Getting RTO Tenants to Maintain their Home

Has anyone tried having Rent-To-Own (RTO) residents pay their rent PLUS pay monthly into a “saving account” (collected and kept by the park) in which they can draw upon as needed. For example, maybe they need a plumber to fix a toilet or even a shed or deck repair. Or fix the roof. Is this legal? Would it work? Does it work?

The savings account could possibly be set up as additional deposit, agreed that no interest would be paid, and other criteria. The additional amount each month could be as little as $25 to $50.

Another idea is to charge pet fees based on weight, with a minimum monthly rate. For example, a cat would cost $25 per month, a 10 pound dog would cost $25 per month, yet a 50 pound dog would cost $50 per month. Residents would have to bring in their dog each quarter for a weighing. Is this too much trouble?

We offer our residents the option to pay extra at the time of downpayment and/or any subsequent months. Our idea is that if they then run into financial difficulties later, and they’ve ‘over paid’ by, say, $50/month for 12 months, then they have a $600 credit with us, and can skip a payment. Or they can keep paying extra and just own their home sooner.

I believe only one resident ever took us up on that. Basically everyone pays the bare minimum up front and every month. So it is not likely your savings plan trying to help tenants will work. But if it does, let us know your secret!

The weighing your pet idea is insane. Too much bother. There have been numerous other discussions in this forum on pets. Brief summary: ban vicious breeds of dogs/make residents with non-vicious breeds get insurance naming you as additional insured/charge everyone a pet fee. Don’t waste time weighing pets and keeping a databse of whether Fifi has put on a few pounds. Spend your time finding the next park to buy.

My 2 cents worth,


We have not tried something like this yet it sounds like a good concept if the details are developed. Most likely the rent should be raised by the $50 per month and include the $50 credit toward future repairs and maintenance. Thus, if you would normally charge the resident $500 rent, then make it $550 and keep a tally of their credit. Then whenever someone needed repairs, take the costs from their account. It would be nice to see what Frank or Dave and some of the other senior owners think of this idea. Maybe it needs a few tweaks to make it sound.