In the State of Florida, there are two major types of mobile home parks. The first type is called a single-entity-owned park. These parks lease the lots to residents who thus have a tenant/landlord relationship with the park. The second type are resident-owned mobile home parks, where the residents each own both their mobile home and the plot where the mobile home is placed. The rights and obligations of the residents and management of these communities are governed by different laws. Resident-owned mobile home parks form associations akin to HOAs and are managed in large part by HOA law (Florida Statute 720). On the other hand, Florida Statute 723 governs mobile home parks in Florida where homeowners pay rent to park their mobile homes.
Despite the great quantity of rental mobile home parks in Florida, the rights and obligations of the community management and residents are explored less frequently. If you are a manager in a rental mobile home park, it would be wise to seek legal counsel that can help you navigate Florida Statute 723 and ensure that you are compliant with state law.
Florida Statute 723 states that all mobile home property owners with over 25 rental lots under their management must prepare and file a prospectus with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes. An approved version of this prospectus must be delivered to every prospective tenant of the mobile home park before they sign a lease agreement. These prospectuses provide protections for tenants and typically also include the regulations of the mobile park and other important information for tenants.
The prospectus must also explain the process by which the mobile park will raise rents on the tenants. By statute, each mobile homeowner must be given at least 90 days written notice of any rent increases. The prospectus also outlines fees that renters are required to pay in addition to the rental. These fees include water and sewer rates, waste disposal costs, property taxes and major repairs and are to be disclosed in the prospectus whether they are stand-alone fees or included in the rental. A description must be made as well as to how and when these fees are increased over time.
Truth in Advertising
The State of Florida takes honesty in mobile home park advertising very seriously. All advertising to potential renters must be submitted to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes within 30 days of the end of the quarter in which the ad was placed.
False advertising, including the misrepresentation of lot sizes and amenities, offered at a mobile home park incur fines starting at $250 per instance.
It is recommended that legal counsel review a mobile park’s website, video and print materials prior to publication to avoid fines.
Chapter 723 prohibits a mobile home park from targeting any one tenant unless there is good reason for the separate treatment.
Florida statute banning discrimination forbids the uneven application of rental prices and rental increases. All rents must be applied equally and evenly to all tenants of the mobile park. Before raising the rental costs on a mobile park’s lots, it is advised that mobile park owners check with legal counsel experienced in mobile home laws in Florida to ensure that the planned increase is compliant with the law.
“The State of Florida takes honesty in mobile home park advertising very seriously.”
Another area where Chapter 723 of the Florida Statutes protects tenants renting space in mobile home parks is in making it the park owners’ responsibility to adhere to local building codes and to provide for their residents’ health and safety. This includes:
- reviewing building codes to ensure all structures in the common areas of the park are in compliance and in good repair
- ensuring that utility connections at the mobile home park are properly connected and working at all times.
- providing access for all residents and guests to the mobile park’s common areas
Eviction Laws and Mobile Homes
Chapter 723 Florida Statutes, provides the mobile park owners with the right to evict under the following circumstances:
- Tenant has failed to pay rent.
- Tenant has received a conviction for violation of a federal, state or local law.
- Tenant has violated Chapter 723, one or more of the mobile park’s regulations or violated the rental agreement.
Under each of the above categories of eviction, there are different conditions that must be present for the eviction to take place. Written notice must be given and a court may decide against eviction in many cases. For best results, it is recommended that mobile home parks consult an experienced Florida real estate lawyer prior to initiating eviction proceedings against a tenant.
Selling a Mobile Home Park
Tenants at a mobile home park are a unique type of tenant. They are owners of their mobile homes and are simply renting the lot on which their home is parked. Therefore, they have certain rights beyond that of a tenant.
One of these rights is that, before selling the park to any third-party buyer, a mobile home park must give first refusal rights to the mobile homeowners who are leasing the land. This is according to a time period (currently 45 days) that extends if the offering price drops.
South Florida Law
Rental mobile home parks are a heavily regulated business in the State of Florida. Be sure not to go it alone if you are the manager or owner of a mobile home park. For any type of real estate law, property owners can turn to the attorneys of South Florida Law. Rely on us to draft and deliver notices, advise on processes, draft and review mobile park prospectuses and collect past due fees and fines. We are a boutique-sized law firm with big law firm capabilities, able to provide our clients with both attention to detail and the resources needed to overcome challenges. Are you a mobile home park looking for a legal partner? If so, reach out to us today at (954) 900-8885 or via our contact form.