Park owners have a duty to maintain the public health, safety, and the welfare of their tenants; therefore, must establish rules and regulations for them. Property owners who find it uncomfortable and tiring to deal directly with occupants can hire property managers who can enforce stipulated rules and guide tenants accordingly as well as ensure proper maintenance of the property.
More importantly, people who share common space and utilities also need rules, otherwise, when left on their own free will, they tend to make improper use of the space and interfere with one another’s peace. Regulations also ensure that people have equal access to amenities as well as safeguard the condition of the property. Whether people like them or not, rules are necessary and in this case important for the orderly functioning of these types of homes and communities.
Although most of these rules depend on the owners of the park, there are those mandated by the government and apply to everyone living in a mobile home in the US. However, some states also have their own rules regarding manufactured houses. Nonetheless, as park owners enforce these rules, they do not necessarily have to be strict and livid — neither does it mean that they should be friends with everyone; they need a balance where they can rightfully demand what is expected.
Here are a few examples of common rules trailer park families are required to abide by.
Most young people look forward to their 18th birthday because as soon as they attain this age, they gain access to almost every privilege available to all adult citizens. However, attaining this age is not a free pass to everything, since some trailer parks have strict age restrictions.
For example, at Golden Homes Mobile Park, one of the requirements for people to satisfy before admission to the park is that they have to be above the age of 55. However, a tenant has permission to have a guest who is below this age for not more than 10 days.
Trailer park houses are very affordable; their prices are substantially less than the prices of renting an apartment. However, despite the cheap fee, park owners still instill rules regarding vandalism on their property. Families need to take care of the property given. According to rmdgroup.com, this ensures that the trailers remain in good condition especially when a family move outs.
In the majority of cases, all repairs and maintenance are at the expense of the family that is living in the trailer. Park owners usually do not fix any plumbing or electrical issues in a trailer and this is usually included in the lease agreement.
Some trailer parks allow occupants to light open fires while others do not for safety reasons especially with the increased rate of mobile home fires. Those parks that allow open fires for recreational purposes have rules that the tenants need to follow. The fires must be far from trees and an adult must monitor it at all times.
Any fire left to burn on its own no matter how small can cause a lot of harm. Families that use firewood on a daily basis should ensure that they put them out completely. However, most parks prohibit people from building, lighting, and maintaining an open fire except in those areas designated for that purpose, as stated by ebparks.com.
Families living in trailer parks also have rules that guide them on where they can leave their wheels. Although very few people are likely to own cars there, those who do should not park them along the streets of the park. The few lucky to have any kind of driveway next to their trailers can pack their cars next to them.
If tenants leave their cars at the wrong spot, they receive a few days’ notices to remove their cars otherwise, if they do not adhere to the rule, this justifies as a reason for eviction, as stated by rmdgroup.com. Some trailer parks located in less appealing neighborhoods may not bother anyone with parking, leaving cars unattended in this case is at the risk of the owner.
Parents are usually the ones responsible for the safety of their children. Parks will only set rules on where kids should and should not go and it is up to the parents to instill these rules. As cautioned by trailerparkonthebay.com, children should not loiter around especially at night.
Sometimes kids can also be destructive. Parents will have to pay for the repair of any property their children vandalize within the park. However, there are parks where owners are least bothered about the occupants and any vandalism to the property, which means that the family living in the vandalized property can either live with the issue or fix it.
There are trailer parks which allow families to keep pets while others have a strict no pets rule, not even indoor cats are allowed. Those that allow pets may limit the number to one or two and ban pets that can cause harm to others. Owners may stress that families with pets should keep them on a leash when outside and clean up after them. As explained by mobilehomeliving.com, pets should not impede on any neighbor’s rights and contentment.
Trailer parks that do not allow pets probably do so because space is communal and given that the trailers are in close proximity, pets can disrupt peace in the property.
Families in trailer parks live very close to each other and are therefore required to share the limited space outside. Children usually play all together in the park and families can use common areas or facilities for activities like park meetings and parties.
In most parks, park owners only request that the tenants leave the common areas clean after use and avoid defacing property. They also hardly ever request families to take insurance to cover against any vandalism that may occur while using communal spaces, as stated by osbar.com. However, not all trailer parks have extra communal space.
Families living in trailer parks have very limited yard space but regardless of how small it is, they need to keep it neat and clean at all times. Occupants are required to keep the grass cut that is if they have any and collect litter lying around in their vicinity.
In upscale trailer parks, families need to ensure that their lots are free of weed, insects, and pests. The tenants must trim the trees and bushes regularly and if neglected the park owners can take over maintenance of the yard but at the family’s cost, as stated by trailerparkonthebay.com. Notably, families do not have the permission to remove any trees or shrubs without seeking approval from management.
Tenants have to share many of the amenities in trailer parks, so they are required to be mindful of how they use certain facilities. For example, park owners have rules on how to safeguard the septic system. They normally insist that families should not flash down items that may cause blockages.
According to trailerparkonthebay.com, trailer owners living in rented park space need to ensure they have proper water reduced-type-toilets that have a proper waste holding tank to break down organic waste. A normal "house toilet" is normally not ideal in a trailer park. Usually, families that mishandle the septic system have to pay for the repairs.
Families in trailer parks usually live on rented property and therefore cannot establish permanent residency there. Those who have their own trailers also rent park space and therefore cannot make it a permanent home. At times, the original owners of a park can sell it and based on the new management, some tenants may have no choice but to move out.
It is only possible to have permanent residency if one can afford to buy the land but most park owners are usually reluctant to sell. In any case, people who come to live in trailer parks want cheap housing and therefore may not have the means to purchase any land, as revealed by rmdgroup.com.
Well-meaning park owners and landlords often find themselves in a fix when they want to improve the living conditions in their trailer parks. Bad trailer parks in the country are those where residents break the rules and face no consequences for their actions, whereas the best ones are those where the residents willingly follow the rules.
In 2015, Modesto Mobile Home Park's residents expressed their anger to the owners regarding some new rules they were expected to follow, according to Modbee. A few of these included uttering profanity outside one's home, and holding frequent late night or early morning business or social meeting in the homes. The residents argued that such rules were restrictive and were infringing on their freedom of speech and freedom to assemble peaceably.
Privacy is one of the most important advantages of having a home, regardless of its size. Although the residents of a trailer park have a decent level of privacy that they get to enjoy, at the back of their minds they know that the owner can come in at any time.
In most parks, the owners have a right, though not an obligation, to access a tenant's mobile home in case he or she deems it an emergency or to avert any danger. For example, the Golden Homes' Trailer Park agreement gives the property owner the right to enter any section of the park at any reasonable time for the purposes of repairs, replacements, removal of trees, or to perform any task he or she deems necessary.
Some parks have bizarre rules that families are required to follow. For example, occupants of one park, as disclosed by mobilehomeliving.com, do not have the permission to air their laundry, mow lawns, or use power equipment on Sundays. Tenants who want a quiet environment while they rest love such a rule, but some families especially those with children may find the rule a bit absurd.
Some upscale trailer parks also have rules about drying clothes on clothing lines. An owner can request that people use only folding umbrella clothesline or use lines that attach to the mobile with a removable pole. Rules on where families should set up clotheslines exist and all families need to adhere to all the rules.
Park owners usually have rules on just about everything pertaining to their parks. Families living there are not free to put up sheds, carports, patios, garages of any sort or add an awning without a permit from the town or approval from management. Even with approval, space may limit one to do so. Choosing not to follow this may warrant an eviction.
Majority of the time, the requests do not go through in an effort to keep equality in the park. Cosmetic rules in trailer parks can be a bit over controlling, though the owners come up with the rules to protect their property, as revealed by mobilehomeliving.com.
Families also need to follow rules touching on park decorations. Some trailer parks do not allow the tenants to put up seasonal outdoor decorations during Easter, Halloween, and Christmas holidays. According to rmdgroup.com, some parks have rules on when tenants should take them down, for example, tenants may need to remove them two weeks after the holiday.
There are families that have a tendency of keeping Christmas decorations up including lighting until January the following year. Those who are keen on this tradition should probably inquire about such rules before committing themselves on a lease or look for other trailer parks that do not have such restrictions.
Families living in trailer parks should refrain from creating excess noise that interferes with the neighbor’s peace and quiet but because trailers have to be close to each other, this is usually a hard rule to live by. This is why the majority of trailer parks give a time limit on when tenants should participate in loud activities. For example, between 10 pm and 8 am families need to follow this rule or risk eviction.
According to trailerparkonthebay.com, occupants should ensure their music and televisions are low enough so as not to bother other tenants. Trailer parks can have very thin walls that let through even the slightest of noises.
Park owners should provide a means for disposal of rubbish within the park otherwise; there is a likelihood of having heaps of trash all over. In addition to doing so, some owners can put up rules on the places not to leave trash or dump it within the park as well as how rubbish should be disposed of. As stated by amorq.com, households should sort their trash, put it in clear rubbish bags, tie them securely, and deposit them in the various rubbish bins.
The tenants should dispose of any other type of refuse like spare tires, scrap metals, beat electronics, laundry boards, car batteries, and spoilt bikes at the city dumpsites. Management can also organize for collection at a fee. Yard waste should also get to the city dump.
A good number of trailer parks have communal washrooms and management can have rules on how occupants should use them. For example, families must make sure to keep them clean after every use. The park owners put up communal washrooms in the parks so that families do not have to squeeze toilets in their already tight spaces; however, those who wish to install their own have the permission to do so.
According to trailerparkonthebay.com, children should not go to the washrooms unless accompanied by an adult. The responsibility of taking care and maintaining the washrooms is usually with the management, though the occupants can take it over.
Families living in trailer parks can bring in guests and the guests can stay as long as they like; however, the guests are usually the responsibility of the family they came to visit. If the guest misbehaves or breaks the law while in the park, the family is liable, as amorq.com points out.
Some parks prohibit guests from staying for long periods in the park, which helps limit strangers from entering and leaving the park as they please. Some even charge an overstaying fee. Doing all this a way of ensuring the safety of the families living in the park.
Since the landlord will charge the families living in trailer parks extra for guests who stay more than a certain period, usually 10 days, therefore, an individual would assume that having short-term guests would not be a problem. However, making such an assumption would be wrong, because these days, many trailer parks have rules against such visits.
According to Modbee, the owners of a particular trailer park in the US. put up laws against a high frequency of bicycle, foot, or vehicle traffic on short visits to and from the homes within the park. Of course, the reason for such laws is to try cut down on any illegal businesses within the park, but such rules can also be limiting to many residents.
Sources: mobilehomeliving.org, osbar.org, amorq.com, rmdgroup.com, trailerparkonthebay.com, ebparks.org, michiganlegalhelp.org, Modbee.com.