If you own or rent a mobile or manufactured home, you need a place to park it. To do that, you will need to sign a written lot lease agreement. Because a mobile home is a form of housing that can be readily moved and is not permanently attached to real property, it is classified as personal property under the law. A mobile home "lot" is simply a piece of real estate where a mobile home can be legally placed and inhabited. The law requires that agreements for the lease or rental of these lots, like all real estate contracts, be reduced to writing.
What is a Lot Rental Agreement?
A lot rental agreement differs from an ordinary tenancy agreement in that it relates only to the real estate upon which the mobile home is placed. It may contain conditions and restrictions relating to how the mobile home must be maintained or can be used while it is on the lot.
What It Must Include
Most lot rental agreements require that the mobile home conform to all local zoning requirements while it is in place. This can include metal skirting around the mobile home, fencing around the lot or outdoor lighting. It may also prohibit the mobile home owner from engaging in certain activities, such as the operation of a home-based business.
Protections afforded mobile home owners with regard to lot rental vary by state. Some states, such as Washington and California, have comprehensive laws that govern the specific terms and disclosures that must be included in a rental contract and limit the conditions that can be considered a breach of the agreement. Other states treat mobile home lot rentals as just another area of landlord tenant law. If a problem arises, make sure the provisions of the contract are consistent with state and local law.
Eviction proceedings involving mobile home lots may differ significantly from ordinary landlord tenant law, especially in terms of the notices required and time allowed to vacate the property. Generally, eviction notices must clearly state the basis for the eviction and allow a reasonable time to vacate.
The Manufactured Home Owners Association of America provides information to mobile home owners about lot rental issues and tenant's rights. Check to see whether your state has an association for mobile home owners. The state attorney general's office may have additional information on these issues.
M.C. English has a J.D. in law, a B.A. in journalism and minors in marketing and English. She has published in the Omaha World Herald, regional magazines, legal journals and most recently the Journal of South Texas. She has worked as a staff writer, editor, lawyer, college professor and investigator.