As someone who is considering mobile home investing, you’re looking into the pros and cons before you dive in. Good for you. It’s wise to know what you’re getting into before making a commitment.
We’ll walk with you and provide a transparent discussion on ways that mobile home rentals can go south. It’s great that you want to walk with both eyes open. Let’s do it together.
5 Ways mobile home rentals can go south
Together, we’re uncovering five different ways mobile home rentals can go south. Here at EZ Homes, we’re all about transparency. It’s best to know the good, the bad, and the ugly of any trade — pitfalls abound whichever way you go, but it’s smart to be informed so you can mitigate the trouble.
1 – No strategic policies in place
If you have vague policies or minimal policies that don’t fit your vision, a mobile home rental situation can turn into a nightmare.
Consider your vision — is your mobile home park geared for senior citizens? Ensure that you have policies that would attract that demographic. Noise policies, for example, would be unappealing to families with kids. But senior citizens may find that a quiet oasis in a park is just what they’re looking for!
You can really shoot yourself in the foot by not having the proper policies in place (plus clearly identified procedures should your tenants not comply with those policies).
2 – No paper trail
We can’t stress this point enough — document everything! Any time you send out a warning, make a copy of it. Include the date on the recipient’s copy and on yours.
Before the tenant moves into the mobile home, photograph everything so you can refer back to your photo collection for proof in case of future damage to the home.
By having a paper trail, you’ll have a better chance at winning should you end up in the court system with your tenant.
But hopefully, that won’t happen!
3 – No tenants want to live at your chosen location
Having a vacant mobile home rental on your hands is no good. To help prevent that from happening, it’s best to do your research. As they say in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location! Before you invest, see to it that the location of your rental is a winning spot.
4 – No park manager
Let’s take a minute to talk about the failings of not having a park manager. Note, however, that this particular point applies to those of you who own (or want to own) mobile home parks themselves — as opposed to just owning and renting the homes.
If your goal is to focus on investing, having a park manager is a winning move. A park manager will live in the park and be on call to grapple with your park’s needs as they occur.
Such calls could come at any hour. Whether it’s tackling plumbing repairs or enforcing the park policies, a park manager will focus on the management side of your mobile home park so you can focus on investing.
5 – Not enforcing rules
Don’t have a rental policy that includes rules you’re not willing to enforce.
If you’re lax with your rental rules, you can count on a downward spiral of your vision for your investments. A mobile home rental can go south if you’re not enforcing the rules.
So we discussed five different ways that mobile home rentals can go south. Now let’s talk about prevention tips.
Know what you want in a tenant and interview accordingly. At the same time, be careful that you do not break discrimination laws and that you treat every potential tenant the same. By asking the right questions, you’ll gain a better understanding of whether your park is a good fit for your tenant.
For example, if your mobile home is for pet-free renters, ask potential tenants about pets.
Conduct background checks
Additionally, you’ll want to conduct background checks. This will further help you decide if a tenant is good for your mobile home.
Ask for references
Don’t forget to ask for references — and no, a tenant’s mother or sibling does not count. Ideally, the potential tenant will provide you with a reference from their previous landlord.
Maintain a conciliatory mindset
When dealing with mobile home renter issues, your first reaction should not be “let’s take it to court.” If you’re not willing to talk through a situation and take proper steps prior to seeking out the justice system, mobile home rentals may not be a choice investment for you.
A mobile home investor should be willing to de-escalate situations or have a manager on board who is willing to do so.
Equipped for success
As you can see, there are different ways that mobile home rentals can go south. Yet they’re nothing that can’t be overcome. At the same time, we hope these tips will give you better idea whether the challenges are something you want to tackle.
Every investing option comes with its own set of challenges, no doubt. We trust you’ll find yourself better equipped to make an informed decision on what challenges to take on.
Learn more about mobile home investing by reading our article Mobile Home Park Layout Ideas: Making the Most of Your Investment.