Recently, we have had a spate of cases that were difficult to deal with because of the verbal nature of the initial agreement reached. Whether it is to do with the terms and conditions for keeping a caravan on the park or something of lesser value such as the design of decking or the supply and positioning of a shed, matters can end up being problematical if what was agreed by a friendly handshake at the park on day one is denied at a later date. The point being that it is a lot more difficult to deny the existence of a written agreement than a verbal one. But the problem remains that it is not the norm for people engaged in this sort of transaction to turn round and ask for written confirmation of what has just been said.
It continues to be apparent that many of the people who we try to assist with negotiations with their park or embark on legal cases are under the impression that if they are morally right about a situation it will later be proved that they have the law on their side. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It isn’t that the law seeks to benefit wrong-doers, but faced with two people giving directly opposing versions of a verbal agreement, no judgment would be possible.
Caveat Emptor or “Buyer Beware” is the underlying principle governing trading throughout the retail sector, but in most other scenarios there isn’t the possibility of eviction lurking in the background. So, whereas most of us feel fairly confident about returning a pie to the supermarket if we find a fly in it, for example, when it comes to confronting park managers about agreements that have been reneged upon, we find numerous caravan owners are simply too worried about the consequences if they kick up a fuss.
The solution is to grab the nettle and insist on the agreement in writing! If the park operator is honourable, there should be no problem. If he or she won’t commit themselves to a written agreement, alarm bells should start ringing!
Even at a small friendly park, where everything is done on a handshake, this should be acceptable. Time and again we come across the misery that ensues when such a park is taken over and the contract terms that – although verbal – have formed the basis of an enjoyable partnership between park operator and caravan owner are denied by the new management.
So give yourself the power of the pen for future security!