Mobile homes (or manufactured housing as the industry prefers to call them) are common in Texas, particularly in rural areas.
Mobile homes are generally priced at the low end of the housing market, providing more square feet of living space than apartments and selling for less money than an equivalent size “stick built” home.
With the exception of rural landowners who want an “immediate” home, they are generally sold to people with imperfect credit or low incomes. Placement of the unit in a trailer park (or manufactured housing community as the industry prefers to call them) is common.
Some notable problems with mobile homes are:
- inflated down payments and deception by the dealer in the attempt to obtain financing for a buyer;
- improper installation which leads to quality problems;
- failure to deliver or install promised accessories such as steps and skirting;
- delivery of a unit different than represented at purchase negotiation;
- failure to return a down payment for a cancelled sale;
- delayed or inadequate warranty service;
- improper utility hookup;
- habitability problems such as leaking roofs, mold, and problems with structural integrity.
This is only a list of common problems but frustration is standard.
Mobile homes are usually sold by interaction with three parties:
1) Lender; 2) Dealer; and 3) Manufacturer.
Even though you arranged everything at the Dealer’s location, the duties and responsibilities of each of these important parties becomes distinct after the delivery of the unit. This leads to each pointing the finger at the other for the resolution of what should be a simple problem.
Delay in handling your problem may be intentional because the homes are only required by law to include a one year warranty. If your problem can be put off until after a year then you may have no or lessened recourse for complaint. If you think you have a major problem such as noted above you need to complain in writing and be persistent.
You may also want to consult an attorney.
There is no state lemon law proceeding for mobile homes but there are things you can do. You may want to consult the automobile portions of this website. The same general principles apply to mobile homes and automobiles although you may also want to consult an attorney.
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The law discussed on this site is Texas law pertaining to Texas situations. NO advice is given for any transaction or situation that does not involve Texas law.
Mr. Aschermann is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and is board Certified in Consumer and Commercial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization but Mr. Aschermann is not licensed to practice law in any state other than Texas.
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