Only owner occupied homes allowed

One of my parks is in a city where they only allow owner occupied homes. That means I can’t buy it and rent it out, or even sell it there. It has to be someone bringing the home in and then live in there. I’ve talked to local dealers to give a reference fee if they could get someone in. Also sent the tenants notices saying that they would receive reference fees if they could get someone in. No success so far. Any other ideas? You can get creative too. Please feel free to suggest anything that’s worked for you.

Have you talked to the state MHA? Doesn’t sound legal. Do they treat single family homes the same? No apartment buildings in the city?


Not yet talked with the MHA. The mayor told that to me through his clerk. It came from the mayor. I doubt they treat SFH the same.

This does not sound legal. I would research the city’s ordinances and find the exact verbiage that says that you cannot rent homes. Check with other park owners in that city and determine how they have solved this problem. An attorney can help shoot holes in the city’s enforcement too if you prefer to outsource it.


Yes for sure. It is a tough decision to make because if I got an attorney involved, I’m burning that bridge with the city inspection department. I’m not sure if I want to burn that bridge yet. Anyway to approach this without burning the bridge?

Find a partner or partners that would be willing to live in the park for 6 months to a year. Purchase homes as co-owners have your partner live in the home then sell it and move on to the next one. Technically the homes would then be owner occupied.
Your partner could either share in the profits or live for free in the park.

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As @mPark said you should ask for the specific ordinance that the city has approved that specifically says this. They cannot deny you an occupancy permit “because the mayor feels like it.”

Over the last few threads it sounds like they are screwing with you a lot. Like I said in another post, you really need someone who has worked with the city in the past to help quarterback your new relationship with them. If that’s not possible then you probably need an attorney to help you.


It’s actually another park in a different city. It’s the same ordinance for everyone. They are friendly but that’s just their rule. :slight_smile:

That’s their illegal rule.

Be carful picking your battles. Keep in mind that you may need to work with the city in the future and don’t want to create enemies.
I would choose to respect their rule and find a go-round without ruffling feathers.

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It’s not a “rule” until you see it in writing and you make your own decision based on
a legal analysis of the facts. Building departments often think they know the rules, but they do not. They may simply be “doing it that way because they always did it that way.” The newer employees hear the interpretation of the rules from the older employees, and just assume them to be true and recite the same jargon over and over again. Also, even if the rule is legitimately written into their ordinance, there may be a state law that overrides it. Never assume what they tell you is true until you verify it on your own. Either they will run you into the ground or you will pass on good deals due to a misinterpretation of the facts.

I agree that it’s in all likelihood an illegal rule. But as far as selling units, an effective way can be to partner with a local dealer, or use the 21st program, and bring an attractive model unit up front and as visible as possible in the park and market that using your target payment in the marketing, rather than the unit price. And offer a hefty referral fee, like $500-1000, to your park manager and tenants.

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