Florida is behind only Texas in having the highest number of mobile home parks in the nation. Given the high number of mobile homes being used as primary residences in Florida, it is not surprising that the state has a robust eviction process relating to mobile homes. As a landlord, it is imperative to understand the process of Florida mobile home eviction. Here are the steps which are applicable to individual tenants, occupants, and owners of mobile homes as well as the homes themselves from lots in a mobile home park (MHP) of ten lots or more:
1) Determine whether the grounds you are seeking to evict on are legal. Legal grounds to evict a tenant from a MHP include:
- Non-payment of rent (including for the lot)
- Violation of the rental agreement or the regulations and rules of the MHP
- If the individual occupant, tenant, or owner is convicted of a crime and that crime’s nature is hazardous or detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of other MHP residents
- If the MHP elects to use the land for different purposes. Any other grounds should be vetted first with an attorney who is familiar with Florida mobile home evictions
2) Give notice. Once you have determined that you have legal grounds to evict, you must give written notice to the individual or owner of the mobile home, both by hand and by mail. Notice periods differ depending upon the reason for eviction. For non-payment of rent, you must give five days’ notice. You must give an additional five days’ response time for mailed notices. If the tenant pays even a partial amount towards the rent, you cannot proceed with the eviction.
For tenant criminal convictions, you must give the person you are seeking to evict seven days to leave. Similarly, for those who violate the MHP’s rules and regulations in such a way that endangers the safety, health, and property of other MHP owners or their enjoyment of their lot, again, you must give the individual seven days to leave. When the landowner is seeking to change the use of the land which would result in evictions, they must give six months’ notice.
3) File for eviction and get service. Once you have given notice, you may file for eviction with the clerk of court for the county in which the property is located. The tenant must be served with the notice of the eviction, which is usually done by the sheriff’s office or a private process server. If the server cannot make service after two attempts, they are allowed to serve notice by posting it to the door of the mobile home. In this situation, the clerk must also send the papers in the mail.
4) Wait for a response. The tenant is allowed five business days from the date they are served or the date the notice is posted, whichever is earlier, to respond to the eviction complaint with their defenses. The tenant must file their response with the court and send it to the MHP owner. If the tenant does not file a response, the court may grant the eviction without a hearing. Similarly, if the eviction is for non-payment of rent and the tenant does not pay in that time period, the court can grant the eviction without a hearing.
Given the heavy emphasis Florida law places on due process of mobile home tenants, landlords need qualified and skilled counsel who understands these eviction procedures and who is able to serve clients throughout Florida—not just in a single jurisdiction or county. Here at Atlas Law, that’s exactly what makes us different and makes us stand out from other real estate and eviction lawyers. We serve ALL Florida jurisdictions, whereas other firms and lawyers only serve the jurisdiction they are in. If you are a landlord looking to evict a mobile home tenant, your first and only call should be to Atlas Law today.