The coming of the new year is a time for introspection, looking towards the future, and resolutions. Why not go one step further and make the resolution to be an even better and more diligent mobile home owner? This could make your year a lot more enjoyable, especially when you’re living in a mobile home park.
You can never be too careful when it comes to the safety of your home and your family. We want to provide you with a checklist to make sure you start the new year the right way.
Check the park notice board
Any decently run mobile home park should (in some cases, by law) have an easily accessible notice board. Both the management and residents can post information for everyone to view.
A lot of things happen around the turn of the new year, so it’s definitely a good time to stop by the notice board. See if there is any news that will affect you or the park as a whole. Most of the other checklist items we mention may be posted on the notice board and that’s why we mention it first.
Enquire whether there will be any rent increases
Rent tends to increase during this time, mostly to account for inflation. Generally, an increase of 10% is accepted to account for inflation. Anything above this amount is still legal as most states don’t have a limit on how much rent can increase. But you will be well within your rights to question the increase if it’s more than 15%.
If your lease expires later on in the new year and you are on a lease agreement that is more than one year, you shouldn’t have to worry about the increase until that time. In most states, you need at least 30 days warning for a rent increase, no matter what kind of lease agreement you have.
Find out if there will be any changes to the terms of your lease
Changes to rules and lease agreements might be a New Year’s resolution taken on by the management since they seem to be done just as frequently. Usually, rules that strongly affect your stay within the park or that infer additional costs may only be implemented once your lease expires and is renewed. However, some day-to-day matters related to the functioning or safety of the park can be implemented immediately without warning.
If you are unhappy with any changes, you should discuss it with other residents and take it up with the management. If you think that certain rules conflict with your lease agreement and you are unhappy with them, you should ask for a legal opinion and bring it up to the management. Here are your tenant rights under Michigan law.
Inspect and maintain your mobile home
You should consult your lease agreement before proceeding with the next steps. Often lease agreements specify who is responsible for what kind of upkeep, maintenance, and repairs on the mobile home and the lot.
Certain things will be left to the management whilst others will be your responsibility. If you own the home and only rent the lot, the chances are very good that you will have to take care of anything pertaining to the home itself. However, the management might still need to take care of the lot itself.
Check whether your home is still level
Mobile homes can become “unlevel” as a result of them settling into place or poor foundations. This isn’t usually a big problem but can, in extreme cases, threaten your home and safety. You can buy equipment online to check if your home is level for around $50.
Check and run water in lesser used areas
This tip is especially important since New Year’s falls in the middle of winter for most of us. Not running these taps can seriously damage your plumbing when water freezes inside.
Check your electricity
There are a bunch of things to mention here. Check all your outlets, light fixtures, appliances, and GFCI outlets. These can lead to fires, especially when they are overused in winter. Many people take them for granted. But you should make sure there aren’t any problems to fix or signs of something not being right. Read this article for more information on common electrical problems in mobile homes.
How is your heating?
Now that we are in the throes of winter, it’s a good idea to gauge how well your home holds heat. If your home is hard to heat or keep warm and you have to make excessive use of heating appliances, there might be inadequate or damaged insulation. A good resolution for the new year is to check and fix this so future New Year’s can be spent in a comfy home.
Check the skirting
Mobile home skirting plays an important role in all seasons. It protects the underside of the home and many important appliances like water heaters. Mobile home skirting also keeps out critters and protects against snow and outside elements. You should check the skirting to see if it’s holding up and add it to the to-fix list if it’s not.
Check for fire safety
The festive season is rife with incidents of home fires. If you made it so far without any problems, congratulations! It’s still a good time to check your fire alarms, fire extinguisher (which needs to be maintained twice a year), and gas storage for any defects. As a bonus tip, get rid of your Christmas tree as soon as possible! They are like tinder once they dry out.
Utilize this checklist when living in a mobile home park for a great year!
We hope you’ll make this checklist part of your New Year’s resolution to be a better and safer mobile home owner! There is an unlimited number of tasks to consider when living in a mobile home park. These are some of the most important ones. If you’re thinking of moving into a mobile home park for the first time, read our article on what to look for and what you can expect.
Happy New Year!