Housing

Eviction from a mobile home park

If you’re facing eviction from your mobile home, the stakes can be high—especially if you own the mobile home, but rent the lot. Here’s what you should do next.

A note on COVID-19: On September 1, 2020, HHS and the CDC announced an order to temporarily halt evictions in the United States. The temporary halt or moratorium is effective September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and applies to evictions for non-payment of rent. A tenant should file a declaration form with the court to stop their eviction. Get the form and learn more about how to stop your eviction. 

 

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Understanding the Basics

See what you need to know to take action.

Eviction from a mobile home can be different from other evictions. Usually, you own the mobile home and rent the lot. If you are evicted you could end up losing your home.  Because so much is at stake, Ohio law says that the park operator has to have a good reason to evict you like not paying rent or a "material violation" of the park rules.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19) changes

On September 1, 2020, HHS and the CDC announced an order to temporarily halt evictions in the United States. The temporary halt or moratorium is effective September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and applies to evictions for non-payment of rent.

Eligibility for the moratorium

To be eligible for the moratorium you must be facing eviction for nonpayment of rent and you must declare that: 

  • You have used best efforts to to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing
  • You are income eligible. You qualify as income eligible if:
    • You expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return)
      OR
    • You were not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service
      OR
    • You received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) 
  • You are unable to pay your full rent or make a full housing payment due to:
    • Substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, lay-offs
      OR
    • Extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expense (greater than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year)
  • You used best efforts to make timely partial rent payments as your circumstances might permit
  • You have no other available housing options and if you are evicted you would:
    • Likely become homeless
      OR
    • Need to move into a homeless shelter
      OR
    • Need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because you have no other available housing options

If you have had an eviction filed against you in court, you should file a declaration form with the court where your eviction case has been filed. You must also provide a copy to your landlord. If your landlord has filed against you in court, you will have received an official document called a "Summons and Complaint."

If your landlord has not filed for eviction with the court, but you are behind in rent, you should fill out the declaration form and send a copy to your landlord. Keep the original for your records. Do not file with the court if an eviction has not been filed against you.  

How to stop your court eviction

If you think you are eligible for the moratorium, and your landlord has filed an eviction against you in court, take these actions to stop your eviction: 

  • Download, fill out and sign the required declaration form. Make at least four copies. If you have already sent a declaration form to your landlord, file a copy of that declaration with the court, see the next steps for how. 
  • File the declaration form with the court where your eviction case has been filed. The clerk will time stamp the original and copies. The clerk will keep the original and give back the copies they don't need.
  • Next, you need to "serve" one of the copies on your landlord or your landlord's attorney. If you have enough time before your hearing, you can "serve" the form by sending it in the mail. If you are filing on the day of your hearing, you can hand it to your landlord or their lawyer before the hearing starts. 
  • Keep at least one time-stamped copy of your declaration form for your records.
  • Go to your eviction hearing. Please note that some courts in Ohio are automatically staying the eviction hearing until January if a tenant files the declaration. If your eviction hearing is stayed you will be notified. However, some courts are holding hearings. Make sure you attend any hearing scheduled by the court. If you want help with your eviction, you may qualify for legal aid. Use our Find Your Legal Aid tool to locate your legal aid.

At the hearing

  • Make sure you take a time-stamped copy of the declaration form with you to your hearing.
  • Wait for your eviction case to be called. 
  • When your case is called, tell the judge that you have filed your declaration.
  • Your landlord might dispute the statements in your declaration form. In case this happens, you should bring:
    • Copies of your applications for rent assistance
    • Pay stubs, bank statements or proof of receipt of a stimulus check
    • Documentation showing you lost your job, were laid off or had a cut in your hours
    • Proof, like receipts, of any rental payments you have made since your income was lost

Get help paying rent 

Some Community Action Agencies (CAA) and United Ways have financial assistance available to help with back rent. You can find your local CAA or United Way on this page under Local Government and Community Resources. In some communities, rental assistance funds are running low. If possible, you should still submit an application for assistance—funding may become available in the future and even if you are denied it could support that you used “best efforts” to get rental assistance. If you can’t submit an application, keep a screenshot showing when called or print out the website page that says that the organization is no longer accepting applications.

Contact legal aid 

If you are facing eviction, legal aid may be able to help you. To apply for legal aid, look up your local legal aid's contact information here. Apply online or over the phone.  

The notice you get depends on why you're being evicted.

You can get evicted from the lot your mobile home sits on for not paying rent. If that’s your situation, you will receive a 3-day notice before your landlord can file an eviction case against you in court. 

However, it’s just as common for people to get evicted from a mobile home park for a "material violation" of park rules. A "material violation" of park rules can mean many things, it really depends on your lease and the park’s list of rules. Read over both carefully. 

If the eviction is for breaking park rules the notice depends on if it's your first or second violation:

  • If it's your first violation, the park operator must give you a 30-day notice. The notice also has to include a description of the problem, so you know what to fix. If you fix the problem within 30 days the park operator can't evict you.  
  • If it's your second violation in six months, the park operator can give you just a 3-day notice.  

Try to fix the problem immediately.

After you receive a notice, you can try to avoid eviction by fixing the problem.

  • If you've broken the park rules, fix the problem or source of the violation as soon as possible.
  • If you owe rent, do whatever you can to give your landlord the rent you owe them before your 3-day notice is up. 
  • Try to negotiate with your landlord. Maybe you can work out a payment plan, or a different solution that will work for both of you.  

If you can't do any of those, or it seems like that won't be enough to stop the eviction, find a lawyer—you may qualify for legal aid. To find your local legal aid use our Find Your Legal Aid tool or go to Legal Help and Lawyers. 

If you're evicted, you could lose your home.

If you don’t take action, your landlord will likely file an eviction case against you in court and a judge will decide if you must leave or not. 

If you end up getting evicted, you will be allowed to move the home that you own, but you must pay the company that will move it. If you can’t afford to move your home, it's possible you may lose your mobile home. You will still be on the hook for any money that you owe on the mobile home. 

This is why it's important to try to fix the problem so you don't get evicted in the first place. If your landlord does file for eviction, it's critical to get a lawyer. You may be able to get a legal aid lawyer, who will work with you to try to save your home and the money you've put into it.

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