Own a MH in a park, park owner upset with tenants, threatening me

Hi there. I’m cross-posting this from another forum, BiggerPockets, at the advice of another user. The question pertains just as much to those who own parks as to landlords. The thread in question with relative responses and follow-up questions and answers can be found at: https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/30/topics/249512-own-a-mh-in-a-park-park-owner-upset-with-tenants-threatening-me. I apologize for linking, but I think it is best to include as much information as possible to serve those willing to help with everything I can.

Here’s the post:

"Hey guys, it’s good to finally be here. I bought my first mobile home about 6 months ago and have been renting it to this couple and their kids for most of that time. The home is in a mobile home park (~15 units), and the park owner is very strict. My tenants pay every month, but I’ve received 3 phone calls about their behavior from the park owner since the beginning. He has mentioned they have a cat, which they didn’t tell me about; that their kids are riding bikes on the park road; and that this time, tonight, the cops have been over there and that they are still outside yelling at each other. Another resident is calling him up about it.

I talked to them about the bikes as soon as I heard about it two months ago; no more complaints since. But the hothead park owner, freshly angry, brings up all the past, of which I’ve only been aware of the three (he says there are a bunch of other times he has had to go over there), and says this is the final straw. I ask him what he suggests I do. He says, I don’t know, but anymore trouble and you’re going to have to move your trailer. Now I’m a bit stressed because this is the first time I’ll have had to handle this situation.

I’d much rather evict my tenants than move the trailer, so I can bring new tenants in, which he is fine with. Their various times breaking park rules (noise mainly), should suffice as breaking the terms of the lease, but I’m not sure how easy this will be because the park owner has provided me with absolutely zero written notice of these things happening.

What should I do? Do I need to ask the park owner to write something up stating they’ve broken the rules? Do I then immediately start evictions proceedings? Should I start the eviction now or give them this last chance that I myself am being given?

Any advice or guidelines will help me a lot, and I’ll be watching this thread to provide answers to any questions. Thanks, guys."

I’d like to add that the park owner and myself are on good terms, and he is okay with me staying if I can evict the tenants. I feel though that he should be supplying me with written notice of violations by my tenants to aid in any eviction process. How would you park owners suggest I proceed?

What state are you in?

Do you know if your state requires ‘just cause’ to evict a mobile home from a park, or if a lot lease can be terminated for any reason with property notice? Are you month to month or locked into a year long contract on the lot lease? Is your tenant month to month with you or locked into a long term home lease?

Regardless, I would emphasize with the owner that you very much want to be a good neighbor and helpful member of the community, but you would really need/want some written documentation of either rules violations or police reports before taking action against your tenants. This is a reasonable request on your end.

How hard I would push back or acquiesce would depend on the above questions.

Hey Noel, thanks for responding.

I am located in Virginia. There needs to be cause for eviction. My second post at Biggerpockets should provide for information:

"Hi Curt, I spoke again with the park owner and he is totally fine with me staying in the park if I begin an eviction. In fact, he likes me and considers me personally a good renter, but finds my tenants unacceptable, understandably. The tenants have signed both my lease as landlord, as well as the lot lease with the park owner (of which I signed, too). I’ll recite my lease and the lot lease from memory as I am away from my home.

From my lease: “NOISE: Any complaints of excessive noise or general misconduct on the premises which disturbs others will be considered a breach of this contract”.

From the lot lease there are several: “Must keep control of children at all times. Children are not allowed to ride bicycles in the road. Quiet hours after 9PM on weekdays. Home is not to be used as a hangout. If police are called to your lot, you WILL be evicted!!!”

I placed a written form informing them of the violations and included the last time in September that I spoke with them about the bicycles. I spoke with the park owner and believe I would like to begin an eviction because these people are proving troublesome. Regarding Virginia evictions for breach of conduct, I found this:

"30-Day Notice

For a breach of the rental agreement that endangers the safety and health of others, the landlord must serve a 30-day Virginia eviction notice. This advises the tenant:
•That he or she has 21-days to cure the breach, or
•Vacate the premises, or
•The lease will terminate at the end of the 30-days and the landlord will bring an eviction action in court

Examples of these types of lease violations include excessive noise, having unauthorized pets or persons living on the property or operating a business on the premises,

For lease violations that are not subject to being cured or are irremediable, the landlord need only serve a 30-day notice advising that the lease will terminate in 30-days."

I hate to do it, but I think I’m going to provide a 30-day notice of termination and hopefully move some better people in next go round. I’ll be asking the park owner for something written as well to aid in my case assuming the tenants carry this all the way to court. I’ll also try to get a police report, which should seal the deal. I hate to do it to paying tenants that don’t ask for much, but pissing off the park owner and having to deal with him all the time will be too much I think.

Get rid of your tenants, get what ever info/support you need to get to make the eviction successful.
You may believe the owner is OK with you but as a landlord my opinion is he will not feel that way much longer. There is nothing worse in my books than having a home owner rent out their home in my community. This is the worse case scenario for a community owner.
Fix it asap and patch up the issues, which you believe you do not have, with the owner.

You will need to make a special effort to insure this does not repeat itself with your next tenants. The problem you have is that the type of people that rent mobile homes are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the tenant pool. Set your standards very high. Your landlord should be the one doing the screening of your tenant applicants.

@youngVAMHlandlord , as per your question:

  • “What should I do?..Should I start the eviction now or give them this last chance that I myself am being given?”

First of all “Congratulations on actively pursuing investments”!

That is awesome that you are on BiggerPockets and that you have purchased a MH as a Rental Investment!

May you be very successful in your ventures!

Now as a MHP Owner (who previously had a Lonnie Dealer in one of our MHPs) my advice would be to evict your Tenants immediately.

Your Tenants actually do not sound that bad (relatively speaking) with the exception of yelling at each other and having the cops called.

However, you and your Tenants are really subject to the Rules and Regulations of the actual MHP Owner.

Now our Lonnie Dealer’s Tenants had bad behavior (such as urinating outside…Tenant admitted to urinating outside and claimed that it was perfectly acceptable…NO, as the MHP Owner urinating outside is NOT acceptable).

This Tenant also decided to physically abuse his significant other (NOT acceptable as the MHP Owner) with the cops called and a police report.

Our Lonnie Dealer thought that all the above was acceptable. That Lonnie Dealer is no longer in our MHP…period…and it did not end on a good note.

I totally understand that you have to start somewhere (when investing).

I would recommend selling your current Mobile Home investment and saving your pennies for a very small MHP (where you own the land and you get to make the rules :grinning: ).

If a very small MHP is out of reach financially, you can even start with 1 MH located on its own land (where you purchase the MH and land).

We wish you the very best!

Hey, guys. Thanks for the answers.

I gave my tenants a 30 days notice to vacate on Friday. They did it to themselves, and I don’t want to keep troublesome tenants.

Thanks for the encouragement, Kristin. :smile: I have five MH now, and will likely get a few more over time. They’re proving some great cash flow that I will use toward more stable investments in time. A mobile home park would be great, and it is definitely not out of the question.

My #1 management recommendation for park owners from both a maximization of NOI and a reduction of risk perspective is to have a good set of tenant/park rules and consistently enforce them. Good tenants want to live by other good tenants. Doing this often puts the park / homes on an upward spiral.