Procedure for the Assessment of Mobile Home Parks

Goal

To provide information about how the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) values  mobile home parks in Ontario.

Background

Section 19(1) of the Assessment Act provides the authority for the valuation of mobile home parks at their current value.

Ontario Regulation 282/98, section 16 includes mobile homes (referred to as units) used for residential purposes and the land they are on in the residential property tax class.

A mobile home park may be defined as land on which one or more units are located where the owner of the property retains possession of the land and the owner of the dwelling leases the land. Lease agreements are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 applies to residential rental units located in a mobile home park.  Rented sites in a mobile home park are bound by many of the same rules that apply to other types of residential rental units.

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 does not apply to sites that are:

  • intended for use by a person who is traveling or on vacation; or
  • in a resort, tourist camp, campground, or trailer park that is occupied for only a seasonal or temporary period.

In accordance with section 16 of the Assessment Act, MPAC is required to prepare an annual school support list.  In accordance with Section 16.1 of the Act, owners of properties that have seven or more units are required, on or before July 31 , to provide MPAC with a list of the names of residential tenants and the corresponding unit numbers.  The list is to include persons who occupied the residential units during the 12-month period that ends July 1 of the year in which the information is provided.

On the assessment roll, the mobile home park is described under one roll number.  The individual occupants are listed as tenants.

Owners of mobile homes parks receive notices of assessment with an overall current value assessment of the entire property.  Individual assessments for each unit are not identified on the notice, however, MPAC can supply this information to the owner of the property through a written request.

Tenants, through a written request, may also receive information on the assessment of their individual unit from MPAC under section 53(4.1) of the Assessment Act.  This information can be requested using a Unit Assessment Data Request Form.

The Process

Mobile home parks are valued using all three approaches to value.  The cost approach is used to value the units with reference to valid sales of units, when available, and any additional structures. The income approach is used to value the sites associated with the mobile home park.  The sales comparison approach is used in the valuation of any land not associated with the mobile home park.

MPAC annually requests specific data from property owners where the income approach is used to value the property.  MPAC collects the following information:

  • tenant names; and
  • operating statements and rental information. 

In accordance with Section 11 of the Assessment Act, property owners are required to supply the requested information to MPAC within the specified time frame stated in the request.

Valuation of the Land

The land used in conjunction with the mobile home park, including the sites and common areas such as roads are valued using the income approach.

The income approach is based on the theory that income-producing properties are bought and sold based on their income earning potential.

The income and expense information collected by MPAC is analyzed and used to determine the net operating income for the mobile home park.

The net operating income is determined by deducting the fees and expenses listed below from the potential gross income:

  • standard management fee;
  • standard vacancy and collection loss;
  • abnormal vacancies; and
  • operating expenses.

The most common operating expenses are:

  • water services;
  • wages and management;
  • snow removal;
  • maintenance and repairs; and
  • legal fees.

MPAC makes historical reference to the income and expense information collected in prior years to ensure the information being reported is typical of a normal year of operation.

The net operating income is capitalized using a capitalization rate to arrive at an estimate of value.

Use of a capitalization rate is a method employed to convert an estimate of a single year's income expectancy into an indication of value in one direct step.  This is done by dividing the net operating income estimate by an appropriate capitalization rate.

The capitalization rate is developed from an analysis of the sales of mobile home parks that have sold within a specific time frame in specific areas of the province.

Capitalization rates are developed for:

  • Northern Ontario;
  • Southern Ontario;
  • Greater Toronto Area;
  • Eastern Ontario; and
  • Central Ontario.

The resulting value, derived from applying the income approach, represents the value attributed to the land occupied by the units as well as land and structures used as common areas such as roads, pedestrian walkways, recreational facilities and parking areas.

If MPAC is not able to obtain the income and expense information for a mobile home park, MPAC will compare rents from a similar mobile home park(s) in the vicinity and adjust the rents using the same expense ratio as that of the similar park(s).

Comparable parks tend to have similar elements that may affect rent levels such as:

  • inclusion of utilities (water and sewer);
  • garbage collection;
  • snow removal;
  • lawn maintenance;
  • indoor or outdoor pool(s);
  • tennis courts; and
  • presence of a recreation centre.

Excess land, which is land not used in conjunction with the operation of the mobile home park, is valued using rates developed through the sales comparison approach.

Structure Valuation

MPAC inspects mobile home parks periodically to ensure the data MPAC has on file is up-to-date and accurate.

A mobile home, available as a single-wide or double-wide unit, is a manufactured single-family dwelling, transported from its initial place of construction to its destination as a permanent or seasonal residence.  A mobile home is deemed assessable if the following criteria are met:

  • the unit has a minimum width of 8 feet, 6 inches; or
  • the unit is less than 8 feet, 6 inches wide but has an enclosed structure attached to it such as a sunroom, enclosed porch or garage.

Further indicators that the mobile home is permanent and, therefore, assessable are:

  • An oversize permit is required for road travel from the Ministry of Transportation because one of the following legal limits have been exceeded:
    • Length exceeds 41 feet;
    • Width exceeds 8 feet, 6 inches;
    • Height exceeds 13 feet, 6 inches; or
    • Weight exceeds 140,000 pounds.
  • The unit has an attached structure such as a carport, deck, etc..
  • The unit has permanent connections for services such as water, electrical and waste disposal.
  • The tongue and/or under carriage have been removed.
  • The unit has been placed on a supporting foundation.

Section 10(1) of the Assessment Act states that, upon producing proper identification, a person authorized by MPAC, will at all reasonable times and upon reasonable request be given free access to all land. This section applies to all land, whether owned or leased, and all buildings and structures on the land.

When MPAC inspects a mobile home unit the following key features are recorded:

  • make and model of the unit;
  • size of the unit;
  • age of the unit;
  • condition of the unit;
  • type of additives such as decks, porches, additional rooms etc.; and
  • presence of air conditioning.

MPAC applies the cost approach to value the units.   In consultation with manufacturers in the mobile home industry, MPAC develops a cost per square foot for the various units.

Based on the above information, the structure value is determined by:

  • costing the unit to arrive at a Replacement Cost New (RCN), the estimated cost to construct a structure of similar design, material and functionality;
  • depreciating the unit to arrive at a replacement cost new less depreciation (RCNLD); and
  • verifying through an assessment- to- sales ratio study, that the RCNLD represents current value.

Community facilities available for the residents use, such as pools, tennis courts, recreational buildings, central laundry facilities, etc., are considered common area and are included in the value derived from applying the income approach.  Structures used in conjunction with the mobile home park such as storage buildings, residences for park employees, or commercial structures, are valued using the cost approach. 

Current Value

The land value is added to the structure value(s) to arrive at a total current value.  

Once current value has been established, the value is divided between the various uses occurring on the mobile home park.  This process is referred to as partitioning.  Partitioning occurs for the reason that different uses may dictate different property classifications.

For example:

A mobile home park has a total current value of $500,000.  There is a stand-alone store and laundromat.  The value associated to the store and appropriate land to operate the store is $100,000.  The remainder of the value ($400,000) is attributable to the operation of the mobile home park.  In accordance with Ontario Regulation 282/98 the mobile home park current value of $400,000 is taxable at the residential rate and the stand-alone store current value of $100,000 is taxable at the commercial rate.

Related Information

Assessment Act
Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, Part X
Ontario Regulation 282/98
Sales Comparison Approach to Value
Residential Cost Approach
Residential Data Collection

Note: This procedure has been developed to provide the public with a general understanding of the valuation of mobile park homes in Ontario.  The applicable law prevails to the extent there is any conflict between the procedure and the relevant law.

Note: The applicable law prevails to the extent there is any conflict between this information and the current law. This information is not intended to provide legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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