Manufactured Home Parks
Actions For Which a Resident May Be Evicted
There are eight reasons a resident can be evicted from a manufactured home park. Minnesota law allows a park to ask a resident to move for the following reasons:
- A resident is late paying rent or utility charges owed to the park. The park has to give the resident, and anyone the park knows has a mortgage on the resident’s home, a written notice ten days before taking action. Either the resident or the mortgage-holder must pay the amount due within the ten days, or the park can ask the resident to move.
- A resident fails to comply with a law or government rule relating to manufactured home parks. The park must write to the resident and explain what the resident is doing wrong. The resident must then begin obeying the law or regulation within the time allowed or within a reasonable amount of time.
- A resident breaks the terms of the lease or the park’s rules. The park must provide a resident with written notice of the problem specifying the date, time, and nature of the alleged rule violation. The resident must comply with the lease or rules within 30 days after receiving the written notice. This 30-day time frame does not apply to nonpayment of rent. Nonpayment of rent requires compliance within ten days after the resident receives written notice.
- A resident repeatedly breaks important terms of the lease or park rules, or repeatedly breaks laws or governmental rules relating to manufactured home parks. The park has to give a resident written notice of the violations and a written warning that any future violation could result in eviction. If the resident commits a violation within six months of receiving the notice, the park can ask the resident to move immediately. For example, if a resident breaks important park rules, gets a 30-day warning, obeys the rules for 30 days, breaks the rules again, and gets another warning, then the park may give the resident written notice that future violations will be cause for eviction. If the resident then commits another serious violation within six months, the park can ask the resident to move.
- A resident does something in the manufactured home park that endangers other residents or park personnel, seriously damages park property, or substantially annoys other residents. The park can give a resident written notice and ask the resident to move within 30 days. The notice must state the time, date, and nature of the annoyance, damage or endangerment. The park may ask a resident to move immediately if the resident again endangers or substantially annoys people or seriously damages park property after the resident has received the 30-day notice. The park owner does not need to produce evidence of a criminal conviction to evict a resident.
- All or part of the manufactured home park is going to close. The owner must give residents nine months advance notice before the park will close. The park owner has additional responsibilities to residents when closing a park. If part of the park will remain open, a resident has the right to move within the park, providing a lot is available and the home fits the size and zoning of the lot. If the park is converting to a condominium, residents have additional rights under Minnesota law. The nine-month advance notice must tell residents the park is closing to convert to a condominium. Additionally, 120 days before the end of the nine months, the park owner must serve residents with a purchase agreement and provide residents with the option to purchase their lots. Subject to certain limitations, these provisions do not apply to the conversion of a manufactured home park to a cooperative incorporated under Minnesota Statute Chapters 308A or 308B. Condominium sales are governed by Minnesota Statute § 515A.4-110.
- The park owner is making improvements to the park that will substantially benefit the health and safety of the residents and it is necessary to remove a resident’s home to complete the work. The park must give residents who will be affected written notice 90 days before work will begin. This notice must explain how the improvements will benefit the residents. Residents have the right to move within the park, if the homes fit the size and zoning of the available lots.
- A resident gives false information in the lease application. The park can ask a resident to move if the resident has given false information in the lease application. However, a park may only evict residents for this reason if the park acts within one year of the date the resident started to pay rent. If the park asks a resident to move, but the resident feels he or she has a legal right to stay, the resident can refuse to move. In order to evict a resident, the park must go to court. If the court decides in favor of the park, the court will order the resident to move.
Defenses to Eviction
There are four defenses a resident can use to respond to a park owner’s eviction action. These include:
- A resident being evicted for nonpayment of rent has a defense if the money owed is being charged illegally by the park owner.
- A resident being evicted for nonpayment of rent has a defense if a park owner did not give proper notice of a rent increase, or increased the rent more than two times in 12 months.
- A resident being evicted due to a rule violation has a defense if the rule is unreasonable.
- A resident may use the landlord’s retaliation as a defense in an eviction action.
Right to Redemption
A resident has a right to redemption up to two times each year. This means a resident evicted for nonpayment of rent may stay in the park if the resident pays all money owed to the park, including rent, with interest, cost of the action, and an attorney’s fee of $5.
To evict a resident, a court must issue a “Writ of Restitution,” or a “Conditional Writ.” These writs provide different timelines for eviction:
- Under a Writ of Restitution, a resident must be allowed a reasonable period of time (up to seven days) to arrange to remove the resident’s home from the lot.
- Under a Conditional Writ, a resident must be allowed to reside in the park for a reasonable period (up to seven days). However, the resident’s home is allowed to remain on the lot for 60 days to allow for an in-park sale of the home.
Parks Cannot Retaliate
A park owner cannot retaliate against a resident for making a good faith effort to exercise the resident’s rights. The park cannot increase rent, decrease services, change the rental agreement, evict the resident, or threaten to do any of these things simply because a resident has:
- Complained in good faith to the park owner or to a government agency or official.
- Attempted in good faith to exercise rights under the lease, park rules, or any law or government rule.
- Participated in the activities of a resident association. Resident associations are organized for the purpose of resolving matters relating to living conditions in the park.
If the park tries to evict a resident within 90 days after the resident has taken any of these actions, the park has to prove in court that the eviction was not retaliatory. Even after 90 days have passed, if the resident can show evidence that the reason for the eviction is retaliation, the burden is on the park to prove otherwise.