Mobile Home Sales, Transfers, and Land Use Changes
Topics on this page:
- Sales of Mobile Homes
- Resident Who Acquires Title to Mobile Home After Death of Previous Owner
- Land Use Changes
- Sale of a Manufactured Home Community
- Relocation Plan
- Relocation Assistance
- When Mobile Homes are Considered Real Property
Sales of Mobile Homes
Sale of New Mobile Homes
Retail sales of new mobile homes require certain duties and disclosures by the seller. The seller:
- has a duty of good faith and fair dealing in providing financial information to a prospective consumer borrower, including providing financial information in a
- manner that is not misleading or deceptive and that discloses all material facts;
- may not steer a consumer borrower to financing products that offer less favorable terms; and
- must provide a written disclosure statement that includes:
- a disclosure that describes any corporate affiliation between the retailer and their suggested financing source
- a disclosure that the consumer borrower may obtain financing from any lender (and is not required to obtain financing from a lender suggested by the retailer); and
- information regarding the rights of a consumer borrower and the procedure for filing a complaint with the
Maryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation.
Sale of Existing Mobile Homes
A resident must give a park owner a 30-day prior written notice of his or her intent to sell the mobile home, regardless of whether the home will remain on the site or be moved. A park owner may not prevent a resident from selling his or her mobile home and may not require a resident to remove it from the park because of the sale. A park owner may, by park rule, reserve the right to approve a buyer and the standards of the mobile home, but s/he may not unreasonably withhold approval. A park owner may also collect a commission from the sale, but only if he acted as agent for the buyer or seller under a separate written agreement.
When Seller Owns the Park
Where the seller of the mobile home is the owner of the park (or is an agent of the owner), the seller must give the buyer a copy of any established rules before a contract is signed for the sale of the mobile home. If this requirement is not met, the contract cannot be enforced by the owner of the park or his agent. In all other sales of mobile homes, where the seller is not a park owner or agent, the seller must give the buyer a written notice, separate from the contract, that states substantially the following:
- "If the mobile home you are purchasing is to be placed in a mobile home park, the park may have rules and lease provisions that affect you and your home.
- You should contact the park office to obtain and carefully review a copy of the lease and rules for the park before you enter into a contract to purchase a mobile home.
- Due to land use restrictions in many areas in this State, a mobile home may only be placed on property that is within a mobile home park."
Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8A-605
Resident Who Acquires Title to Mobile Home After Death of Previous Owner
A resident who acquires the title to a mobile home after the death of the previous resident by will or by operation of law must take the following actions within 30 days after obtaining title:
- Offer the mobile home for sale;
- Apply to the park owner for a lease; or
- Take reasonable steps to move the mobile home from the park.
The park owner must not unreasonably refuse to enter into a lease agreement. If the new resident offers the mobile home for sale, the resident must move the home from the park after one year if a sale has not yet taken place. If the new resident applied for a lease and was rejected, the home must be moved from the park within 6 months after the date of denial.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8A-202
Land Use Changes
If the use of the land is changed (i.e., the land will no longer be used for a mobile home park), all residents are entitled to a one-year written notice of termination, notwithstanding any longer term in the lease, and the park owner must send a copy of this written notice to the appropriate local government agency.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8A-202
When a manufactured housing community (MHC) owner wants to sell it, they must fulfill several legal requirements. A MHC is any property leased (or held out for lease) to two or more owners of manufactured homes for residential use. When the MHC owner and prospective buyer agree to the sale, the prospective buyer must file an affidavit in the county land records that states:
- the purchaser will allow continued use of the land as an MHC for at least 5 years after the purchase; and,
- rent for a lot on the property will not increase by more than 10% per year for the first 3 years after the purchase.
If the purchaser does not file the affidavit, the MHC owner must do 2 things:
- Notify all the homeowners of the offer terms, including the price. (The community owner must also notify the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the appropriate housing agency.)
- Provide the homeowners with an opportunity to purchase the MHC, in accordance with the bill. 60 days to collectively submit a similar offer to purchase the park themselves.
The notice must be sent to each resident by certified or registered mail and posted in a public area of the community. The notice must include a list of organizations and county housing agencies that provide assistance with financing. Residents have 60 days to collectively submit a similar offer to purchase the park themselves.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8A-1803
Within 10 days after providing notice, the owner must also share the same information that the owner provided or would have provided to other prospective purchasers. To vote to make an offer, at least 75% of residents must vote to purchase the community. The owner must negotiate in good faith with the residents if they make an offer.
If the owner accepts the resident’s purchase offer, the residents have 105 days to secure financing and close the sale. If the residents cannot secure financing or cannot close within the timeframe, the owner has satisfied their obligation under the law.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8A-1804
If the owner fails to negotiate in good faith, the penalty is paying a $10,000 fine to the homeowners association. A purchaser who filed the affidavit (to keep the park open for 5 years and not raise rent more than 10% per year for the first 3 years) and violates the affidavit also must pay a $10,000 fine to the homeowners association.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8A-1806
Note that these requirements are not necessary in all sales. For example: if the transfer happens are a result of foreclosure, the owner sells the MHC to a family member, and so on. For a complete list of exemptions, read the law below.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8A-1802
When a park owner seeks a change in the land use of the park, the park owner submits an application for a change in land use to the local governing body of the county or municipal corporation in which the park is located. The owner must include in the application a relocation plan for each park resident who would be dislocated by the change. An application will not be approved until the owner submits and complies with the plan.
The relocation plan must include:
- a complete list of park residents, household sizes, addresses, and resident contact information
- a relocation calendar or timeline and written monthly updates on the progress of the relocation
- if the plan is for closing a park with more than 10 sites, a budget showing the amount of relocation assistance to be paid by the park owner to each household and the timetable for the owner to pay it
- a description of the requirement that a resident provide written notice of the resident’s intention to vacate the park
- a list of area mobile home parks with vacancies and a list of area companies that relocate mobile homes
Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8A-1201
For parks with more than 10 sites, the relocation assistance paid to each household must be equal to the amount of rent paid (not including taxes and utilities) for the 12 months immediately preceding the date the resident vacates the premises. Relocation assistance is paid as follows:
- Half is to be paid to a resident within 30 days after the park owner receives the resident’s written notice of the resident’s intention to vacate and the date on which the resident intends to vacate; and
- The other half is to be paid within 30 days of the resident vacating the premises.
If a resident does not vacate the park by the date specified by the resident, the resident forfeits the balance of relocation assistance due, unless the park owner agrees in writing to a different date.
If the owner decides not to close the park, the owner is not required to pay relocation assistance after a notice is sent to the residents that the park will not be closing.
If a resident signs an agreement to rent premises in the park after receiving notice of the park closure, the owner is not required to pay that resident relocation assistance.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8A-1201
When Mobile Homes are Considered Real Property
A manufactured or mobile home that is or may be used for residential purposes and is permanently attached to land or connected to utilities must be assessed as an improvement to real property to the owner of the land, unless such home is located on a rented space in a manufactured home park. A mobile home may not be assessed as real property if it is unoccupied and for sale or is located temporarily in a rented space in a trailer park or mobile home court. Additionally, a mobile home may change its character from that of a motor vehicle, or an item of personalty, to a fixture upon real property.
Read the law: Md. Code, Real Property § 8B-101
A manufactured home shall be converted to real property when all of the following events have occurred:
- The manufactured home is attached to a permanent foundation;
- The ownership interests in the manufactured home and the parcel of real property to which the manufactured home is affixed are identical; and
- An affidavit of affixation complying with the requirements of §8B–202 of this subtitle has been recorded with the clerk of the court of the county in which the parcel of real property to which the manufactured home is affixed is located.
Once the manufactured or mobile home is converted to Real Property, the laws applicable to real property govern and the home is no longer subject to Title 13 of the Transportation article. A manufactured or mobile home may also be severed from real property.