Mobile home owner

Mobile home owner DEFAULT

Pennsylvania has enacted the Mobile Home Park Rights Act (MHPRA) to protect individuals and families who both 1) own their mobile home and 2) rent space for that mobile home in a mobile home park. A mobile home park is any site on which three or more mobile homes used for residences are located. The owner of the mobile home park is required to post a copy of the MHPRA in the park.
 

EVICTION PROCEDURES

According to the MHPRA a mobile home resident may only be evicted for the following reasons:

1. Nonpayment of rent.

2. A second or additional violation of the rules of the mobile home park occurring within a six-month period.

3. A change in the use of the park or termination of the park.

There are special rules in the MHPRA that mobile home park owners must follow to lawfully evict a park resident. All notices required to be sent by the MHPRA must be in writing and mailed to the resident by certified mail.

If the reason for the eviction is nonpayment of rent, the certified mail notice must say that you will be evicted if you do not pay the overdue rent within 20 days from the date you get the certified letter if the notice is given on or after April 1 and before September 1; and, 30 days if it is given on or after September 1 and before April 1. It is important to note that if you don't pay the overdue rent within 20 or 30 days or you fall behind in your rent again within six (6) months the landlord may immediately start the process to evict you. This process is started by sending you an eviction notice, by personal service or posting on your door, of 15 days on or after April 1 and before September 1, or 30 days on or after September 1 and before April 1. If you do not move, the landlord may go to the Magisterial District Judge and file a legal action to have you evicted.

For other lease or park rules violations you must first receive a warning notice by certified mail describing the violation. If you then violate a park rule or lease provision within six (6) months of this warning notice, the park owner must send you an eviction notice by personal service or posting on your door giving you thirty (30) days to move. (The notice must be three months if you have a lease for a term of one year or more.) In addition, the eviction notice must be sent within sixty (60) days from the date of the second violation. If you do not move within the specified time, the park owner may go to theMagisterial District Judge and file a legal action to have you evicted.

If the park owner does not comply in every respect with the notice procedure set forth in the previous paragraphs before taking legal action to evict you, you can ask the Magisterial District Judge to dismiss the eviction case when you go to the hearing. However, you will have to make sure the Magisterial District Judge has enough evidence to conclude the park owner did not give you proper notice. Therefore, it is important that you keep all notices the park owner gives you in a safe place so you can bring them to the eviction hearing if necessary.
 

PARK RULES AND REGULATIONS

The owner of the park may make fair and reasonable rules and regulations which you must follow.

While the MHPRA does not require the park owner to have any park rules, if he or she does have park rules you must get notice of them. If you have a written lease, any park rules or regulations must be included in the lease. If you don't have a written lease the park owner has to give you a copy of the rules before he or she takes any money for a deposit, rent, or any other fee from you. In addition, the park owner must post a copy of the rules in a noticeable place within the park.

Even if there are no written rules, the park owner must give you a copy of the Important Notice (found below in this packet of information) at the time you move into the park.

The MHPRA says that if the owner of the park tries to evict you for breaking a rule that he or she does not enforce against other residents, you can use this fact as a defense to being evicted. This is an important protection. Of course, you will have to present evidence at your eviction hearing to prove the park rules are not being enforced equally for every resident.
 

WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY FOR SERVICES PROVIDED BY MOBILE HOME PARK OWNERS

According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, if the mobile home park supplies park residents with water/sewer or other utilities, or services such as access roads, it is responsible for maintaining them according to state and local regulations. Failure of the park owner to do so gives park residents the right to withhold lot rent until the problem is fixed, or make the repairs and deduct their cost from future lot rent or move from the park with no further obligation to pay lot rent to the park owner.

MOBILE HOME EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES

The MHPRA gives the owner of the park the right to require that residents use a certain type of material or manner of installation for things such as under skirting, awnings, porches, fences and other additions to the outside of the mobile home and also any tie-down equipment. However, the owner may not require you to buy such items from any particular supplier.
 

RENT/FEES

The park owner must tell you, in writing, the amount of your rent and all service charges, fees or assessments that you will be responsible for at the time you move into the park. If you are sued for rent, fees or other charges that were not disclosed to you, in writing, when you moved into the park you can raise that fact as a defense to paying the rent when you go to the District Justice hearing.

Please note that the park owner can increase rent, service charges or other fees. However, the increase cannot be enforced in court by the owner until thirty (30) days after the notice of the increase is posted in the park and mailed to you. RENT CANNOT BE INCREASED DURING THE TERM OF A LEASE.

Entrance or exit fees--When the park owner is not doing the actual moving of the mobile home, he or she cannot charge you a fee for moving the mobile home. If the owner is doing the actual moving, the fee charged cannot be any higher than the amount it costs him or her to do the moving. In other words, the owner/operator cannot make a profit from helping you move.

In addition, the owner must refund the fee paid to install the home in the mobile home park if he or she tries to evict you within a year from the time the mobile home space was rented unless the eviction is for nonpayment of rent or violation of a park rule. If the fee is not refunded when you remove the mobile home, the owner must pay you three times the amount of the fee and any court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees required to obtain a legal judgment to get the fee reimbursed.

When you are moving your mobile home, it is a good idea to send a letter to the park owner informing him of the date you are moving, and your new address. Send this letter certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep a copy for yourself. That way, if you have to bring a lawsuit to get your security deposit back, you will have the evidence to present to the court.

If you want to install an electric or gas appliance in your mobile home, the park owner may not prevent it or prevent you from having the appliance serviced. The owner cannot charge a fee for the installation unless the owner is actually doing the work. If the owner installs the appliance, he or she can only charge the cost of installing the appliance or the actual cost for the use of the appliance. For example, if the fuel or electricity used by the appliance was being paid for by the owner, the owner can charge that amount to you.
 

IMPROVEMENTS TO THE INTERIOR OF YOUR MOBILE HOME

You have the right to make improvements to the inside of your mobile home without interference from the owner of the park. Of course, improvements must be made according to the building codes and laws that apply to the area in which the park is located. You should contact the local government body in charge of these codes and laws before beginning any improvements.
 

VISITORS

You have the right to invite any social or business visitors to your mobile home without paying a fee, even if the guest stays overnight or for a longer period. However, if the visitor or guest stays for such a long time or so frequently as to be practically an additional resident, the owner may increase the rent charged to an amount usually charged to other units having the same number of residents.
 

SALE OF THE MOBILE HOME BY THE RESIDENT

The owner of the park cannot prevent you from selling your mobile home. Any park rule or provision of a lease that attempts to restrict your right to sell cannot be enforced by the owner in court. If the owner acts as a licensed mobile home agent, under a written agreement with you to help sell your home, he or she cannot charge any fee when it is sold. However, the owner does have the right to disapprove the purchaser as a resident of that park if there is a good reason to do so. The Act does not say exactly what can be considered a good reason. That question would be for a court to decide in the case of a disagreement.
 

ENFORCEMENT OF THE RIGHTS GIVEN BY THE MOBILE HOME PARK RIGHTS ACT

The MHPRA gives you the right to take legal action in court when the owner violates the Act. The MHPRA also gives the Attorney General of Pennsylvania or the District Attorney of the county in which you live, the right to go to court on your behalf if the Act is violated and they feel going to court would be in the public's interest. Any suspected violation of the MHPRA can be reported to Consumer Protection at 871-4371 if you live in Erie County, Pennsylvania, or 1-800-441-2555 outside Erie County or to the District Attorney of the county where you live.
 

NO WAIVER

Lastly, all rights and responsibilities given to you as a resident, as well as those given to the park owner, by the MHPRA are binding and cannot be changed by any park rule or lease.

The Mobile Home Park Rights Act requires that the following information be posted in the park and be given to you upon moving into the park. (A mobile home park owner may make other reasonable rules and regulations, and these may be included with this required notice.) The following is the minimum notice you must be given:
 

IMPORTANT NOTICE REQUIRED BY LAW

The Rules stated below govern the terms of your lease or occupancy agreement with this mobile home park. The law requires these rules to be fair and reasonable.

You may continue to stay in this park as long as you pay your rent and other reasonable fees, service charges and assessments. You may continue to stay in this park if you abide by its rules. Entrance and exit fees may not be charged. Installation and removal fees may not be more than the actual cost of the mobile home park owner/operator for providing such services for the installation or removal of a mobile home in a mobile home space.

You may be evicted for any of the following reasons:

(1) Nonpayment of rent,

(2) A second or additional violation of the rules of the mobile home park occurring within a six-month period,

(3) If there is a change in use of the park land or parts of the park land, or parts of the park land,

(4) Termination of the mobile home park.

You have the right to purchase goods or services from a seller of your choice. The park owner shall not restrict this right.

If you want to sell your mobile home, the mobile home park owner cannot prevent the sale. The owner cannot claim any fee in connection with the sale, unless there is a separate written agreement. However, the mobile home park owner may reserve the right to approve the purchaser as a resident in the mobile home park.
 

EVICTION PROCEEING

You shall only be evicted according to the following procedure:

(1) A resident shall not be evicted by any self-help easures. (Footnote: Definition- Self-help is when an owner does things to make you leave the residence without first going to court. For example, locking a person out of their home; removing the windows; or turning off the utilities. If the owner tries to use self-help measures the resident should call the Attorney General at the phone number listed above. (This footnote is not part of the actual Notice.))

(2) Prior to the commencement of any eviction proceeding, the mobile home park owner shall notify you in writing of the particular breach or violation of the lease or park rules by certified or registered mail.

(i) In the case of nonpayment of rent, the notice shall state that an eviction proceeding may be commenced if the mobile home resident does not pay the overdue rent within 20 days from the date of service if the notice is given on or after April 1 and before September 1, and 30 days if it is given on or after September 1 and before April 1, or an additional nonpayment of rent occurring within 6 months of the giving of the notice may result in immediate eviction proceedings.

(ii). In the case of a breach of the lease or violation of the park rules, other than nonpayment of rent, the notice shall describe the particular breach or violation. No eviction action shall be started unless you have been notified as required by this section and upon a second or additional violation or breach occurring within six months, the mobile home park owner may commence eviction proceedings at any time within 60 days of the last violation or breach.

In addition, no eviction proceedings for nonpayment of rent may be started against you until you have received notice by certified or registered mail. You have 15 days from the date of service to pay the overdue rent if the notice is given on or after April 1 and before September 1. You have 30 days from the date of service to pay the overdue rent if the notice is given on or after September 1 and before April 1. You are only required to receive one notice of overdue rent during any six-month period. If a second or additional violation occurs within 6 months from the date of the first notice, then eviction proceedings may be immediately started against you.

Signed By
The Owner/Operator
 

How To Enforcement Your Rights Under The Mobile Home Park Rights Act

The Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the District Attorney of the county in which the mobile home park is located enforces the Mobile Home Park Rights Act. You also may bring a private cause of action. If your rights are violated, contact the State Bureau of Consumer Protection or your local District Attorney.
 

We have attempted to insure the accuracy of the information in this pamphlet at the time it was created or revised. However, the law does change, sometimes quickly and unexpectedly. Therefore, you should consult an attorney before taking or refraining from any action based on the information in this pamphlet.
 

 

Sours: https://www.palawhelp.org/resource/mobile-home-park-tenant-rights

What do I need to know when buying a mobile home?

  • You need to know the condition of the mobile home. 

You can hire a professional property inspector to look at the mobile home for you.  If you cannot afford to hire a property inspector, you should carefully examine the mobile home yourself.  Most mobile homes are sold “as is.”  You will likely not have any warranties or other protections if there are problems with the mobile home.

  • You need to make sure that you get proof of your purchase. 

You should get receipts or a Bill of Sale to show that you paid money to the seller.  The seller should give you the title to the mobile home.  The mobile home will have a title, just like a car.  You cannot show you own the mobile home without having the title.  You must record your mobile home title with your county’s treasurer’s office.  If you have not recorded the title to your new mobile home, you will not be treated as the owner of the mobile home.

  • You need to make sure that the taxes are paid.

You will be responsible for any unpaid taxes on the mobile home.  If the seller is past due on the taxes, you will be forced to pay the past due amount.  You must make sure that the tax payments are current when buying a mobile home. Taxes on a mobile home are due each September and March.  You will need to pay the taxes at those times.  You can contact your local county treasurer’s office with questions about the status of the mobile home’s tax payments.

I will be renting a lot in a mobile home park.  What do I need to know?

  • Costs to move into the mobile home park

You will likely have to pay your first month’s rent when you move into the mobile home park.  You may also be asked to pay a deposit.  The landlord cannot make you pay a security deposit that is more than two months rent.  The new landlord cannot charge you an entrance fee to move into the mobile home park. 

  • Laws, rules, and regulations

If the mobile home park has its own rules, you are to be given a copy of the rules before you sign your lease.  The rules are to be applied the same to all tenants.  The rules cannot be used by the landlord to avoid the landlord’s duties.  The rules cannot violate the law.  Iowa’s mobile home lot rental law is found in Iowa Code Chapter 562B.  Iowa Legal Aid has a booklet called “A Guide to Mobile Home Park Law in Iowa.”  That booklet contains many more answers to common questions about mobile home park law.  Low-income Iowans can get a copy of that booklet in their local Iowa Legal Aid office or by mail.  A copy is also available online at iowalegalaid.org/resource/a-guide-to-mobile-home-park-law-in-iowa-sept?ref=miYYz.

Most mobile home parks in Iowa charge monthly rent.  If your rent is not paid, the landlord must give you a written notice.  The notice must give you three days to pay the rent.   If you do not pay the rent within three days, the landlord can end the lease.  The landlord can file an eviction action against you after those three days.  The eviction process is explained further below.

For most lease violations other than unpaid rent, you should be given a 14/30 notice.  A 14/30 notice should tell you what lease provision or mobile home park rule the landlord claims you are violating.  The notice should give you 14 days to take care of the problem.  The notice should tell you that your lease will end in 30 days if you do not fix the problems within those first 14 days.  The landlord would need to give you another notice after the 30 days have passed.  The landlord must give you a three day notice telling you that the lease has been terminated.  The landlord can file an eviction action against you after those three days.  The eviction process is explained further below.  These notice rules do not apply to behavior that creates a “clear and present danger” to others. 

The landlord must file an eviction action before you can be legally evicted.  An eviction action is also called a forcible entry and detainer action.  You must be given notice of the eviction action.  A hearing must also be held.  You would be evicted if the judge at the eviction hearing finds that the landlord properly ended your lease.  You can no longer live in the mobile home after you have been evicted.  You would need to remove your personal possessions from the mobile home after the eviction, because you may no longer have access to the mobile home after the eviction. 

You will have the right to move your mobile home if you are evicted from the mobile home park.  You will likely need to pay any money that you owe before you can move your mobile home.  How long you have to move your mobile home depends on what option your landlord chooses.  If you give written notice within 3 days of the eviction order and your landlord agrees, you can keep your mobile home on the lot for up to 60 days. During this time you can try to sell it or make arrangements to move it. Your access to the mobile home is very limited during this time. After the 60 days the landlord can take steps to get ownership of the mobile home. 

Iowa Legal Aid’s “A Guide to Mobile Home Park Law in Iowa” contains more information about your right to move your mobile home after an eviction.  A link to that booklet may be found above.

  • Can I move my mobile home?

Before you move your mobile home, it is important to make sure that your current lease has been properly ended.  You must tell the landlord in writing that you will be ending the lease.  You must tell the landlord at least sixty days in advance if you are ending the lease.

Before you move a mobile home, you must have a Tax Clearance Form.  You obtain a tax clearance form from your local county treasurer’s office.  The tax clearance form shows that you have paid all of the mobile home taxes.  The mover must have the completed Tax Clearance Form when the mobile home is moved.

Iowa Legal Aid provides assistance with mobile home and other housing problems.  

Iowa Legal Aid provides help to low-income Iowans. 

To apply for help from Iowa Legal Aid:call 800-532-1275. 

Iowans age 60 and over, call 800-992-8161 or 

apply online at iowalegalaid.org

 

 

If Iowa Legal Aid cannot help, look for an attorney on “Find A Lawyer” on the Iowa State Bar Association website iowabar.org.   A private attorney there can talk with you for a fee of $25 for 30 minutes of legal advice.

 

*As you read this information, remember this article is not a substitute for legal advice. 

Sours: https://www.iowalegalaid.org/resource/common-questions-about-mobile-home-law?ref=OyOCc
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Losing It All: Mobile Home Owners Evicted Over Small Debts During Pandemic

Barbara Gaught stands outside the home she's now renting in Billings, Mont., with her 5-year-old son, Blazen, and their dog, Arie. Gaught and her family were evicted from the mobile home they had owned outright and lived in for 16 years because they fell behind on 'lot rent' for the little plot of land under the mobile home. Louise Johns for NPR hide caption

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Louise Johns for NPR

Barbara Gaught stands outside the home she's now renting in Billings, Mont., with her 5-year-old son, Blazen, and their dog, Arie. Gaught and her family were evicted from the mobile home they had owned outright and lived in for 16 years because they fell behind on 'lot rent' for the little plot of land under the mobile home.

Louise Johns for NPR

It was a pretty brutal holiday season for Barbara Gaught in Billings, Montana. Back in December, just a week before Christmas, she got an eviction notice.

"It was at like six thirty at night that a sheriff came and taped a notice on the door," she says. "On a Friday night."

Gaught hadn't responded to a court summons the month before. She didn't think she could be evicted so soon. After all, she owned her home outright. But she'd fallen behind on the relatively small amount of money she pays in rent for the patch of grass and driveway her home sat on. And because of that, she now had just a couple of days, till Monday, to be out of her home.

Gaught didn't realize she could lose her mobile home so quickly. Legal aid attorneys in the state say it can take a year to foreclose on a regular homeowner who falls behind on their mortgage. But if you fall behind on "lot rent" for the land under your home in a mobile home park, they say you can be evicted and lose your home in just a couple of months. Louise Johns for NPR hide caption

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Louise Johns for NPR

Gaught didn't realize she could lose her mobile home so quickly. Legal aid attorneys in the state say it can take a year to foreclose on a regular homeowner who falls behind on their mortgage. But if you fall behind on "lot rent" for the land under your home in a mobile home park, they say you can be evicted and lose your home in just a couple of months.

Louise Johns for NPR

So she brought her 5-year-old son to a relative's house. And she and her older children started throwing things into bags.

"We packed our stuff," she says. "It was horrible. There was a lot of tears involved."

Like about 20 million Americans, Gaught lived in what's called a manufactured home. In other words a mobile home that gets brought in by a truck but then sits on a patch of land — often in a mobile home park.

For a lot of people, this makes homeownership affordable. Even brand new mobile homes on average cost less than half of a single family house or a condo. And 80% of manufactured housing residents own their homes. Gaught had owned hers for 16 years.

"I was a really young mom," she says. "One thing I was so proud of was the fact that my kids weren't moving from place to place to place."

Gaught and her son, Izaah, check on their old home for notices left on the door. Gaught and her family were evicted from the home in a mobile home park in Billings, Mont., owned by Havenpark Communities. The company filed an eviction case against her in November after she fell one month behind on the rent and owed just $621. Louise Johns for NPR hide caption

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Louise Johns for NPR

Gaught and her son, Izaah, check on their old home for notices left on the door. Gaught and her family were evicted from the home in a mobile home park in Billings, Mont., owned by Havenpark Communities. The company filed an eviction case against her in November after she fell one month behind on the rent and owed just $621.

Louise Johns for NPR

Gaught says for a time she was getting out of a bad marriage, and even when other things in her kids lives weren't going well, they had the house. "There was always that place for them to come home to. It was the safe place."

But the pandemic is laying bare that mobile home owners are often very vulnerable. On average they make half as much income as regular single-family homeowners, and during the pandemic have been twice as likely to be behind on their housing payments.

The loans they get often don't have the same protections as regular mortgages. Then there's the biggest vulnerability for those that live in mobile home parks.

"They don't own the land under their home," says Elisabeth Voigt. She's a director at Manufactured Housing Action, a nonprofit that advocates for better legal protections for mobile home owners.

While manufactured homes are often called mobile homes or trailer homes, most are not very mobile. Moving them is a major undertaking. It often means installing wheels and welding on tow hitches.

Gaught (right) holds her 9-month-old grandson, Adonis, while her daughter Trinity, 16, holds her newborn baby at the home they now rent in Billings, Mont. Gaught's 5-year-old son, Blazen, plays in the background. She says out of all of them, Blazen has been most upset about losing the house. "It's hard to explain to him why his home's not his home anymore," Gaught says. Louise Johns for NPR hide caption

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Louise Johns for NPR

Gaught (right) holds her 9-month-old grandson, Adonis, while her daughter Trinity, 16, holds her newborn baby at the home they now rent in Billings, Mont. Gaught's 5-year-old son, Blazen, plays in the background. She says out of all of them, Blazen has been most upset about losing the house. "It's hard to explain to him why his home's not his home anymore," Gaught says.

Louise Johns for NPR

"It costs five to ten thousand dollars to hire a company to move your home off the lot that you rent," Voigt says. "Older homes structurally can't handle a move, and it's very difficult to find a new lot."

So she says families can end up being prisoners to the mobile home park. And if people fall behind on that 'lot rent' for the land under the home, she says some companies that own mobile home parks quickly move to evict them.

"The landlord turns around, rents the home or sells it again, adding to their profit margins," says Voigt. "The resident has lost not only their home but their life savings."

Often the courts allow this — since the homeowner can't move the home.

During the pandemic, many people like Barbara Gaught have been having trouble paying because they've lost work. Gaught and her fiancé both work in construction and had to stop for a time after COVID hit. That's when they fell behind on the lot rent.

Nobody's tracking this nationally. But one group, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, looking at just a handful of counties in a few states, has found upwards of 1200 eviction filings against people in mobile home parks. "That just scratches the surface," says Jim Baker the group's executive director.

Lesli Gooch is the CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute, which represents mobile home parks and the factory-built housing industry more broadly. She says many mobile home parks have been doing all they can to be flexible with struggling residents.

"They did rent payment arrangements, we just had somebody do a vaccination clinic," she says. "Across the board, the owners and operators were really trying to keep their residents safely housed."

Barbara Gaught wasn't so lucky.

The company that owns the land under her mobile home is called Havenpark. It filed an eviction case after she fell just one month behind on the lot rent and owed $621 in rent and fees. And pretty soon, she says she had a notice on her door that she had to get out in just two days.

"I believe, when they put the notice on our door, we were two-and-a-half months behind," Gaught says. "And they weren't taking any partial payments, so it was one of those things where I either had to have all of the money or none of the money. They really were, like, we're just going to screw you big time."

Havenpark says it tried to avoid evicting Barbara Gaught.

The company declined an interview with NPR but said in a statement that she received all the required notices during the eviction process. And that it tried to call her twice. If she'd responded the company says it would have worked with her and referred her to government rental assistance programs. But since she didn't respond, the company said it was left, "with no choice but to proceed with eviction."

Gaught sits outside the house she now rents in Billings with her three children. The family had to leave suddenly when they were evicted, and still haven't been able to find a cat they had at the mobile home park. "We looked and called around forever and we just could never find her," Gaught says. It was her 5-year-old son Blazen's (left) cat. "And that was slightly devastating to him." Louise Johns for NPR hide caption

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Louise Johns for NPR

Gaught sits outside the house she now rents in Billings with her three children. The family had to leave suddenly when they were evicted, and still haven't been able to find a cat they had at the mobile home park. "We looked and called around forever and we just could never find her," Gaught says. It was her 5-year-old son Blazen's (left) cat. "And that was slightly devastating to him."

Louise Johns for NPR

"No, that's not true they had a choice," says Amy Hall, an attorney with Montana Legal Services Association who helps families try to avoid eviction. "They could have worked with her longer to try to give her time to get caught up."

Havenpark points out that Gaught failed to respond to a court summons. And says that if she had, she likely could have gotten a repayment plan through the court and kept her home.

Hall says that's true, especially if she'd managed to get a lawyer. There's also an order from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that could have protected her if she knew about it.

But Hall says a lot of people don't know their rights. And the process moves very quickly.

Mike Eakin is a lawyer in Billings who does pro-bono work. He says just in his area mobile home evictions are keeping him busy.

"Quite a bit," Eakin says. "Since last fall, at least twenty to twenty five cases at mobile home lots that Haven Park has purchased here in Billings." He adds that he's got more cases involving other mobile home park companies too.

In Barbara Gaught's case, court documents show that she owed less than $1,200 when she got evicted. And so for that relatively small amount of money, she lost a home she owned outright, and lived in for 16 years.

Meanwhile, she says all this has probably been hardest on her 5-year-old son. "Out of everybody, I think he was the most upset about losing the house."

Gaught says her dad helped her work out an agreement with Havenpark where she wouldn't owe the $1,200 and the company could keep the mobile home. She, her dad, and their lawyer say the company wouldn't even let them take a storage shed off the property. They say Havenpark insisted on keeping that too.

Gaught was able to go back, so her 5-year-old could see the house one more time. She says she'll remember that forever.

Gaught's previous home in a mobile home park in Billings, Mont., owned by Havenpark Communities. It sits empty after she was evicted in December 2020 for falling behind on rent for the land under her home. Louise Johns for NPR hide caption

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Louise Johns for NPR

Gaught's previous home in a mobile home park in Billings, Mont., owned by Havenpark Communities. It sits empty after she was evicted in December 2020 for falling behind on rent for the land under her home.

Louise Johns for NPR

"Just him saying, 'goodbye house,' " she says.

"It's all he's known in his short little life, and it's, it really sucked." Gaught says it's hard not to feel like she failed her kid not being able to protect him from that. "It's hard to explain to him why his home's not his home anymore."

Gaught says after staying at motels and with friends for months, the family finally found a house to rent. It costs more than twice what she was paying to the mobile home park in lot rent and fees. But she says she can afford that now because she's working again.

So she says if she'd just had a little more time catch up, she she wouldn't have had to lose her home.

Sours: https://www.npr.org/2021/04/16/986559295/losing-it-all-mobile-home-owners-evicted-over-small-debts-during-pandemic
Our First Mobile Home Park

Rights of a Mobile Home Owner Threatened
With Eviction From a Mobile Home Park

The following information regarding manufactured and mobile home parks is general legal information. You may review the statutes involved at Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 90, especially sections 90.505 to 90.840. The primary eviction statute for park tenancies is at ORS 90.630. Note that the rules for owners of floating homes renting a moorage in a marina are very similar, except with regard to closure of the marina.

If you own a manufactured or mobile home and simply rent space in a mobile home park, you have certain rights when a landlord wants to evict you. These rights are different from those of mobile home owners who do not live in a mobile home park. They also differ from those of persons who rent both the space and the mobile home. If you rent both, you are treated as if you are an apartment tenant. The primary difference between apartment tenants and mobile home park tenants is that apartment tenants can be evicted without a good cause. (See information on Eviction NoticesEvictions and Residential Eviction Defenses.)

A mobile home park may also be called a manufactured dwelling park. A mobile home park generally contains four or more spaces reserved for renting to owners of mobile homes. (Please note that this does not apply to owners of motorized campers or recreational vehicles.) The spaces sit on a parcel of land and are typically placed within 500 feet of each other. The spaces on this parcel of land are owned by the same owner or owners, who must intend to use the land to rent the space for a fee or other compensation.

If you are a mobile home owner renting a space for your mobile home in a mobile home park, the landlord can evict you from the park only for good cause. This is true whether the rental agreement is for a month-to-month or a fixed term (commonly called a lease) tenancy. Even if your landlord has good cause, he or she may never use force to remove you or any other tenant. The landlord also may not shut off your utilities to force you to move. Only a sheriff, with a court order, can physically evict a tenant. A landlord usually gets a court order to do this by first filing a lawsuit for eviction. When the case is filed, the court clerk mails a copy of the papers to your home. A process server will also either hand them to you or attach them to your door. The papers will say when and where you must appear in court if you want to contest the eviction. If you do not appear, you will automatically lose the eviction suit and the county sheriff may force you to vacate the premise. If you do appear, you can ask for a trial and tell your side of the story. You are entitled, but not required, to retain a lawyer to represent you.

A landlord would have good cause to evict you from his or her mobile home park for the following reasons:

Legal editor: Steven M. Crawford, May 2018 

Sours: https://www.osbar.org/public/legalinfo/1249_rightsmobilehome.htm

Owner mobile home

What are my rights as a mobile home owner?

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Whether you’re a first time home owner or have lived in your mobile home for years, you may be wondering, “what are my rights as a mobile home owner?” We’ve compiled some important information about what it means to be a mobile home owner and tips on what to do when your rights as a mobile home owner are violated. 

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What are my rights as a mobile home owner?: I’m experiencing housing discrimination

If you have experienced discrimination on the basis of your sex or gender, race or ethnicity, or the composition of your family, you have the right to fight back. 

No matter where you live, or what type of home you own, you are covered by a federal (national) law called the Fair Housing Act. This law was created to be sure that no one would be subject to lesser treatment in housing because of their race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, or familial status. 

What could discrimination look like? Here are a few examples: 

  • You are asked to purchase a lot in a certain area because the other residents in that area share your race or national origin. 
  • You are a member of a minority religious group and you are told over and over again that your home is not ready to move into, when you know that it has been ready for some time. 
  • You are told that you have to leave a mobile home park because you added members to your household (i.e. a spouse or children). 
  • You are denied a loan and you believe it is an act of discrimination based on your race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, or familial status

These are just a few examples of discrimination that could take place in violation of the Fair Housing Act. In many places, there are also state and local ordinances that also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. 

It is also important to note that there is one common exception to age discrimination. There are many communities reserved for residents who are over the age of 55, and this is perfectly legal. If you or anyone in your household is under the age of 55, you would not be able to live in one of these communities. 

So, what do you do if you think you’ve experienced housing discrimination? You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Visit the HUD website for more information on what might happen after you file your complaint. 

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What are my rights as a mobile home owner?: I don’t own the lot I live on

While many people who live in mobile homes are the owners of their dwelling, it is less common that they also own the plot of land that the home sits on. It is important for you to know your rights regarding the leasing of space in a mobile home community. 

The “landlord” has a number of responsibilities when it comes to maintaining living standards in the mobile home community. While regulations will vary depending on where you live, the following standards must be met no matter where you live. 

  • Landlords must keep the community safe and clean.
  • They must keep water and other utilities in good working order.
  • They must obtain your permission before entering your home for any reason. 

If your landlord fails to meet these requirements, you likely have some recourse. The best way to address problems like the ones listed above is to contact your manufactured housing state association or regulatory agency. 

Even residents who own their mobile homes outright sometimes face eviction if they are leasing the land their home sits on. There are some legitimate reasons why a landlord would evict a mobile home owner from their lot, including non-payment of rent, deliberate damage to community property, or other violations of community rules. Even in these cases, you may be able to fight your eviction. It is recommended that you contact your manufactured housing state association or regulatory agency when you receive an eviction notice for a potentially legitimate reason. 

There are cases where a landlord’s attempt to evict you could be illegal. Any reason for eviction that violates the Fair Housing Act (discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability) is illigitimate and should be reported to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Regardless of the reason for your eviction notice, you can only be removed from your home by a sheriff with a court order.  

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What are my rights as a mobile home owner?: My home has been damaged

What to do when your mobile home is damaged depends largely on how the damage occurred. Here, we cover two types of damage that could impact your home. 

Manufacturer Defect: If you find that there is structural damage to your home that was likely caused by the manufacturer, the first step is to contact the company you purchased the home from and see if you can resolve the problem directly with them. If this doesn’t work, you can then contact HUD and file a complaint against the manufacturer. You have the right to a safe and livable manufactured home, and if your home has not been constructed in compliance with HUD’s safety standards, the company is liable. 

Weather and Natural Disaster Damage: If your mobile home suffers damage caused by natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, fires, and tornadoes, you are entitled to apply for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cover expenses not covered by insurance and other aid. However, many applications for FEMA aid are denied because residents are not able to produce the title to prove ownership of their home. Make sure you are in possession of your home’s title and all paperwork associated with the purchase of your home.

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One last thing: know what kind of mobile home you own

It may seem like a minor detail, but it’s important to be certain about what type of home you own. There are a few different names for mobile homes that are often used interchangeably. Your rights as a homeowner may be different depending on the type of home you own. 

When we’re talking about legal rights, the term “mobile home” is used to refer to a type of home that people tended to own in the 1960s and early 1970s. These homes were smaller than the type of home you might own today, and they truly were mobile. Many of them had wheels attached and could be easily moved around. The term is still used in common parlance today, but when it comes to advocating for your rights, make sure you know how your home is classified. 

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rolled out the Federal National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act in 1974. This law created stricter standards for the construction and design of mobile homes. In fact, they even decided to use a new name for homes built after 1974. Because this is a federal law, it overrides any regulations created by states and municipalities. 

Because of the set of regulations put forth by HUD in 1974, what used to be referred to as mobile homes are now called manufactured homes. Manufactured homes are completely constructed in a factory and then brought to the plot of land where you want your home to sit. 

You may have also heard of “modular homes”. These are similar to manufactured homes, but these homes are not regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Any regulations around the construction and safety standards of modular homes are regulated by the state or city where you live. The only thing that distinguishes modular homes from mobile homes is the way they are constructed. Modular homes are only partially assembled before being transported to the home site. 

The law can be complicated, and it can be difficult to know exactly what our rights are as mobile home owners. But the most powerful tool you have at your disposal is knowledge! Continue reading about your rights as a mobile home owner by Google searching “what are my rights as a mobile home owner in [insert your state here]?”

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Sours: https://lowincomerelief.com/what-are-my-rights-as-a-mobile-home-owner/
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