Tenant Destroying Mobile Home & POH Inspections

I closed on a park a couple months ago & inherited several of the former owner’s scum tenants. One recently requested maintenance and my maintenance guy reported dried dog crap everywhere inside, mold and even moss growing inside the POH.

Now I realize the damage is already there, but I’m wondering what (other that far better tenant selection) can be done, knowing that the current tenant likely has absolutely $0 savings, but they are still paying rent. IE: If I forced them out, I would still have to repair the unit, but get no rent.

The area is lower income, so getting much greater deposits is likely not going to happen. How often, if at all, do some of you inspect, and what do you do if you find ongoing damage caused by the tenant. If you have repaired the damage & charged the tenant, what is your experience with them moving out in retaliation, vs paying for the repairs.

Thank you in advance

We inspect our rental homes about 1x/year. We do not inspect our RTO homes. We should probably inspect more often. But we don’t find that much damage in between move-in and move-out. Tenants do damage principally on move-out (especially if you’ve had to evict them). Some homes we inspect a week after the tenant moves in. If there is going to be a problem with a tenant damaging a home, that usually becomes apparent within that first week. We then repair and bill the tenant. That tends to get their attention and to change any bad behavior.

As for your particular situation, I suggest you give the tenant a reasonable time to clean the home (maybe 2 weeks) and then do it for them if they do not, and bill them. You are right, that you will have to clean the home one way or other sooner or later, but you want to start setting a precedent - that you are a responsible operator and will not tolerate damage to homes. If this tenant again does damage, then it is time to evict.

You want to create a virtuous circle of building a community with a reputation for cleanliness and safety, that then causes other responsible people to want to live there, and then they tell still more responsible people.

My 2 cents worth,


You are always going to get bad tenants, even in luxury properties. I recently read about a wealthy couple (European nobility actually) that were so hooked on drugs that the wife overdosed and died, and the husband was too drugged up to realize she was dead and not just sleeping, and kept spraying Febreeze on her for two months – that’s a whole lot worse than your tenant. However, the key question is how often you are getting bad tenants. If all the tenants are lousy, then you need to consider the rental/sales process and see if there is any way to improve the tenant quality through a greater deposit or more screening scrutiny. If there is no way to improve who comes in the door, then you just need to accept that and build your business model around that reality. There are parks that function fine with tenants just as you described. Mobile home parks are not normally the #1 destination of doctors and dentists, and you may have to work around the reality of the tenants you can get who want to live there. Obviously, what you are describing is caused by a dog. Is the dog allowed under your lease? We only allow dogs under 30 lbs, which do not make a lot of mess normally. Maybe you need to beef up your pet policy.Maybe this is a rules issue and not a tenant screening issue.

My main thought is that you need to not get too freaked out about this issue. If the guy is paying the rent, for all you know he may pay you for 10 years and the interior condition won’t matter. Sure, some of the tenants have eccentric living standards, but all that matters is that they pay the rent and obey the rules. If you start inspecting all the homes and getting involved in their personal lives and lifestyle decisions, you may go insane. Just focus on the rent and rules and you’ll be fine.

It is my opinion that at this time you need to determin if you are operating a “trailer park” where your intent is simply to rake off as much cash flow as possible by allowing the inmates to simply manage on their own, or a community in which you can take pride of ownership by inforcing a standard of quality.

I would, as suggested, request the tenant clean up the property to your standard or have them immediatly vacate. Having said that it is my experience that even if they do clean the home it will still likley be uninhabitable, by my standards, and I would ultimatly evicted.

Pigs will always be pigs regardless of how much you may want them to be otherwise.

I never allow the prospect of lost rent to dictate the standards of my community. However if your community has no standards then ignorance is bliss business wise. As long as they pay rent let them live in a pig sty. When they move on hose down the stable and bring in the next cash cow.

Your choice is a “trailer park” or a “Community” with inforceable standards in which you can have pride of ownership.