As of July 1, all mobile homes must be approved by licensed installer
News / Industry

By HEATHER BAUGHMAN, www.crescent-news.com - June 13, 2007

Traditional homes being built today are subject to numerous inspections, from foundation to electrical to a final walk-through prior to occupancy to ensure a safe environment. The same will be true for all mobile homes in Ohio that are installed beginning next month.

In accordance with rules adopted by the Ohio Mobile Home Commission in the Ohio Administrative Code, as of July 1, all mobile homes must be approved by a licensed installer.

In a series of three separate inspections, all new or relocated mobile homes must pass a footing inspection, electrical service inspection and final inspection before they can legally be occupied.

Cheryl Burkhart, community manager of the Spring Meadows, Arbor Oaks and Highland Park mobile home communities in Defiance, said she believes the inspections will ensure safer dwellings for everyone. "It's to protect the consumer and I understand that," she said, noting that she believes some of the regulations "are a little overkill."

At the communities that she manages, Burkhart, who has been employed there since 1995, said the new laws "are pretty much what we follow already. Now it will just cost us more."

Instead of simply having someone from the county health department come out for one inspection, Burkhart said they will have to come out for three inspections -- all, she expects, will come at a cost.

While fees for these inspections have not yet been established, other counties have set fees that could be well over $100 per visit.

Those fees, however, may be worth every penny. "There have been quite a few hassles (with improperly installed homes) all across the state," Burkhart said. "Some homes are being put on substandard lots," she said, which is where part of the problem the state had by not imposing mandatory state inspections.

Ohio Mobile Home Commission executive director David Zofko said, "The obvious impact will be a better quality home and a safer dwelling."

Currently, many mobile home communities have followed the Housing and Urban Development's guidelines, which Zofko said the state's new rules follow.

For the communities that now follow these rules, such as the ones that Burkhart manages, Zofko said there should be minimum impact.

Zofko said, "the enforcement of new rules will bring more uniformity to how mobile homes are installed, whether they are in communities or on private property."

Under the new law, homes installed in mobile home communities will remain under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Department of Health. Homes installed on private property will be subject to inspection by a local building department or licensed third-party.

The only exception to the rule, Zofko noted, is if a homeowner chooses to install a mobile home without a license if the mobile home is for the owner's primary residence. However, any owner who installs their own mobile home may waive any warranty by the manufacturer and waives participation in the OMHC's dispute resolution program.

Bill Hesselschwardt, owner of Blue Ribbon Homes in Defiance, said he is "happy to see this finally happen." Though the modular homes that he mostly sells are not affected by these laws for mobile homes, he said the industry has been calling for statewide installation regulation for years. Said Hesselschwardt: "Everybody in our industry likes it."

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Conneticut
Delaware
FLORIDA
  •   Lake City
  •   Ocala
  •   Plant City
  • Georgia
    Hawaii
    Idaho
    Illinois
    INDIANA
  •   Garrett
  •   Topeka
  • Iowa
    Kansas
    Kentucky
    Louisiana
    Maine
    Maryland
    Massachusetts
    Michigan
    Minnesota
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Montana
    Nebraska
    Nevada
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Ohio
    Oklahoma
    OREGON
  •   McMinnville
  •   Woodburn
  • Pennsylvania
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    South Dakota
    Tennessee
    TEXAS
  •   Athens
  •   Burleson
  •   Seguin
  • Utah
    Vermont
    Virginia
    Washington
    West Virginia
    Wisconsin
    Wyoming