Bought a few for rentals

6 Replies

Hey everyone, I just bought 2 mobile homes to use as rentals in my area.  It will be a little while before they are ready to be rented out.  Obviously mobile homes don't necessarily attract the best of tenants either.  I am just starting out again after 12 yrs of not having any rentals.  What the best way to move forward as in lease agreements or not, pre-screening, credit check and backgrounds.  

Years ago I had bought a book that had all the landlord tenant laws in it for the state I was in at the time.  Not sure if they have one now for where I am either.  I have an email into a local attorney I have done business with to get his suggestions as well.


Thank You.


Hey Mark,

Below are a few resources that may prove useful. 

You must make sure you become familiar with the SD laws and requirements and be sure you have the correct forms. The SDMA should prove to be a good place to start, though you  will have to pay the membership fee. 

I would also suggest you search for a book or two on landlording. 

Best wishes for profitable and smooth landlording.


Kevin M

It would also be a good idea to take a trip to your local courthouse and visit the eviction office (aka "landlord-tenant") in your area to meet the staff and find out about the process face-to-face. Many times, their forms will only be available at the office. Best of luck! 

As far as screening, I require all of my applicants to supply a background check which they get through the local police dept, fill out an application and show their last month worth of pay stubs. My older tenants always stay longer.

Hi Mark,

Use as strict a tenant screening process as you feel you need to.  You may have to see what kind of people are responding to your ads.  It may be that you don't have anyone with good credit applying, so you may have to relax your criteria to get it filled.  However, you may be able to be very strict if it turns our your home is in big demand.

I rent travel trailers and my applicants aren't the cream of the crop.  But they're not awful either.  I require adequate income proven by paystubs, plus I check the sex offender registry and run a criminal background check.  I haven't been in business long enough to know if my lack of checking credit is going to bite me.

Yes, you need a good lease no matter what you're renting, I think.  I have a six month lease and require a deposit.  If they move before the lease is up, they lose their deposit.  I'm also quite strict on late payments.  Basically, I have a zero tolerance.  Rent is due on the due date, period.  Even if they call with a reason.   If not paid on due date, they incur a late fee, and 3 days later an eviction notice will be posted.  I haven't had anyone force me to take these steps so far, and I'm a very new landlord, so can't say how they work out in the long term.

A couple weeks ago one of my renters called to tell me he was going to be $60 short on his rent.  I told him I don't accept partial rent and if not paid on the due date, he would owe a late fee and 3 days later he would receive a notice to vacate.  I felt a little mean, but he paid the entire rent on the due date.

Anyway, good luck with your rentals!  I hope they're very successful!

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