Does anyone have experience operating in California?


#1

I’m looking at a couple of parks in CA and I don’t know much about state laws there. I have heard it can be a nightmare to evict someone and I’m wondering if it’s even worth my time looking into.

One thing I noticed right off the bat was that the seller had to get the septic tanks “certified” before the sale can take place. No idea what this even means, but I wanted to check and see what people’s experiences there were first.

Thanks!


#2

Hi Dominic, I worked for a management company in Northern CA, we managed 45 MHP’s. I would not be fearful of owning a park in CA, but you need to learn the mobile home residency law (inside and out). As it is a thick list of laws. I would also not personally invest in a rent controlled area, that will be mostly in southern CA and near the bay area. If you do invest you should become a member of the WMA. It is a great association of MHP owners and they do a ton of work with legislators . Good Luck!


#3

@Birdwoman
Thank you for the response. I’m looking at a couple of parks that are inland and I found out that they are not in a rent controlled area so I’ll definitely move forward. If I do move forward with the purchase I will look into the WMA. Thanks again!


#4

Native Californian here - now doing business out of state. California does have a lot of red tape. This red tape does not prevent you from making money. You see a lot of emotional trigger type words used by people who do not know the state - “nightmare” “disaster” “crazy” etc. The reality of California is everyone wants to live there because it is freaking awesome. I have been out of state for 18 months and as much as I like other places there’s no place like California. The landscape, the weather, the culture - these will always be draws. It has a long term supply-demand imbalance - it creates jobs faster than homes and has done so for decades. There is some boom/bust but if you buy carefully (as you should everywhere) you will do fine. The exception is the rent control issue. The other red tape is all “doable” - but rent control is a scary beast and rears its head wrt mobile home parks. On the other hand the land tends to become so valuable over time you can win that way. It is certainly not such a nightmare to evict someone that it isn’t worth your time - we ran apartments in California for decades and did very, very well. Like anything else in life - don’t overpay.


#5

Be careful with rent control Dominic - the zones you are looking at in the IE may not have rent control now but it certainly may come later. The IE is one of the hottest real estate markets in the United States and rent control for parks can pop up from city to city. Yucaipa, Hemet, Redlands are a few cities that come to mind which do have some kind of rent control for parks in place already (Hemet’s is a kind of loosey-goosey rc that does not use the word “control” - but rent increases go before some kind of board - be careful).


#6

And if you are looking at parks on the east side of the Sierra Nevadas - such as Lone Pine or Bishop - perhaps thinking to take advantage of the Alterra/Mammoth boom and subsequent housing crisis - be careful also. There is no RC now but I see a storm comin’.


#7

@Ivan_ilych

Thanks a lot for the advice! Very thorough and I will be sure to look into the state and local laws. I will definitely do some digging to find out if rent control is even something that the town is considering in the near future.


#8

Cheat sheet forMHP rent control in California. Courtesy of GSMOL (MHP tenant organization)
LA county is working on rent control now.