If you own a mobile home and rent a lot in a mobile home park, you are a mobile home park tenant. This article explains the special rules for just cause termination evictions from a mobile home park lot.
If you rent the mobile home, instead of owning it, the law is not clear about whether these special rules apply to you. If your landlord starts a regular eviction case, such as an eviction for nonpayment of rent, instead of a mobile home park eviction, you can raise the issue in court, but the judge may decide that these rules do not apply to your case.
Eviction is a serious matter. You may want to have a lawyer represent you in your eviction case. If you have low income, you may qualify for free legal services. Whether you have a low income or not, you can use the Guide to Legal Help to find lawyers in your area. If you are not able to get free legal services but can’t afford high legal fees, consider hiring a lawyer for part of your case instead of the whole thing. This is called limited scope representation. To learn more, read Limited Scope Representation (LSR): A More Affordable Way to Hire a Lawyer. To find a limited scope lawyer, follow this link to the State Bar of Michigan lawyer directory. This link lists lawyers who offer limited scope representation. You can narrow the results to lawyers in your area by typing in your county, city, or zip code at the top of the page. You can also narrow the results by topic by entering the kind of lawyer you need (divorce, estate, etc.) at the top of the page.
Just Cause to Terminate Tenancy
The owner or operator of the mobile home park (the park) must have just cause to evict you. The park can’t evict you just because your lease is ending. But, the park can increase your rent at the end of the lease as long as the rent increase is not excessive and meant to end your tenancy.
Here are some examples of actions that could give the park just cause to evict you:
You paid your lot rent late three or more times in a 12-month period — to evict you for this the park must have sent you a demand for possession each of the times that you were late paying rent;
You used the mobile home for something illegal;
You violated your lease or rental agreement;
You violated the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’s rules governing mobile homes;
You intentionally injured mobile home park personnel or other tenants;
You intentionally damaged the mobile home park or another tenant's property;
You violated local or state laws related to mobile homes;
You acted in a way that substantially annoys other tenants or the mobile home park, after you’ve been given notice about it and had a chance to fix the problem;
You violated a mobile home park rule in your lease related to any of the following:
The health, safety, or welfare of the mobile home park, its tenants, or employees
Interference with another tenant's right to enjoy their property and/or the mobile home park
Failure to maintain the mobile home or site in a reasonable way that is consistent with the rest of the park.
The Demand for Possession
Before an eviction case can start, the park must give you notice that they want to end the tenancy and want you to move. That notice is called a demand for possession.
The park must serve the demand by one of these methods:
Giving it to you personally
Delivering it to the mobile home and leaving it with a member of your family or household who understands that it must be given to you
Sending it to your last known address by first-class mail
Sending it to you electronically (by e-mail)
In order for the park to be able to serve you by e-mail all of these must happen:
You must have agreed to be served by e-mail in writing (this agreement could be in your lease)
The park must have sent you the agreement or confirmation by e-mail
You must have replied to the park’s e-mail
If you change your e-mail address, you must let the park know about your new e-mail address in writing, or go through the process listed above for your new e-mail address.
If the park leaves the demand outside your door, slips it under your door, attaches it to the property, or mails it in a way that requires you to sign for it, the notice is not properly served.
How much notice you get depends on the reason the park wants to terminate your tenancy. The park should usually give you the demand at least 30 days before filing an eviction case in court.
Right to a Meeting
You have the right to have a meeting with the park. You must request the meeting within ten days of getting the demand. You must request the meeting in writing. You must send the request to the park by certified or registered mail.
The park must schedule the meeting within 20 days of your request. You can have a lawyer come to the meeting with you.
If the problem is not resolved at the meeting, the park can file a complaint for eviction in court. The meeting does not stop or slow down the eviction or shorten the eviction process.
The Eviction Process
Eviction is the legal process of making a tenant move out of a rental home or lot you are renting for your mobile home. It’s illegal for the park to evict you without going to court and getting an eviction order first. If the eviction case goes to court and the judge issues a judgment saying the park has a right to recover the mobile home site, you have ten days to move or sell your mobile home, or you will be evicted. You will not be able to live in that mobile home park any more.
To learn what to expect if you're being evicted, please visit I’m Being Evicted From a Mobile Home Park to read the other articles about eviction.
Vacating the Home
Within ten days of the just cause eviction judgment, you must show the park proof that you had your home winterized by a licensed mobile home installer and repairer. The park can cancel utilities supplied by it ten days after the judgment, but you still have the right to reasonable access to your home so you can maintain and sell it.
If you leave the home in the park, the park does not become the owner of it, cannot rent your home to someone else without your permission, and cannot damage the home or any personal property in it.
The park can charge you for the storage of the home, which may be the same price as your lot rent. If you do not pay this, the park may seek an eviction order. This order gives the park the right to move your home within or outside of the park.
Right to Sell or Move Your Home
You have the right to keep your mobile home in the park for 90 days after the eviction. During that time you can list your mobile home for sale. If you want to sell your home, you may want to send the park a letter saying that you are trying to sell your home, and you have not abandoned it or your rights to it. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter for your records. If the park won’t rent the lot to someone who has made an offer to buy the mobile home, you might get more time to sell it.
You can also use the 90 days to try to find a new mobile home park or site to move your home to. Moving your home is very expensive. The park will likely continue to charge you lot rent or a storage fee for your home. If you do not pay this, the park may seek an eviction order. This order gives the park the right to move your home within or outside of the park.
If you do not move or sell your mobile home within the 90 days, you do not lose ownership of your home or any personal property in your home. However, it will become more difficult to prevent the park from acting like it owns it. Also, the park may move your home to a different place in the park or remove it from the park. If you find yourself in this situation, you should consider speaking with a lawyer who can help negotiate on your behalf. Use the Guide to Legal Help to find lawyers and a legal services office in your area.