Transferring Ownership of Manufactured Homes

A simple bill of sale or agreement, even if in writing, will not be sufficient to transfer the title of ownership of a manufactured home. The Manufactured Housing Division of The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (“TDHCA”) regulates the manufactured housing industry in Texas, and TDHCA has its own requirements and forms that must be used. Clearing titles to manufactured homes can be a lengthy, and sometimes arduous task if not done correctly upfront.

What Qualifies As a Manufactured Home?

A manufactured home is a type of dwelling that is built off-site in a controlled environment and transported to the location where it will be occupied. It must be built on a permanent chassis and be designed to be used as a residence. It must also meet the federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and be at least 400 square feet in size. Manufactured homes in Texas must also have a HUD data plate affixed to them, which certifies that they meet all federal standards. For safety reasons, they must also be anchored to a permanent foundation and connected to all necessary utilities to be considered a permanent dwelling.

Are The Title and Statement of Ownership the same?

After June 2003, the Certificate of Title was replaced with the Statement of Ownership. The Statement of Ownership is a document that outlines the owner of the manufactured home and any liens recorded with TDHCA are issued by the Manufactured Housing Division headquarters in Austin. Once you have purchased a manufactured home, you must apply for the Statement of Ownership within 60 days. Licensed retailers typically assist with this process during the sale of a new property, but the process is quite different when transferring ownership.

Process For Owners Transferring to New Buyers

The exact process of transferring ownership to a new buyer actually depends on the intended use of the manufactured home once the ownership is transferred. There are several designations for manufactured home Statement of Ownership transfer:

  • Currently personal property and remaining as personal property
  • Home changing from personal property to real property
  • Home changing from non-perfected real property to real property
  • Home Currently perfected real property and remaining as real property
  • Home changing from non-perfected real property to personal property
  • Home changing from perfected real property to personal property
  • Removing a former spouse after a divorce
  • Listing a surviving spouse as sole owner under the Right of Survivorship Agreement 

The documentation requirements for a new Statement of Ownership are dependent upon which of the designations reflects the scenario. It can be confusing to individuals that are new to the process, especially if the property’s primary use will be changed. Failing to provide appropriate documentation can create tension between the buyer and seller, and also impede the application process for the new Statement of Ownership.

At the firm of Albright Lumpkin, PC, we advocate for property owners and buyers every day. When you are working with complex real estate transactions involving manufactured homes, you need experienced and professional legal counsel that can guide you through every step. For a free consultation, contact us online, or call (713) 455-6661 today.

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