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What are my rights as a mobile home owner?

What are my rights as a mobile home owner?

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. 

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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. 

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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 may 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.

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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. 

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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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Catherine Hall, LMSW is a therapist at a small group practice in New York City. She earned her master of social work degree at New York University.

Michelle

Tuesday 10th of May 2022

I just purchased a mobile home in a park in rock branch West Virginia I paid the $45 fee for the application and was approved but was told I would not be receiving a lease agreement until the past due was paid from the previous owner which is in our contract that he was to pay all previous balance is only from a home Dated before May, The new owner has hike the price up to 425 for a lot not 225, and still refusing to give me a lease I am not allowed to live in a home that I own

Isaac

Saturday 21st of May 2022

Low Income Relief is an information service and does not provide cash or items directly. You will need to search our website for information about organizations that can help you meet those needs. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! https://lowincomerelief.com/chat/

Dennis Miller

Monday 25th of April 2022

i live in oregon i have lived in a mobilehome i bought from the former park owner working cost of doing maintinence in the park..a new owner took overfired me from work and refused my rent and icaught them twice in my space without notice and they also were caught trying to illegally obtain title to my mobile by forgery. i got a notice to move ..no cause listed. this was retaliation for not steeling my mobile by fraud...now they want me out before i file charges i bet. any advice would be appreciated. thanks dp miller

Isaac

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

Information on this should be in the article above. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! https://lowincomerelief.com/chat/

Pat Whitlock

Sunday 27th of March 2022

Can a mobile home park manager peer into the windows of the home I own? Can they impose specific rules about dog tie outs to only the service animals in the park?

Isaac

Thursday 31st of March 2022

Information on this should be in the article above. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! https://lowincomerelief.com/chat/

G1rlegrl

Thursday 16th of December 2021

We rent a room from a mobile home owner who lives in it as well. The community who he rents the lot from requested us to fill out an application. It is the same app given to prospective tenants who will outright buy or rent a mobile home and the lot FROM the Community (mobile home management) Do we have to fill out the application to the community to continue to live and rent from our landlord, the owner of the home? What rights does he have to refuse having us fill it out? Can they evict him or us or have us removed? Thanks

Karen Osterblom

Friday 1st of April 2022

@G1rlegrl, - Prior to purchasing a manufactured home in a lot rent, guarded community, an application and a $50 application fee (for background check) was required from every person who will live in the home including room renters and/or short term renters (30 day stays). Failure to do so would be a violation, and a reason for management to issue a warning, fine, and/or eviction for failure to comply. It's primarily for the safety of the people who live in the community. Most apartment complexes that utilize management companies also require applications and fees prior to approval. Failure to comply can be grounds for eviction for the owner too if they violate the park owners rules/laws. I suggest speaking to an attorney since the consequences to the owner can be financially devastating if eviction is in the agreement he/she signed. Moving a manufactured or mobile home is costly as well as attorney fees, court costs, etc. According to the articles I've read, it appears the laws in FL favor the property owners NOT the lot renters.

Isaac

Monday 17th of January 2022

Unfortunately, we cannot give specific legal advice. You can get low-cost legal advice online from our friends at JustAnswer, or you can look for free legal assistance in your area here.

Patricia Tschida

Saturday 20th of November 2021

I had a large branch come off a BIG tree next to my house ( no wind or storm/. Nice day) Park manager came to look and I was told tree was dead and needed to come down. I told him I would like it done before snow flies/ to avoid weight of snow. Hasn't been done yet Who's responsibly is it, and ia the Park responsible if my house gets damaged?

Isaac

Monday 13th of December 2021

Information on this should be in the article above. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! https://lowincomerelief.com/chat/