Mobile Home Parks and Illinois Law

Mobile Home Parks and Illinois Law

Last updated: August 2009

Statute
Definitions
Leases 
Park Rules
Rent
Tenant Duties
Evictions
Park Owner Ceases Operation
Tenant Meetings
Security Deposit 
Sale Of Home
Enforcement

Your Rights as a Tenant of a Mobile Home Park (Fact Sheet)
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Statute

Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act

765 ILCS 745 / 1 et seq.

Purpose

The purpose of the Act is to provide special protection to mobile home residents in mobile home parks.

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Definitions

Mobile Home Park – any site upon which five or more independent mobile homes are located for rent.

Mobile Home – conventional mobile home designed for permanent habitation and constructed for transportation on wheels. Does not include a mobile home served by individual utilities and resting on a permanent foundation with wheels, tongue and hitch permanently removed.

Tenants - tenants who own home and rent a lot; who rent home only; who rent both home and lot; or who rent home from a person who owns home and rents lot.

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Leases

Written Lease Mandated

All tenants who live in a park must be offered a written lease for not less than 24 months.

Lease Renewal

All leases in a park must contain an option which automatically renews the lease unless:

  • Tenant gives 30 day written notice prior to expiration of lease of intent not to renew;
  • Park owner gives 30 day written notice prior to expiration of lease of intent not to renew stating specific reasons; or
  • All notices must be by certified mail or personal service.

Lease Contents

Lease must include:

  • Option to renew as described above;
  • Statement of all rent and any other charges in itemized format and all services provided by park owner;
  • Describe lot area for which tenant will be responsible;
  • Promise of park owner to keep all common areas free of weeds;
  • Promise to maintain in good working condition all roads in the park and utilities provided by park owner;
  • Promise that, if only the lot is rented, the park owner may not enter without permission of the mobile home owner, and that, if the mobile home is owned by the park, the park owner must give due notice to the tenant prior to entry, except in event of emergency;
  • Full names and addresses of all individuals who have legal or equitable title of park or designated agent;
  • Name, address, and telephone number of custodian; and
  • The following notice:

Important Notice Required by Law:

The rules set forth below govern the terms of your lease of occupancy arrangement with this mobile home park. The law requires all of these rules and regulations to be fair and reasonable, and if not, such rules and regulations cannot be enforced against you.

You may continue to reside in the park as long as you pay your rent and abide by the rules and regulations of the park. You may only be evicted for non-payment of rent, violation of laws, or for violation of the rules and regulations of the park and terms of your lease.

If the park requires you to deal exclusively with a certain fuel dealer or other merchant for goods or service in connection with the use or occupancy of your mobile home or on your mobile home lot, the price you pay for such goods and services may not be more than the prevailing price in this locality for similar goods and services.

You may not be evicted for reporting any violations of the law or health and building codes to boards of health, building commissioners, the department of the Attorney General or any appropriate government agency.

Lease Restrictions

Lease must not include:

  • Late rent fee prior to five days after rent is due;
  • Security deposit more than one month’s rent;
  • Fees not itemized in lease;
  • Movement or transfer of home during lease

Waivers

Any provisions in lease that waives protections of this law are void.

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Park Rules

Enforceability

Rules and regulations are enforceable against a tenant only if:

  • A copy of the rules and regulations is given to the tenant prior to signing the lease;
  • The purpose of the rules are to promote convenience, safety, and welfare of tenants, to preserve park property from damage, or to distribute fairly park services and facilities
  • The rules and regulations must be reasonably related to the purpose for which they were adopted;
  • The rules and regulations apply to all tenants in fair manner;
  • The rules and regulations are sufficiently explicit and fairly inform the tenant of what must or must not be done to comply.

Rule Changes

Changes are permitted if the tenant is given 30 days advance written notice and changes are not in violation of the lease.

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Rent

Disclosure of Rent and Other Charges

Rents, fees, service charges, and all other assessments must be disclosed by the park owner and itemized in the lease.  Rent cannot be changed during the lease term.  Charges not disclosed do not have to be paid.

Rent Increases

Park owners must give advance written notice of rent increase at least 60 days prior to the end of the lease.

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Tenant Duties

  • Keep premises and all facilities in a clean and sanitary condition, free of garbage and rubbish, and exercise reasonable care in use and operation of all facilities;
  • Do not store inoperable motor vehicles or perform major repairs on such vehicles;
  • Do not wash vehicles except in designated areas;
  • Do not store icebox, stove, building materials, furniture, or similar items on the exterior of premises;
  • Do not cause or permit others to cause damage to any part of the premises;
  • Do not disturb neighbors; and
  • Follow all rules and regulations.

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Evictions

Legal Reasons

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Failure to comply with lease or park rules
  • Failure to comply with local ordinances or state laws regulating mobile homes

Illegal Reasons

  • Lease expires (see Lease Renewal above)
  • Reprisal for a tenant’s effort to enforce rights under the lease or under any local, state, or federal law
  • Reprisal for a tenant’s good faith complaint to the government of a park owner’s violation of health or safety law, regulation, or ordinance or any law, regulation, or ordinance concerning a dwelling
  • Reprisal for involvement with a home owner’s association
  • Failure to comply with invalid park rules

Eviction Procedures

The eviction procedures are the same as in all other tenant evictions except all of the above rules and requirements apply and the park owner’s failure to comply with those rules or requirements can constitute a defense to an eviction action. 

If lease or park rules are violated, the park owner must give the tenant a 24-hour notice prior to any notice of termination of tenancy. The 24-hour notice must advise the tenant that, if the violation continues for more than 24 hours, the park owner may terminate the lease.  After a 24-hour notice is given, the park owner may give a written ten-day notice terminating the tenancy. 

If the tenant has failed to pay rent, the park owner may give the tenant a five-day notice. The notice must give the amount of rent due and state that the tenant has five days for payment.

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Park Owner Ceases Operation

A park owner may elect to cease operation of either all or a portion of the park, but a tenant is entitled to advance written notice:

  • If 12 months or more remain on lease, the tenant is entitled to balance of lease term
  • If less than 12 months on lease, then tenant is entitled to 12 months from date of notice
  • Notices must be by certified mail or personal service

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Tenant Meetings

Right to Tenant Meetings

Meetings by tenants concerning mobile home living conditions cannot be prohibited by the park owner if the meetings are held at reasonable times and when facilities are available and not otherwise in use.

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Security Deposit

Return of Deposit 

  • If all rent is paid and no damage caused, the security deposit must be returned to tenant in full;
  • If damage is caused, the park owner must send the tenant an itemized list and estimated cost of repairs within 15 days after termination or expiration of the lease;
  • If the tenant does not object within 15 days, the tenant is deemed to be in agreement with the amount of damages stated in the itemized list;
  • If the park owner does not send itemized list within 15 days of termination or expiration, the park owner must return full deposit;
  • If the tenant does not furnish the park owner a forwarding address, the tenant is not entitled to an itemized list and estimated costs.

Security Deposit Interest

  • If the park has 25 or more mobile homes, the park owner must pay interest on a secuirty deposit held at least six months. Interest must be paid within 30 days after the end of each 12 month period. The owner must pay interest in cash, unless the parties agree to a rent credit;
  • Interest must be paid at a rate equal to the minimum passbook savings account rate paid by the largest Illinois commercial bank as of December 31 of the previous year;
  • Tenants may bring an action against an owner who violates the Act. A lessor who willfully violates or refuses to pay the interest due is liable for the entire security deposit, court costs, and reasonable attorneys fees.

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Sale of Home

A park owner cannot interfere in any way with a tenant's right to sell the home. A park owner may not impose fees on tenants when they sell their mobile homes.  A park owner generally may not require that a mobile home be moved after it is sold.  However, the following restrictions are permitted:

  • The park owner may set general rules that govern a new tenant’s qualifications to be admitted to the park;
  • The park owner may require the purchaser to obtain a signed lease prior to closing;
  • If the mobile home is less than 12 feet wide or has significantly deteriorated or is in substantial disrepair, the park owner can demand that the mobile home be moved, but only if the tenant has been given advance written notice and an opportunity to remedy the problem.

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Enforcement

Government Enforcement

The Attorney General and County States Attorneys are empowered to enforce the Act and may bring an action for injunctive relief.

Tenant Enforcement

  • As a defense to an eviction action, the tenant can claim that the park owner has not complied with statutory rules and requirements;
  • Tenants have a private right of action to seek injunctive relief to enforce all of their rights under this law and to recover compensatory damages for a park owner’s violations of this law;
  • Within the first 30 days of occupancy if a park owner fails to comply with the rules and requirements outlined above, the tenant can vacate the premises after giving the park owner written notice;
  • After 30 days written notice to the park owner of a condition that deprives the tenant of substantial benefit and enjoyment of the mobile home and the park owner’s failure to remedy that condition, the tenant can vacate;
  • If premises are uninhabitable or pose an imminent threat to health, welfare, or safety, the tenant can vacate without notice.

Mobile Home Park Tenant Fact Sheet 

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