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For residents of Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) plays a crucial role in the transfer and sale of mobile homes. Unlike traditional real estate transactions, mobile homes in Texas are not accompanied by a title. Instead, the TDHCA issues a Statement of Ownership, a document that verifies ownership and any associated liens. A real estate attorney can help you navigate the ins and outs of this process to ensure a smooth experience.
Before June 2003, manufactured homes in Texas had a Certificate of Title. However, a significant change occurred after this date when the TDHCA introduced the Statement of Ownership and Location (SOL). Over time, the SOL evolved into the current Statement of Ownership. This document is now the key to confirming ownership, lien status, and other essential details related to mobile homes.
Homeowners must apply for a Statement of Ownership within 60 days of a sale, relocation, or change in lien information. Failure to do so may result in late fees and delays in issuance. The application process involves a $55 fee, and expedited processing within five business days is available for an additional $55. Applicants should ensure they have all necessary supporting documents, such as bills of sale, contracts, deeds, purchase agreements, or sale receipts.
If the mobile home is purchased from a licensed retailer, the seller is responsible for assisting the buyer in completing the required forms. The retailer must also provide the necessary information, supporting documents, and fees to the TDHCA. In cases where the retailer fails to provide support, buyers can file a complaint with the TDHCA using the Consumer Complaint form.
The classic manner in which a mobile home is classified is as personal property, meaning it is not affixed to the land in such a way that would allow for traditional mortgage financing, resale values, taxation and homestead exemptions. In the majority of cases, mobile homes are titled as personal property and can easily be bought and sold like a vehicle or any other personal property asset. Our office assist with personal property mobile home transfers. Under the Texas Property Code, a manufactured home is by default personal property and is only real property if: (1) the statement of ownership and location for the home issued under Section 1201.207, Occupations Code, reflects that the owner has elected to treat the home as real property; and (2) a certified copy of the statement of ownership and location has been filed in the real property records in the county in which the home is located.
Converting a mobile home to real property requires attaching it to owned or leased land under a qualifying, long-term lease. Approval from lien holders is necessary, and a copy of the title commitment or policy is required. Once approved, the Statement of Ownership is issued, but the conversion is incomplete until a certified copy is recorded with the county of location. In many cases, an engineering certification may be necessary to make financing eligible through FHA/VA and even conventional mortgage loans.
Owners must inform the TDHCA if there are changes in the mobile home’s use or physical location. Changing from business to residential use or moving the home requires reapplication and may involve inspections. A permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles is also necessary for moving a manufactured home, with lien holders’ consent or discharge.
One other item to keep into account when selling a manufactured home to another party, is the bill of sale that will address any sort of disclaimer of warranty a Buyer may want to obtain from the Seller. This is particularly of concern since once the Texas mobile home is sold to the Buyer, it may still remain on your restricted land or a rented lot at a mobile home park which can lead to potential liability on behalf of the seller. The parties will be best to put all details of the transaction in writing so as to prevent any dispute.
In case of errors on the Statement of Ownership, homeowners can contact the TDHCA through email, mail, phone, or fax. Providing identification numbers of the manufactured home and details about the corrections needed is essential. If the mistake is on the homeowner’s part, a new application and a $55 fee are required. Otherwise, the TDHCA corrects the statement and sends it free of charge.
Understanding the Statement of Ownership process is vital for mobile homeowners in Texas. Whether you are buying, selling, or making changes to your mobile home, adhering to the TDHCA guidelines ensures a seamless and legally compliant experience. For additional assistance or legal advice, contact The Farah Law Firm. Our real estate attorneys are familiar with mobile home transactions in Texas and will help guide you through the process.
*Please note: Due to the costs involved and the favorability of land in Texas per contract and common law, we currently are not accepting residential tenant defense cases.