Know Your Rights: Mobile Home Park Residents

By
Real Estate Agent

by Rich Schiffer, Weichert Realtors 

Pennsylvania residents of "manufactured housing" (a.k.a Mobile Homes) have certain rights established and protected by the Mobile Home Park Rights Act.  Park owners must post a copy of the Act in a conspicuous place in their parks.  They are also required to proved each residents that enters the park a written notice that explains their rights under the law.

It would be pointless for me to outline the entire law here, but here are some of the things that residents of mobile home parks should be aware of:

  • Rents and all fees must be disclosed to you in writing before you make your initial payment.
  • Rents and fees cannot be increased without a 30 day notice to all park residents.  Rents cannot be increased during your lease term.
  • Any rules that the park managment wishes to enforce must be posted conspicuously and provided to each resident.
  • Rules must be uniformly enforced
  • While park owners may require certain types of underskirting or other amenities, they cannot dictate who you purchase those things from.
  • Park owners cannot charge an entrance or exit fee.
  • You can be charged an "installation fee" but this fee cannot exceed the operators actual cost.  Additionally, this fee must be refunded if the operator recovers your space within a year of installation, unless you fail to pay rent, repeatedly violate the rules of the park, or if the park's zoning changes, or the park is terminated altogether.
  • Unless you have a separate written agreement, the park cannot claim any fee in connection with the sale of your mobile home unit, nor can they prevent you from selling it.  The mobile park owner may, however, reserve the right to approve the purchaser as a resident of the park.
  • You can only be evicted for the following reasons:  non-payment of rent; two or more violations of park rules in a six month period, zoning land use changes, or termination of the park.
  • The park opperator cannot evict you by moving your home or by locking the home while you are away without a court order.
  • The park owner must notify you in writing by certified or registered mail before beginning any eviction proceedures.
  • You cannot be charged "unreasonable fees" such as additional charges for overnight guests.
  • Your rights, and the duties of the park owners cannot be waived by any written or oral agreement.

If you have any questions about these rights, contact your local Bureau of Consumer Protection Office.  There are regional offices located in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Allentown, Scranton, Erie, Pittsburgh and Ebensburg.

For a free Consumer Protection Booklet provide by the Attorney General's Office, click here.

Also, to learn more about Manufactured homes, read the blog Manufactured vs. Modular Homes - What's The Difference?

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Anonymous #10
Anonymous
Linda

We live in the Lancaster area in a double wide manufactured home in a community park.  There are two parts to the park. One the old side with mostly single wide homes and the new part with doublewides. In our section about 95% of the residents are over 55. We take good care of our area. We have no maintance people here and so we take care of everything ourselves. There is a man who mows a few areas of grass and that is it. If we need anything repaired or need assistance there is no one. We were told if we don't keep our grass mowed or keep things clean they will come in a take care of it and we would be charged $50 an hour and it would be added to our lot rent. Now they have come up with a new annual home inspection. We are to have an appointment for them to come by and inspect our homes outside. We were given a check list of the things we are to have in order that they will be inspecting. What I would like to know is, do they have the right to treat us like this? This park looks really good and it is because of the residents not the people who run the park. They are supposed to take care of the sidewalks and the other maintance of the park. My elderly neighbor cought her cane in a big crack in the sidewald in front of the mailboxs the other day and fell into the mailboxes. Thankfully she just has a few black and blue marks. We have gone to the manager about our problem with stray cats urunateing in our flower beds and on our porches, and bring dead animals on the porches or throwing up on the porches and walks. Her answer was for us to call somone and pay to have them removed or feed them like she does.  A few months ago we were told we have to pay for our dogs now. I have been here for 8 years now and have never had to pay for my dog. I will gladly pay for him but she won't charge anyone with cats. She says they don't scratch and bite. That is just bull. One woman has at least a dozen cats in and out of her house and that is ok. Since she is here we now have to fill out a paper every year and give a copy of our home title and give them our social secruity numbers among other personal information. We have always had on ongoing lease here but now she thinks we should sign one every year. I'm sorry but I am not comfortable giving out all that personal information. You never know who is in that office getting into the files. We are confused about our rights here. If we don't do as they say they said we will be evicted. And if we can't sell our home and can't afford to move it she said they will take it over and sell it or rent it out.  They have done this to several people on the older side. Do we have any rights in refusing this inspection? Or are we living in a Nazi Germant camp here. This woman seems to think she can do anything to us and so does the company that owns the park. They are supposed to give us 60 days before raising our lot rent. They send us a letter in December to raise the lot rent on Jan 1. When we moved into this park in Nov. 2004 we paid $279 a month lot rent. Now we pay $447 a month. They have raised our rent $20 a year for the past several years. They tell us it either fir the ammenities we get. The ammenities is a small playground that is tucked in the corner of the new side and no one has used it for the past 5 years. There are no children on this side. The other reason is because of comparible rates in this area. We did a survey of parks in this area. There is only one that is around the same price and that is in Lancaster and it has a community building to do things in and a pool and other ammenities for the residents. We have nothing. Absolutely nothing. I am not sure there is anything that we can do but I surely wish there was.

Thank you for your time and if there is anything you can advise us with please do.

April 14, 2012 09:50 AM
Anonymous #11
Anonymous
CLJ

I live in a mobile home park in mechanicsburg the owner Stanley Dye has turned off our outside light poles more than a year ago and the roads have large pot holes everywhere the tennants are unable to contact him in case of an emergency we are over run with stray cats and the owner allows tennants to leave there dogs off leashes and go to the bathroom on the streets not to mention he allows people to live here that are $2,000 behind or more while others have to pay they sent a letter around threatning us a year ago about lot numbers being on your home if theres no lights whats the purpose?he is renting some of the homes on a rent to own basis and theres no heat and no working stoves is this legal?he allows shady people to move in and some of them are on megans law yep sex offenders there are lots of children also some of the people that live here there lots are all junked up and he never says a thing for some of us who own our homes and keep them up and our lots very clean this isnt fair to us we have gotten shut off notices for our water and for 3 weeks our trash wasnt picked up this is all included in our lot rent we have constant sewage back ups that spill out on the ground for a week or more at a time we have no park manager anymore she was unable to do the job and being that she was his girlfriend now we have noone there are elderly and dissabled people in this park and no outside lights rules and regulations are not posted in a common area any ideas on what to do? we really need your help thank you for your time! CLJ

September 09, 2012 03:24 AM
Anonymous #12
Anonymous
Diane Marquette

Hi, I live in East Berlin, PA. We have lived here in Country View Manor, for almost 18 years. We have never had problems with our previous owners. I have been told that the new owner George Adams has owned several parks before and his MO is to send letters by regular mail to residents stating an amount that they owe or they will be taken to the magistrate. Many of these people do not own the homes. They call him and tell him that his records are not correct and that they have paid their rent. He will either argue with them or say "Oh here is the check on my desk." If he doesn't accept the fact that they have paid he will then take them to court most figure he will figure it out and cancel the hearing. If they don't show up they lose he gets their home and remodels it then rents it for the home and the lot combined. Our sewer tanks have not been pumped in four years they are right by my home and the  smell is aweful many residents are made sick by it being in their homes. They have problems with sewage coming up into their tubs and clogged drains that do not drain no matter what they do. They will call him and he yells at them saying it is all in their heads and they are the only one to complain. This is a lie. There are many other problems going on here and we can't seem to find the right people to investigate. The township said they won't do anything because we don't have a septic system. We have a water and sewer treatment plant the sludge is at least 7 inches thick on the walls of it. The water smells horrible, like sewage at times. Many of the older residents have come to me asking what to do since my husband works in Plumbing and he is liscensed. I have posted a letter on our bulletin board at our mail boxes for people to call to start a Tenants Association. A few people have called and are VERY interested in this. However now my landlord has removed the notice and has threatened me by phone that I am not allowed to start this Association. He has also sent me a letter by regular mail saying I owe 1420.00 for non paid rent which is incorrect. I sent him proof of the paid checks. We went to a Magistrate hearing, he did not show up, we won and the DJ said we were actually over paid on our rent by 130.00. Now the Landlord has appealed this to the Common Pleas Court of York. I cannot afford an attorney I have a son in college and two smaller children at home, I have to file for disability, from being a school bus driver for 6 years, and suddenly I have serious health problems, I am just waiting on a diagnosis from one of the many doctors I am seeing, trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I am only 44 years old. I feel I am being retaliated against but, I cannot get legal advice and I do not qualify for free legal assistance. Does anyone know what I can do, how can I get help. Please someone help our whole community. We are afraid to start an Association, people are afraid he will come after them. Could someone please steer me in the right diredtion. This man has done this before with his other Mobile Home Parks and then he sells them and moves on to another park. I have also been sent a transaction sheet by his attorney that has extra fees added on every month from January of 2011 for pet fee that was already part of our rent payment when he took over. The attorney said he is now asking for over 2,000.00 to pay everything up. I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown because of this man. Thank you if anyone can help us all!

December 11, 2012 12:45 PM
Anonymous #13
Anonymous
Eva Ordo

Valerie, I'm curious if your sister in Pa was/is renting from GSP Management or if her park is owned by Frank Perano. Frank owns 74 mobile home parks in Pa and settled out of court with the United States Justice Dept, DEA & EPA for $1,390,000.00 and daily fines till he fixes the several THOUSAND water violations such as dumping RAW SEWAGE into Pennsylvania's streams and for providing many of the parks he owns with contaminated water, back in October 2012. About a month ago they put his ass in jail! I live in Country Manor West MHP in Carlisle, Pa. I am starting to uncover the fact that the lamp post electrical wiring is connected into the tenants electricity AFTER the utility box which I believe is theft of utility service. Even more alarming is the fact that several homes have caught fire, had melted wiring and other types of electrical issues that were related to the lamp post wiring NOT being ground properly and ARCING which is a fire hazard and causes wiring issues inside the homes....AND....they are located next to the GAS meters/lines and we have issues with old meters/lines leaking. Anyone with issues with a Perano owned mobile home park or Country Manor West or GSP Management that would like to talk to me can do so by emailing me at ordogi@aol.com as I've got a law suit against them and might want to do a class action if others are interested. They tried to illegally evict me stating I violated park rules. The park rules were not enforceable because the rules were not enforced in regard to others. Matter of fact the GSP park Manager and General Manager Scot and Kathy Fuhrman (husband/wife team) had several of the same rules violations on their property that they cited me for!!! They also filed at District Justice Susan Day's office that I was late on rent on March 26, 2012....which I wasn't I was paid in full and not late. Three days later GSP sent me a letter telling me they wont sue me if I paid $129.88 which was the amount I owed in back rent. Ummmm, they did sue me & that $129.88 they were trying to pass off as back rent was the court cost filing fees! Innocent until proven guilty. Of course, given the way Susan Day runs her magisterial district court...I lost. I appealed and am counter suing in Cumberland County Court House in Pa. Wish I had an attorney to represent me but I have to do all of this by myself.I've had two trees fall on my home and they refused to give me their insurance company's information. This was not an act of God, I can prove it was lack of tree maintenance. There are pot holes everywhere and our mailbox area is hazardous to walk around and the streets are poorly lit. The pool has broken tiles. The water has a stench to it. Favoritism & harassment is a common practice of Perano's businesses. To see if your park in Pa is part of the US Justice law suit do a search for Perano and sewage and find the legal document naming all the parks and sewage plants owned by Perano. The cable TV service they provide is very poor visually & the 40 some year old cable lines need replaced but they wont do that. Instead, I've noticed they just buy another mobile home park with OUR money instead of making repairs to OUR community. SCUM BAG SEWAGE DISHING LANDLORD!

 

January 10, 2013 03:12 PM
Anonymous #14
Anonymous
jackie
hi i live in sunrise mobikle home park owned by gsp managment roads are horrible never get ahold of manager louis and tom hall husband wife they loose my money orders tub stained from brown water and my problem is stray cats destroying under and around my trailer my decorations propane tanks garbage cans poop everywhere from cats in driveway cars sprayed pictures of condemed lots looking like hell the park mangers raid empty houses take good appliances for themselves or garbage there is a trailer here with rottomn meat and magoots and fleas which have frozen by now all last sunner had dead smell in back yard around house i pay my rent have for years never late ezcept when they loose money orders have certified dekivery confermation to prove they recived them any answers for cats removal they town and communnity are passing the buck along with mangers
March 19, 2014 10:02 AM
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