Jeff I totally understand the financial frustration a lonnie dealer faces when trying to find a buyer who can afford lot rent, security deposit and a down payment on the mobile home. The Lonnie dealer often ends up with the short stick and small deposit because of it.
However as the park owner (which I believe was Diamaria’s perspective) you have a totally different point of view. Just like the Lonnie dealer wanting the largest down payment to protect their investment, the park owner wants a security deposit to protect theirs.
Typically the lonnie dealer has less exposure than the park. A home abandoned in a park can tie a lot up for many months (not all states are easy to obtain an abandonment title, nor do they make it easy or possible for the park owner to hold a lienholder, if there is one, responsible). If the park has to move the home it will costs a grand or more. If they get possession of the home they will no doubt put money into repairs etc. etc.
Typically the tenant bolts only after falling more than a month behind and they will view the deposit as last month’s rent anyways.
I don’t think it necessary to charge 1 1/2 times the rent but a full rent deposit is fair and honestly would not help a whole lot if the home is abandoned or the tenant evicted. It does help the tenant’s motivation if they are working with the park to handle a change in their finances or a need to move and that money is still important to the tenant.
Most park owners are not lonnie dealers, nor are they familiar with them but if the park had a lonnie dealer on the hook for that lot as well then perhaps you could argue that a deposit of that size isn’t necessary. This will not work with all park owners but if you have a good relationship you just might find a willing partner.