If you live in a park, you are free to sell your manufactured home in place at a price of your own choosing. The park owner cannot require either you or the buyer to move the home out of the park solely because of the sale. The park owner can require that the home be brought up to minimal safety and sanitary standards, but it is up to the park owner to establish that the home is not safe or sanitary.
The park owner may require a pre-sale inspection of the home. After the inspection, he must provide a list of all repairs that will be required before the home can be approved for an on-site sale. This list must be provided to the homeowner within 14 days of the time the tenant sends the park owner written notice of his intent to sell the home. The park owner may not require:
- the repair or removal of anything inside the home that does not threaten harm to the park itself, or
- compliance with aesthetic standards relating to physical characteristics of the home such as size, original construction materials, or color. The park owner can however, require repair or maintenance of deteriorating or defective exterior features of the home or the removal of a structure or fixture which the seller added to the home without the permission of the park owner.
The park owner cannot charge the seller any fees because of the sale, unless he has, at your request and through a written contract, acted as your sales agent. The park owner may charge $35 for signing your manufactured housing deed.
New tenants in a manufactured housing park will be expected to meet the rules of the park. The park owner cannot unreasonably withhold approval of any person to whom you wish to sell your manufactured home. He can, however, require that the prospective buyer be able to comply with all park rules including payment of rent, and may reject a prospective buyer who has a poor credit history or poor references from prior landlords. To keep the valuable right to freely sell your home, you must notify the park owner of your plan to sell.
Once the park owner receives a completed application for tenancy from the prospective buyer of the home, he has 14 days to notify the buyer of his decision. If the buyer is rejected, the notice to the buyer must state the reason for the rejection.
The park owner may charge the prospective buyer a non-refundable application fee of up to $125.00 without providing an itemization of the charges. If the application fee exceeds $125.00, the park owner must provide an itemized breakdown of the application fee, and the total fee must be reasonable.
Special rules apply when your park is being changed to a retirement park. Within three (3) years of notice of a rule changing the park from "general or family" to "senior retirement," you can still sell your home to a buyer of your choice, including a non-elderly family. In order to be a lawful retirement park -- from which families with children may be lawfully excluded -- the park must meet one of the following two requirements:
- 80% of the households in the park must be occupied by at least one person who is 55 years or older, and the park owner must provide special facilities and services to meet the needs of older persons, or
- the residency in the park must be totally restricted to persons who are 62 years of age or older.
If families with children are excluded by a park owner, and neither of these conditions is met, the park owner is probably breaking federal or state laws against discrimination. Both laws call for substantial civil monetary penalties and damages.
Many manufactured housing parks have rules that limit the number the people who can occupy a home. Such policies often exclude most families with children. This too can be found to be illegal discrimination against families with children.
For more information about housing discrimination, contact:
- The NH Human Rights Commission, (603) 271-2767
- N H Legal Assistance
603-668-2900 or toll free at 800-562-3174
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development