TEL-LAW tape number 7301:brought to you by the Oregon State Bar and your local bar association.
Rights of a Mobile Home Owner Threatened With Eviction
This is Tel-Law tape number 7301, Rights of a Mobile Home Owner Threatened With Eviction From a Mobile Home Park, brought to you by the Oregon State Bar and your local bar association. The material presented is intended to alert you to possible legal problems and solutions.
People who own their mobile homes and rent only their space in a mobile home park have certain rights when a landlord wants to evict them. These rights are different from the rights of mobile home owners who do not live in a mobile home park. These rights also are different from those of persons who rent both space and mobile home from a park owner.
You live in a mobile home park (also called a "manufactured dwelling facility") if the space you rent is one of four or more containing mobile homes on a parcel of land where they are placed within 500 feet of each other, and the parcel is owned by the same owner or owners. In addition, the owner must intend to use the land to rent space for a fee or other compensation.
If you are a mobile home owner in a mobile home park, the landlord can evict you only for good cause. (A possible exception is if your rental agreement says it ends on a specific date--not a rental agreement which says it is "month-to-month." The law is not clear on this question. Get legal advice.) Even if the landlord has good cause, the landlord may never use force to remove a tenant, and may not shut off utilities to force a tenant to move. Only a sheriff, with a court order, can physically evict a tenant. Usually, a court lawsuit for eviction known as a FED action is the way a landlord gets the court order. When the court action is filed, the court clerk mails a copy of the papers to your home, and the process server will either hand them to you or attach them to your door. The papers will say when and where you must appear in court. If you do not appear, you will automatically lose. If you do appear, you can ask for a trial and raise any defenses you have.
When does a landlord have good cause to evict a mobile home owner from a mobile home park?
- The landlord can start an eviction case if you did not pay rent when due. The landlord must wait 7 days after the rent was due. The landlord can then give the tenant a 72-hour written notice to pay the rent or be sued for eviction. If you don't pay during the 72-hour period your landlord can then file for an eviction in court. You have the right to a court hearing. Possible defenses against the eviction are that the landlord owes you money because the landlord didn't provide services or facilities that were agreed to, or that there are other violations by the landlord of your rental agreement or your rights under the Landlord Tenant law.
- The landlord can start an eviction case if you have violated a condition of your rental agreement, a reasonable and fairly enforced rule of the mobile home park, or some law or ordinance. The landlord must first give you a written notice specifically telling you what you have done wrong, and give you 30 days to correct the problem. If the problem is not corrected within that 30 day period, the landlord then acquires the right to file an eviction action against you with the court. To evict you, the landlord would have to prove that you have violated your rental agreement, a reasonable, written park rule or the law and that you have been given prior written notice of the violation. If the violations do exist, and you correct them, make sure that you have proof that you have done this. Be sure you take pictures or have friends see what you have done so that you can prove you have corrected the problem. However, correcting the problem after the 30 days have passed does not stop the landlord from being able to evict you.
If you correct the violation, but it occurs again within six months, the landlord can then terminate your tenancy by giving you 20 days written notice stating the violation and the date of termination of the tenancy. This time you will not have the right to avoid eviction by correcting the problem.
Again, before you can actually be evicted,you have the right to a court hearing at which you can give the court evidence that the violations never occurred or were corrected.
- Your landlord can start an eviction case if he or she reasonably believes you or someone in your household has injured someone, threatened someone with serious immediate harm, done substantial damage to someone else's belongings, or committed an "extremely outrageous act" in the park. In this case, the landlord can start the court eviction after giving you only 24 hours notice. The law defines an extremely outrageous act as including, but not limited to, drug dealing and manufacturing, gambling, prostitution, burglary, violence and threats of immediate violence.
- Your landlord can start an eviction case if the landlord has decided to close your mobile home park, and change the land to a different use. The landlord must give you 365 days written notice before the park is to close. Only 180 days notice is necessary if the landlord finds you another space to move to which is acceptable to you and pays your moving and set-up expenses or $2,500, whichever is less.
The law provides that, if a tenants' association request in writing, the landlord must tell the association if the mobile home park is being listed for sale. Also, if your landlord applies to have zoning of your mobile home park changed for a different use, you must be given notice of the zone change application. You have the right to tell your views at a public hearing about the proposed zone change.
This is a complex and changing area of the law. It is important that you realize that some of the information on this tape may be out of date by the time you hear it. This tape is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem, and is not intended to replace the work of an attorney. If you do not have an attorney, the Oregon State Bar Lawyer Referral Service can assist you. The number to call is 684-3763 or toll-free in Oregon, 1-800-452-7636. They will help you contact a lawyer who can advise you.
The foregoing text is a transcription of a Tel-Law transcript that you can hear by calling 503-620-3000 or toll free (in oregon only) at 1-800-452-4776. OLA brings this transcription to you with the cooperation of the Oregon State Bar. this script is based on Oregon law, produced by volunteer lawyers as a public service. The law of other states may be different. Also, the information may be out of date. OLA encourages you to seek an attorney before relying upon this information.