Buying a mobile home to move to my park

My Dad is trying to find a mobile home to move to one of his parks as a rental. He finds them and is often told by the seller that the park it is in ‘will not allow it to be removed’. My dad and I got into quite a discussion on this as I told him I thought that would only apply if it was under a current lease agreement or if it was a park owned home. How could a park owner stipulate that the homes on his park cannot be removed? Seems pretty prevalent here in Washington State. Is there any way a park can mandate a home cannot be removed?
Thanks in advance for any insights…

A Park cannot prevent a home owner from moving their home out as long as they have honored their lease, but a Park can have rules that they must agree to a new owner purchasing a home and taking occupancy (e.g. via credit and background checks). Park owners don’t want ownership changes to introduce violent felon sex offenders with 8 pit bulls into the Park, for example.

Hypothetically if a Park owner knew in advance the new Buyer’s intention was to move the home out then it would be possible they would deny the ownership application - yes this is unethical and likely a violation of some sort of law and nobody here would advocate this practice.

I would check the Park rules before buying a home in one to understand any of these provisions that are worrisome, or otherwise find a home outside a Park so you don’t have to deal with it.

But if I were to consider this…a Park owner that has a provision in their rules specifically saying “no homes can be removed” will eventually be taken to court or reported to the state’s regulators - additionally the homes would not be marketable to anyone since they’re basically owned by the Park and the tenants is responsible for all repairs. There would be no pride of ownership and the homes would be crappy trailers, which nobody would want to repair anyway.

We all know many owners will poach from other owners but I personally I believe it is unethical.
As a community owner your father needs to assess the ethics of his own business practices. As a community owner himself he needs to respect the fact that being in the same business it is wrong of him to want to move a home out of another community owners business against that owners wishes. It does not matter if it is allowed or not by law.
Yes business is business however your reputation needs to count for something.

As jhutson has concluded a park owner cannot deny a mobile home (personal property) from being moved from one park to another and interfering with that process is probably illegal. As per the discussion I see nothing unethical and since most owners do not even live near their parks their reputation is not their first concern. Business is business and mobile homes are MOBILE and if the mobile home owner can receive a higher price from someone wanting to move it to another park that is capitalism–let the highest bid be the owner. I am not the only park owner that goes through other parks looking for nice homes to move to our parks. Recently I have had 8 parties move to our park in the last 6 months from other parks but we never solicited them–just came on their own free will based on WORD OF MOUTH from people who like how we do business. Hey Greg really appreciate your great comments and advise.

The MHC business in the US is far more cut throat than in my neck of the woods.
We do not troll other communities looking to purchase homes for sale to move. Once a home is placed in a community up here it is there to stay for the most part. In addition, although it is not necessary, we only allow new build homes purchased from dealers to be brought into our community. Continuous upgrading of building codes would make moving older homes undesirable. Although we only have two vacant lots our goal is to upgrade the community.
I am actually shopping for one to bring in this summer, likely a Fairmont, but the low Canadian dollar is making it almost too expensive.

A park we recently sold we only brought in homes 5 years or newer for the same purpose you mentioned. The new owner just brought in a 20 year old home and the residents are sure wondering what other changes to expect. When he bought the park he said he would contiune to bring in new homes–I think the prices of new homes made him think twice. Some time back there was a dicussion how much to pay residents of other parks how much money we might pay to help them move to their park–we have never use that plan but have given a cash bonus for a new resident with a new home.


I agree with Carl on this. If someone lives in a park and isn’t happy with it, they should have every right to move to a better neighborhood. What right would anyone have to say otherwise?

Likewise, why should they be expected to take a lowball offer if someone else is willing to pay more? The current park owner could easily match the higher offer if he wanted.

I agree with home owners choosing to move their home to another community but do not agree with someone buying a home with the specific purpose in mind of moving it. This could be prevented buy allowing community owners the first right of refusal. This should be part of every set of community rules to prevent poaching. Not all owners may be able to afford to buy the homes but at least they would have the option. It is included in my community rules and I have used it but not for the purpose of preventing poaching.

Thank you for all the insights. It was just a quick question and I should probably elaborate to ensure Greg that my father is a honorable man with tremendous integrity. My father owns three parks and in one of his parks he had a TOH burn down. The residents were ESL Hispanic and had a very nice place but uninsured. My father paid for the removal and cleanup with no backlash to the owners. Furthermore he has been looking through Craigslist for a replacement home to buy for this family that he could either rent to them or sell back on zero down terms. It is an isolated community and they really don’t have anywhere to go as they work.

Of the mobile homes that are for sale in Craigslist ‘most’ of the homes are currently in MHPs. Some of the homes have been for sale for months with the park owners apparently passing on the purchase of the homes themselves letting the homeowners continue to pay the pad rentals. In the case that brought my question to the forum a home was unoccupied for six months as the owner had to leave the area for work. The park ownership was rightfully continuing to enforce their pad rental. Unfortunately in this case the home needs a new roof (which was listed in the AD) which is keeping it from selling. The lease is going to automatically renew if the owner cannot sell and he will continue to pay the $500 pad rental for another year. The seller has a sense of urgency. In some situations, unlike maybe Greg’s parks, some people living in parks may not have tremendous financial resources. The seller in this case is bleeding money he does not have for a home he does not have money to fix and cannot sell. The park is ‘stipulating’ to him that if he sells the home has to stay in the park. That was the purpose of my question.

I would also state that my father has never driven through any park looking to ‘poach’ any home. He is looking on Craigslist. His parks are beautifully maintained with very nice older homes. He was simply trying to ‘help’ a family in his park who lost everything… and Greg when I say everything I mean everything. I appreciate Greg’s insights as a fellow park owner but the personal condemnation while passing judgement without all the facts seem more akin to Facebook than this forum.

My intent was to pass judgment on the practice of poaching homes from others in the same business not intended to pass judgement on your father. Poaching takes food off of the table of other MHC owners and as I see it we should be respectful of that fact. Your father, based on your own statements, has not poached homes. I do not care about any concerns for someone that did not bother to insure their property or of some unknown seller’s financial situation. That is personal not business. Am I judgemental of the practice of poaching. Absolutely, we are all in the same business, we should respect our associates in the business and find ways to fulfill our needs without taking from others. I do however recognise the fact that my business practices may not be of the same standard of others in the business.

You state that “most” are in HMCs therefor he has no reason to poach.
Why not have your father assist his tenant in buying a new home and help him in getting bank financing. That would be a win/win for the tenant and your dads community.

I completely fail to see how buying a home and moving it under the above conditions is poaching. To the contrary, it seems to me that the other park owner is completely taking advantage of the homeowner and deserves to lose the home.

He could easily prevent the home from being moved by buying it. He could buy it at wholesale and sell at retail, nothing unethical about that.

I’d add, if there is a legal issue, although I doubt it, move the home then buy it off of him.

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When I think of poaching I think of incentives or marketing to get a tenant to move out of one Park with their home to move it into another Park in the same reasonable geography.

A home for sale on the open market is not poaching in my opinion. A good Park should know about their tenants homes coming up for sale (assuming a good manager) pretty quickly and be in a position to make a fair offer before Joe Competitor moves it out.

It is not necessary for anyone to justify the practice of taking business from other MHC owners. That is how you survive in a cut throat business environment …When one owner flinches the others swoop in for the kill.
Thankfully our business environment does not operate that way.

@Propboy40 , as per your post:

  • “My father owns three parks and in one of his parks he had a TOH burn down.
    The residents were ESL Hispanic and had a very nice place but uninsured.
    My father paid for the removal and cleanup with no backlash to the owners.
    Furthermore he has been looking through Craigslist for a replacement home to buy for this family that he could either rent to them or sell back on zero down terms.
    It is an isolated community and they really don’t have anywhere to go as they work.”

I send my highest praise to your Father.

That is very honorable that your Father “…paid for the removal and cleanup of the TOH with no backlash to the owners”.

It is also very honorable that your Father “…has been looking through Craigslist for a replacement home to buy for this family that he could either rent to them or sell back on zero down terms”.

Not everyone has the wherewithall to be able to buy a Mobile Home, move the Mobile Home and setup a Mobile Home.

Thus, for your Father to be spending his time and money to help others is very admirable.

Below are a couple of reasons why a Mobile Home could not be moved from a particular Mobile Home Park:
1.) Age Of Mobile Home: In some South Carolina counties (you indicated that you were in the State of Washington) the government will not allow you to move Mobile Homes that were built in 1976 or older.
2.) Mobile Home Was Sold To Tenant @ Reduced Cost By MHP: The MHP selected to sell the Mobile Home to a Tenant at a reduced cost with the clause that the Tenant had to keep the Mobile Home in the MHP for a particular time frame.

@Propboy40, I hope that your Father is able to find a Mobile Home to help these Tenants.

In South Carolina we were able to buy a couple of Mobile Homes from Individuals who lived in them while they built their new home. Once their new home was built…the love and price for the Mobile Home quickly went down in value.

We wish you, your Father and your Father’s Tenant the very best!

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Thank you Kristin. Appreciate your comments…

I am getting into this topic quite late but I agree with Greg 1000%. It is unethical for a park owner to poach a home from another owner’s park. This is what prevents me to do it when temptation is always there when a home becomes available to be bought in another park. If another park owner poached a home from my park, it would make me feel appalled and disgusted. I would not want to do things that would make other park owners feel the same way. Although it is not illegal, it is unethical and a bad business practice. This is why I only look for homes on private property. A couple of times, other park owners tipped some home buyers to buy some homes in my park and offered to transport them for free and I lost a couple homes this way which made me feel very upset. But, I would not do the same unethical things to other park owners out of respect for fellow business owners. I would not want to turn this business into a cut-throat business as some might not mind doing. Good comment, Greg! We need more people like you in this business.