Buying and Selling Trailers, Mobile Homes and Manufactured Homes in Rental Parks

A trailer is NOT a mobile home if it is less than 8 feet wide x 40 feet long and is therefore classified as a recreational vehicle (trailer).  The owners of these trailers/RV’s do not have a right to sell them in place.

A mobile home cannot be required to be removed upon a resale if it: 1) is more than 17 to 20 years old or older but meets health, safety and construction standards of state law; and 2) is not in substantially rundown condition or disrepair as determined in the reasonable discretion of management.

Prior to purchasing a manufactured home located in a rental park, the prospective buyer must be approved for tenancy in the park by the owner of the park.  The sale of a mobile home located in a mobile home park is a three-party, not two-party transaction.   The buyer and seller must not only agree to terms on the sale of the home, the buyer must be approved for residency in the park by the park owner/management.

Park management can withhold approval on the basis of: 1) the buyer’s inability to pay the rent and charges of the park and 2) the buyer’s inability to comply with park rules and regulations as indicated by prior tenancies.  Although guidelines used by other landlords or public agencies for rental housing may be more lenient, many park owners impose higher income requirements to assure buyers will be able to afford future rent increases without causing the park problems, such as evictions.

The seller of a manufactured home must provide the buyer with certain disclosures.

The Advantages of Manufactured Housing

Manufactured housing communities have a lot to offer.

Is it true that they are cost-effective? Yes. Depending on where you live the cost per square foot for a new manufactured home is 10- 30% LESS that a comparable site built home.

These homes are inspected every step of the way, from the first wall that is assembled in the factory to the placement of the home within the residents chosen park. They have all the amenities availed that site built homes have, including granite counter tops, crystal chandeliers and even bay windows.

Another advantage is the owner’s ability to place the home wherever they choose. It may be in a park in the mountains or just miles from the beach. The location that is chosen for the home does not affect the cost of the home itself, although rent for the space the home sits on will differ from park to park.  If in a few years you decide to move from the desert to the ocean you can take your home with you!

Manufactured homes and their communities are a wonderful choice when looking for housing.

Park Rules Protect Residents

Every mobile home park has “rules and regulations/guidelines” ( like CCR’s)  that all residents agree to follow when they move into the park – the same as other developments like condominiums and apartments.   Rules vary from park to park, but all communities must follow the laws established in the State of California Civil Code, commonly referred to as the Mobilehome Residency Law (“MRL”).  The California Mobilehome Residency Law  generally changes every year and the management of every mobile home park is required to distribute copies of the new laws annually (by February first).  The park rules are designed for the benefit of the majority of the residents, and to preserve the quality of life for everyone living in the community.  As an example, requiring the home and lot  to be kept uncluttered and well maintained adds to the overall appearance and desirability of a community and to the resale value of the homes in the park.  It is the responsibility of the park management to enforce the rules.  Residents who are not in compliance with the rules may be evicted. Click Here for a complete copy of the Mobilehome Residency Law.

Rents Differ from Park to Park

No two mobile home parks are the same and it is common for rents to vary widely from park to park – even if they appear to be similar – they are not.  The amount of rent charged depends on numerous factors including the age of the park, maintenance  costs, the tenancy (senior vs. all age), the location, and the term of the ownership (expenses such as property taxes vary depending when the park was purchased or built).  Various other things impact the cost of running a mobile home park – including the cost of insurance.  Parks that have been sued by the tenants of the park are burdened with higher insurance rates, which increase the cost of operating the park.  It’s fairly straightforward – a mobile home park is a business and like other privately owned businesses in America – the goal is to make a profit.  The “product” offered by a mobile home park business owner is the rental of a piece of land and, along with the rental of the land, comes a variety of “services” that are part of the cost of renting the land.  The services provided in the rent charged in mobile home parks include the maintenance of the infrastructure (such as streets, utilities systems, buildings, common area landscaping, etc.). Property management’s duties  include enforcement of the community rules and regulations and maintaining amenities such as clubhouses and swimming pools.