As a community manager, you will normally be charged with accepting or rejecting prospective residents. This is one of the most important functions that you will perform as a manager of a manufactured home community. Done properly and effectively, the rental application and screening process will minimize potential problems in landlord – resident relations. If the process is done incorrectly the seeds of future problems will be sown. Every prospective resident should be given sufficient information to make an informed decision about living in a manufactured home community.
When an individual stops by the manufactured home community office inquiring on the possibility of becoming a resident, always give them an application packet. Anyone who is interested in applying should be given the application packet – inconsistency in giving out application packets could lead to cause of action by the resident selling the home in the community or a fair housing violation.
The application packet is your opportunity to sell the prospective resident on your community. Include in the application packet an application and "Minimum Criteria Standards", optional information may include what homes are available in the community, a community newsletter, information on the history of the community, the advantages of living in a manufactured home community etc. You may also want to include at this time a copy of the rental/lease agreement, rules and regulations, rent history, and statement of policy. Remember, you want to sell the prospective resident on your community, but you also want them to make a well informed decision.
Providing a prospective resident's with extensive information regarding your manufactured home community allows the applicant to evaluate for themselves if they qualify. Including what your expectations are in order to qualify and expectations and requirements to maintain residency in the community allows the prospective resident to self qualify.
The overall rental application process should include:
- Review application to make sure it has been completely filled out.
- Check to make sure that the applicant has included social security number, driver license information etc.
- Provide the applicant with a copy of the Statement of Policy (keep a signed copy or receipt for your file), the rent history of the space, Rental Agreement/Lease, Park Rules & Regulations, RV Storage Agreement and Pet Agreement (if applicable), and a Flood Plain Notice. None of these documents should be signed by the community owner or manager until the application process is complete and the prospective resident is accepted.
- Collect application fee.
- Provide prospective resident with application fee receipt.
- Conduct credit, rental and criminal check.
- Attach copies of credit, rental and criminal check to application
- If credit, rental and criminal checks are acceptable contact prospective resident.
- If they are denied and they are purchasing an existing home in the park, send them an application denial form. Also, send a copy to the resident selling the home and one for the tenant's file.
Under current Oregon law you will have not more than 7 days to accept or reject a prospective resident. The 7 days begins on the day of receipt of a complete and accurate written application. The landlord and the prospective resident may agree to a longer time period for the landlord to evaluate the prospective resident's application to address any failure to meet the landlord's screening or admission criteria.
If the existing resident fails to give the required 10 day notice in writing prior to the sale of the home, the landlord may extend the written application process by 10 days. (ORS 90.680)
An application is not complete until the prospective purchaser pays any required applicant screening charge and provides the landlord with all information and documentation required pursuant to ORS 90.510 including any financial data and references.