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Question DetailsAsked on 5/11/2017

I bought I mobile home 12yrs back from a private seller and never titled it in my name . What are my responsibility

I want to move , could I just walk away without being responsible for any future lot rent ? Thankyou in advance for any assistance!

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1 Answer


Obviously you would need an attorney for a definitive explanation of your options. My take on it:

You bought it (even if not registered to you as it should have been at time of purchase) and have been living in it, and presumably paying rent on it over the past 12 years, so the lot owner could certainly legitimately charge you for rent until you give the proper notice under your rental/lease agreement (which might be from 30 days up to many months depending on terms) and the lot is properly vacated - trailer and all possessions removed and reasonably cleaned up.

If you walk away and leave the trailer, not only is that awfully unfair to the lot owner, but he can dispose of the trailer in reasonable manner - put a lien on it and sell it at auction if worth anything (adn he can generally bid on it too), or have it disposed of after going through the proper abandoned property procedure.

And assuming it is relatively worthless if you are talking walking away from it, he can charge you for the difference between anything he gets for the trailer and any possessions you leave (though in some states abandoned property has to go to the State), and the total of rent due (including any required notice period under the lot rental contract) and his costs in disposing of it.

And if you fail to pay it or he cannot locate you, he can file a criminal complaint against you for non-payment of rent (theft of services in some areas) and possibly negligent damage of property and trespass (by leaving your "junk" abandoned there) so some day when you go to court for any matter or get stopped for a traffic violation or a prospective employer does a background check when you are trying to get a job or you go to register a vehicle or such you may get a surprise to find there is a warrant out for your arrest - so don't just walk away.

If trailer is functional, and especially if this is a trailer park, it is not uncommon for the park owner to cut a deal with departing tenants to buy their trailer off them - or take it in lieu of back rent payments. Though you would have to have proper title to the trailer - might be tough to do at this time, especially if the title was not signed at the time of sale by the prior owner or if HIS title was not properly recorded. Usually for trailer homes title registration is done at the Department of Motor Vehicles, but in some areas and for trailers on permanent foundations (which generally makes them Real rather than Personal Property) the title is recorded at the County or State Recorder's Office the same as for a house. But to be able to sell or transfer it to whoever, you will either need to either establish "good title" and get it recorded/titled in your name first, then transfer to the buyer - or you will have to get a "Disputed Title" if you cannot prove ownership. That typically means you have to get an appraisal of it from a certified public appraiser, then post bond with the titling agency for that value in case the original owner comes back and claims he did not sell it to you - and that bond has to stay in effect forever (or sometimes for 7 or 12 years or some such statute of limitations number in some states) or until you can get a legitimate change of title effected.

Ditto on utilities - they can charge you till they are properly disconnected (though commonly only a day to three to get that done after you notify them you want them cut off).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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