A key difference between the sale of a manufactured home (commonly known as a mobile home) and the sale of an immovable house is that the land that the manufactured home is situated on usually does not change ownership at the time of the sale.
Ownership of land is registered in the Land Title Office, and when title to land is transferred the transfer is processed through the Land Title Office.
Conversely, ownership of manufactured homes is registered in the Manufactured Home Registry, which is a separate entity from the Land Title Office.
Key things to consider in when buying or selling a manufactured home include:
- Does the owner own the land the manufactured home is situated on;
- Does the owner have the ability to transport the home; and
- CSA approval.
These questions should be addressed prior to listing a manufactured home for sale or making an offer.
Sale of Manufactured Homes on Rental Pads
Manufactured Homes are often located on a rental pad in a manufactured home park. In these situations, the land or pad the manufactured home is situated on is owned by a third party. In most cases, the owner of the manufactured home will pay a monthly fee to rent the pad from the owner of the land.
In this case, only the ownership of the manufactured home will change; not the ownership of the land. If the buyer wishes to keep the home on the existing pad, they should always review the lease agreement between the current owner and the property owner, and confirm that the lease can be assigned to them on the completion of the transaction.
Sale of Manufactured Homes and Land
When a manufactured home sits on land and both are owned by the same person, the homes are often de-registered, which means they are no longer actively registered in the Manufactured Home Registry.
In this situation, only the transfer of the land is registered in the Land Title Office, and no updated registration in the Manufactured Homes Registry is required.
In the event that an owner wishes to sell the manufactured home a later date, they will be required to re-register the manufactured home, which can be done through an application to BC Registry Services
Relocation of a Manufactured Home
In order to transport and relocate a manufactured home, a permit must be obtained from BC Registry Services. Following the relocation, owners must submit a Change in Registered Location of a Manufactured Home form to BC Registry Services, updating the registered location of the home.
Prior to moving the manufactured home, owners or buyers should ensure that the home meets all requirements of the municipality or regional district, and the manufactured home park, if applicable, where the home is being relocated to.
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) sticker is placed on the manufactured home when it is initially constructed, and certifies that it meets applicable building standards.
Whether registered or de-registered, a manufactured home in British Columbia cannot be sold without a valid CSA sticker. A seller should ensure that the sticker is in place prior to listing a manufactured home for sale, and a buyer should include this as part of their examination prior to finalizing an offer.
In situations where a CSA sticker has been removed or cannot be located, an inspection must be carried out and an application made to confirm the home meets the provincial standards.