Mobile homes

KRS 367.710 — Statutes governing mobile home sales

Mobile home buying tips

  • When you purchase any mobile home, whether new or used, you should be certain that you know exactly what you are purchasing.
  • Never rely on any oral promises made by the salesperson. Make sure that all promises made are in writing and included as part of your contract which is signed by both the salesperson, on behalf of the dealership, and you, as the purchaser.
  • Inspect your new or used mobile home for defects in the construction. Be particularly careful to look for any gaps around the windows or spaces in the corners or at the seams of the mobile home where it joins together.
  • Particularly, in the case of used mobile homes, make sure that the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems are all in good working order before you purchase.
  • When purchasing either a new or used mobile home, ask the sales person for his written promise on behalf of the dealership that all of these systems are in good working order and that there are no substantial defects with your mobile home.
  • Remember, if he/she made a promise, be sure to get it in writing as part of your purchase contract.

Sales contract and warranty

After you have inspected the mobile home very carefully, likewise inspect the sales contract and the warranty. Have all promises put in writing. The sales contract should clearly explain what items of furniture, appliances and other furnishing (even the wall hangings, lamps and curtains), will be included in your mobile home. If the set-up is to be included in the purchase price, make sure the contract also states this. If the mobile home arrives at your home site without items the contract specifies, you will have proof in writing of exactly what you were to receive.

Most mobile home manufacturers will warrant a new mobile home to be free from construction defects for a period of up to twelve months. Any defects in the home which develop as a result of poor manufacture are the responsibility of the manufacturer. Some dealers provide a 90-day warranty on all new mobile homes for any defects which develop due to improper set-up or leveling of the home.

Ask the dealer what items are covered by the warranty and the length of time the warranty is effective. Are the appliances and furnishings covered? Make sure what you are told is in the written warranty. A used mobile home will usually not be warranted by the dealer or the manufacturer.

The "B" seal requirement

While most used mobile home dealers do not warrant used models, Kentucky law prevents the dealer from selling a used mobile home as a personal dwelling unless it is certified safe. The dealer must post a "B" seal obtained from the State Fire Marshal certifying that the plumbing, heating and electrical systems are in safe working order. The seal must be posted in a conspicuous place near the entrance. Failure to obtain and post this seal on a used mobile home is a violation of state law.

The setup

When your home is delivered, do not let the delivery crew leave until you have verified that all items of furniture and appliances and other furnishing which were to be included in the mobile home are furnished. Carefully observe how the crew sets up the mobile home and verify that it is level and appropriately set up before the crew leaves. It may be a good idea to obtain the services of a qualified builder, contractor, or someone familiar with mobile homes to determine whether or not the mobile home is properly set up. You should also obtain a written statement from the dealer that the home is to be properly set up and level, and that he/she will make any necessary adjustments to do so. Get this statement in writing, signed by the dealer.

The mobile home lemon law

If you are buying a new mobile home, you have additional protection above any warranties given by the manufacturer or dealer. Kentucky's "Mobile Home Lemon Law", KRS 367.710-775, provides that if defects develop in the mobile home within the first twelve months of ownership which require more than four percent (4%) of the cost of the mobile home in repairs, and requires repair on three or more occasions, the owner may be entitled to the return of the purchase price or to a new mobile home.

To take advantage of this important right, you MUST send a written letter by certified mail to the manufacturer at the principal business office stating that such defects exist. You must send this letter within the first twelve months of ownership. The manufacturer has 10 days after receiving this letter to inspect the mobile home and either make the necessary repairs, return the full purchase price, or furnish you with a new mobile home. If the manufacturer fails to comply, you may want to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division to file a complaint to see whether or not your complaint can be mediated, or you may want to contact a private attorney.