It may go without saying, but to enjoy your mobile home, you’ll need to find a place to put it! For many, the solution is to rent a lot in a mobile home community. Like any other rental, this will require signing a lease, and, usually, paying monthly.
However, the contents of this lease, and the amount of rent due, can vary greatly from park to park. Knowing what to look for (and what to watch out for!) can assist you greatly on your search.
A lot lease is a contract to rent the plot of land you’ll need to put your mobile home on. You’ll be paying lot rent, (also called site rent or plot rent), which is a set fee you will pay to put your mobile home on the land, live in the park, and access park amenities.
Most of your lot rent will go to paying for the lot. Depending on the setup of the park you choose, and the size of your mobile home, you may have extra room on your lot as a yard or garden.
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.
If your park has recreational amenities like shared swimming pools, playgrounds, tennis or basketball courts, or communal buildings, some of your lot rent will go to upkeep of these facilities.
Typically, there are some circumstances that will produce extra fees. Some of these can be: fees for pets or additional funds required to operate laundry facilities.
Share utilities, like landscaping, and sometimes trash collection, may be included in your lot rent. Always be sure to ask, or look for the stipulation in the lease contract you sign. On the other hand, additional services like water, sewage, gas and electric, will likely require direct payment to your individual accounts.
The length of your lease can be anywhere from 1 to 24 months, or more. This will be the duration of time that you are legally binded to the agreements made therein. After the lease duration has elapsed, you may be given the option to pay month-to-month, or to sign a new lease.
In addition to stipulating the terms of your property agreement, the lease will detail any rules you need to know as a new member of the park. As a tenant, you should expect to follow the rules of the mobile home park. Violation of these rules can result in eviction. Every park will have different guidelines, but commonly you will agree to stipulations regarding pets, noise, maintenance, and parking. You must be given these rules in writing before you sign a lease, and any change of the rules must be given six months written notice before enforcement.