Affordable housing is one of the most pressing issues American society is facing today. Prices of traditional housing units have been rising steadily over the last few years, making many American families pursue less expensive accommodation options. With a price of $90,000 for a unit, there is little wonder why mobile homes are one of the fastest-growing housing options in the U.S. It is estimated that about 18 million Americans currently live in some form of manufactured housing.
If you are an owner of the residential property and manage a home for rent, you may be interested in expanding your portfolio to add mobile homes. As a mobile home manager and landlord, you need to know that there are specific statutes in Florida housing law that regulate the relationship between a landlord and a tenant renting a lot in a mobile home community. In this article, we will provide an overview of the laws and regulations that a landlord must adhere to in handling an eviction situation.
Only Evict for Lawful Reasons
A landlord must only initiate eviction proceedings if a legally valid reason for it exists. Among the reasons mentioned by Florida laws are:
- Non-payment of lot rent and utilities
- Change in the land use
- Violation of the property rules
- Violation of the lease agreement
Trying to evict a tenant for other reasons may be illegal and make a landlord liable for breaking the law. In order to protect themselves, a tenant may sue the landlord for trespassing, unlawful eviction, or intentional infliction of emotional distress and claim financial compensation.
Follow the Proper Eviction Procedure
Before taking any action, a landlord must notify a tenant about the termination of the lease and provide a reason for it.
- If the reason is a non-payment of rent, the landlord must provide the tenant with a 5-day notice.
- For violations of federal, state, or local laws related to health, safety, and welfare of other residents, a tenant must be given 7 days to move.
- In the case of a change in the land use, mobile home owners must be notified 6 months in advance.
- For a severe violation of property laws, a landlord must serve a tenant with a 7-day notice.
- In the case of minor violations, a tenant will be given 7 days to correct the issue. If a tenant then repeats the same violation within the next 12 months, he or she will be given 30 days to move.
If a tenant doesn’t vacate the property within the period mentioned in the written notice, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit. If the tenant loses the lawsuit, a judge will authorize the clerk of court to issue a writ of possession that is served to the tenant by the sheriff. The writ of possession cannot issue until 10 days have passed after the court’s final judgment. Service of the writ by the sheriff will occur by the sheriff taping the writ to the door of the mobile home in question. Importantly, it is then the sheriff and not the landlord who can forcibly move tenant from the property.
Avoid Self-Help Eviction
Self-help eviction is a term describing practices a landlord may try to take to intimidate or threaten a tenant into leaving the property. Self-help eviction is unlawful and may put a landlord in the position of legal liability. Some of the illegal self-help eviction actions are:
- turning off utilities to the lot
- threatening or intimidating a tenant
- forcibly entering a tenant’s property
- forcibly moving a tenant’s mobile home
Dealing with a Troublesome Mobile Home Owner? Contact Atlas Law
We are attorneys at law practicing Tampa, Florida, and we have an ample experience in advising and representing our clients in eviction cases in Florida. If you are dealing with issues such as a non-payment of rent, extremely late payments, lease agreement violations, and more – do not hesitate to contact us. We will help you make sure your rights and interest are protected and that you stay free of liability when you initiate eviction proceedings.