A Brief Introduction About the Mobile Home Lot Rental Agreement
To understand an agreement to rent a lot for a mobile home, let’s answer the question, what are mobile homes? Mobile homes are caravans, trailers, or prefabricated structures that are easily movable and are used as permanent living structures. They are the homes of the 21st century, becoming increasingly popular. There are different types of mobile homes available broadly divided into single wides, double wides, and triple wides. The single wides are the smallest.
Mobile home needs a lot of land to be placed upon. The tenant, who may already be a mobile homeowner, would need to take land on rent to place it. When a lot of lands is taken on rent for a mobile home from a landlord, a mobile home lot rental agreement is needed. There are two kinds of mobile home agreements. One, where the landlord gives both a lot of land and the privately owned mobile home for rent and two when the landlord rents out only the lot of land.
The agreement is a written, legally binding, enforceable document that lists the responsibilities and rights of a tenant and a landlord. So is it legal to live in a trailer on someone else’s property? Yes, if a mobile home lot rent agreement has been made.
Who Takes the Mobile Home Lot Rental Agreement?
The mobile home lot rental agreement is taken by a tenant who is renting out a piece of land to live in a mobile home and the landlord who owns the mobile home lots for rent and/or the mobile home for rent. Mobile homeowners may also take this agreement to rent someone else’s piece of land to place their own trailer on. The tenants also gain a right to access the amenities at a mobile home park along with the right to occupy a lot of land.
Purpose of the Mobile Home Lot Rental Agreement
A mobile home trailer is a unique type of accommodation. As it is movable, many unique legal challenges arise out of it. Every place has slightly different laws about mobile homes. The purpose of this agreement is to minimize these challenges and set down rules that are agreed upon by both parties. These contracts protect both the landlord and the tenant by listing down the rights and obligations clearly, and it also serves as proof of what was agreed upon. In case of a dispute in the future, the agreements prove useful to resolve them as they are a record of the transaction that occurs between a landlord and a tenant.
Contents of the Mobile Home Lot Rental Agreement
The mobile home lot rental agreement will contain the following rights and obligations:
- Time: The agreement clearly states the time period for which the tenant can stay on the lot and the date on which the lease will expire.
- Rent and other payments: It will mention the amount of money that the tenant will pay to the landlord every month or as per the periodicity decided in the agreement, along with the mode of payment. If there are any additional charges, late payment fines, and any specific instructions about the refund of the deposit paid by the tenant, it should be mentioned in the contract.
- Usage rules: Renting a mobile home lot also gain a tenant’s access to other amenities a park offers. The rules of using everything that is being rented out must be clearly listed in the agreement. For example, the rules regarding modifications, parking, pets, etc. are written down in the contract.
- Details: The details about a lot of lands and/or the mobile home, including its size and other specifications, form an important part of the rental agreement. It must also contain the personal details of the tenant and the landlord, including their name, address, contact numbers, and email addresses.
- Rights and duties: The agreement must include the rights and duties of both the parties about the use of the mobile home lot and the mobile home (if applicable) should be listed in the agreement. For example, the duty of the tenant to not cause damage to the plot or the duty of the landlord to not interfere with a tenant’s occupation, etc.
How to Draft the Mobile Home Lot Rental Agreement?
Every mobile home lot rental contract is unique, which is why utmost care must be taken while drafting it. Here are the points to remember:
- An in-depth study of the local laws about mobile homes must be done to understand better what the provisions contained. Once the study is done, the agreement should be drafted in line with the local laws.
- When the description of the lot to be leased is written, it should contain every small detail about the lot so as to be able to distinguish it from other lots of land in the same park in the future. The area, the color, the name of the owner, etc. are some of the details that must be included while drafting the agreement.
- While drafting the agreement, extra precautions must be taken to write down the provisions for payment of rent and other charges. No ambiguity must exist about the payment parts, fines, fees, and other charges.
- A termination clause should be drafted along with a notice period that would be required should either party decide to end the agreement. The termination clause must also cover what happens when either party breaches the terms of the agreement.
- An indemnity clause should be drafted where each party indemnifies the other in case of a violation of the terms of the contract.
- While drafting, the governing laws must be mentioned at the end.
- The contract should also have a clause for alternative dispute resolution.
- It must contain a force majeure clause, stating that the agreement will become void in case of disasters like cyclone, fire, tsunami, etc.
- An entire agreement clause should be added to specify that nothing else outside the contract is applicable.
- The agreement must be drafted in accordance with the principles of natural justice.
There are a lot of terms to be decided in the case of a mobile home lot rental agreement between the tenant and the landlord. Negotiation strategies can play a role in deciding the amount of rent, the length of the lease, the usage rules about the property in question, among other things. A middle ground can be arrived at between the two parties creating a win-win situation before the agreement is signed. Here is where a negotiation strategy can prove helpful.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Mobile Home Lot Rental Agreement
- It provides protection to the tenant and the landlord about things like money, usage rules, etc.
- It lists down the rights and duties and removes ambiguity.
- It serves as a reference should dispute arise in the future.
- It provides proof.
- It agrees upon how to resolve a dispute using alternative methods.
- It is time-consuming.
- If an attorney is hired for drafting the agreement, it can get expensive.
What Happens in Case of Violation?
If the tenant violates the terms of the contract or any park rules, then the landlord can evict the tenant after giving due notice period as decided in the agreement(1). If the landlord violates the terms of the contract, then the tenant can claim damages and sue for relief, as it will be considered a breach of contract. The option of suing in the courts of law is also available to the landlord, and the landlord can also claim compensation if any of the terms in the agreement have been violated.
The mobile home lot rental agreement is one of the newly-formed agreements that have become a necessity today. It is preferred to have a written agreement that an oral arrangement while renting a lot for a mobile home as it has a host of benefits. Many sample mobile home lot rental agreements are available on the internet to download and fill in. However, the knowledge of the local laws(2) must be obtained before drafting and signing the agreement.