The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) issues a Statement of Ownership instead of a mobile home title to homeowners when transferring or selling a mobile home. The owner must apply for this document within 60 days of the sale date or risk incurring a late fee and a delay of the statement's issuance. Additionally, they must reapply when they move the home, change it from personal property to real property, or when lien information changes. Application fees are relatively inexpensive, but the homeowner may incur additional charges depending on their application.
Certificate of Title for Mobile Homes
Before June 2003, manufactured homes in the state of Texas carried a Certificate of Title. When a manufactured home changed hands, the new owner had to apply to the Manufactured Housing Division (MHD) of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for the title transfer, and the agency would issue a new title. Tracking a manufactured home's ownership ceased when it became real property, was used for business or was salvaged.
After June 2003, the TDHCA replaced the Certificate of Title with a Statement of Ownership and Location (SOL), which eventually became known as a Statement of Ownership. Today, the Statement of Ownership confirms the manufactured home's ownership and any liens.
Statement of Ownership for Mobile Homes
Beginning on September 1, 2003, the TDHCA considered all outstanding documents of title as Statements of Ownership, which the agency issues from MHD headquarters in Austin.They must also apply for a statement when:
- The owner's name changes.
- The mobile home's physical location changes.
- The mobile home's lien information changes.
- The mobile home changes its treatment, as from real to personal property and vice versa.
- The use changes, as from residential to nonresidential and vice versa.
A Statement of Ownership application costs $55 to process, and a late application may result in a $100 fee and a delay in its issuance if it is over 60 days late. Processing takes about 15 business days, but the applicant can pay an additional $55 service fee to process it within five business days from receipt. An incomplete application can also delay processing.
How to Apply for Statement of Ownership
Buyers should first determine what supporting documents they'll need when filing for the ownership document, as well as any fees by referring to the agency's requirements for Applying for a Statement of Ownership (PDF). They'll need to provide evidence of ownership, such as a bill of sale, contract, deed, purchase agreement or sale receipts. The TDHCA reviews the application upon receipt and if it finds the evidence presented to be insufficient, it will notify the applicant and send a Request for Additional Information (RAI). Once the agency deems the application complete, it issues the Statement of Ownership.
If a buyer purchases their manufactured home from a licensed retailer, that seller assists them in completing the necessary forms. The retailer must also provide the required information, supporting documents and fees to the TDHCA.
If a retailer sells the home, but does not help the buyer or provide them with the documents they need to file for Statement of Ownership, the buyer can file a complaint with the TDHCA using its Consumer Complaint form. This allows department staff to assist the homeowner and stop additional undocumented sales by that retailer. If the buyer acquires the home from someone who is not a licensed retailer, they can find the application online or call 800-500-7074 to request one.
Changing a Manufactured Home to Real Property
A buyer cannot change their manufactured home from personal to real property unless they attach it to land they own or lease under a qualifying, long-term lease. They also need the approval of each lien holder and must place the lien holders' written consent on file with the TDHCA. They are exempt from this requirement if a title company handles the transaction and insures the property against existing liens. The TDHCA requires a copy of the title commitment or policy. Finally, the homeowner must submit the Application for Statement of Ownership with all supporting documentation and fees.
Once the agency approves the application, it issues the Statement of Ownership. However, the manufactured home's conversion to real property is incomplete until a certified copy of the document is recorded with the county of location. A buyer who does not go through an attorney, lender or title company to convert a home to real property should contact the county clerk to ask about fees, requirements and procedures for recording the document.
Other Reasons for a Statement of Ownership
If homeowners wish to return their manufactured home from real property back to personal property, they can do so by applying for a new Statement of Ownership. The TDHCA requires an inspection and lien search to prove there are no liens on the property. Homeowners must also notify their county tax assessor of this change in order to alter how the home's property taxes will be assessed.
If an owner of a mobile home chooses to change its use from a business to a residential property, they need to reapply and indicate the change in use. The TDHCA will order an inspection to make sure the home is habitable for residents.
To move a manufactured home, the state requires the owner to get a permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). They must submit a copy of this permit when they apply for a new Statement of Ownership, showing the new location of the home. They will need to discharge or pay off lien holders before moving the home or get their written consent for the move.
Fixing an Error on a Statement of Ownership
If a homeowner finds an error on a Statement of Ownership, they can inform the agency by:
- Emailing the TDHCA at email@example.com
- Sending their concerns via mail to TDHCA, P.O. Box 12489, Austin, Texas 78711
- Calling 800-500-7074
- Sending a fax to 512-475-1109
To make the necessary corrections, owners must provide the identification numbers of the manufactured home, such as a HUD Label, a Texas seal and/or serial number, and information about the corrections required. The TDHCA will review the initial Statement of Ownership application. If the applicant made a mistake, they'll need to fill out a new application and pay the $55 fee a second time for a correct statement. If they did not make a mistake, the TDHCA will correct the statement and send it to the homeowner free of charge.
- Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Manufactured Housing Division: Frequently Asked Questions: Statement of Ownership and Location
- Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Manufactured Housing Division:Statement of Ownership and Location (SOL) Application Instructions
- Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Manufactured Housing Division: Consumer Protection and General Information
- Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Manufactured Housing Division: APPLICATION FOR STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.