Due diligence and mobile home setback requirements

I have a park under contract, and I recently contacted the state inspection agency that inspects all mobile homes during moves. I requested a copy of the state setback requirements. The park looks like it is compliant with every item, except for one. Mobile homes are suppposed to be 5 feet from “roadways, and parkways within the park” but in my park it looks like the homes are pretty much on the road (see photo). How should I go about addressing this issue? I would hate to close on the park, and then have the inspector tell me the park isn’t in compliance and won’t allow any new homes to move in.

You’re smart to worry about that. But you need more data. The first question is when the ordinance you are reading became law. If it happened after the park was built, then it would not apply under grandfathering. I would also get the inspector out there and ask him if it’s O.K. Even though his opinion is not binding, it will give you an idea if it’s a latent defect or no big deal. In the photo, this park may be O.K. as it will be hard to measure what is the road to setback from, as the whole front appears paved.

You must read all of that very carefully. I had a park with much of the same wording- it said the from of the home had to be 8 foot back from the lot line.

So I got the city out there- walked through the issue- but prior to that- I had rewritten my lease to include the 8’ strip in front of the homes in the lease for parking. So by moving the lot line from what everyone thinks it is- the end of the pavement- to really- where the residents park- I was able to use the wording in my favor and pull larger homes into the park. Remember- you have state, county and city. If your in the city- worry about them as the final say. This same park, the city says no pre hud homes can be set int he city limits, unless- the home was previously in the city limits and is being relocated.

Another case- The county has a rule that says- no pre hud homes can be placed in the county. A city in the county says- pre hud is ok if it has a pitched roof. Go figure…

one last point- setbacks from street are one thing- how about electric lines? Really- overhead electric lines. In Texas I have a park where the public utility code- Texas set- say you need at 5’ right of way- left- right- up- down. The city says- you need a 3 foot ‘fall’ right of way. So you can not set a home within 3’ of any electric like- even primary power lines. So everyone has a hand in the setback requirements- and you MUST check them all.

I ALWAYS walk the park with the city inspectors and ask if anything is in violation with current code that would need to be changed if I pulled a home in and out.

Also- I carry a voice recorder- and all of these conversations I record. I tell people I talk to so many people, and I do not take good notes. I have the voice files transcribed and they become my walk through notes. These have saved my butt many times, as someone will say- we did not say that- I will pull the transcripts- and if they balk- I will play the recording.

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