Buy a Mobile Home in Texas

June 21, 2014

Buying, Selling, or Moving a Mobile Manufactured Home

Buying, Selling, or Moving a Mobile Manufactured Home

When buying, selling, or moving a mobile/manufactured home in Texas, there are certain requirements that must be satisfied to successfully transfer ownership or to secure a moving permit.  The owner of the mobile/ manufactured home must obtain a tax clearance form signed by the assessor and auditor-treasurer of the county in which the home is located stating there are no current or delinquent taxes due.  Once this form is processed and issued, the owner can transfer the title of the home, apply for the homestead classification, or get a moving permit to tow it across state highways, county roads, city streets, or township roads.

What type of document is used to buy or sell a mobile/manufactured home?

When a mobile/manufactured home is bought or sold, the transaction is usually documented in writing.  A mobile/manufactured home bill of sale or contract agreement may be used to help show proof of ownership and protect the rights of the buyer and seller.  It provides the terms and conditions of the sale; the names and addresses of the buyer and seller; the make, model, year of manufacture, size, and vehicle identification number of the mobile/manufactured home; the location of the home; warranties; and a notary acknowledgment.

How does one obtain a statement of ownership?

The seller of a mobile/manufactured home may keep the certificate of title in a safe place like a filing cabinet, safe, or safety deposit box.  To sell or give ownership to another person, the title must be located and the transferable portion of the document completed with the buyer’s name and address, the date of transfer, and seller’s signature.  Then, it must be transferred at an authorized Texas Department of Housing & Community affairs manufactured homes division so that the new owner can obtain an original statement of ownership & location.

Who is responsible for the property taxes on a mobile/manufactured home that is treated as personal property?

The owner of record as of the assessment date, January 2nd of the year the taxes are levied, is the responsible party.  If the mobile/manufactured home is sold, the payment of taxes should be discussed between the buyer and seller.  The county will hold the seller responsible for the payment of the entire year’s tax.  If the taxes are unpaid, the county will pursue collection from the seller.  Any delinquent taxes will be submitted for collection under the name of the seller to the Revenue Recapture Unit of the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

Should the assessor be notified if a mobile/manufactured home has been bought or sold?

Yes, if a mobile/manufactured home has been bought or sold, the parties to the sale should transfer the certificate of title and make the assessor aware of the ownership change.  This notification is necessary to ensure that the new owner is assessed the taxes, informed about the taxation laws relating to a mobile/manufactured home, and given the opportunity to file a timely application for homestead if it is their principal residence.  Otherwise, the assessor will continue to assess the property and send all tax information to the seller.

What must one do before moving a mobile/manufactured home to another location?

If an owner is planning to relocate a mobile/manufactured home, the proper state, county, city, and township authorities should be contacted to obtain the required permit(s).  Before a permit can be issued, the owner must obtain a tax clearance form from the assessor and auditor-treasurer in the county where the mobile/manufactured home is located.  This form is issued to the owner only when all property taxes that are due or will become due have been paid.  If a mobile/manufactured home is moved without the proper paperwork, the law allows for a fine to be imposed on the mover.

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