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Buying and Selling a Mobile Home

Produced by Peter Benjamin
Reviewed May 2017

1. Buying

A park owner who is also a mobile home dealer usually cannot restrict your choice of whom you buy your home from. However, the law protects the park owner in one important way: the owner can restrict your choice of dealer only if the lot on which the home is to be placed is being leased for the first time.3 This should apply only to new or expanded parks.

A owner of a mobile home park cannot make you pay a fee, charge, or commission when you buy a home from another resident located in the owner's park. However, the owner can agree with the seller to act as the seller's agent for a fee not to exceed 10% of the sale price.4 In such cases, the fee is paid by the seller, and not by the buyer.

2. Selling

If you plan to sell your mobile home, you have the right to do so without interference by the park owner.5 Among other things, you have the right to sell the home on the lot, to use "for sale" signs, and to choose your own broker. As long as your prospective buyer meets current, enforceable rules of the park, and has the financial ability to pay the rent, the owner must allow him or her to reside in the park.

The owner may have a right of first refusal, which means the right to buy the home by matching an offer by your prospective purchaser. But this right does not exist unless you have freely given it to the owner. The owner cannot give it to herself by park rule. Even if the owner has a right of first refusal, there are limitations on how it may be used (including the fact that it does not apply if you are transferring the home to a family member).6

Endnotes

3 . G.L. c. 140, §32L(3).

4 . G.L. c. 140, §32L(4).

5 . For details of the rights of a selling home owner, see 940 C.M.R. §10.07.

6 . The Attorney General's Guide to Manufactured Housing Community Law has a very good discussion of rights relating to sales, as well as all other rights of mobile home park tenants. The Guide discusses the right of first refusal at page 34. It is available at: http://www.mass.gov/ago/docs/consumer/mhg.pdf.

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