What rights do I have as a mobile homeowner? With over 5,000 mobile home parks and manufactured housing communities, the majority of mobile homeowners live in California. Each year, the California Legislature reviews ideas to strengthen the state’s laws that are particular to living in mobile home parks.
Similar to a small subdivision, a mobile homeowner has lots along the streets that are segregated from one another and marked with markers. The spaces include a utility pedestal for hooking up to electricity, gas, and water; a driveway; and a place or pad where the manufactured or mobile house will be installed. Clubhouses and other recreational amenities can be found in several parks. To run and maintain the garden, the park owner typically engages a manager or management firm. The lifestyle of a mobile home park is distinct from other types of tenancies. Owners of homes might be both renters and owners. Although they have their own dwellings, they are bound by the lease or leasing arrangement with the park where they live.
What is the definition of a mobile home?
A mobile home is a moveable residence or dwelling that lacks a duplex. This style of house can be wired for utilities. It is appropriate for year-round living.
Travel trailers are not considered mobile homes because they are not designed to be lived in all year. Mobile homes are often clustered together in defined regions, neighborhoods, or portions of a city.
Mobile homes can be found virtually anywhere. If a person so desires, they can buy a mobile home and place it on their property. Mobile homes are widespread in some states but are uncommon in others.
It’s vital to realize that a mobile home isn’t always safe in bad weather. It lacks the sturdy foundation and reinforced walls of a typical house. In the event of severe weather, such as tornadoes or high winds, an individual may choose to seek shelter elsewhere.
What rights do I have as a mobile homeowner: What Exactly Is a Mobile Home Park?
Mobile homeowners frequently live in places that have been set aside for them, commonly referred to as “mobile home parks.” These parks enable owners to build a home on a plot of land and connect to amenities like power and water.
With a lease arrangement, the mobile home park and the owner of the mobile home will form a landlord-tenant relationship. A lease for the property on which the mobile home is built is signed by the owner. The lease can have monthly terms or be for a predetermined length of time, like a year. Monthly “lot rent” is a cost that the owner of the mobile home must pay.
A lease agreement for a mobile home park could include the following details or clauses:
- who is allowed to live in a mobile home park;
- how many people the mobile house can accommodate;
- which behaviors are permitted or not permitted in the mobile home park;
- how to get in touch with the landlord in the event of a problem or disagreement;
- whether it is possible to sublease the land but not the mobile home to another tenant;
- the lease’s duration;
- conditions for the mandatory payment amount and frequency;
- restrictions on visitors to the mobile home or park;
- rules for dwelling in the mobile home park; or any other relevant conditions.
It’s critical to keep in mind that the mobile homeowner owns the actual structure. So, despite the fact that a mobile home owner’s rights may include the ability to control what happens in their own home and the right to privacy, the owner is still required to adhere to any guidelines established by the owner of the mobile home park. Rules that forbid criminal activities in the park could be one of them.
What rights do I have as a mobile homeowner: Not having other renters’ protection?
It is a significant issue for them in many places, as manufactured homeowners are excluded from the basic legal safeguards that apply to tenants in rented houses or apartments, such as right to be issued statutory notice periods for rent hikes and evictions.
In any case, reports of unfair rent increases and hasty evictions are widespread in manufactured home parks around the country.
For example, in Fresno County, California, the attorney for a group representing residents of mobile homes in a lawsuit against a new owner claimed that a rent increase forced on them amounted to an 80% rise in their cost of living over a two-year period.
Days after the park was bought by builders looking to renovate it, possibly as condos, residents of Miami’s Paradise Park Mobile Home Park received a six-month eviction order during the height of the pandemic last November. The homeowners’ organization for the park has launched a lawsuit, asserting that the new owners must offer a suitable compensation package.
Residents of 65 homes in the North Fork Mobile Home Park in Morehead, Kentucky, were informed in March that they had one and a half months to leave and take their residences with them because a city-sponsored development was coming and the trailer park had to be torn down.
What rights do I have as a mobile homeowner: The Effects of the Pandemic
The fact that many mobile-home residents have been hit hard by pandemic-related job losses exacerbates the problem. More than any other housing category, mobile homeowners—40% of them—worked in the industries that experienced the greatest job losses during the epidemic, which for many of them meant failing to make their mortgage and rent payments. As a result, in addition to eviction, many mobile-home owners may face repossession.
The $1.8 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed into law in March, featured a Homeowners Help Fund of $11 billion for the most vulnerable homes facing foreclosure. Part of that money is meant to go to mobile-home dwellers, but no specifics have been released.
Through June 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States have put a moratorium on evictions, including those involving mobile-home renters of property in mobile-home parks. This order has been extended until July 31st.
But, as the New York Times wrote on June 22, “There are already hints that evictions may increase when the moratorium and post-pandemic remedies expire.” “Five sizable mobile home park operators were among 150 corporate landlords that have filed the most eviction actions since the federal moratorium went into effect in September, according to an analysis of eviction files in six states by the nonprofit advocacy group Private Equity Stakeholder Project.”
The laws that govern mobile homes differ from one state to the next. Yet if an owner rents land in a park, the landlord-tenant laws of that state do not apply. Anti-discrimination regulations under the Federal Fair Housing Act, on the other hand, apply.
Some Relief Measures
The issues that tenants of manufactured-home parks confront in many parts of the country underscore the fact that these people do not have the same rights as home and apartment renters.
Realizing this, some legislatures have taken initiatives to assist people living in mobile home parks. Colorado, for example, passed laws specifically to that effect in early June.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) has led national efforts to strengthen protections. She introduced two proposals in June to safeguard residents of manufactured-housing developments. The proposals would, among other things, make it more difficult for park owners to prove good cause for evictions, mandate grace periods for late payments, and require more notice for rent hikes.
It would also provide grants to resident cooperatives for the purchase and preservation of local manufactured-home parks. They are increasing in number; according to one estimate, there are at least 2,000 of them presently, accounting for around 3% of the total.
The difficulty of avoiding eviction is likely to be more pressing for the majority of inhabitants. The first step for people in this position may be to learn about the regulations that regulate manufactured-housing occupants and park owners in their respective states. Many attorneys generally offer advice in this area. Massachusetts and Minnesota are two examples.
It is also critical for manufactured-home owners to remember that they have constitutional rights. They include the rights to free expression, assembly, freedom from reprisal, and equal treatment under the law.
Some FAQs about what rights I have as a mobile home owner
The following are some FAQs concerning what rights I have as a mobile homeowner: –
What Legal Rights Does the Landlord of a Mobile Homeowner Have?
The rights of a landlord in a mobile home park are generally the same as those of a landlord in any other kind of real estate. These rights could consist of:-
- collecting rent and raising it at the legal rate and in compliance with any lease agreements established with tenants;
- evicting a renter for a legitimate reason, provided they give the tenant the legally required amount of notice. It’s critical for the landlord to be aware of how much notice they must give a tenant to vacate, as state laws differ.
- modifying a lease or rent agreement provided it is legal and does not conflict with existing contracts or agreements.
What Happens If a Landlord Breaks the Law in Connection with a Tenant?
If a landlord violates the law in relation to a tenant or renters, there may be a variety of repercussions. The renter might be able to sue the landlord for damages, for instance, if the landlord illegally raises rent prices and thereby violates the terms of the rental agreement with the tenant. The tenant might be able to receive reimbursement for lost profits.
Landlords may experience criminal repercussions if they violate any criminal laws. For instance, a landlord could face charges for knowingly permitting illicit activity, like drug sales or production, on the grounds of a mobile home park.
Of course, the type of crime committed will determine the charges and penalties. If found guilty, penalties may include jail time, hefty fines, or other sanctions that the court may impose.
Is mobile homeowner subject to regulation?
Mobile homes are typically subject to legislative limits or laws. State and even city regulations on mobile homes can differ. Even one city may have different rules.
For instance, a city may have zoning laws that only allow mobile homes to be put up in certain places, such as mobile home parks. There may be limits on how many mobile homes are permitted in a specific region. There can be unique requirements for mobile homes in some locations. These rules are in place for purposes including sanitation and fire prevention.