy" or "outdoor bog". the outhouse was where the coal fired tub was, with rain water supply from tank on outhouse roof.
 
Velma's Dad

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In our house the outside loo with strips of local newspaper hanging on the wall with a nail was called a "privvy" or "outdoor bog". the outhouse was where the coal fired tub was, with rain water supply from tank on outhouse roof.

"...an' yer tell that ter kids terday, an' they woon't believe yer".

:Grin
 
BikerGran

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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".

I can understand why you've made the decision to comply with these bullies but I really think she hasn't got a leg to stand on if the best she can offer is just her opinion - if she had said that in some legal eagle's opinion, it would carry more weight. You could also have offered that it was obviously NOT unambiguous as it's taken them 18 months to decide that your vehicle did not comply.

I hope this doesn't sour your enjoyment of your home, I know how I would feel.
 
Alfiesbuddy

Alfiesbuddy

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1 fairly brief visit to a solicitor will allow you to understand if you are going to store your Cali elsewhere or can remain as you are.

I’d say in equity you have an extremely watertight case, your ‘government’ set docs state you own a car. I doubt any freeholder could argue otherwise

The letters and behaviour is physiological nudging and bullying. There is no threat of legal action.

You also have the right to peaceful occupation within EU set law and this is handy in such circumstances.

Invest in 1 session with an experienced land law expert, might not be local but worth a small spend to put the matter to rest, as in what you choose to do.

The vile colour car should happen anyway to wipe the smug smile off the local snobs :)
 
Amarillo

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1 fairly brief visit to a solicitor will allow you to understand if you are going to store your Cali elsewhere or can remain as you are.

I’d say in equity you have an extremely watertight case, your ‘government’ set docs state you own a car. I doubt any freeholder could argue otherwise.
I've been tied up with a leasehold dispute before. Interpreting a lease is not straightforward, and consulting a solicitor is of little help as 50% of the time solicitors lose their case in court (not strictly right as it is the solicitor's client who loses, the solicitor gets paid win or lose.)

However, the first tier tribunal (FTT) is an effective and cheap way to get a lease interpreted. The FTT is usually made up of three: a qualified solicitor, a qualified surveyor and a layman. Findings of the FTT can be appealed to the Upper Tribunal, and it is here where costs can mount as it would be unwise to go to the Upper Tribunal without a barrister.

In this case I suspect the matter would hinge on whether the FTT felt that the term "caravan" should apply to a "motor caravan", the description of the body type given on the V5. As defending a case at the FTT can be cheap (the complainant pays their costs and the court fee, and costs are rarely awarded) I'd take the punt and defend my own case, but can understand why the OP chose not to. If you have legal cover with your buildings insurance you will get a solicitor paid by your insurance so long as your insurer believes you have a 50% or greater chance of winning.
 
T

Tomcali

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This matter has now been referred to VW Exec Management and their Legal Team via a call to VWCS.

The issue is so important to us because if we move the vehicle off the estate, in effect agreeing we are in breach of the lease, the forfeiture option is then made available to the Freeholder.

The ultimate sacrifice is to have our property taken from us.

All because --We love our VW California.

Parking our Cali in a safe gated environment is one the main reasons we purchased the property in the first place.

We are not in breach of the lease.
The covenant states: "Not to park any caravan or boat on the property"
No definition of caravan or further reference to caravan is included in the lease.

You know the time when you start to question reality, sanity and the world in general - I am at that point.

Thanks to everybody's support and contributions to date.
We have been informed that FTT is being filed.
 
N

NZCol

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I'd chop it in for a Beach and then see what the forthing handwringers get excited about as it would look identical and yet defintiely NOT qualify as a 'motor caravan'. Then buy a pod for it and achieve all you need.
 
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WelshGas

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I'd chop it in for a Beach and then see what the forthing handwringers get excited about as it would look identical and yet defintiely NOT qualify as a 'motor caravan'. Then buy a pod for it and achieve all you need.
Not quit as simple as that as the DVLA, UK Vehicle Liscence Authority, have the Beach Body Type defined as Motor Caravan, exactly the same as the Ocean.
 
WelshGas

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This matter has now been referred to VW Exec Management and their Legal Team via a call to VWCS.

The issue is so important to us because if we move the vehicle off the estate, in effect agreeing we are in breach of the lease, the forfeiture option is then made available to the Freeholder.

The ultimate sacrifice is to have our property taken from us.

All because --We love our VW California.

Parking our Cali in a safe gated environment is one the main reasons we purchased the property in the first place.

We are not in breach of the lease.
The covenant states: "Not to park any caravan or boat on the property"
No definition of caravan or further reference to caravan is included in the lease.

You know the time when you start to question reality, sanity and the world in general - I am at that point.

Thanks to everybody's support and contributions to date.
We have been informed that FTT is being filed.
If there is No Definition of a “ Caravan “ in your Covenant then I would presume the Definition used would be the general definition used in something like the Oxford Dictionary.
 
Amarillo

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Tom
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The ultimate sacrifice is to have our property taken from us.

All because --We love our VW California.

Forfeiture is not a realistic outcome. If the FTT find you are in breach, comply and end the Breach and there the matter should end.

In the highly unlikely event that the management company then take the Breach to the High Court and sue for damages, offer £100 as full and final settlement as damages have been minimal. If damages awarded < settlement offered the management company would be liable for your and their High Court costs.

Damages for a breach of lease is capped at the value of the lease, but there is absolutely no way that parking a van outside your home can cause even a tiny fraction of that.

However, I do fear that you have been poorly advised. Parking your van off the estate is not an admission that you have been in breach of your lease, that would need to be determined by the FTT, and they'd not find in favour of the management company if you'd taken steps to end the breach and the breach was not longer occurring.
 
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Perfectos

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It is a sad day indeed to see a freeholder throwing their weight around to try and stop the legitimate use of your right to enjoy your property and vehicle.

Unfortunately, perceived power often does not equate to common sense.

It may be for others to realign the common sense vs power button on the freeholder!

Interested to know how VW have been with you and how they perceive the issue.

As always I wish you all the best, I can only imagine the stress this must be imparting.

don’t let the bar stewards wear you down you have done nothing wrong
 
Amarillo

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Tom
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I have found a website with comprehensive details of tribunal findings for the last 5/6 years.

http://www.residential-property.judiciary.gov.uk/search/decisions_browse.jsp

Click > LVT
Select a region
Click > Browse
Click > Forfeiture (FFT)
Select a local authority and a highlighted year
Click > View Html for the case you want to look at.

It is then the laborious process of reading each decision trying to find one which matches your case, hoping that the decision will support your view.

Most cases are about noise or drug nuisance, running a business, keeping a pet or property alterations. Interesting, but irrelevant, ones include keeping a brothel.

If. in this group, we could muster a team of perhaps 10 volunteers to help search, it would make things easier for you. I'd be willing to search half of London's decisions: Barnet to Hillingdon.
 
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