As a mobile home investor, it’s your job to steward the investment that is your mobile home. Renting out a mobile home is serious business.
In an effort to ensure your mobile home is matched up with the right tenant, there are a few questions you can ask.
Be mindful that your questions are curated carefully that you ask the same questions of every prospective tenant that comes your way. Otherwise, you could be accused of discrimination. Even if you didn’t intend to do harm, discrimination can get you in trouble with the law.
7 Questions you should ask
Now let’s look at seven questions you should ask a potential mobile home renter. Again, remember to treat every tenant or potential tenant the same. Not only could discrimination get you in trouble, but you do also want to remember the golden rule and treat others as you would want to be treated.
In short, don’t be like this park manager whose story was told by USA Today.
The news source writes of the park’s discriminatory actions, “Latinos also were told they would need Social Security numbers to qualify to rent, while white prospective tenants were not, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana said. Landlords can, at their discretion, ask for Social Security numbers that show people are living in the country legally, Nelson said, but they must ask it of everybody in order to not discriminate.”
With that warning aside, let’s move on to the seven questions!
1 – “How many people will be living in the mobile home?”
To protect your mobile home investment, overcrowding should be mitigated. It’s up to you to set the limits. Additionally, you should see if the local government has any safety regulations as to how many people can inhabit a rented space.
Overcrowding can be a safety risk and it can age your property in a jiffy.
Some landlords allow an allotment of two heartbeats per room. It may be a good idea to get a feel for what other agreements look like in your area.
2 – “Do you have any references?”
Seek out references from your potential tenants. And no, their grandmother doesn’t count. If they’re listing family members, chances are the references will not be reliable.
Ask for at least two references.
3 – “Who was your former landlord? May I speak with them?”
It’s a good idea to connect with the potential tenant’s former landlord. A former landlord has had experiences (good or bad) with this particular renter and thus may be able to offer you a useful perspective.
4 – “I need to conduct background and credit checks. Does that suit you?”
If your potential renter is not open to a background and credit check, that’s not a good sign. Make sure your paperwork says that such actions are required.
5 – “Have you ever been evicted?”
Another question for your checklist — ask if the renter has a history with evictions. If they do have such a history, ask for the background scoop on that. Keep in mind, an eviction doesn’t always mean the renter was in the wrong. But, if you do learn of an eviction, use that knowledge as a springboard to dig a little deeper.
6 – “What is your monthly income?”
Don’t forget to ask about their monthly income. Their monthly income could tell you if they would be able to keep up with rent. Additionally, you can ask if they foresee any interference with their ability to pay rent.
7 – “When do you intend to move into the mobile home?”
Find out their expectations on moving into the mobile home. If someone is eager to move in as soon as possible, find out why. There could be legitimate reasons. Or it could be due to an eviction from their previous rental. It’s incumbent on you to find out.
Consult with a lawyer as necessary
You want to take care that you only ask questions and create requirements that are allowed by law. And while we can offer your our own suggestions for questions that may be acceptable, they are not a substitute for getting a professional’s opinion. You need to do your own due diligence to discover what questions are and aren’t appropriate to ask. This is why you may discover that consulting an attorney or other professional in your area is a valuable route to take.
Find the perfect mobile home renter
There you have it — seven different questions that will aid in finding the perfect mobile home renter.
Is this fool-proof? No. There’s always the risk that you could end up with a problem renter on your hands. But such scenarios can be mitigated. Here at EZ Homes, we’re all about coming up with processes to help you along on your way.
Different mobile homes cater to different demographics. (Some parks have policies noting that the park is geared toward the elderly while others are geared toward families.) Talk to your lawyer if you’re in need of legal advice pertaining to your park’s policies and the vetting process for potential renters.
At the end of the day, we encourage you to aim for what’s best for both your investment and your tenant.
To learn more about renting out your mobile home, see how you can make your mobile home rental business a success.