The following information regarding manufactured and mobile home parks is general legal information. You may review the statutes involved at Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 90, especially sections 90.505 to 90.840. The primary eviction statute for park tenancies is at ORS 90.630. Note that the rules for owners of floating homes renting a moorage in a marina are very similar, except with regard to closure of the marina.
If you own a manufactured or mobile home and simply rent space in a mobile home park, you have certain rights when a landlord wants to evict you. These rights are different from those of mobile home owners who do not live in a mobile home park. These rights also differ from those of persons who rent both the space and the mobile home. If you rent both, you are treated as if you are an apartment tenant; the primary difference between apartment tenants and mobile home park tenants is that apartment tenants can be evicted without a good cause. (See information on Eviction Notices, Evictions and Residential Eviction Defenses.)
A mobile home park may also be called a manufactured dwelling facility. A mobile home park generally contains four or more spaces reserved for renting to owners of mobile homes. These spaces sit on a parcel of land and are typically placed within 500 feet of each other. The spaces on this parcel of land are owned by the same owner or owners. The owner must intend to use the land to rent space for a fee or other compensation.
If you are a mobile home owner renting a space for your mobile home in a mobile home park, the landlord can evict you from the park only for good cause. This is true whether the rental agreement is for a month-to-month or a fixed term (commonly called a lease) tenancy. Even if your landlord has good cause, he or she may never use force to remove you or any other tenant. The landlord may not shut off your utilities to force you to move. Only a sheriff, with a court order, can physically evict a tenant. A landlord usually gets a court order to do this by first filing a lawsuit for eviction. When the case is filed, the court clerk mails a copy of the papers to your home. A process server will also 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 want to contest the eviction. If you do not appear, you will automatically lose. If you do appear, you can ask for a trial and tell your side of the story. You are entitled to retain a lawyer to represent you.
A landlord would have good cause to evict you from his or her mobile home park for the following reasons:
- You did not pay your rent on time. In most cases, a landlord must wait until at least the eighth day after the rent was due. Then, the landlord can give you a 72-hour written notice stating that you need to pay the rent or be evicted. The landlord has the option to wait only until the fifth day, but then must give a 144-hour notice, not just a 72-hour notice. If you don’t pay during the notice period that applies in your case, your landlord can then file for an eviction in court. You have the right to a court hearing. You might be able to defend yourself against the eviction if your landlord owes you money because he or she didn’t provide services or facilities that were agreed to, or if your landlord has in other ways violated your rental agreement or your rights under the landlord-tenant law.
Your landlord can start an eviction case by giving you a 30-day written notice if you were late with your rent payment three times or more during the past 12 months. This rule applies only if you don’t pay the rent within the seven-day or four-day grace period, and the landlord has given you at least three valid notices for non-payment of rent during those late payment periods all within the last 12 months. At least two of those notices must contain a warning that the third late payment could result in eviction. You have the right to a court hearing where you could raise any legal defenses you might have against the landlord’s claim, but you do not have a right to correct or “cure” this cause.
- Your landlord can start an eviction case if you have not lived up to a condition of your rental agreement, such as by not maintaining your space. You can also be evicted for breaking a reasonable and fairly enforced rule of the mobile home park, or any other law or ordinance. In both cases, the cause must be related to your conduct as a tenant. The landlord must first give you a written notice that tells you specifically what you have done wrong, and that you have at least 30 days to correct the problem. If the problem is not corrected within that 30-day period, your landlord then has 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. He or she would also have to prove that you have been given the required 30-day written notice of the violation. If the violation does exist, and you have corrected the problem within the notice period, you can prevent the eviction. Make sure that you have proof that you have done this. Take pictures or have friends witness what you have done, so you can prove that you have corrected the problem. If you correct the violation, but it occurs again within six months, the landlord can then terminate your tenancy by giving you at least a 20-day written notice that states the violation and the date your tenancy will end. This time you will not have the right to avoid eviction by correcting the problem. In either case, before you can actually be evicted, you have the right to a court hearing where you can give the court evidence that the violations never occurred or were corrected.
- Your landlord can start an eviction case if you are determined to be a predatory sex offender as defined by state law. You are entitled to a 30-day written notice of the termination and the cause, but you do not have the right to cure or correct the cause. You do have the right to a court hearing.
- Your landlord can start an eviction case if he or she believes you or someone in your household (including your pet) has seriously injured someone, threatened someone with serious harm, done substantial damage to someone else’s belongings, or committed an “extremely outrageous act” in or near the mobile home park. In this case, your landlord can start the court eviction after giving you only 24 hours’ written notice. The law defines an extremely outrageous act as including, but not limited to, drug dealing and manufacturing, gambling, prostitution, burglary, violence and serious threats of violence. Again, you have the right to a court hearing.
- A manufactured dwelling cannot be forced out of a facility just because of its age, style or size, but a tenant whose home is deteriorated or in disrepair can be given a notice of termination of the tenancy that gives the tenant a period of time to repair the home to meet reasonable park standards. The time period is relatively short if the condition of the home is dangerous to neighboring homes, longer for less serious problems. The tenant can get an extension of time if the needed repair can’t reasonably be made in the time allowed. Again, you have the right to a court hearing.
- Your landlord can start an eviction case if he or she has decided to close your mobile home park and change the land to a different use. This includes converting your park to a subdivision, in which case you must be given an opportunity to buy your space and keep your home in the new subdivision. The landlord must give you a written notice at least 365 days before the park is to close, and must pay you between $5,000 and $9,000, depending on the size of your home, regardless of whether you are able to move the home out of the park. The landlord cannot charge you to dispose of a home you abandon in the park due to the closure, nor can the landlord raise your rent during the closure period. The landlord’s notice must also inform you about a refundable $5,000 tax credit from the state of Oregon, which may be available when you file your next state tax return.
As stated by law, if a tenants’ association requests sale listings in writing, a landlord must tell the association if the mobile home park is being listed for sale. Also, if your landlord has applied to change the zoning of your mobile home park for a different use, you must be given notice of the zone change application. You may attend a public hearing about the proposed zone change where you can express your views.
- Finally, your landlord can start an eviction case if you have a fixed-term tenancy or lease which has reached its expiration or termination date and you have unreasonably refused to enter a new lease as offered by your landlord. If your landlord did not offer a new lease, your tenancy automatically becomes a month-to-month one after the expiration date.
Legal editor: John VanLandingham, August 2013