There is a lot of confusion about what exactly a land-lease community is, when it comes to real estate.
So if you’re wondering: “What is a land-lease community?,” we’re here to clear everything up!
A land-lease community involves a situation where residents in a community rents or leases the piece of land that their house sits on. It doesn’t matter whether the residents involved own the house or not.
Many land–lease communities are normally occupied by people who own a manufactured home in trailer parks. With that said, mobile land-lease communities have more advantages than you could ever imagine.
In this article, we are going to explore more about land-lease communities and their benefits in real estate.
What is a Land-Lease Community?
Like we’ve seen above, land-lease home communities involve owners of certain houses who lease the piece of land that the house sits on.
Typically, a land-lease community consists of mobile homes, which are increasingly becoming popular thanks to their affordability.
Just like site-built homes, there are pros and cons mobile homes in real estate that we’re going to explore.
Benefits of Land-Lease Community
If you’ve ever thought about joining a land-lease community, there’s no need to back down as it comes with several benefits:
Land-lease community payments are placed on the same schedule as a traditional home payment, meaning monthly, but are cheaper than you would expect!
Most of the time, land-lease community fees happen to be more affordable compared to related mortgage payments and certain property tax on ‘site-built housing.’ This means that your family will enjoy long-term savings.
There are even land-lease communities that provide a five-year lock on home site lease rates. This ensures that lease payments remain affordable.
Proper On-Site Management
Land-lease community homes combine property management, which you won’t get from traditional site-built homes, along with the benefits of owning your home.
You’ll enjoy 24/7 on-site management to assist you with maintenance issues and property concerns.
Benefits and Amenities
Apart from accessing 24/7 property management services, a land-lease community offers you several amenities and benefits that you wouldn’t find in a typical site-built home or an apartments for rent community.
For example, when you lease land, you’re likely to access playgrounds, swimming pools, fitness centers, among other benefits. This makes you feel at home, regardless of whether you’re the actual owner of the land or property.
The Power to Bring Your Own Home
What would you do if you owned a manufactured home in any of the trailer parks, but want to relocate from your current location?
In such a case, you don’t need to worry because a land-lease community has got you covered. Here, you are able to lease land and then move your home to this new location.
So, apart from keeping your home, you’ll also enjoy the benefits that a land-lease community has to offer.
All you need to do is pay a moving service to relocate your manufactured home personal property to this new location. The available movers charge a reasonable fee for this service.
Challenges of a Land-Lease Community
As much as leasing the land in a land-lease community comes with several advantages, it also presents some challenges, including, but not limited to, HOA fees.
If you have interest in moving to this kind of real estate community, you should be aware and prepared for these challenges.
Limited Appreciation Potential
Except for the case of major calamities, such as floods or earthquakes, the land will always be there. However, the same can’t be said of buildings that depreciate over time, especially if not well maintained.
In real estate, land normally appreciates. However, if you join a land-lease community, you don’t own any land, making it difficult for your home to increase value.
Difficult to Acquire a Mortgage
Another challenge of leasing the land is that you don’t have strong collateral, because you have no permanent ownership of the piece of land.
This will certainly make it hard for you to get financing. In some cases, people get the same loans in a land-lease community as a mortgage on a site-built house with the land, but only if their home is permanent.
With that said, a mobile home attracts shorter loans with a very high–interest rate, because they are considered personal property.
If you’re unable to get a mortgage for a home in a land-lease community, then be sure that any potential buyer will have similar challenges. This can make selling such a home very difficult in the future.
Higher Long-Term Cost
It’s common knowledge that establishing a home in a land-lease community costs less than an apartment since you don’t incur the cost to buy the land.
With that being said, the cost could be more in the long run. You’ll have to pay rent for the land that you’ve leased, thus increasing the cost of staying on the property.
Additionally, there are land-lease communities that offer additional amenities, including swimming pools and clubhouses. Although these amenities are exceptional, they present an additional cost added, either as a homeowners association (HOA fees), or included in rent. Remember you don’t own any of the property.
When the Lease Expires
One of the main challenges you’ll encounter with a land-lease community is when the lease expires.
When this happens, your landlord might refuse to renew the lease or increase the land-lease cost to an amount that won’t be affordable.
The problem with land-lease communities is that someone else can determine whether you stay in a place or not.
Since it’s expensive to move your house from a land-lease community site, there’s a danger of losing your equity. This happens when the land-lease expires and you aren’t able to relocate your house.
Responsibilities and Rights of Landlords and Tenants in Land-Lease Communities
Both landlords and tenants in land-lease communities have responsibilities and rights. These guidelines offer information on:
- Notice to Quit
- Special Statutory Conditions
- Rental Increases
- Selling of Manufactured Homes
Notice to Quit
Here, a tenant who owns a manufactured home on leased land must give their landlord at least a one month notice to quit if they are looking to move.
In addition, there is a form that the residents must fill to let their landlords know their intention to quit the lease.
Special Statutory Conditions
There are statutory conditions for both residents/tenants and landlords:
- A tenant can decide to lease or sell their manufactured home without any interference from their landlord.
- If a tenant decides to sell their home, they must supply the landlord with the contact information and name of the new buyer. A landlord can only deny taking the new buyer based on reasons highlighted in the regulations.
- A landlord will only get compensation and other payments if they act as the tenant’s agent in leasing or selling a manufactured home.
- A tenant can buy services or goods from whomever they see fit.
- A landlord has the right to set certain reasonable standards of conditions expected in leased land communities and their species in the land-lease community.
- If anyone decides to sell a service or goods in a land-lease community without following the rules or causing a disturbance, a landlord can ask them to follow the rules. If that person refuses to follow the rules, the landlord can move ahead to restrict them from accessing the land-lease community.
- A landlord must follow municipal by-laws on certain services and common areas offered to tenants in land-lease communities.
- A tenant must, without question, follow all municipal by-laws on their manufactured home and land-lease space.
Any landlord can only increase their land-lease community rent once a resident’s lease expires.
The AARIA (Annual Allowable Rent Increase Amount) guides landlords on the maximum amounts that they are supposed to increase their rent each year.
If the landlord’s rent increase is lower than the AARIA, they can factor the unused amount into the next year’s rent increase.
In most cases, land-lease communities have a common rent increase date for all land-lease spaces. This date is indicated in the lease agreement.
Increasing Rent More Than the AARIA
A landlord can apply to have their rent increased above the AARIA.
If tenants disagree with the information provided by the landlord, they can present a written response. A landlord can then proceed to raise land-lease rent by the amount in the decision.
A tenant can either decide to pay the new land-lease rent or provide a notice to quit.
Selling of Manufactured Homes
A tenant is always free to sell their home in a land-lease community. However, before they sell the home, the new buyer must get approval from the landlord. Then, the new buyer typically must sign a new lease.
The first step in all this is for the tenant to inform the landlord of their plan to sell their home. The tenant can then proceed to make arrangements for the new buyer to apply to become a tenant of the land-lease community.
How to Locate a Leased Land Community Home
There’s no argument that it’s more affordable to acquire a leased land community home than building a traditional site-built home.
This is because a leased land home eliminates the need to buy land. With that said, before joining a leased land community, you must first locate it.
Here is how to locate the best leased land community.
Perform Online Research
In this technological age, almost everything can be found online. The same applies to leased land community homes.
By searching on any online browser, you check the listing and collect contact information, while minding the zip codes.
The ratings and reviews of leased land communities will enable you to select the perfect homes for you. You can check out sites such as MobileHomeParkStore and MHVillage.
However, feel free to compare the different leased land homes’ prices and amenities.
After collecting contacts online, you can proceed to make calls directly to these leased land communities. Please note, feel free to ask as many questions as you want for clarity.
Visit the Leased Land Community
A physical visit will help you check the area first hand and see whether everything, including land and amenities, meet your standards.
You can also take this chance to form a good relationship with your potential landlord.
Land-lease communities have proven over time to be a great alternative to traditional site-built housing.
Here, you get several benefits, including not having to incur the high cost to buy the land for your home. With that said, there are also additional costs, including the HOA fees.
We hope you find a perfect home for your family.