Running a mobile home park is no easy task. You are probably so busy trying to see to all your residents’ needs, taking care of the park, managing your financials, and taking care of your personal life that looking after those last few empty lots or homes seems impossible.

Any mobile home park owner wants to see his park running at high capacity. But getting empty spaces filled is a job all by itself. And once you are at full capacity, you need to stay focused on turning as high a profit as possible. Which brings us to the second part of this article: How do you adjust lot rent for your mobile home park? When can you change the lot rent? What’s considered legal or illegal?

How To Advertise And Adjust Lot Rent For Your Mobile Home Park - Featured Image

Let’s take a look at these two common problems for mobile home park owners.

How to advertise your mobile home park

Advertising your mobile home park is almost exactly the same as advertising any other type of residential property, with a few small extra considerations. For example, there are many different reasons why you would want to advertise your mobile home park.



Do you want to:

  • Advertise the whole mobile home park?
  • Sell or rent out empty lots for people with their own mobile homes?
  • Rent out lots with mobile homes included?
  • Sell a mobile home that is on a lot that you rent out?

Each of these four types of properties in your park needs to be advertised on their own and in their own unique way. You will also need to provide potential buyers or renters with different information depending on whether they are looking only for a lot or for a mobile home as they are vastly different types of properties for obvious reasons.

Advertising a mobile home park

There are also two reasons why you would want to advertise your mobile home park. Firstly, to sell the park itself to a new owner. And secondly, to advertise the park to potential tenants to either rent or buy lots or homes.

Advertising to sell your park

When selling your park, you should collect as much information as possible. This will make any potential buyer more interested and will help them think of you as a seller who knows what he is doing and knows what’s going on in his own park.

The most important information you should provide is:

  • The price.
  • The size of the mobile home park.
  • The number of lots.
  • The number of houses in the park. You can also provide a quick overview of the types of homes, e.g. single-wides, double-wides, and triple-wides. Also, specify how many homes are park-owned versus privately owned.
  • The utilities available at the park. This could include any new upgrades that were done, the type of water supply, electricity meters, etc. You can go as far as to say whether tenants pay for it themselves or the payments are handled by the park owner.
  • The exact location. Provide some more information on the grounds and the surroundings.
  • Any extra amenities or facilities. Such as a pool, park, office building, etc.
  • State that you have the current financial information available (we hope that you do).
  • The average lot rent.

Don’t go into the financials too much just yet. Some buyers have very particular ideas of what’s acceptable and you don’t want to scare them off before you really start talking. However, if it’s in very good standing you can mention your expense rate as well as your collection rate.


Advertising to new tenants

Although it might seem like information you would provide someone who is interested in buying your mobile home park, it’s a good thing to include general information. Having more information just makes any browser who comes upon your park feel more at ease and will increase their chances of looking into it further. Especially when it comes to online searchers, people tend to go with the lowest effort route.

The most important information you should provide is:

  • The size of the park both in terms of acreage and number of lots/tenants/homes. You can be a bit more general so that they get the feel for whether it’s a small community or a large one.
  • The types of homes available. You can use “up to …” and then give the size of some of your most spacious homes.
  • The price range of homes, lot rent or home and lot rental in the park. You can phrase it as “for as low as…” using your minimum prices.
  • The amenities and facilities that are available for use.
  • What types of homes are acceptable in terms of condition, age or other factors.
  • Optional subscriptions such as cable, internet, etc.
  • Whether it is pet-friendly or not.
  • A description of the park and its surroundings.
  • How far it is to certain landmarks or stores/malls and access to main roads.

Middle of the road

Advertising a mobile home

You might also want to advertise individual mobile homes that are for sale or for rent within your park. This is especially true if you only have a few more vacancies left or you have some special kind of homes in the mobile home park.

The most important information you should provide is:

  • Dimensions of the home.
  • The age and model of the home.
  • Color, style, and roof type.
  • A break down of the rooms. Be sure to draw attention to any special rooms such as an office space or den.
  • The condition. Be honest, if it needs some care, say so. Many mobile home owners are avid DIY-ers and won’t mind putting some work in if the price is reasonable.
  • Just make sure to mention that the home is indeed in a park.
  • Provide the amount of lot rent, home rent or the sales price.
  • The size of the lot it’s located on.
  • Some general information on the park itself (refer to the section above). This is not as important for the home’s advertisement itself but if you have the space for a description mentioning something about the park is a plus.
  • Be sure to include attractive photos of the home!



Advertising a lot

As you can imagine, this is probably the simplest one of the lot (excuse the pun). There probably aren’t too many lots available as people generally don’t move mobile homes once they are installed. This also means that empty lots only get rarer as time goes on.

The most important information you should provide is:

  • The cost or rent amount.
  • The size of the lot.
  • General information on the park.
  • If you have any restrictions or rules regarding the type of homes that your park accept, mention it.

Final considerations

This should cover you for almost any type of situation you find yourself in that relates to advertising a mobile home park or its properties.

You might have noticed that we haven’t mentioned anything about lease agreements. That’s partly because most mobile home parks are pretty flexible when it comes to the terms of their lease agreements. You can usually negotiate and let the buyer choose between a month-to-month, yearly, or long-term lease. If you do have a very strict restriction on what kind of leases you offer, then you can mention it in the advertisement.

We also haven’t discussed where you should advertise yet. That’s because the best sites, agencies, etc. don’t only do one of the three options (mobile home parks, mobile homes or lots) but all of them. We will look at where you should advertise next.

Where to advertise your mobile home park

Mail

  • Online: There are many great places online to advertise your park or make your listings available to almost anyone. MHVillage, MHBay, and Mobile Homes For Rent are all great options as mobile home specific sites. You can also advertise on sites such as Zillow or Realtor.com that are for properties in general. Lastly, even sites such as eBay and Craigslist is acceptable if you really want to broaden your horizons.
  • Flyers to dealers: Take flyers to all mobile home dealers and realtors that work in the mobile home in your vicinity.
  • On your mobile home park: It’s also a great idea to advertise with boards or signs at the entrance to or at any access roads to your mobile home park. Make sure to use your best offers to get attention.
  • Get your residents to refer: A creative solution that some mobile home park owners use is to run a referral program with their residents that rewards them for finding new tenants.
  • Real estate brokers: Make connections with local real estate brokers. Some of them are qualified to handle mobile home sales too but they might just send buyers your way that couldn’t find an affordable real estate property.
  • Advertise in the papers or local Gazette: Just because these methods are old doesn’t mean they are no longer useful. Plenty of people still look for properties in the classifieds.
  • Advertise on individual properties: Just to be thorough, advertise lots or homes for rent within the park. Your residents or someone that visits them might be interested or know of someone that is.

Bonus tips:

  • Join the Chamber of Commerce: This is a nice little sign of credibility to add to your listings or ads.
  • Join any mobile home park associations: Might put you in contact with more channels for exposure as well as make you seem more reputable.

How to adjust lot rent for your mobile home park

By how much can you adjust your lot rent?

Calculator, pen and chart

Technically, there is no limit to how much you can charge for lot rent. It’s completely within your rights as an owner to charge as much as you feel fit. This extends to by how much you can increase rent at any point in time.

Currently, the average lot rent across the U.S. is around $300 while the average mobile home rental is around $400-$700. This varies greatly from state to state. You can do some research on your own but the cheapest state, such as South Carolina, charge as little as $100 per month for a lot while the most expensive states, such as California, charge as much as $600.

Almost every landlord across every type of rental property makes their rent higher on a yearly basis to account for inflation. It is generally accepted that a reasonable increase on this basis is around 10%.

However, when it comes to mobile home parks much larger increases are becoming more common. This is due to either current owners or new investors updating prices that have been negligently left at the same rate over the years. Some new buyers even up prices immediately by tripling them!

There are a few good reasons why mobile home residents will likely not move out because of an increase in rent:

  1. Mobile homes, mobile home rent, and lot rent are still much cheaper than real estate.
  2. It’s still comparatively low to everyday living costs.
  3. It’s too expensive to move a mobile home.

When can you adjust lot rent?

The law is very clear on when you can change rent as an owner or landlord. This is to protect tenants from unforeseen increases that could make them unable to pay without time to find alternative living arrangements.

One thing we can tell you right now is that it’s almost impossible to increase any kind of rent for a tenant before the end of their lease. You made an agreement on a certain amount to be paid and you are just as much bound to it as your tenants. In some states, it’s even illegal to put a clause in the lease agreement that you can change the rent at any time.

The typical procedure for increasing lot rent goes as follows:

  • For tenants on a 1-year lease: You can only increase the rent at the start of the new lease and have to give 3 months notice.
  • For tenants on a long-term lease: You can increase the rent at any time after 3 months notice. Usually, there is a period specified in the beginning that you can’t increase the rent or a maximum frequency. It also needs to be reasonable and discussed with the tenant.
  • For tenants on a month-to-month lease: You can also increase the rent at any time, but with 3 months notice.

This means that if you want to make a park-wide rent increase, you will need to give 3 months notice prior to a certain date and then start updating tenants rent afterward based on when their lease agreements end or renew. This can make it tricky as you will have to go on an almost individual basis.

An exception is when the price of utilities go up. If you pay the utilities and it’s included in the rent, you can raise it immediately to accommodate for the higher cost, however, you also need to lower it if the price of utilities goes down. You also have to inform the tenant/s.

Make your mobile home park more profitable with this guide!

There you go! We hope that this guide will help you get your parks financials in order. If you follow our advertising tips, your park will have fewer vacancies and generate more income in no time. And, if you follow our tips on lot rent adjustment, you should stay out of legal trouble and find a way to make acceptable, yet much-needed increases the right way. Make sure you follow the law when it comes to choosing the right prospective tenant as well!

About Dan Paton

Dan Paton has been working full-time in this field for over a decade. Both him and his partner, Dan Leighton, formed EZ Homes back in 2006 and have seen explosive growth ever since. Dan works heavily in the administrative role within the organization. He is a jack of all trades type of guy. Dan and his wife have 4 children.