Firing Manager

I am looking for a little guidance in firing of a manger and his family who currently live in a house on the property. The park is out of state and I want ot give them enough notice to find another place to live but am fearful they may retaliate or damage the home in retribution. Since I am out of state I cannot monitor them so I want to be sure to make it an amiable split. Any help would be apprecoiated.

Thank you


There is no way to have an “amiable” split with a manager. You are about to take away their job and house – nobody is going to be happy in that instance. Don’t worry about them – worry about protecting your interests. You need to find the replacement manager NOW and have them already ready to go, so that they step in and hand deliver the notices to the tenants of the management change 5 minutes after you fire the manager. You need to quietly get all park property away from them, such as the park files, etc., giving the excuse that you are going to make copies and send them to them, but that you want the original files at your office. It’s a safe bet that they will trash the house, so get mentally set for that. But the important thing is to take all power away from them day one, so that they cannot steal rent, mis-inform residents, etc. Give them the minimum time to move out allowed by law, using the true reasoning that the new manager needs the house ASAP. Fire them after the 10th of the month, so as not to disrupt the collections cycle (assuming most tenants pay by the 10th). Your priority should be 100% on protecting your investment and 0% on the manager’s feelings. That being said, you don’t want to be mean or nasty. But mobile home park firings are not like they do at a Fortune 500 company.

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It’s so sad to see someone put up a post like this. I understand that, a lot of the time, a split with a manger may not go well; but I can’t believe so many are so nasty about it that this post shows a uniform thought-line among property owners. I’ve been looking at the possibility of losing my job as a manager for some time now, and I can’t imagine damaging the office/home on my way out. I guess it goes to the reason why someone might be losing their job…

The original post stated that the owner was afraid that the manager was going to “retaliate or damage the home in retribution”, so I assumed that the relationship with the manager (and the conditions for firing) were not good. If the manager is one that the owner knows and has no trouble with – but just wants to take the park in a new direction – then the situation could be different. But the post suggests a troubled split, which is very common, unfortunately. We have replaced managers on a very cordial basis when they simply did not want to do the job anymore, or some other reason which was amiable. But that was not the tone of the post.

Just wanted to clarify that.

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We have had it go both ways, in one case we thought we had a good relationship, when in fact not only were the managers stealing from us, but they came back after they moved from the park and damaged park infrastructure. That is just one example of what makes this a challenging business - you get tested constantly on your faith (or lack there of) in the basic goodness (or lack there of) of the human condition.


thank you for your input and for an update I flew out last week to let my manager go and made it a beneficial ending for he and his family as long as they are respectful and leave the property in good condition. I could not obviously just kick he and his family out so I gave them an appropriate amount of time to find a place to move and will give them a financial payment when I go back to get the keys long as everything is there and in good condition. I have several long term tenants who care very much about the park and are keeping eyes on things through this period. I will give you an update on how things turn out.

thanks again

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Frank and all, Great advice regarding how to get ready and fire a manager, I’d like to take it one step deeper as I’m off to fire my embezzling manager at end of month and interested to know best pre and day one steps.

To hire new manager, would you suggest someone from within the park or outside and pros/cons to each?

If Mgr has own mobile home in park, do you typically evict them to keep them from poisoning the tenants as they have built good relationships with them over the years or is it a judgement call?

Any suggestions for screening the new one to ensure they’re honest, beyond background/criminal history checks?

Seems like such a gut call and you gotta get it right the second time for sure!! Tnks all - james

Every manager needs to live in the park – not off-site. They need to be there 24/7 so they know what’s really going on. That being said, if you “import” a new manager, you’ll have to have a home for them. In addition, it’s hard to “import” a manager if the park is not large and does not pay much. So many times – particularly with smaller parks – you have to pick a candidate that already lives there. Normally, your best prospects are the tenants who have the cleanest yards, nicest houses and best cars – the people who are responsible and care.

You want to have the new manager hired before you fire the old one. You want to have flyers already made up for every tenant telling them that the old manager is history, and introducing the new one, and reminding them not to pay rent to the old one. You want the new manager to pass these out, door to door, within 5 minutes of firing the old manager.

As far as the old manager continuing to live in the park, the reality is that you can’t get them out for probably 90 days anyway if they own their own home (via non-renewal) and even then they might file a landlord retaliation lawsuit, so we just let them stay. To date, it’s not been a problem, as they quickly change focus to other things that they are mad about (like their new employer).

Of all the things I just named, the most important one is to never fire a manager until you have the replacement signed up. It’s a terrible idea to ever have a park without an on-site manager for even one day – no different than a chemistry class with no teacher present.

Thanks Frank, I’ll follow the process. One item I’ll be doing a bit different, because I want to stop the bleeding as soon as possible, I plan to fire/hire right around the 29th so that the new manager can hit the ground running and be in the on-site office to deal with the tenants right off the bat (I think you had mentioned previously to do this after the first so there’s not too much payment disruption).

I’m just wondering if I should be in the office with her during the first few days to help her and set the record straight with any tenant questions, it’s my first manager firing and I know the previous manager has many good relationships with the existing tenants, it might be a bit confrontational / challenging but that’s why I love this business!!! as always excellent advice and thanks again -james

If you want to, it can’t hurt being in the office – but it’s probably not necessary. Don’t forget that you can now train your manager using our Certified Community Manager Program – it’s what we now use ourselves. It will train them better than you will and doesn’t waste your time. Look for it on this site, or call (800) 950-1364. It costs all of $299 and you’ll spend more than that in travel to your park alone.

Thanks, I’ll look into it, great idea - j

I’ve had manager problems but haven’t recently. As far as a manager embezzling I don’t tempt them. No cash is allowed and rent checks and MO’s are mailed to an offsite PO Box. I let my manager know that it is in their best interests that no cash can be accepted as tenants can accuse the manager of theft. As a matter of fact this happened from time to time under the old ownership. The only time the manager accepts payments at all is for a 3-Day Notice. There again, no cash.

That’s a great system – the best way to stop embezzlement is to get out of the “cash” business. Unfortunately, you still have to watch out for such cons as faking water/sewer issues (and splitting the invoice with the plumber) and the good ol’ fake pet deposit. But by cutting out cash, you’ve removed 99% of the problem.

Yes, it’s all in the system controls. I’ll share some tools I use to help identify embezzlement issues that every park owner should consider.

First off, I use a phone system that records every incoming call and collects stats so you can listen to what’s going on and help coach your manager, I use this number for my marketing activities and existing tenants issues, maint work orders, complaints, etc.

The other tool I use is a Q-see 8 channel survelience camera with audio capability tied to a key camera in the office, these are located both in office and on grounds. You must understand the local laws regarding audio as some states require your manager agrees and signage posted. These are motion control and IR for night vision so it’s easy to view "triggered motion events, like people coming into the office). These wont catch everything but at least you’ll have remote eyes and ears to help you understand what goes on from a day to day perspective.

I’ve also learned that random site-wide “Survey letters” with self-addressed/stamped envelopes enclosed along with a common email acct can help get tenants to provide feedback. I’ve come to the conclusion that you need some tenant interaction when things start going sideways, so a seperate phone dedicated to the park is a good thing too, especially if that number gets spread to everyone when a tenant feels like sharing, you certainly dont want to use your private number!!! Well everyone, thanks for the good feedback, I’ll let you know how things turn out…- james