Mobile Homes

6 Rules to Address for Your Mobile Home Parks

July 24, 2023

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Rules To Consider For Your Mobile Home Parks

Everything is best in moderation. 

And rules for mobile home parks are no exception. 

You want enough rules to maintain order and keep your park in good condition, but you don’t want a long list of arbitrary rules that scare potentially great tenants away. 

In this article, we’re going to cover 6 foundational rules (and accompanying subrules) you should address, clarify, and enforce to keep your parks in good condition and still appeal to great tenants. 

Rule #1: Establish Occupancy Guidelines 

This first rule should include elements like: 

  • Maximum Occupancy: Determine the maximum number of occupants allowed in each mobile home based on its size, layout, and local regulations. This restriction helps prevent overcrowding, ensures residents have sufficient living space, and maintains compliance with safety regulations. 
  • Subletting and Unauthorized Residents: Specify that subletting or allowing unauthorized residents is not permitted without the landlord’s prior written consent. This provision helps prevent unauthorized occupants from residing in the park, ensuring that all residents are accounted for and properly screened. 
  • Guest Policies: Create guidelines for guests and appropriate length of stays. You don’t want someone staying on your property as a “guest” for a month. It may be wise to specify the number of consecutive days or total days per month that guests can stay in a mobile home. These limitations prevent situations where guests become long-term or permanent residents without proper screening or approval. 
  • Transfer of Tenancy: Clarify the process for transferring tenancy from one resident to another, including the need for approval from the landlord and any associated fees or paperwork. This helps maintain control over the park’s population and ensures that all residents are properly screened. 

Rule #2: State Maintenance and Repair Responsibilities 

It’s important to get crystal clear about maintenance and repairs. You need to identify the things you’re responsible for and your tenant’s responsibilities: 

  • Landlord’s Responsibilities: These typically include structural repairs, maintenance of common areas, and infrastructure upkeep on roads, lighting, and utility connections. Also, specify the timeframe within which you will address maintenance issues reported by tenants. 
  • Tenant’s Responsibilities: These often include keeping their mobile homes and lots in good condition, promptly reporting any maintenance issues or repairs needed, and properly maintaining the mobile home interior and exterior. 
  • Reporting Procedures: Establish a procedure for tenants to report maintenance issues or repair requests. This may involve providing a designated point of contact (e.g., property manager or maintenance hotline) and instructions on submitting maintenance requests. Encourage tenants to report issues promptly to prevent further damage or hazards. 
  • Emergency Maintenance: Clearly define what constitutes an emergency maintenance situation and provide tenants with emergency contact information for urgent repairs outside of regular business hours. Examples of emergencies may include gas leaks, flooding, or electrical hazards. Ensure tenants understand how to report emergencies and who to contact. 
  • Access to Mobile Homes: Establish guidelines on when and how the landlord or maintenance personnel can access a tenant’s mobile home for repairs. Ensure that tenants are given proper notice and that their privacy is respected. State any exceptions for emergency situations where immediate access may be necessary. 
  • Regular Inspections: Conducting periodic a periodic mobile home inspection to ensure maintenance issues haven’t been overlooked by tenants is not a bad idea. These inspections can help ensure that the community is well-maintained and that any potential issues are addressed promptly. 

Rule #3: Restrict Noise and Nuisance  

Anyone who runs an apartment complex, or a mobile homes park knows the importance of noise. A consistently loud mobile home park can drive good tenants away. Thus, there are essential elements to consider to keep your park reasonably quiet for tenants to enjoy: 

  • Quiet Hours: Designate specific quiet hours during which residents are expected to keep noise levels to a minimum. These hours are commonly enforced during the evening and nighttime hours to ensure a peaceful living environment for all residents. Specify the start and end times for quiet hours (e.g., 10:30 PM to 7:00 AM). 
  • Noise Levels: Set guidelines on acceptable noise levels throughout the day, if needed. This can help prevent excessive noise that may disturb neighboring residents. While it may be challenging to quantify noise levels, you can specify that residents should keep noise at a reasonable level, avoiding excessive loud music, shouting, or activities that create disturbances. 
  • Prohibited Activities: These may include rules against hosting parties or gatherings that result in extremely loud noise, the use of loud machinery or equipment during specific hours or engaging in activities that disrupt the peaceful enjoyment of the community. 
  • Amplified Music and Instruments: Address the use of amplified music or musical instruments within the mobile home park. Specify any restrictions on volume levels or time limits for playing musical instruments to ensure that residents can enjoy their hobbies while being considerate of others. 
  • Nuisance and Offensive Behavior: Forbid nuisance and offensive behavior that disrupts the peace and well-being of other residents. Prohibit harassment, verbal abuse, or any actions that create an unsafe or hostile environment within the community. 
  • Enforcement and Consequences: Clearly communicate the consequences for violating noise and nuisance rules. This may include warning notices, fines, or even termination of the lease agreement for repeated or severe violations. Make it known that all residents are expected to comply with these rules to foster a harmonious living environment. 
  • Communication Channels: Set up a process for residents to report noise or nuisance complaints to the landlord or property management. Encourage residents to report such incidents promptly and provide a designated contact person or hotline for reporting noise disturbances. 

Rule #4: Establish a Pet Policy 

How you handle pets at your mobile home park is critical. Pets continue to gain popularity with renters, so you need to develop clear policies. Here are elements to consider as you do so: 

  • Pet Breeds and Kinds Allowed: Specify whether the policy includes dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, reptiles, or other animals. You may choose to restrict certain breeds or sizes of dogs for safety and liability reasons. 
  • Number of Pets: Define the maximum number of pets allowed per mobile home. This helps prevent overcrowding and ensures that residents can responsibly care for their pets without causing inconvenience or disturbance to others. 
  • Pet Registration: Establish a process for residents to register their pets with the landlord or property management. This may include providing documentation of vaccinations, licenses, and any required permits. This helps ensure that all pets within the community are properly accounted for and comply with local regulations. 
  • Leash and Containment Requirements: Specify that pets must be kept on a leash or within a designated enclosure when outside of the mobile home. This promotes the safety of residents and their pets and prevents incidents such as dog bites or animal conflicts. 
  • Waste Disposal: Outline rules for pet waste disposal within the mobile home park. Encourage residents to promptly clean up after their pets and dispose of waste in designated receptacles. Emphasize the importance of maintaining a clean and hygienic environment for the community. 
  • Noise Control: Address excessive barking or other noise-related issues caused by pets. Encourage residents to take necessary measures to minimize noise disturbances, such as training their pets or using appropriate noise-reducing devices. 
  • Pet Behavior and Responsibility: Communicate the expectation that pet owners are responsible for the behavior and actions of their pets. This includes preventing aggressive behavior, controlling excessive barking, and ensuring that pets do not pose a danger or nuisance to other residents. 
  • Violations and Consequences: Clearly state the consequences for violating the pet policy. This may include warnings, fines, or potential eviction if a pet owner repeatedly fails to comply with the rules or if their pet poses a threat to the safety or well-being of others. 
  • Common Areas and Pet Restrictions: Specify any restrictions on pets in common areas, such as playgrounds, parks, or community facilities. Determine whether pets are allowed in these areas and, if so, set guidelines for leash requirements and waste disposal in those spaces. 
  • Pet Amenities: Consider providing amenities within the mobile home park for pets, such as designated pet play areas, pet waste stations, or walking trails. These amenities can enhance the pet-friendly environment and promote responsible pet ownership. 

Rule #5: Create Parking Regulations 

In a mobile home park, it’s a big deal how you handle parking. You need to have limitations and expectations in place to avoid confusion and chaos. Here are some things you should consider: 

  • Designated Parking Areas: Designate specific parking areas within the mobile home park. This may include assigned parking spaces for each mobile home or communal parking lots. Clarity is your best friend when it comes to rules like these. 
  • Guest Parking: Decide if guests can park in the mobile home park and, if so, specify where they should park. Communicate any time limits for guest parking to prevent unauthorized long-term parking. 
  • Parking Permits: Consider implementing a parking permit or pass system for residents and their vehicles. 
  • Parking Restrictions: These may include rules against parking on grass, blocking driveways, or emergency access areas. Communicate the consequences for parking violations (e.g., fines or towing). 
  • Oversized Vehicles or Recreational Vehicles: Specify rules regarding the parking of oversized vehicles, such as RVs, trailers, or boats. Determine whether such vehicles are allowed within the mobile home park and, if so, provide designated parking areas or regulations for their storage. 
  • Abandoned Vehicles: Develop guidelines for reporting and removing vehicles that are unregistered, inoperable, or have been left unattended for a while. 

Rule #6: Set up Safety and Dispute Resolution Expectations 

Safety rules are a critical part of any community. People need to feel secure. Here are some things you should consider related to rules and safety: 

  • Mediation or Informal Resolution: Encourage residents to resolve disputes among themselves in an amicable and informal manner when possible. This could involve open communication, discussion, and compromise to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution. 
  • Designated Contact Person: Appoint a designated contact person within the mobile home park (e.g., property manager or community liaison) to handle dispute resolution. This individual should be easily accessible and trained in conflict resolution techniques. 
  • Reporting and Documentation: Have a process in place for residents to report disputes or conflicts to the designated contact person. Encourage residents to provide detailed documentation, including dates, times, and a description of the issue. 
  • Confidentiality and Privacy: Assure residents that their disputes will be handled with confidentiality and respect for their privacy. Maintain the confidentiality of any personal information shared during the dispute resolution process, adhering to applicable privacy laws. 
  • Timely Response: Set expectations for the timeframe in which the designated contact person will respond to reported disputes. Aim to address disputes promptly to prevent escalation and provide reassurance to residents that their concerns are being taken seriously. 
  • Clearly Defined Procedures: Clearly outline the procedures and steps involved in the dispute resolution process. This typically includes gathering information from all parties involved, conducting interviews, reviewing relevant documentation, and facilitating communication to find a resolution. 
  • Fairness and Impartiality: Emphasize the importance of fairness and impartiality in the dispute resolution process. Assure residents that their concerns will be heard objectively, and that any decisions made will be based on a fair assessment of the facts and circumstances. 
  • Compliance with Local Laws: Ensure that the dispute resolution process adheres to any applicable local laws, regulations, or ordinances. Familiarize yourself with any legal requirements regarding dispute resolution in your jurisdiction. 
  • Escalation: Establish a clear escalation process in case a dispute cannot be resolved through informal means, mediation, or arbitration. This could involve seeking legal advice, involving relevant local authorities, or pursuing other proper avenues for resolution. 

Conclusion 

This isn’t an exhaustive set of rules you should consider for your mobile home parks. However, it’s an excellent starting point. These rules will help you create a better place for tenants and prevent a lot of headaches for you. 

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