One of the few park home estates which offers homes for rental is Warfield Park in Berkshire. The park is in a woodland setting, yet conveniently close to Windsor and Bracknell. It is those two factors which influenced Kevin Nutt and his partner, Clare, to choose to rent a home here. Kevin explains: “We had wanted to buy a detached home in a woodland setting and we couldn’t find anything in our budget in the region, so we decided to rent a home on Warfield Park.” That was 14 years ago.
They rent a pre-owned park home made by Omar. It had had a lot of exterior updating work done, including new cladding – and the couple haven’t needed to do any work on it since then.
What Kevin and Clare like about Warfield is the large size of the plots and the woodland aspect. They also like the high level of maintenance support which Warfield provides: “If the oven stops working, they replace it, for example,” says Kevin. Our telephone chat took place the morning after a severe storm. Fencing panels were down around Kevin’s home. “I just emailed the office, they sent someone here and the fences will be replaced by the end of the week. That’s good service! And that’s why we’ve stayed here renting for so long.”
Kevin works in Reading; Clare works in Ascot; Warfield is ideal for both commutes.
I wanted to know why they chose this particular home. “We wanted a home with a separate kitchen that we could close the door on. This home has exactly that. The lounge is L-shaped and quite large.”
Warfield Park has 76 rented park homes. Jenny Holder, who manages the rental sector of the park, told me how it started: “In 2004 we began with just one or two homes to rent. Then it grew and grew – and now we have a waiting list.” Most of the rental homes are pre-owned; a few are new – there is a new home arriving shortly, Jenny mentioned.
Kevin had talked to us about how much he valued the park’s maintenance service, so I wanted to know more about the service from Jenny. “We have inspections of each home every six months to see if any work needs to be done and I have a team of contractors looking after specific work such as painting, heating and fencing.”
And the rent? Between £790 and £1,100 a month, depending on the size and age of the home and the plot. By comparison, a quick internet search revealed £900 being a typical rent for a one-bedroom flat in the Bracknell area – and detached homes were hugely more than this. Little wonder, then, that the turnover of rental residents at Warfield is, in Jenny’s words, “very low”.