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Five questions to ask prior to moving into a rental mobile home community

Charity Cicardo

Few states have legislation assisting residents who live in manufactured home communities where they own their homes but rent their lots. Florida, California and Arizona have the most comprehensive laws governing mobile home parks, but as residents will say, they aren’t perfect either. What’s the solution? Here are the top 5 issues to review prior to moving in to a mobile home community in any state where you will own the home, but rent the lot. 1. Read the park’s rules and regulations carefully before purchasing a home. The rules outline how your home should be kept and how management deals with homeowners who don’t follow the rules. If the rules are vague, then move on. 2. Determine the amount of lot rental increase that will be given at least five or 10 years after move-in. If the park owner or management is vague, you probably don’t want to move in. 3. Ask management if the residents will get the right of first refusal to purchase the community if the park owner ever wants to sell. If enough people ask for this right prior to moving in, it will make park owners think this should be an option they offer. Park owners can make a written agreement with residents in the community to give them the option to purchase; it doesn’t have to be a state law. 4. Do an online search to determine if there are any laws in the state that govern mobile home parks. Most laws are simple enough to read; you may not understand everything, but you’ll understand enough to know if mobile home owners have any protections. Florida's mobile home law is found here. 5. If possible, move into a resident owned community. These communities have already been purchased by the residents, who govern the community. Although Florida has the most resident owned communities, mobile home subdivisions in many states are resident controlled if the park is fully developed. Ask questions prior to moving in.

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