Mystery Home Owner - How to proceed

I have searched the archives and found a few instances of this situation but due to the early stages of this progression I need direction. I do not own any homes in my park. I have a 96 year old tenant who has been in the park since it’s inception I believe. When we took over ownership of the park 6 months ago, he was rehabbing from a hip fracture so we were unable to get any of our paperwork signed from him. His children took over his affairs in which we had no contact information for them and sold the home without contacting us. We require signed park contract and a background check to approve new tenants. We were told by the other tenants that they believe the house sold and we started making phone calls. The 96 year old tenant was not helpful and very confused so we got his children’s phone numbers from him and contacted them. They informed us that they did indeed sell the home, that they had a cash purchase on the spot and they signed title over immediately. Because we were aware of the lack of paperwork from them, we asked for the new tenant information so we could proceed with approval paperwork. They refused to give us any further information, were very rude and ended the conversation. They quick sold the home for $5000 so this could mean any number of questionable tenants. It has been two days now and we have yet to receive any information or call from the new owner. If I have no idea who bought the home, how do I proceed to file for either a no trespassing or eviction/possession on the home? I do however have a key to that home in which the former owner of the park presented to me, but can I legally use that key? Do I change the locks, hang no trespassing signs or proceed with an attorney?

The legal approach would depend upon state law (or even what the local judge or jp wants) but I would approach it this way.

  1. Use the key to enter the home to inspect for safety issues such as a gas leak, dangerous electric wires, food spoilage in the refrigerator, etc. Of course you will note whether the home is occupied and whether you want to keep the home in the park if the new resident is satisfactory.
  2. Leave a notice on the door (in an envelope). If abandoned, there is usually a state requirement about abandonment notices. If occupied, the note should state that the resident needs to comply with your requirements or the home will be subject to eviction.
  3. Follow through on the path that # 2 leads to. If abandoned, the decision is easy but you have to go through all the hoops to get possession via state law. If the prior owner’s family said they sold it for $5,000 cash, the new owner either intends to move it out, or live in it in the park. If the latter, and (s)he does not contact you, institute the legal process. I would speak to the local court where evictions are done to see what they want for procedure and paperwork and whether you need an attorney for the process.
  4. I would not change the locks or do anything you would not do in another park homeowner’s home. It will take time to resolve this, but be assured that you have the upper hand in who lives in the park (provided that you do not unfairly discriminate). Keep us informed.

I am in oklahoma if that helps.

I would put a note on the door informing the buyer that the sale was done without park approval. Inform them that until such time that they contact you and complete the application process they are considered to be trespassing and will be charged with such.
Make sure they understand they are not accepted tenants and are not permitted on the property.
Fear is your most powerful tool. Use it.

Chances are they will not qualify and you will need to proceed with an eviction anyway.

Have you received lot rent? If not, then send a demand letter to the home under the name of the last owner of record “and all occupants”, and start your eviction process. You could also simply non-renew the lease to make them come to you and sign up a new one.

Under no event would I suggest you enter the home. They will more than likely claim you stole their priceless jewelry or something similar.

It will be really hard to do the trespassing charge, as this will likely be deemed a civil matter (a tenant who bought a home and did not sign a ground lease yet) and the police would probably not act on it.

Yes rent is paid up til July, already have eviction paperwork ready. We really wanted to phase that mobile out, it’s really too old. Will give new owner a chance to contact me. Thanks everyone!

Rod also in Ok try to be civil and cool you motor and be watchful. The home was old when you bought the park and some places in OK the chances of filling the spot with a newer home is slow and the neighbors are watching. Under no terms enter their private home