Can I 'gift' a 70s POH home, then insist the new resident pay to fix up the outside of the home?

We took over a park in January (103 lots, tough turn-around). Evicted 15 residents (drug dealers, trouble-makers, no pays etc). Now I have many 70s / 80s MHs, quite a few without titles. NOTE: It’s illegal to sell a MH without a title here in Ohio.

About half of the homes I am obtaining titles through abandonment. For those I will fix them up and sell. The other half I would rather not try to obtain title, just ‘gift’ them. But at the same time I want the outside to look good.

Can I ‘gift’ a $500 house (with no title) to an applicant, but insist the resident re-pay the cost to paint and re-skirt? I am willing to pay for the paint and re-skirt and be paid back over a year or even 18 months (at cost). I am not trying to even make money on the houses, I just want them to look good from the outside.

My Ohio-specific lease gives me the right to insist that every house looks good. I’m just wondering…

a) If I paint and re-skirt for about $1500 BEFORE they buy, then can I ‘gift it’ (but they must pay back the $1500? over 12 months?)

b) Gift them the house first, THEN insist the house be painted and re-skirted?

I think you see what I am trying to do here. How would you handle my situation without breaking the law? The previous owner let in anyone with a pulse move in and never evicted anyone. I am trying to avoid buyers who get in with very little money then have have no pride of ownership because they never fix up the place.

We are in a good location with a lot of interest from buyers. The place has changed a great deal for the better in six months. We just got into the 21st Mortgage program and will be bringing in brand new homes in 6 months which I believe I can sell IF I FIX UP THE OLDER HOMES. No one will pay for a brand new home if it is next to a beat up unpainted home.

It’s obviously more work and risk on your end but it may be worth considering just scrapping those and bringing in new homes since it sounds like there is a market for it… I’m sure you could structure this gifting to have them pay a higher “lot rent” for a few years, but what sort of tenant are you going to get in that situation? They would have to go through the process of getting title in order to own the home… I’d be hesitant but who knows maybe you’d get lucky, worth putting an ad out there as it’s clearly beneficial for you.

Why are you thinking about this as a “gift” transaction? Tax purposes? Something else?

It sounds like you want is a “gift” with strings attached, and the world already has a name for that – it’s a purchase and sale agreement (aka “sale”).

Put together a contract where you and the buyer agree to the terms. You agree to transfer the home to them, and they agree to pay $1 or whatever, and also perform X work within Y time or you will do it for them and they will pay $Z additional fees to be paid over a certain number of months, etc. Pretty ordinary contract stuff IMHO.

Of course IANAL and YMMV.

Thanks for your response.

I’m speaking about 70s homes that do not have titles.
It’s illegal to sell a MH without a title in Ohio.
BUT you can gift them if you are clear that you are transferring without a title.

OIC, yeah I didn’t put all the details together. Got it.

Your option “A” probably wouldn’t be legitimately considered a gift. I’d lean towards option “B”… Gift and rely on the lot lease rules to get the house cleaned up.

The drawback is the tenant might fail to improve the house and need to be evicted and you start over. But it seems like informing them of the park rules ahead of time would reduce the likelihood of that scenario.

  1. You did right to do all those evictions. You got rid of toxic tenants. Now caring, courteous residents will be willing to live there.
  2. We did “Adopt a Coach” when we took over a community just like yours. It worked great. We gave a checklist of work required for each particular home. They had to do it in a certain amount of time (15-60 days depending on the work needed). They did NOT get any right of occupancy, until the work was completed AND signed off by management as completed. We required exterior AND interior work. In most cases, the people completed the work, on time. It was a WIN-WIN. The park got nicer, fixed up homes. The applicant got a home using their sweat equity plus materials. Or, as you said, you could even supply the materials. You can justify paying for the materials even if you don’t require them to pay you back (so it’s a gift still), because it gets you a nicer looking home/homesite/park, and gets rent coming in for the space.

Sell it on a Sales Contract stipulating No Title and they are required to repair the home to whatever standard which is part of the Purchase Agreement. State you have the right to inspect to verify compliance to the terms and condition is to that standard.

Draw time lines on initial repairs 30D 60D… Inspect. They then have 3 months to repair any discrepancies and you have the right to inspect in 3 months and annually after the 1st round. If they fail to comply Evict.