Buying a new mobile home and searching for the right community? Moving to a mobile home on an existing lot? Planning to relocate your existing mobile home? Regardless of your unique situation, knowing what to expect when it comes to leasing land will give you a head start on what can be a confusing situation.

What is mobile home park lot rent?

Many mobile home parks (sometimes called “trailer parks” or “manufactured home communities”) charge a lot or site rent. This means that, though you may own (or be paying in installments for) the home itself, you are required to pay rent for the land underneath your home. Rents are paid monthly to the park, usually a for-profit company. These rents are not standardized and vary greatly depending on local real estate market conditions.

Your lot rent may only go to leasing the land your home sits on, but, in many cases, a percentage of lot rent goes to the upkeep of the neighborhood, including maintenance and landscaping. Sometimes these fees cover utilities, like water, sewer, and electricity. Sometimes, park-wide utilities, like garbage collection, or services, like cable TV are subsidized by the tenant’s lot rent. 

Manufactured home communities tend to have relatively low rates of capital expenditure required to operate them. The tenants (leasing the underlying land) own their own homes and are responsible for the costs of keeping up the maintenance on their homes. The community owners are responsible for costs related to infrastructure (gas, sewer, water, electric) and, typically, the common areas within the community like pools, playgrounds, and clubhouses.  Otherwise, when a community owner assumes responsibility for both by renting both the underlying land and the home, it’s akin to operating a horizontal apartment complex. 

The bottom line is always to ask your park owner, “What does lot rent pay for?”. You may be surprised at the amenities included or lack of them, or you may be glad to know of extra fees (such as having pets) before they sneak up on you. Always do your due diligence.