Mobile Home Issues
A Mobile Home is a residential structure, not originally sold as a recreational vehicle, and designed to be used as a house when connected to required utilities. Mobile Homes must have plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical throughout, and are generally 8 feet or more in width, and 35 feet or more in length, with a hitch.
If you rent both the mobile home and the lot, your rights and responsibilities are the same as someone who rents a home or an apartment. Please visit our Renters’ Rights and Evictions section for more information.
This section will focus on the rights and responsibilities of someone who owns the mobile home but who rents the lot.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS?
The tenant is the person who lives in a rented space.
You have the right to receive written notice of any adverse decision made against you by the mobile home park owner.
You have the right to be represented by an attorney at an eviction hearing.
You have the right to testify, present evidence, and ask questions to any witnesses during an eviction hearing.
You have the right to complain to the mobile home park owner, local code enforcement, or HUD about the conditions of your lot or the mobile home park.
Mobile home park owners may terminate your lease for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of lot rent;
- Engaging in activity that threatens the health and safety of other residents or staff;
- Interfering with residents’ peaceful enjoyment of the mobile home park; or
- Serious or repeated violations of the lease.
Termination notices must be in writing, specifically describe the alleged violation, and be delivered to you by posting and certified mail, return receipt requested.
Depending on the violation, you will get 5 to 30 days to correct the problem. However, local, state, or federal law may shorten the time to correct the violation or may not allow any opportunity to correct it at all.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?
Carefully review your lease, the mobile home park rules and regulations, park prospectus, homeowners’ association bylaws, and any notices you receive from the mobile home park owner.
If you have received a termination notice from the mobile home park owner and you do not leave by the date specified in the notice, the mobile home park owner must file an eviction case to remove you from the lot. The eviction summons and complaint may be personally delivered to you or posted on your door by the sheriff or a certified process server. This is called “service of process.” The clerk may also send you a copy of the summons and complaint by mail.
You must write and file a response with the court within 5 days of receiving the summons and complaint. If you do not file a response with the court on time, the mobile home park owner may automatically win the eviction.
In your response, admit or deny each paragraph of the complaint and raise any defenses.
The “court’s registry” is like a bank account the court uses during your eviction case. While your case is pending before the court, you must deposit rent into the court’s registry each month when it is due.
If you disagree with the amount of rent the mobile home park owner claims you owe, you may ask the court to schedule a hearing to determine the correct amount. Supporting documentation must be attached to your response, such as proof of payment.
If you do not deposit rent into the court’s registry on time or ask the court to determine the correct amount of rent you owe, the mobile home park owner may automatically win the eviction.
If you pay the lot rent amount due, including any late charges, court costs, and attorney’s fees, the court may deny the eviction if you have not failed to pay lot rent more than twice.
In an eviction case, the mobile home park owner is the Plaintiff and you are the Defendant. Raising defenses in your response may keep you from being evicted. Below is a list of common defenses that may apply to your situation.
The person who filed the eviction complaint (the Plaintiff) lacks standing. This means the Plaintiff does not have the right to file the complaint with the court. This defense is commonly used if the mobile home park owner does not actually own the mobile home park.
The eviction is moot. This means the eviction is no longer relevant because you have already left the lot.
You are withholding rent after you timely provided a 7-Day Notice. Your 7-Day Notice to the mobile home park owner must specify the repairs needed and your intention to withhold rent if they are not completed within 7 days. Please visit our Renters’ Rights and Evictions section for more information.
You did not receive a notice from the mobile home park owner as required by law. This means the mobile home park owner did not give you written notice of the violation before filing an eviction case with the court.
The notice you received from the mobile home park owner demands money that is not considered rent or additional rent in your lease.
The notice is confusing or contains conflicting instructions.
The notice does not provide enough time for you to correct the violation.
The notice does not provide enough information for you to understand the violation.
The mobile home park owner does not maintain the lot after you timely provided a 7-Day Notice.
The mobile home park owner engages in retaliatory conduct. This means the mobile home park owner increases your rent, decreases services to you, or files/threatens to file an eviction case against you, in response to you exercising your rights as a tenant.
If the mobile home park owner wins the eviction, 10 days later the sheriff will serve you with a 24-hour notice to leave the lot. This is called a “Writ of Possession.” If you do not leave the lot within 24 hours, the mobile home park owner may remove your personal property from the lot, including your mobile home.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE TAKING ACTION?
Be prepared to present all evidence (documents, emails, reports, witnesses, etc.) that support your position during an eviction hearing.