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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation and Motor Vehicles
Agency 30. Department of Transportation
Chapter 41. Rules and Regulations Governing Relocation Assistance
9/19/2020

24VAC30-41-590. General.

Part X
Mobile Homes

Mobile homes have special legal and physical characteristics as opposed to conventional housing types. Mobile home occupants are entitled to the same relocation benefits as apply to all other displacees. However, certain policy adjustments and special benefit determination methods need to be employed because of the following unique characteristics:

1. Eligibility; personalty vs. realty. A mobile home may have legal status as either real estate or personalty depending on factors such as the permanency of its fixture to the ground, its condition, and the intention of the owner in placing the mobile home on its present location.

An initial presumption should be made that a mobile home located on proposed right of way is personalty, and that the present owner will retain ownership and move the mobile home from the right of way. However, in some cases it will be clear that the unit is part of the real estate. For instance, the mobile home that is on a concrete foundation with basement and is on a professionally landscaped site would be considered real estate. In many cases the distinction is not clear. Legal advice may be secured from the assistant attorney general. Also, the district manager should monitor mobile home personalty/realty determinations to assure that they are made on a fair and consistent basis.

A mobile home determined to be real estate will be acquired and the occupant, if the owner, will be provided relocation benefits as an owner-occupant-displacee.

A mobile home considered as personalty and not real estate may be acquired and relocation benefits provided as an owner occupant under the following circumstances:

a. The structural condition of the mobile home is such that it cannot be moved without substantial damage or unreasonable cost;

b. The mobile home itself is not and cannot economically be made a decent, safe and sanitary dwelling;

c. The mobile home cannot be relocated because there is no available comparable replacement site; or

d. The mobile home cannot be relocated because it does not meet mobile home park entrance requirements.

The determination as to whether to acquire an owner-occupied mobile home considered to be personalty should be made promptly after the first relocation contact has been made with the occupant. In making this determination, consideration must be given to whether the mobile home itself is not a decent, safe and sanitary unit because of its physical condition or its size. Under the procedures outlined in this section, it is not intended that an offer be made by VDOT to acquire a mobile home simply because of required utility deficiencies such as hot and cold running water and septic system. Considering the above, if it is determined by the district manager that VDOT has an obligation to offer to acquire the mobile home, the relocation agent is to contact several reputable mobile home dealers in the area to establish the amount that the mobile home would bring if offered for sale on the open market (salvage value or trade-in value, whichever is higher, shall be used when computing the price differential amount). Once this value is established and approved by the district manager, the approved amount will be used for comparison against the amount established as necessary for the displacee to purchase and relocate into comparable decent, safe and sanitary replacement facility. Upon approval of the maximum replacement housing payment, an offer is to be made for the purchase of the mobile home. Simultaneously, the displacee will be advised of the approved maximum replacement housing payment and the basis for establishing that amount. In the event the displacee refuses VDOT's offer, the district files are to be so documented and no further attempt made to acquire the mobile home. This being the case, the mobile home occupant is to be advised of the Replacement Housing Payment which is the difference between the established value of the mobile home and that amount necessary to acquire a comparable decent, safe and sanitary facility as computed above. Under these conditions the cost to move the mobile home is not an eligible expense.

If VDOT's offer to acquire the mobile home is accepted, the district must have the owner execute an agreement of sale. Upon delivery of the check to the owner, the district will obtain title to the mobile home, a bill of sale, an affidavit, or other proof of ownership. Upon relocation of the occupants, the disposal of the mobile home will be handled in the same manner as other acquired buildings.

2. Owner/tenancy status; mobile home and site. A characteristic unique to the mobile home payment computation is that there is often a divided ownership of the dwelling unit and its site. A mobile home occupant may own the dwelling but rent the site. Conversely, an occupant may own the site and rent the dwelling unit. Relocation benefits will conform to this feature by treating the site and the dwelling separately for purposes of determining replacement housing benefits. This is discussed more fully in 24VAC30-41-630.

Statutory Authority

§ 25.1-402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 4601 et seq.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 18, Issue 03, eff. November 21, 2001.

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