Tenant Screening help - Mobile Home Park

13 Replies

Can anyone give me some advice on Tenant Screening for Mobile Home Parks? Is it any different in your experience than SFH or Apartment?

Thinking of charging an application fee to weed out some people, but I'm not sure if that would work well or not in this niche. But I also don't want to waste alot of time.

If you have any experience, please let me know your thoughts.

Hi @Kenny Stanley

When I worked in the MHP business, we found it similar to SFR rentals in terms of screening. Credit checks, application fees, etc.

We found the best tenants were actually future homeowners so we tried to do rent-to-own/owner financing with the majority of tenants. We would essentially  buy the units wholesale or refurbished and owner finance the units to the prospective residents. That way we would get a larger down payment and it led to higher quality clientele (since homeowners tend to care about their property more than tenants). Not sure if this is an option that works for you, but something to think about.

@Dave Van Horn Thank you Sir! That is exactly what my partner and I intend to do with any of the mobile home parks we purchase through our direct mail marketing. Just wanted to understand the tenant screening a little bit so I can hit the ground running, and have a system in place.

@Kenny Stanley Oh that's great, happy I could be of help. Do feel free to reach out if you have any other MHP questions.

Originally posted by @Kenny Stanley :

@Dave Van Horn Thank you Sir! That is exactly what my partner and I intend to do with any of the mobile home parks we purchase through our direct mail marketing. Just wanted to understand the tenant screening a little bit so I can hit the ground running, and have a system in place.

 I would use cozy for the application 

They pay direct to cozy and you get a report

The tenent is then all set up to make their rent payments via cozy

@Michael Plante Sounds really efficient. Thank you very much for the tip, I’ll definitely check it out.

Originally posted by @Kenny Stanley :

Can anyone give me some advice on Tenant Screening for Mobile Home Parks? Is it any different in your experience than SFH or Apartment?

Thinking of charging an application fee to weed out some people, but I'm not sure if that would work well or not in this niche. But I also don't want to waste alot of time.

If you have any experience, please let me know your thoughts.

 Several things have changed over the past couple of years:

  • Federal laws and rule now require you to screen for the Red Flag Rule, the Patriot Act, OFAC, and AML. Whoever you engage for your credit reports can do this far more cheaply than you could any other way, but, you must ask for these services, and pay extra for them;
  • Fair Housing is now a very big issue. The disparate impact decisions last year on credit and criminal history require a very formal written system and matrix to justify using either as a method of screening.

Times change, and we must all change with them.

@Michael Plante great info.  Any guesses as to what percentage of MH tenants are willing/able to setup automatic payments?  

It seems to me a large percentage of our tenants are older folks who don't trust automatic payments.  I also wonder how popular automatic payments are with low income folks. 

Originally posted by @Jeronimo C.:

@Michael Plante great info.  Any guesses as to what percentage of MH tenants are willing/able to setup automatic payments?  

It seems to me a large percentage of our tenants are older folks who don't trust automatic payments.  I also wonder how popular automatic payments are with low income folks. 

I think our market is different than yours 

These are people in their 30s to 50s and the mobiles have some land so they sell for $130 - 200k

Hi Kenny, 

One thought I had is you can have them apply and pay the application fee and you can take that fee off the tenants first month's rent. Charging a fee means you have more serious renters in my opinion, and if they know they will be reimbursed, hopefully you only have people applying that think they would be approved. 

If you have any questions about tenant screening, please reach out! I am more than happy to help!

Jeni

Originally posted by @Jeronimo C.:

@Michael Plante great info.  Any guesses as to what percentage of MH tenants are willing/able to setup automatic payments?  

It seems to me a large percentage of our tenants are older folks who don't trust automatic payments.  I also wonder how popular automatic payments are with low income folks. 

We have clients that will not accept residents unless they agree to automatic payments. One of our consultants at RCG has parks that could only be classified as one star parks and he even has his manager take people to banks to set up checking accounts for automatic withdrawal if they don't already have one - apparently most of them don't - and if they have a regular paycheck , or SSI, or SS, et al. gets those payments directed to that account. 

@Kenny Stanley - We use AMRent in Rent Manager. Tenants pay $35 per person for an application. Tenants will pay if they want to be apart of the community. Charge the fee!

Use similar judgement as you would SFH for screening people. They don't have much money but there are a lot of good people who live in mobile homes.

@Ken Rishel I really like that idea!  On the other hand, I am already giving Cozy a try.  I can certainly make either approach part of the screening criteria. 

@Ian Tudor I really like the way you put that. That's our why for pursuing this niche, to build affordable family friendly communities . I'll definitely look into AMRent as I build our our preliminary business systems. Our goal is to have a park under contract by June 2018. We just started our first direct mail campaign, and have been looking at a few parks that some local brokers have listed. Appreciate the help!

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