Mobile Home Parks
Authored By: Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc.
KNOWING AND using your rights as a mobile home owner might be the difference between staying on a lot or having to move your mobile home. The information below can help you understand your rights.
RESIDENTS OF mobile home parks in Pennsylvania have special legal rights under the Mobile Home Park Rights Act. This law protects residents of mobile home parks-people who are buying or who already own their mobile home, and who rent space in a mobile home park containing at least three mobile homes.
The law does not cover people who are renting a mobile home. These people have rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act, which are covered in a separate pamphlet.
When can I be evicted?
As a resident of a mobile home park, you can be evicted only for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of rent;
- Two or more violations of park rules within a six-month period; or
- The park is closed or the park land is changed to a different use.
To be evicted for nonpayment of rent, the park owner must notify you by certified or registered mail that an eviction case may be started in court unless you pay the unpaid rent within 20 days of getting the notice (or within 30 days if the notice is given on or after September 1 through March 31). If you pay the back rent but fall behind again within six months, the park may file an eviction case in court immediately.
To evict you for breaking park rules or for breaking part of the lease agreement, the park owner must first notify you by certified or registered mail of the violation. The owner can file an eviction case in court ONLY if you break park rules or the lease another time within a six-month period.
The park owner must get a court order to evict you. Even if the park owner gets a court order, you still have 10 days to appeal it to a higher court if you have a good reason (defense). The park owner cannot legally evict you in any other way, such as shutting off your utilities or padlocking your door.
Also, you cannot be evicted if your landlord is getting back at you for exercising your rights under the Mobile Home Park Rights Act or any other legal right.
See the separate brochure Tenants: Being Evicted? for general information about eviction procedure.
Do I have to follow park rules?
Yes, but the rules must be fair and reasonable and the owner must:
- Give you a written copy of the rules with the lease, or before accepting your deposit or first rent payment;
- Post the rules in a place in the park where all the residents can read them;
- Apply the rules equally to all residents.
Are there any other restrictions on park owners?
Yes. Park owners may not:
- Require you to buy under-skirting, awnings, or other mobile home equipment from one particular supplier, but may require a certain type of material and tell you how this equipment is to be installed;
- Prevent you from selling your mobile home, but may reserve the right to approve the buyer as a resident of the park. However, the owner cannot unreasonably withhold approval.
- Charge you any fees for moving into or out of the park;
- Charge more than the actual cost to install or remove the mobile home;
- Charge a fee if you have visitors, unless the visitors stay overnight so often that they can be considered to be living with you;
- Charge any rent, fees, or service charges that you were not told about in writing at the beginning of the lease. However, the owner can increase rent and service charges at the end of your lease term by giving written notice and posting a notice of the increase 30 days in advance;
- Restrict you from making improvements to the interior of your mobile home, as long as the improvements comply with the building code and other laws.
How can I protect my rights?
If your rights under the Mobile Home Park Rights Act have been violated, you may sue the park owner in court, in which case you may wish to consult a private attorney or your local Legal Services office. Also, you may make a complaint to the Pennsylvania Attorney General. You may do this online at www.AttorneyGeneral.gov.
The law often changes. Each case is different. This pamphlet is meant to give you general information and not to give you specific legal advice.
Please use the information found in this brochure carefully since the law is constantly changing and the information may not accurately reflect any changes in the law that occurred following the creation and publication of the brochure.
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc.
118 Locust Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
This public information pamphlet was edited by Neighborhood Legal Services Association and produced by Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc.