Frank - Florida a "tenant friendly state"?

I’m reading older posts doing homework before the Orlando boot camp, I came across a post Frank made this summer lumping Florida in with California and NY as a “tenant friendly state” to avoid.I was surprised at this and was wondering why?  I’ve owned rentals in FL for many years, had to evict several times and never had a problem.  Most evictions are completed in 4-6 weeks.   My only nightmare eviction was unusual.  They got a free legal aide attny that tried to get them off on technicalities.  By chance I got the worst judge around, known as a liberal “tenant hugger”.  It still only took 8 weeks.If evicting for past due rent, if the tenant wants to fight it they have to put the contested sum of money into an account the court holds.  So if I claim they’re past due $700, they have to put that amount into the court escrow account to even fight it.  If they don’t put that money into the court to hold, they lose automatically and pretty much instantly.So with that in mind, why is FL lumped with CA and NY for tenant friendly states?  The reason I ask is that I’m still trying to find a MHP in FL to purchase.  If there’s something I don’t know I need to learn it.Thanks!PS - I should add that I used to own several, and manage several dozen units in Indiana.  Granted, evictions were extremely easy there, but I don’t consider them terrible here at all.  Evictions in Indianapolis typically took about 3 weeks, sometimes less.

Here’s an article that demonstrates why we consider Florida “tenant friendly”. Not only is there the legal case law to fight rent increases, but also a law, passed in 1984, giving tenants the first option to buy the park, which makes selling parks in Florida extremely difficult. We’re no expert on Florida – we’ve never owned a park there – but we hear negative feedback from park owners there all the time on the legal environment, particularly the “tenant first right of refusal law”.Manufactured Homes: The Resident-owned OptionCo-ops Give Residents Greater Voice In Their CommunityNovember 24, 1996|By Mary Shanklin of The Sentinel StaffFRUITLAND PARK — When Mike Skeen bought a double-wide trailer on a hillside of Bonfire WayMobile Home Village in this Lake County town eight years ago, he paid $169 a month to rent his site.A California dentist owned the 247-lot park and raised rents until four years later Skeen was paying $229 a month. That’s when the insurgence occurred.Residents fought the owner’s rent increases, and he offered to sell the park to them. They raised $1.5 million for closing costs, operating reserves and a 25 percent down payment and purchased it for $4.3 million.That’s how Bonfire Way joined a growing number of mobile home parks that proudly display the words ‘‘a resident-owned community’’ on their entrance signs.’‘It’s kind of a quiet revolution in the whole state,’’ said Skeen, who speaks to mobile home community residents about becoming a cooperative, or co-op as they’re popularly known.Residents of apartment complexes in metropolitan areas have long pooled their resources and purchased their buildings from landlords. In Florida during the past decade, about 400 mobile home parks have been purchased by residents. That’s about 10 percent of the parks in the state, according to an estimate by the Florida Manufactured Housing Association, an industry trade group in Tallahassee.Co-ops are run by the people who live in the parks and have invested in them. Resident owners determine: the number of board members, type of officers and election process, meeting schedule, etc.A state law, passed in 1984, gives residents the first chance to buy a park when the owner decides to sell. The co-op phenomenon became more popular in the 1990s as low interest rates made it easier for residents to borrow money for the purchase.Parks in Central Florida that have been purchased by residents include Zellwood Station in northwest Orange County and Hacienda Village in Winter Springs. The relatively new form of ownership is the most popular in Polk and Lake county retirement communities.’‘I haven’t seen any downside to this, and I expect it’s going to continue as rents escalate,’’ and the population continues to age, said Lake County Property Appraiser Ed Havill.For buyers who are considering purchasing a manufactured home and living in a park, weighing the pros and cons of investor-owned vs. resident-owned communities can mean a significant difference in lifestyles and bank account size.

Thank you.  While I’ve owned rentals, I’ve never owned a MHP obviously.Maybe I’m missing something though.  If I go to sell, and offer the tenants the park, as long as I set the price what is the downside?  Honestly not trying to be difficult, but I need to fully understand this.

As a former resident and property owner in Florida as per Frank’s comments he is totally correct since there are states with better overall cap rates and less tenant’s evection problems look else where. 

Hi Carl,
Could you highlight 4 or 5 of those states? I’m just starting to look into this space and I’m agnostic in regards to location right now. Would love a poke in the right direction. Thanks in advance for the help!


With all due respect to the above posters, Florida is NOT a hard state to evict in - at all. It’s actually quite easy, usually takes less than 2 weeks. I once had a tenant get a very “tenant hugger” judge and free legal aid, even then, it took about 3 weeks.

I’ve constantly owned multiple investment properties in FL since 1999.

In order for a tenant to contest an eviction, they have to post a bond in the amount of rent the landlord claims they are in arrears with the court. This NEVER happens.

So if I say a tenant is behind in his rent $1,500, he has to bring that amount in cash to the court to post as bond if he chooses to contest the eviction. Again - this never happens and I get the eviction by default.

Frank says FL is tenant friendly for different reasons.

Thanks for the input Coach!