Raising rent in Illinois

Hi, I have an extremely small park (8 units, about 11 spaces I would trust to be move-in ready) very literally in my back yard of my home property that I purchased about 18 months ago. It was very mom and pop before, no leases, etc. Upon reading up on the state statues (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2209&ChapterID=62) I found I had to offer my tenants a 24 month lease which most of them took. I think I made a mistake, because based on my readings of the statues then (quoted below), I thought after a year I could raise the rent and I didn’t have to spell that out in my contract so I didn’t put anything in the contract. However, now that I’m ready to sent out rent increase letters, I looked at that again and I don’t think I can give a rent increase to tenants with a contract? The good news is this is only 5 units so I’m not leaving that much $ on the table, but does anyone else have an interpretation on that?Thanks to all–this forum has been helpful in talking myself through the transformation from nice landlady to yes, I am in this to make money if I have to look at a trailer park out the back windows of my house. 

(765 ILCS 745/6)
Sec. 6. Obligation of Park Owner to Offer Written Lease.Except as provided in this Act, no person shall offer a mobile home or lot for rent or sale in a mobile home park without having first exhibited to the prospective tenant or purchaser a copy of the lease applicable to the respective mobile home park, unless the prospective tenant waives this right in writing. (a) The park owner shall be required, on a date before the date on which the lease is signed, to offer to each present and future tenant a written lease for a term of not less than 24 months, unless the prospective tenant waives that right and the parties agree to a different term subject to existing leases which shall be continued pursuant to their terms. … (d) The park owner shall give 90 days’ notice of any rent increase and no rent increase shall go into effect until 90 days after the notice. Upon receipt of the notice of the rent increase, a tenant shall have 30 days in which to accept or reject the rent increase. If the tenant rejects the rent increase, the tenant must notify the park owner of the date on which the tenant will vacate the premises, which shall be a date before the effective date of the rent increase.  (e) The park owner may provide for a specified rent increase between the first and second years of the lease.

From what I am reading, as long as you give a 90 day notice and it is between the first and second year of the lease you should be ok. Hopefully someone else with some good experience can also jump in and answer for you as well. You can always contact your state association and see what they say as well.

I’ve owned a park in Illinois for the past 3 years and yes, you must offer a 24 month lease.  Doesn’t mean you are required to use a 24 month lease.  We much prefer to have tenants on month-to-month leases, so we have a 1-page “Rejection of 2 year Lease” document that any new tenant signs, stating that they waive the 24 months lease offer.  Also, you must give 90 days notice of a rent increase.Sounds like if you already have 24 month leases in place, you will need to wait until those expire to raise the rent.  However, it might be worth the money to have a competent attorney (e.g. one that knows the IL Mobile Home Park Act) to review your lease and advise you further.

Hi Rob_Mosher, I am new here and this is my first post. I am curious as to why you prefer to have the tenants on month to month? Is it so you can move them out fast if you need to?Thanks!

Yes, and also raise the rent whenever you want to, or need to.If a tenant will not obey the park rules, the fastest, easiest method is simply to non-renew their month-to-month lease.

I am in the process of purchasing a park in IL.  Would someone recommend a Title company and/or an attorney in IL that is familiar with MHP businesses?  Also, after closing, my first step is to bill back the w/s/t expenses, that should not be considered as rent increase, correct? Thanks in advance.