Living in a mobile home park comes with its perks. You don’t have to pay property tax and maintenance is minimal. You can easily choose like-minded communities. These parks often include extras such as pools, fitness centers, and community events. Yet, the perks mean nothing when you find hidden fees or other disappointments after moving day. We encourage you to stop for a moment and check out the following list of questions to ask before signing a lease.
Asking the right questions can help you avoid heartache and disappointment. Because once you sign the lease and transplant your home and your family, you’re more than likely stuck. Moving a mobile home is a costly process. Here are seven questions that will help you make an informed decision.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN BUYING A MOBILE HOME PARK
#1 Outside of rent, are there any additional fees?
The mobile home park owner may require additional payments for extras such as security, parking, utilities, or trash. Ask the park owner to give you a printed document breaking down these extras. Every park will be different and no one wants to be caught off guard with surprise expenses.
#2 Can you provide me with a printed copy of the park rules?
Everyone is different. You may find that some mobile home parks have rules that aren’t going to work for your lifestyle. For example, age restrictions may not work if you plan on younger family members staying with you for long periods of time.
Violations of park rules can lead to fines, fees, and eventually evictions. If there are common areas, rules will be in place to ensure everyone’s safety. Just know what you’re agreeing to.
#3 What happens if I leave before the lease ends?
You never know what the future holds. A family need or a new job offer may require you to move out of state before your lease agreement expires. It’s good to know what to expect from the park manager if this happens.
#4 What are the pet policies?
Let’s face it. To some, their furry friends are family. Before signing a lease, be cautious that the park’s pet policies are going to work with your canine. Certain breeds and sizes may not be welcome in the park.
Many mobile home parks pride themselves on creating a pet-friendly mobile home community. Reach out to park residents for a first-hand account of how friendly the park is towards pets.
#5 How do you handle security deposit and refunds?
Park managers may demand a security deposit for lot rentals. The park manager holds the security deposit until your lease expires. These funds are set aside for fixing property damages that might have arisen during your lease. Any leftover funds should come back to you.
Be aware of the conditions and procedures for your security deposit. Seek to understand what the park manager’s standards and requirements are for your refund.
#6 How do you deal with increases in rent?
Ask about the rent increase for the last several years. Find out how often the rent increases and what steps they take to notify tenants. The notification requirements vary from state to state. Some states require a notice 365 days in advance, others require two months. Some parks do not allow the increase in rent to affect current residents until it’s time to renew the lease.
#7 What happens if the park closes?
This is our last of seven questions to ask before signing a lease. Being evicted from your home is one of the most heart-breaking situations you could be in.
Unfortunately, parks can close at any given notice. Generally, that is the way of the mobile home park. The land belongs to the park owner, and he or she may decide to sell or use the property for something else. Find out what kind of advanced notice they would give you.
Ask what happens if the landlord sells to another party. Will the new park owner honor the lease?
Interestingly, mobile home park cooperatives are on the rise. These cooperatives are the answer to the problem of homeowners being evicted at the land owner’s whim. Because residents own shares in park property, membership in the cooperative protects residents against unfair eviction. Residents also have a say in decisions related to things such as rent and park improvements.
Make the right decision when you know what questions to ask before signing a lease!
Without a doubt, knowing the right questions to ask before signing a lease can help you better understand the agreement you’re about to enter. They can also help you see any red flags and spare you from a regretful decision. Additionally, knowing how laws work on your behalf as a manufactured home owner will help too. The National Manufactured Home Owners Association is a good place to start in your research.
Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll find great tips on packing up and moving in our other article, Everything You Need To Know For An Easy Transition.