Your Rights as a Tenant of a Mobile Home Park

Your Rights as a Tenant of a Mobile Home Park

Last updated: December 2012

If you live in a mobile home park that contains five or more trailers, you are protected by the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act. The law applies whether you own or rent your trailer. The law does not apply if the park is owned by the state of federal government. The law does not apply if the park is for recreational campers or travel trailers.

What are my rights as a mobile home park tenant?

You have the right to:

  • Receive a written 24-month lease unless you agree otherwise
  • Automatically renew your lease, unless the owner gives you a good reason, in writing, at least 30 days before your lease expires
  • Receive a written copy of all rules and regulations governing the park before you sign the lease
  • Receive at least 12 months written notice before you must move, if the owner decides to close all or part of the park

What must be stated in the lease?

The lease must state:

  • Your specific lot number and lot area
  • The names and addresses of all the owners and managers of the mobile home park
  • The name, office address, and phone number of the park custodian
  • The agreed rent amount
  • All fees, including late fees and charges for park services

What other information must the park owner provide?

The owner must also give you:

  • The exact amount of rent charged for the mobile home or lot during the last five years
  • A list of the owner's responsibilities
  • A copy of all rules and regulations
  • Information regarding security deposits and the return of these deposits
  • A three-year projection of estimated rent increases

Is there anything that cannot be stated in the lease?

The lease must not state that:

  • You are responsible for a late fee before the 5th of the month;
  • You are responsible for a security deposit which is more than one month's rent;
  • You are responsible for any fees not specifically stated in the lease;
  • The park owner can move your mobile home to a different lot during the term of the lease; or
  • You are required to purchase your mobile home from the park owner.

What are the duties and responsibilities of the mobile home park owner?

The mobile home park owner must:

  • Keep the park clean and safe;
  • Give permission before you enter the trailer if you rent the trainer, except in emergencies
  • Never make the security deposit higher than one month’s rent;
  • Never charge late fees for the overdue rent, unless the rent is more than five days late;
  • Give you 30 days advance written notice of all changes or additions to the park rules and regulations; and
  • Allow tenants to meet regarding mobile home park conditions at reasonable hours.

Do I have to buy a mobile home from the park owner?

A park owner cannot require you to buy a mobile home from the park before entering into a lease with you.

What are my duties as a tenant?

As the tenant of a mobile home park, you must:

  • Keep all provided basic facilities (like plumbing, electrical fixtures, cooking, and refrigeration equipment) clean and sanitary;
  • Use all provided utilities and appliances in a reasonable and safe manner;
  • Obey all reasonable and lawful park rules;
  • Not repair or wash vehicles in the park without the park owner's permission;
  • Not store any motor vehicles that don't work; and
  • Not disturb or interfere with other tenants in the park.

What are some of the reasons I can be evicted?

You may be evicted for:

  • Failing to pay rent when due. The owner must give you a written five-day notice to pay rent;
  • Violating your lease or the park rules and failing to correct the problem within 24 hours. The owner must give you a written notice stating exactly which part of the lease or rules you violated and that you have 24 hours to correct the problem; or
  • Violating a local or state law regulating mobile homes.

What are some of the reasons that the park owner cannot evict me?

The owner may not evict you:

  • Because you complained to a code or housing inspector about bad conditions in your trailer or the park
  • Because of your race or sex, or because you have children living with you
  • Because you participate in meetings regarding the mobile home park
  • Because you violated an unreasonable park rule

Do I have to comply with all park rules?

A park rule is enforceable if:

  • A copy of the rule was delivered to you prior to your signing a lease
  • The purpose of the rule is protect park services and facilities for all tenants
  • The rule applies to all tenants in a fair manner
  • The rule is clear in what conduct is not tolerated
  • The rule is not for the purpose of protecting the park owner from any obligation they may have

What happens if the park owner serves me with an eviction notice?

The park owner must allow the term specified in the eviction notice to expire before filing a court action. You must be served with notice of the court hearing If you do not appear at the court hearing the judge will rule for the park owner. 

At the court hearing you have the right to present a defense. If you lose the hearing, the court will order you to move by a specific date. If you do not move by then, the court can order the sheriff to remove you.

What happens if the park owner tries to evict me without a notice or going to court?

The park owner cannot evict you by changing your locks or removing your belongings. The park owner must follow the proper eviction procedures. If the park owner tries to evict you without a notice, you should contact a legal aid office right away. 

What happens if I sell my mobile home?

You can sell your mobile home without the park owner's permission but the person who buys your mobile home must get a written lease. The buyer is entitled to a new lease on the same terms as the other tenants.

What happens if the park owner fails to comply with a code, statute, ordinance or regulation?

During the first 30 days you live in park, you may terminate your lease at any time by written notice and leave the park. After the first 30 days you live in the park, you may terminate your lease without notice only if you stayed because you relied on the park owner's written promise to correct the condition.

At any time you reside in the park, if the condition deprives you of substantial benefit and enjoyment and the park owner fails to fix the situation within 30 days after receiving written notice from you, you may terminate your lease and move. You do not have to give the park owner written notice if the condition causes your mobile home to be unlivable.

You may be entitled to damages if the park owner is acting willfully or negligently. You can also ask the court to order the park owner to fix the problem.

Can the park owner require me to deal with a certain fuel dealer?

Only if it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the park residents and if the cost is similar to the prices in the area

When can the owner raise my rent?

When the lease is renewed. If you sign an initial 24 month lease, you may agree to a specific rent increase between the first and second year. 

The park owner must give at least 90 days notice and the rent increase may not go into effect until the renewal of the lease; 

You have 30 days to object to a rent increase, but if you do so you must move out before the date of the increase.

What if I can not afford the rent increase?

The law allows you to continue paying the old rent amount for one year while you attempt to sell the home if:

  • You are using a licensed agent to attempt to sell the mobile home;
  • You provide an affidavit stating that you are attempting to sell the mobile home and that the new rent amount is more than 45% of your income; and
  • You provide proof of your current income with tax returns on similar documents. 

What if I am temporarily sick or disabled?

You may have a relative stay in the mobile home for up to 90 days while you are sick or disabled if:

  • You provide the park owner with documentation of illness or disability from a doctor dated within the last 60 days;
  • The relative applies and meets all the necessary qualifications (except for financial qualifications) to reside in the park; and
  • If 90 days pass, the relative has to provide financial information to show they can afford to pay the costs of living in the park.

Am I entitled to interest on my security deposit?

If the park contains 25 or more mobile homes, you are entitled to interest on your security deposit. Within 30 days after the end of each year, the park owner is required to pay you the interest owed or apply it to any rent that is due if you both agree to do so. 

If the park owner willfully fails to pay you the interest owed, he may be responsible for an amount equal to your security deposit plus court costs and attorney fees.

Does the park owner have to return my security deposit when I move?

The park owner is required to return your security deposit if you do not owe any rent and you did not cause any damage to the premises.

How soon after I move must the park owner return my security deposit?

The park owner must give you an itemized list of any damages and an estimated cost for the repair of each item within 15 days. If the park owner does not give you an itemized list within 15 days after you move out, the park owner is required to immediately return your security deposit.

You must give the park owner a forwarding address or the park owner does not have to give you notice of any damages.

If you disagree with the damages, you must object within 15 days after you receive the notification. If you do not object, your silence will be considered an agreement that you owe the amount of damages claimed by the park owner. 

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