We need equitable solution for leased land

January 3, 2013

Often, we hear of the debate surrounding land lease communities. The general public may wonder, "What’s their problem?” Well, a thorough but concise explanation would be difficult to provide, but here is the basis of the problem.


Leasing the land on which your home is permanently placed can be an economical way to own a private home and, in the right situation, does have financial advantages. However, this advantage is also a great disadvantage. Since most homeowners have placed a non-portable home on someone else’s land, the homeowner is subject to contracts or leases which are unique and unlike any other real estate contracts.


Once a home is placed on the land and no longer movable the homeowners lose flexibility when negotiating changes in their leases, such as rent increases and other quality of life issues. This issue is magnified in Delaware due to the court ruling that permits landowners to increase annual rents without limit or reason. This action removes the understood mutual protections of leases, and places manufactured homeowners in an impossible situation, with no negotiating leverage or reasonable alternatives.


Many residents of land lease communities are seniors or in over 55 communities. These communities are a great asset to the affordable housing market and offer many amenities for our senior population.


In the coming months, you may hear or read about finding a legal remedy to the problem of fair rent justification.


I would ask you to talk to your state representatives and senators and ask them to find an equitable solution to this ongoing and ever increasing problem which affects the quality of life of seniors and other moderate income people in Delaware.

Donna Reed


chair, Leased Land Homeowners Coalition


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