So you’re thinking about starting a mobile home rental business. This has proven to be a profitable venture for many, though you must be ready to face many challenges and obstacles along the ways if you want to make a profit. Renting out one or multiple units differs from managing a park as you’ll be responsible for the condition of each unit. There’s also a greater chance your tenant could leave without paying.
There’s a lot you need to know before going into this business. Below we’ve outlined just a few tips and tricks on how to make your mobile home rental business successful.
Do your research on tenants
You should treat the process of filling your mobile home(s) similarly to hiring a new employee. Your future tenant needs to be a trustworthy person who won’t damage your unit or skip out on payments. This means you should do as much research as possible on applicants before accepting their money.
One way to do this is to ask for proof of employment. You’ll find out if your tenant has a steady income and will be able to fulfill his end of the agreement. You can even go a step further and call their employer to get a better idea of who they are as a person. Additionally, contact the previous landlord of any potential tenant. Find out what they were like as tenants, how they maintained the home and whether or not they paid on time.
Write a detailed rental agreement
A great rental agreement outlines what a tenant is responsible for and how they will be held accountable if they damage your unit. Keeping this as detailed as possible is important. If you’ve done your job correctly, you’ll be able to refer back to this document if there is ever a dispute between you and your tenant. It’s going to be hard for a tenant to win an argument against something they already agreed to in writing.
Give your tenant the opportunity to read over the full agreement before signing. You don’t want to trick someone into an agreement they don’t understand. This could cause complications later on. Your rental agreement should clearly list the tenant’s name and address, describe the current condition of the property, and indicate the length of the lease agreement. Furthermore, include the rent amount, when it should be paid, and outline other responsibilities regarding utility payments, unit repairs, maintenance of outdoors, etc.
Writing a strong rental agreement can take a long time if you’ve never done it. Here’s some additional help for writing one.
Don’t be afraid to inspect the unit
Many landlords only inspect their unit for damage the day their tenants move in and out. This is a bad idea for many reasons. For one, tenants are more likely to treat their home with care if they know their landlord is going to check in twice a year or even quarterly. Secondly, you’ll be caught in a panic if you find serious damage in your unit the day one tenant moves out and another moves in. A good landlord will have someone else lined up to move in ASAP, and you want to give yourself ample time to fix repairs if needed.
With that said, you should consider making an inspection of your unit anywhere from two to four times in a year. Make sure you include inspections in the rental agreement and don’t just barge in unannounced. As a courtesy, give your tenant 24-48 hour notice that you’ll be stopping by. Remember, you’re the one in control here, so don’t be afraid you might offend someone.
Keep an eye on competitor prices in your area
Raising the rent is going to be more difficult if your tenant doesn’t own the unit and can leave whenever they want. If you want to retain tenants, keep an eye on other properties in your area to make sure you’re always keeping a competitive rate. Knowing the prices of other listings is also helpful during negotiations if a tenant tries to argue for lower rental rates.
You can research nearby rent prices on websites like Zillow, Cozy Rent Estimate, Rentometer, Craigslist, and Realtor. And don’t forget to account for additional features or amenities included that may increase the price. These could include quality of location, a deck, inclusion of a washer/dryer and or pet-friendly rules.
Above all, invest in a good mobile home that will meet your tenant’s needs
Investing in a good unit is the most important thing you can do to create a successful mobile home rental business. Your end goal should never be to provide the lowest quality service for the most money possible. You’ll find your tenants don’t trust you and it will be difficult to establish a long-lasting business.
Buy mobile homes with more than one bedroom and make sure one has an attached bathroom. These will be much easier to rent out in the long run. Also, make sure the unit is fitted with long-lasting, durable doors and windows and install fiberglass stairs (which last longer than wood).
Providing a quality unit won’t just keep your tenant happy. It’ll also save you repairs down the road that may not be the fault of the person living in it. Take the time to fix problems right away to make sure your home lasts as long as possible. We know you can run a successful business if you keep your integrity intact and treat your tenants with respect!
Make your mobile home rental business a success
With these handy tips in your pocket, you’re ready to start looking into buying your first mobile home rental unit. Keep up the hard work, and good luck!