If you are considering moving to a mobile home park, one factor that you’ll have to consider are age restrictions. There are two main age classifications mobile home parks across the country. Although they may have different names from park to park, the key differences are family-oriented and senior community parks. When you are looking to rent or buy a mobile home in a park, then mobile home age restrictions may need to be considered.
Mobile home age restrictions
In a few cases, mobile home parks may have restrictions on the age of your mobile home itself. Most only require that your home be HUD-approved. But sometimes the city will have restrictions in place that affect mobile home parks within city limits. If you are told that your home is too old, ask to see documentation to verify that the limitation is legal and not a matter of one person’s say-so. You may be able to find a loophole that allows you to upgrade your home and still meet the requirements.
Age restrictions for mobile home communities
When shopping for a mobile home, it’s important to think about the community you’ll be living in and how it fits with your lifestyle. Certain mobile home communities have age limitations that can be beneficial if you fall within them. If you have a family, you will want your children to live in a community with other families. Having neighbors with a similar lifestyle will make life easier for you while living in a mobile home park. On the other hand, if you are retired or are expecting to retire soon, you probably want to live a quiet life away from younger, noisier communities. Mobile home communities that are 55+ usually offer group activities and shuttle buses to take you to your appointments.
Are restrictions legal?
In a nutshell, yes. They are legal, and they are not permanent, which means that the restrictions can change anytime. However, this rarely happens unless there is a massive change in ownership. The FFHA or Federal Fair Housing Act does not allow discrimination because of religion, race, sex, color, national origin, familial status or handicap though. Most of the time, familial status means having children or people under the age of 18. So how is it then that there are communities with age restrictions?
All rules have exceptions, and the FFHA standards are no different. Although there are no restrictions against families per se, there are restrictions to protect accessibility for seniors to find affordable housing. The Housing For Older Persons Act or HOPA is the exception that allows mobile home communities to operate as 55+ communities. Of course, any community qualifying for this kind of housing exception must meet certain criteria.
What are the age requirements?
The requirement is that at least 80% of occupied mobile homes have at least one person that is 55+ years. The community or the people who live there must adhere to the policies provided. The housing provider should also engage in age verification from time to time through a census.
Now, we have established that at least one resident in 80% of the mobile homes must be 55+, right? So what happens to the other 20% of the households? The HUD does not care what happens to that 20%, and this is usually up to the owner of the community park.
The 80/20 split on mobile home age restrictions
Up to now, there is always confusion on the 80/20 split in these communities. You see, the HOPA requires that 80% of the homes have a resident who is 55 years or more. However, they do not give a requirement for the other 20% for all residents. The community owner could decline to permit people under the age of 55 to live there, and they may require 100% of the house has at least one resident that is 55 years or older. Other communities might allow that the 20% of occupied homes allow people under the age of 55.
On the other hand, other communities may set any rules as they see fit or depending on how they want their community to be. Some communities require that both occupants be 55+ to live there. You may find that some of these communities do not even allow relatives under that age to stay for an extended period of time. For example, some park communities may require a visitor’s permit that could be anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Once that time lapse is over, the relatives have to leave.
So when does the 20% split apply?
Since the 80/20 split of mobile home age restrictions is not a legal requirement, it is determined by the owner association. The 20% cushion allowance gives the owners a chance to approve exceptions in their communities instead of having vacancies. For instance, the resident in a home passes away and leaves the other home to the other occupant who is under 55; the owner might not wish to evict them if they have been model tenants, paying lot rent on time.
Because there are always exceptions, make sure you ask the park owners about their mobile home age restrictions and see if they can accommodate you.