As a tenant or owner of a mobile home in a leased-land community, you need to understand that you will pay for more than what is lot rent while living there. In most cases, utilities, such as sewage costs, water, gas, and power are the responsibilities of the inhabitants. Not to mention, if you own a manufactured home on private land, you have mortgage payments and property taxes to worry about.
With that said, when living in a mobile home park, there are some instances where the property manager or landlord pays for such utilities. If you want your everyday life at the park to run smoothly, you must ensure that utilities are paid on time and in full.
Here, we focus on the utility bills that you pay for in a mobile home.
What Utilities Do You Pay in a Mobile Home?
Before we consider the type of utilities you pay for in a mobile home, let’s look at some critical information you need to understand.
Utility Hookup Responsibility
It is the tenant’s responsibility to have utilities hooked up to the personal property, unless the home belongs to a mobile home park. This is not something that you can make a DIY project either; you will need to contact professionals to help you install and connect everything properly, safely, and to HUD code for manufactured homes standards.
With that said, if the mobile home does not belong to you, it is not your responsibility to pay for the utility installation costs. Your landlord should take care of all the responsibility. You can only help by linking your property manager to the best utility installers, if needed.
Utility Problems and Repair Responsibility
There are times when utilities in a mobile home park fail to run smoothly. When this happens, whose responsibility is it to restore them to full functionality?
For your information, you should only involve yourself with any kind of repairs if the mobile home belongs to you or if there are specific utilities that you pay separately outside of what the mobile home park charges you, such as lot rent. Otherwise, it is the responsibility of the management to link up with utility providers and take care of the issues at hand.
In this case, utilities are linked to the property, but the tenants pay for their use. Therefore, you need to check your lease agreement to understand where your responsibility and jurisdiction lie.
Utilities You Pay in a Mobile Home
If you are wondering what utilities you will pay for while living in a mobile home, we have got you covered.
Let’s discuss them below:
Gas Related Utility Bills
Most mobile homes are connected to a propane tank or natural gas line. Both options present advantages and disadvantages. For instance, propane happens to be more powerful. However, some people consider it to be less safe and more expensive.
Gas is employed for different applications in a mobile home. For instance, you can use it for stoves, lighting fixtures, ovens, water heaters, and more.
The amount you pay for gas will depend on how much you use it. We recommend that you go with natural gas since it is cheaper and safer. However, propane is the best option for you if you value performance and efficiency.
Water Related Utility Bills
Most mobile home parks are connected to city water. It should be stated in the lease who is responsible for water utility bills. In most cases, the tenant is responsible for paying water bills on top of monthly rent.
Sewage Related Utility Costs
This is one utility cost that many tenants seem to ignore. Sewage costs are not as expensive as other utilities. In most cases, you will be required to pay the sewage costs at the end of the month, however some landlords include these costs in the monthly rent. Your sewage is usually connected to the local sewer system.
Power Related Utility Costs
For most tenants, electricity costs the highest of all the available utilities. Electrical costs involve power through the outlets, lighting, any electrical appliances, etc.
If you live in a mobile home park, you most likely pay for electricity separately through the local service provider. However, some landlords include this cost in your monthly rent.
To pay less for electricity, we recommend employing more efficient approaches. Energy-efficient manufactured homes are always more cost-efficient. You should also ask your local service provider to understand the rates of power charges.
How to Reduce Utility Bills in a Mobile Home
Whether you rent or own a mobile home, you can take steps to reduce your utility bills. These tips can also be useful in a site-built home:
How to Save on Electricity Usage
To save money on your electricity bills, you need to consume less energy. For your information, energy–efficient improvements can contribute to savings of up to 25% on utility bills.
So, how do you save energy and still lead a normal life? First, you should replace all your energy bulbs with more efficient energy options. Bulbs with the Energy Star label have proven to save up to $75 yearly.
You can also opt to replace electricity with solar energy. Although this will be costly to start, solar energy is always cheaper in the long run.
You should also replace appliances with efficient ones. For your information, appliances consume at least 13% of the energy costs.
This is also the time to update your electronic equipment. This includes having motion-detector switches, power strips, and timers.
Finally, ask your utility provider to do an energy audit. This will help you identify effective ways of saving energy.
Saving Money on Water Related Bills
According to the Department of Energy, a hot water heater in homes is responsible for about 17% of energy use. This is why you should take the relevant efforts to buy power-efficient water heaters. For instance, a tankless heater saves at least 30% of energy than conventional tanks.
To save on water consumption, you need to repair any possible leaks in plumbing fixtures, such as faucets, dishwashers, and toilets. Such leaks can consume up to 20 gallons per day.
Replacing your current toilets with low-flow ones can also help. Some tenants and landlords even add aerators to reduce water usage. Aerators work by increasing water pressure and can save 15-17 gallons daily.
Investing in Energy Star washing machines and dishwashers can also save you up to 20-30 gallons daily. Additionally, if you normally spend a lot of time in the shower, we recommend reducing that time to at least two minutes, if possible.
Saving on Heating and Gas Utilities
For most mobile homes, a lot of money is spent on gas for both heating and cooking. So, how can you reduce such costs and pay less at the end of the month?
First, you need to reduce the heating costs by adjusting your thermostat to about 78 degrees during summer and 68 degrees in the winter. We also recommend programmable thermostats that set the temperatures efficiently throughout the day.
You can also save on heating costs by learning how to add insulation to a mobile home. Proper insulation helps to prevent heat loss during winter. We also recommend sealing leaks using caulk, weather stripping windows and doors, and deflecting solar heat using blinds during summer.
We recommend going for natural gas instead of propane to save money on gas while cooking, too. It is both cheaper and safer.