Handling rent collections with an offsite property manager

I would definitely prefer to have an on site property manager, but it sounds like others on this site have had success with managers who live on site. Right now my best craigslist candidate would be living off site fifteen minutes drive away.

For other park owners:
Have you ever had an offsite manager that worked well in the long run?

How did you handle rent collections with an offsite manager?

Since no one seems interested in replying to your question I would be interested in knowing why you would prefer to have your employee live in your community. How large is your community and how do you see where your employee is living impacting their responsibility to collect rent and generally do their job.

Personally my preference would be to not have my employees being part of the community based primarily on the fact that I own a small community and believe they would be somewhat compromised in performing their job. Most if not all of the community would know them personally. As the owner I can be completely inflexible in dealing with tenants but a employee that is a part of the community would have difficulty with this.

Sorry that I did not see this question sooner.

No, we have never had success with an offsite manager in the long run. There’s no way that someone who lives 15 miles away will be able to accurately keep a handle on what goes on in the park. These constructions always fail. Pretty soon, they will go to the park once a month and you will have complete anarchy. Anyone in the park – no matter how bad – will be superior to someone 15 miles offsite. It’s just human nature that they will fail you when they live outside the park.

@FrankRolfe - Frank, as a corollary to your advice about always using an onsite manager, what do you do in situations when you have two parks in the same town? I have two parks (a larger one and a smaller one) and I would just as soon have a full time manager who lives in the larger one and task him with administering the smaller one as well. My tenants mail the rents, so all I rely on my manager to do is a) take regular photos of the properties and send them to me; b) write violations; and c) respond to maintenance requests.

What do you do in these situations? Is it enough if you have a manager living in another park to simply ask him to keep office hours at the park that he does not live in? Other best practices?

Have the manager at the large park as the manager of both properties, but also have a greeter at the small park who reports to the manager. That way you have 24/7 visibility of what’s going on in the park when the manager is away. It also gives you a backup if the manager quits or goes bad on you, as you can move the greeter into that position on a very temporary basis until you find a replacement manager. The chain of command would be that the manager reports to you, and the greeter reports to the manager.

When you consider that most mobile home parks today are worth more than a Dairy Queen (around $500,000 and up), you can’t have an asset of that value without some type of 24/7 supervision.

I like the idea that has been discussed on this site before, of having the tenants pay the rents in the nearest bank. Some advantages being:

  • You never have to worry about the rents being stolen or “lost”.

       You never have to worry about tenants claiming to have paid but not    having been given a receipt.
       If you fire a manager, you don't have to hassle with teaching the  tenants who next to pay, or who to pay till you get a

    replacement or worry that the fired tenant is holding some of the

    • You can check you rent bank account any time, anywhere online to see how collections are going.

    • You can be sure that every tenant will be given a receipt and the accounting will be accurate and professional.
      You don’t have to worry that a manager does his own rent raise without telling you and pockets it (as I had happen once.)

[I don’t know why the formatting is so screwy]


I am working on a 10 pad MHP with average lot rent of $550. I really like the idea to have the tenants to deposit the rents at the nearby bank. In this case, does it make sense to have an onsite manager?


Even if you’re park has three lots, we still recommend that you have somebody – anybody – as your “eyes and ears” on the ground, just so you can stay on top of your investment without having to be there yourself. We pay $10 per lot, so you would only pay the manager $100 per month, in this case. I would recommend that you have the tenants just mail the rent to a P.O. Box that you pick up in your town. That’s the same way they pay their mortgage, car payment and utility bills, right? It’s asking a lot to expect the tenants to deposit the rent at your bank themselves. Make sure that your state does not have requirements on accepting rent on location, however. If so, that’s going to be one of the duties of your manager, who will then either deposit it collectively to your bank or mail it to you.

Another advantage to having the tenants pay through a bank is you have eliminated the chore of having to keep going to the PO to see if a payment has come in. When I used a PO in the past, every now and then I had to deal with a “the check is in the mail” situation. That is a hassle the bank idea eliminates from your life. Once I found a few checks in my box that post office had put in someone else’s box until they were discovered by a neighboring box’s honest owner. In that case a few of my tenants’ claims of “but I mailed the check on time” was correct. Again, the whole thing was a big hassle and there was some unnecessary hard feelings.

But if you feel you have to go the mail route, you can always have them mail the payment to the bank. You could type up some kind of deposit slip that you could provide to your tenants who complain about having to go to bank in person.

Once you get everyone trained, I see more advantages and fewer disadvantages to the bank method than any other.