A mobile home park is designed to hold permanent or semi-permanent trailers. It used to be that living in a trailer park meant you were downtrodden, down-on-your-luck, poor. These days, people from many walks of life live in trailer parks. Some are even reserved for older people living off of SS, and their closeness to other old people allows for a community that’s cheaper than living in a nursing home.
It’s true that you will find that most renters or owners are doped up on drugs, but it’s also true that the millennial white collar, not the blue collar, also live in trailer parks to get away from the high price of living in apartment complexes or they’re people who are sticking around the lot to save for a down payment on a house. They are educated, not illiterate, and inside their double-wides you may just find beauty in a small space; a kitchen as stylish as you might find in a gourmet kitchen and even freestanding bathtubs (in addition to separate showers) for a luxuriant bubble bath.
If you can believe it, we even found a trailer park whose tenants comprise of billionaires—yep, that’s right! But the overall reason why people live in trailers is that they have wheels, which means they can up and leave at a moment’s notice, especially if they’re hiding from the law(!), or else need to be mobile to gain jobs in different areas. But like all things, there are compromises and downfalls, and so here are 15 Trailer Park Laws That Americans Need To Follow.
15. Rental Leases Are The Same As Regular Housing
All leases for a rental of the lot must be in writing. This protects you from eviction if you have not done anything illegal or are a bad neighbor. Most leases are for one year. If you know you will be moving out before the year ends, you can ask for a shorter lease in writing. Finally, written leases cannot be changed in the middle of a lease agreement. The law lists some things which definitely cannot be changed in the middle of a lease, including parking regulations, rules restricting guests, the use of hot plates on your steps, putting your TV outside on your yard so you can catch up on watching Judge Judy at the same time you can get bask in the sun to get a tan and using your garden hose to take erotic showers on your lawn in just your cut off jeans so that Lot 21 may see what you can offer her. Guess which restrictions are actually true.
14. You Can’t Be Evicted If You Have a Guest Over, Even If The Guest Stays For More Than A Few Weeks
Mobile park residents can bring guests over anytime they want, but there are some rules to follow. The residents are responsible for the way their guest behaves or acts but the resident cannot be charged a fee, even if the guest stays for a longer period than intended. The only way a landlord can evict you is if your guest breaks the law. So, yeah, you may actually get evicted if your guest builds an impromptu circus on the lawn near the recyclables that may or may not include tight-rope acts strung between mobile homes, a tiger going through a hoop lined with flames situated near the campground and, lastly, the ubiquitous (but necessary) elephant who has nowhere to sit because the land is not large. Can you imagine if that actually happened! And where would you get an elephant?
13. You Cannot Haggle In Any Way To Lessen The Cost Of A Lease
Raising the rent is a frequent problem for mobile home dwellers and happens on the day of signing the lease. A person may have lived on a lot for a long period of time that, when it comes time for the owner to lease the place to someone new, he or she may realize that it’s far below market. Then the owner can raise the rents by around an average of 10% a year. That’s true for most states and for the industry. Just remember this: the rents go up, but never down. Importantly, you cannot haggle in any manner. So, you can forget about singing your karaoke rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly” to win over the management. You may, however, get a few claps if you shake your bootie like it’s 1999. Wait, is that a combination of two different songs?
12. There Are Trailer Parks For The Rich And Famous
In the most expensive place in the States, the Hamptons, homes regularly go for about $3 million and nothing less. But in the Montauk area, the hamlet has its own trailer park called “Montauk Shores.” If you can believe it, the mobile homes here are not for the indigent, but for the upper-upper-class. Moguls and billionaires come to stay at Montauk Shores too. It is, among them, the “ultimate status symbol for the tony Long Island town’s summering rich and famous, many of whom use their relatively modest mobile digs as a second pad to escape with the family or even as a glorified changing room after a long day of romping in Montauk’s waves,” as The New York Post put it. That “changing room” can also be a great place for surfers to hang out and who want easy access to the shore.
11. You Can Get Evicted If You Sneak In A Pet
Even if your landlord tells you that you can’t have pets, it is within your rights to keep an existing pet already legally living with you at the time of the rule change. Even with the proposed change, you are allowed to replace the pet with a pet similar to the one living with you at the time. This means Frisky the cat can keep living with you, or another cat that looks just like him. Still, a tenant may have to sign a pet agreement and carry liability insurance for Frisky. This means that all pets not named Frisky do not have to carry liability insurance. Psych! Here’s what’s at stake for you. Any violations of the pet rule can result in an eviction. We’re dead serious.
10. You Do Have A Right To Privacy, Sort Of
Just because you are living in a mobile home does not mean you were born in a barn. It means you were raised by wolves and that you eat your meals 12 feet away from your toilet… not. As a tenant, you do have privacy. Well, theoretically you do. If you want to be outside but left alone, you can ignore the children playing in that dirt pile who want to make you a human sacrifice and put you on a spit like a pig. The only people who may enter your home is the park management, who need to do some job inside like maintain the utilities, but only at a time or in a manner that does not disturb your right of privacy. And then, the management needs prior written consent.
9. You Have The Right To Construct A Carport
You may think living in a mobile home for a short period of time makes you entirely free from the rules, especially since your home can be rolled away at a moment’s notice. But if you plan to stick around, you may construct a patio or add an awning but you must remember that any work on your lot requires a building permit from your town and prior approval from management. This includes, but is not limited to, the installation of carports, a large solarium so that you can bask in the sunlight in the winter in the buff, or a garage of some sort attached to your trailer that contains the body of the man you killed and whom you placed in a large ice box because he didn’t take a liking to the idea that you wanted to install skylights on your trailer and saying: how much light do you need, you already have a frigging solarium. Pop quiz: which ones are actually true?
8. You Are Responsible For The Removal Of Waste
The removal of waste is your responsibility. At most sites, management allows you to throw away garbage beside the laundry room provided that the bag is clear so that management can look through your dirty laundry, err, your waste to see if you are mixing recyclables. If you don’t have access to garbage bags that are clear in nature, you may use black contractor bags to throw away your refuse so that management can open the bag and dig through the waste to find any valuables, err recyclables. Not! Any other type of refuse, including, but not limited to, spare tires, melamine serve bowls, laundry boards, juggling balls, a sorcerer’s hat and the entire staff of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton must be disposed of by you at the city dump. If this is not possible, speak to management to make other arrangements.
7. Landscaping Is Your Choice But Painting Your Mobile Home Needs Approval From Management
Like the addition of garages and sheds, you may also landscape your property, like adding grass. But you must maintain it. In the event of neglect, management reserves the right, without prior notification, to have the work done and you will be charged for the actual cost plus a service fee. In addition, your mobile home must always be kept painted. So, say you want to paint pink polka dots all over your mobile to remind you of your Lutheran minister who wore polka-dot print shirts and socks while giving his sermon about why battery-operated candlesticks are a safer choice than lighting a flame on a candle. But management reserves the right for input, which may mean that they may object to the polka dots because it’s a little too “gaudy” but if the dots are stuffed with miniature images of the Smurfs, that’s a different story, as these images tend to be minimalistic in design, have clean lines and blend in well with the other mobile homes. Smurfs! How is it that there’s only one Smurfette?
6. Leaving Your Wheels Up Is A No-Go
Suppose a tenant has a monster truck with wheels up for a few days. The tenant probably has his wheels up so he can fix the radiator. Now suppose another mobile tenant also has a monster truck raised, too, and in this case, he’s waiting to sell it off part by part. At first glance, both scenarios resemble each other, but because the radiator guide is only holding up his car in a temporary measure, management will not bother him, but if the car guy keeps up his wheels for weeks and even months, this is different and management can hit him with a 10-day evacuation-of-the-car notice and, if the guy doesn’t adhere to it, he will be evicted. We know, the concept is a little too hard to grasp.
5. If You’re On The Fence About Living In A Trailer, Here’s Some Advice
If you’re on the fence about living in a trailer park, here are some highlights that may sway you. If you are moving from an apartment to a mobile, the rent per month is ALWAYS cheaper than the rent of an apartment. In most cases, land rental fees cover a lot at a low price and include water, sewer, garbage, and recycling pickup. There’s no property tax. You can remodel your mobile home if you plan on sticking around. Look at all those nice porches. Who would’ve known how nice a park could be! Since you are close to other trailers, you may just make friends. In fact, those who live in a like-minded community are oftentimes happier and safer. We’re not going to lie to you and say that only HBS grads live in trailers. You will still find the stereotype. The poor, the downtrodden, the lost, the elderly, the barely living, the junkie and the knocked-up may look like “white trash,” but no matter what, these people are just people.
4. You Will Be Evicted If You Fail To Pay Rent
If you rent and do not pay on time, the landlord is obliged to give the renter at least until 8 days to pay after the due date. “Then, the landlord can give you a 72-hour written notice stating that you need to pay the rent or be evicted. The landlord has the option to wait only until the fifth day, but then must give a 144-hour notice, not just a 72-hour notice. If you don’t pay during the notice period that applies in your case, your landlord can then file for an eviction in court. You have the right to a court hearing. You might be able to defend yourself against the eviction if your landlord owes you money because he or she didn’t provide services or facilities that were agreed to, or if your landlord has in other ways violated your rental agreement or your rights under the landlord-tenant law.”
3. They Can Be Dangerous
Trailer grounds are known for housing those on drugs, and their dealers must visit them to give them what they want, which is, of course, a dime bag filled with Tootsie Rolls. In this case, a fight may break out between another mobile house owner and the owner who has a dealer because the former may want drugs too and try to ambush the dealer to get his “fix.” Trailer parks can be very dangerous areas and if the dealer returns at night to play a prank on the guy who ambushed him—TP throwing is the most common—this could be another way a fight may break out. And if you have to fight to get Tootsie Rolls, here’s a hint: they’re available in most grocery stores. What does that mean? You need another drug dealer.
2. Don’t Ever Call Them White Trash
While most trailer parks are being rented or owned by Caucasians, never call them “white trash.” It’s offensive, and even if the people living on a lot fit the description, you still should not call someone “white trash.” Not all residents are on welfare, lack jobs or are junkies. The clientele for trailer parks just may have respectable jobs, such as someone who is only around to sell his goods, which are perishable and on sale and include tomatoes-on-the-vines and pork butts at exceptionally good prices for both. That is, not if you buy one or the other but rather if, and only if, you buy both at the same time because obviously tomatoes-on the-vines go splendidly well with pork butts. That may be funny, but it’s actually true; a lot of trailer parks resemble junkyard sales and people often grow vegetable gardens.
1. Mobile Parks Are Havens For Criminal Offenders…And That’s A Good Thing!
No one wants a sex offender living near them. But if the offenders don’t want harassment, the best place for them to live might just very well be a trailer park or, failing that, a classic six co-op pied-a-terre on the Upper East Side. Just joshing. Some owners of trailer lots have been dedicating them to sex offenders. They know what good can happen. Move in a few sex offenders and suddenly there’s no crime. So, yes, sex offenders serve a purpose. They are monitored by probation, the department of corrections, the sheriff’s department, and the national breast cancer foundation. At any time, these groups may pay a visit to the offender, which, in turn, will frighten dealers and leave the park in haste. The site then becomes less dangerous, as the offenders don’t want to fight with anyone or do anything that will put a risk on their probation.