Local Codes Vs. State Requirements

Hey there investors - So I own a mobile home park in Northern Maine. Code enforcement for the town is trying to tell me that I need to put in Cement Pads for any vacant lots I want to fill even if the homes are used. The State Manufactured Housing Board says that only NEW homes require cement pads and that gravel pads are OK for used homes. I think that the States standards supersede local codes, but having a hard time finding this information. Does anyone have experience with this?

Also, suggestions for how to kindly educate the Code Enforcement Officer are welcome.

Thanks you, Michael.

In my jurisdiction the town codes would over ride the state codes but they can not over rule or ignore state codes.
If the state codes said used homes are not allowed to have cement pads that would be a different situation.


Here are the relevant codes: link to statutes.

The Maine Manufactured Housing Board does have some discretion in its enforcement. I suggest giving your inspector a call to get direct information on the specific requirements.

When it comes to the year of manufacture, it’s essential to note that the cutoff date for categorizing a mobile home as “Newer” is June 15, 1976. There is some flexibility if the home is under 14 feet wide and under 750 square feet.

Dealing with local Code Enforcement can vary in difficulty, depending on your relationship with them. It might help to foster a positive connection. Donuts often work wonders!

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any further questions or need assistance with anything else, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Code enforcement is fun to deal with.

Understand both the exact local and state laws.

Always be cordial with code enforcement, but don’t be afraid to stand your ground either. Push back if need be.

Code enforcement can vary widely just one town over in the same state with completely different rules and regs.

To Clarify, I meant to give the State Inspector a Call. If the State inspector agrees with your interpretation, then have him call the local inspector to work it out on your behalf.

Sometimes the local guys just don’t understand. We have had similar situations in the past. In all cases, we had to research the law and plead our case to the locals. The state association can usually point you in the direction of somebody who can help.

In our most recent situation (just happened this week), an Indiana Treasurer was refusing to allow a new home placement because past due taxes were due on a home that was on that lot years ago owned by a different person. I called the state association, got a contact at the state, and explained to them. They explained to the treasurer, and she agreed to drop the tax.

In another case, I hired a lawyer , threatened to sue, and the city finally agreed. In that situation it cost $5,000.

Bottom line is that you have to start with the experts or research the state code on your own and go in armed with the actual law or code.

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Bingo. Don’t be afraid to push back if need be. Don’t get steam rolled. A lot of local officials sometimes have no idea or…they do but don’t care.

Know the exact state laws. Speak to a municipal attorney (a good one) if need be.