Caravan or mobile home in the garden: what does the law say? What regulations?


Are you planning to install a caravan or mobile home in your garden to accommodate your loved ones, to rent it or simply for your personal use? Be aware that this is a possibility that is governed by law. Indeed, there are strict regulations regarding the installation of these mobile homes on private land. What does the law say about this? What are the regulations in force? What are your rights and duties in this matter? Let’s do a check in.

Installing a mobile home in the garden: what are the possibilities?

More and more individuals are choosing to install a mobile home in their garden. This mobile home solution is indeed very practical for enlarging your living space, for welcoming visiting relatives, for accommodating the time of work carried out in the main house or to supplement your end of the month by offering it for rent. However, if this idea seems ideal, it cannot be practiced under all conditions. Indeed, even if it is your property, you do not have the right to install a mobile home without respecting the strict regulations in force.

If the mobile home was originally a seasonal mobile vacation home, it is a mobile construction that has become a home for some people who live there at least eight months a year. Thus, under the Alur law and the decree of April 27, 2015, the mobile home is no longer only classified as a temporary holiday residence, but as a possible main residence.

In this case, what if you want to install a mobile home in your garden?

The steps to follow for the installation of a mobile home on its land

Depending on how you plan to use the mobile home, you will need to take different steps.

If you plan to use your mobile home less than three months during the year, it will not be necessary to take any specific action. You have the right to install a mobile home on your land for a period of three months each year, whether this period is consecutive or divided. Be careful, however, because this means that the mobile home must be present on your property only for three months; it is not just a question of its occupation. As a result, you must give it its mobility and traction elements so that it retains its mobile character and can be removed at any time when it is no longer in use or after three months of use. This right is granted to you without procedure, but on the condition that the town planning department of your municipality accepts the temporary installation of mobile homes in private gardens, which is not the case for all municipalities in France. Before you start, find out about this right by consulting the PLU of your municipality or by contacting the town hall.

If, on the contrary, you plan to use your mobile home more than three months a year and leave it in your garden, it then becomes a fixed construction and no longer a mobile residence. Its status is changing and its means of traction are removed. In this case, the type of approach to take depends on the surface of your mobile home.

  • For a surface less than or equal to 20 m², you will need to make a prior declaration of work to the town hall, under article R421-23 of the Town planning code. You will receive the validation of your request within one month.
  • For an area greater than 20 m², you will need to submit a building permit, under article R421-14 of the Town planning code. In this case, the deadline is two months and you should know that a refusal from the town hall is possible if you do not respect the municipal expectations in terms of town planning, regulations and the environment.

Steps to take in case of refusal

If your request is refused by the town hall of your municipality, you do not have to give up your project entirely. You have the option of installing your mobile home on land that accepts them, such as a residential park, a campsite or a holiday village. However, you will have to pay a contribution to set up your mobile home there.

Another possibility is to develop a private family land. Indeed, the Alur law allows it within the framework of the installation of temporary and removable residences, which is the case of mobile homes. You therefore have this possibility, but you will first have to obtain the agreement of a request for work at the town hall and make the water, electricity and sanitation connections. In other words, this land must be serviced as if it was about to receive a permanent construction. If the mobile home (s) is less than 40 m² in total, a prior declaration will be sufficient. If their total area is greater than 40 m², you will need to obtain a development permit.

Installing a caravan in the garden: what are the possibilities?

Although it has points in common with the mobile home, the caravan presents significantly fewer constraints in terms of installation on private land. It is indeed a smaller mobile home that is more easily moved.

Be careful, however, because some municipalities refuse the installation of caravans, used or not, on private garden-type land. So check in advance with the town planning services of your municipality or consult the PLU.

If you are allowed to do so, you will need to make a prior declaration to the town hall if your caravan stays on your land for at least three months a year. Below, no formality will be necessary.

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