Attorneys and the Mobile Home Park Conversion Process

If you live in a mobile home park and you're reading this article, its probably because there's been talk, maybe lots of talk, about the possibility of park residents purchasing the mobile home park, a process that is called conversion.

If so, you may be trying to figure out the next step in the process and if an attorney is inevitably going to have to be involved. The quick answer to that question is yes. An attorney definitely needs to part of the conversion process, and for good reason. Attorneys can play a positive, pivotal, and necessary role in the conversion. In fact, the sooner an attorney is involved, the better likelihood of a successful result for your park.

Here are four ways attorneys can aid in the mobile home park conversion:

  1. Helps to determine the structure of the purchasing entity: A bunch of residents can't just pool their resources to buy the mobile home park -  they have to create a singular entity to purchase it for them. Park residents can organize as a nonprofit corporation, a general or limited partnership, or a standard corporation. Each structure has it benefits, and to figure out which one is best for your park's situation, you need to talk to an attorney who can advise you, as well as help you complete the necessary legal steps for the corporation or partnership to be a legal entity with purchasing power.

  2. Problem solves potential deal breakers: Attorneys who have experience with mobile home park conversions are aware of all of the problems that can come up during the process. An attorney can recommend a course of action to prevent as many possible problems as possible, such as educating residents about their options and the benefits and drawbacks of these options. They can help the purchasing committee to work out a way to deal with residents who don't want to participate in the purchase through future contractual obligations. And, they can help problem solve the problems that will inevitably pop up anyway, be it with the purchase contract, cantankerous residents, or a divided purchasing board.

  3. Works with the realtor to ensure that purchase agreement is legally sound: When you get to the point that a purchase of the park is ready and possible, you'll need to have an attorney to make sure that your contract is sound from legal defects and potentially harmful conditions and clauses.

  4. Helps draft homeowner's rules: When a conversion is successful, the ownership of the park will transfer to the residents' hands, as well as the daily operations of the park. That means that there are going to have to be homeowners' rules and a homeowner's association. An attorney can help the new leadership either review and edit the previous rules that governed the park, or draft a new set of rules to govern by. Having a third and professional party in this part of the process can help keep the process civil and fair.

Conversion is a worthy process, but not one to be attempted on your own. This is one instance where a real estate attorney specializing in mobile home park conversions is worth every penny.

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