Trailers, mobile homes and manufactured homes are built in factories and transported over the road on axles and wheels to the site where they will be set up – whether that is in a rental community (mobile home park/manufactured housing community), or on privately owned land. The manufactured home is set up on pillars, earthquake systems are installed on newer homes, the tires are removed, and siding or skirting is added. Owners add steps to the front and back doors and, in many parks, carports and patios are installed with covers. Driveways and landscaping are added and maintained by the mobile home owner renting the site.
Once a mobile home is set in place, it can be moved the same way it was originally moved to the site. If the home is multi-section (double or triple wide), the sections are divided and move along the roadway as single sections. In many mobile home parks built in the 60s and 70s, the original homes are now 50 and 60 years old and are being replaced by newer manufactured housing. Where do these older homes go? Some go to Mexico or out of state, others to privately owned land or older mobile home parks in rural areas where they are fixed up and rented or sold.
Have you ever considered selling, or even moving a mobile home? The following are some important facts you need to know.
What rights do I have to sell my mobile home in the park?
Despite the “mobile” connotation, once installed in a park most mobile homes are not moved but are resold in the place of the park. Mobile homes can be expensive to move, but sometimes that alternative is a consideration if the rent in the new location is significantly lower than the current location or you are moving your home to a lot you own. The use of a private parcel for relocation of a mobile home from a park is subject to local laws.
The resale of a mobile home in the park involves management’s approval. The Civil Code regulates home sales as follows:
The park management can require notice that you are selling your home in the park but they cannot require you to sell it to them unless you have signed a legal document that states differently.
The park management cannot charge you or your agent a fee as a condition of the sale of your mobile home in the park unless you give them written authorization to perform a service in the sale.
The park management cannot require the selling owner or owner’s heir to use the management or a dealer or broker approved by the management as an agent in the sale, and the management cannot show or list the home for sale without first obtaining your written authorization.
The park management cannot require you to remove your mobile home from the park upon sale to another party, unless the home:
Does not meet minimum health, safety and construction codes standards; or
Is in significantly run-down condition and disrepair, as reasonably determined by the management; or
Is not a mobile home or manufactured home (i.e. smaller than 8 x 40 feet in size).
The homeowner has the right to put up a ‘for sale’ sign in the window or side of the home, or the yard facing the street on A or H type frame if it does not extend into the street. The sign face cannot exceed 24 x 36 inches in size and may include the name, address and phone numbers of the owner or agent. Information tubes for leaflets about the home for sale may be attached to the sign or the home.
The park management has the right to approve the buyer of your home if it remains in the park. The management must inform you and the buyer in writing within 15 business days whether they accept or reject your buyer for residency. The management may only reject the buyer for two reasons:
Buyer’s inability to pay the rent and charges of the park – usually based on an income-to-rent ratio and the buyer’s credit history; or
Buyer’s inability to comply with the park’s rules and regulations – usually based on past rental history or conduct in other mobile home parks or apartments.
Mobile home owners and their sales agents must provide their buyers with a mobile home resale or transfer disclosure statement (TDs) on used mobile homes that lists the home’s features, defects, and code violations, if any. The park management must also provide buyers of homes in the park with a park disclosure check-off form indicating any problems with specified park facilities before they sign a rental agreement to move into the park.
Every mobile home sold or resold on or after January 1, 2009 must have a smoke alarm installed in every sleeping room.
Resource: What Every Mobile Home Owner Should Know, published by the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities.