We have experienced this situation several times.
With our first such home we made the mistake of letting the ‘rehabber’ live in the home. Not surprisingly in retrospect, it tuned out he was not a ‘rehabber.’ He was a ‘freeloader’ looking for a very inexpensive place to live. Needless to say, the repairs were not made, and he disappeared into the night after a few months living in the trailer, leaving it in slightly worse shape than he found it.
So we now agree up front with the rehabber as to what will be a reasonable amount of time to get the job complete (1 month should be plenty for most any trailer). We do not let the rehabber live in the home until the work is complete. During this initial month, he pays no rent. We sign a purchase and sale agreement up front specifying the purchase price of the trailer. The purchase price is usually some combination of cash and agreed upon improvements to the trailer done to a ‘professional grade.’
Only once the work is complete (and any monies paid) is the purchase and sale agreement fulfilled, and we process the title into his name.
If he fails to get the work done in the prearranged reasonable amount of time, then he starts paying rent (still without owning the trailer). You can then decide if/how long you want to let this situation go on with him paying rent, but not owning the trailer. He may well abandon the job if he can’t live in the trailer, but is obligated to pay rent. Worst case scenario is you take back an improved trailer and try again with another rehabber. Best case is the rehabber is as good as his word and you’ve improved your park physically and financially and you have one less home to own and maintain!
To your continued success,