Tenant refuses to sign lease / rules

Does anybody have experience in Ohio when a tenant refuses to sign a lease? Can there be an acknowledgement within the lease that if the tenant does not sign, the home has to be moved within 30 days, otherwise the lease is automatically enforceable?

Someone should respond with first had experience but you should get a copy of your state landlord / tenant regulations to confirm. You should be able to find them on line.
You should always have a copy of the regulations close at hand.

I have no experience in Ohio. But, generally, I think what you say (the lease is “automatically” enforceable) is the rule. The tenant has a choice to stay and agree/pay, or leave. They don’t have a choice to stay, pay, but not agree, unless the agreement is really something out of the ordinary.

Agreement is documented by “performance” which is paying the rent and not moving out. The rent goes with the rules (make sure delivery is documented) so if they agree to pay the rent they are agreeing to follow the rules (for the time period covered). If they pay the rent then they are agreeing.

Here’s a case I might worry about: If resident pre-paid for a year (under the “old” rules) then perhaps they do not need to agree to new rules before their money (lease) runs out and you have to look up the statute (law) in your state before you insist on changing the rules for them.

It’s different if you’re changing a month-to-month lease with 30 (or 60) days’ notice versus if you are amending the lease in the middle of the term (& they won’t agree to a lease modification). One is a lease renewal, the other is a modification of an existing lease. And they don’t need to agree to that if you’re changing something significant.


Hi MHPark,

Let me find this from an Ohio attorney and will respond in the next day or two.

Always good to get state-specific answer to general law questions because generally, law is state-specific.

Call the state MHA and ask them. The one here in FL has been very helpful.


Discussed with the OH attorney. We can’t force our tenants to sign the leases. However, if they are continuing to stay in the park, they are subject to same terms of the lease and rules that you have implemented.

Hope this helps.

I am, unfortunately, in OH and I have had this problem. You simply put in the 30 day notice that they will be subject to all the terms of the attached lease and let it go at that. As DallasMHP said, if they live there and continue to pay the new rent/abide by new terms, they have accepted the lease. Just went through an eviction where the guy thought he was cute and didn’t sign the lease. He was quite surprised when the judge booted him.


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Rolf, can you post a copy of that notice? Just curious, thanks.

@MHPark , as per your post:

  • “Tenant refuses to sign lease / rule”

We are not in Ohio.

However, in South Carolina as per the South Carolina code of Laws:
Title 27 - Property and Conveyances
Chapter 40
Residential Landlord And Tenant Act
SECTION 27-40-320. Effect of unsigned or undelivered rental agreement.

(a) If the landlord does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement which has been signed and delivered to the landlord by the tenant, acceptance of rent without reservation by the landlord gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the landlord.

(b) If the tenant does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement which has been signed and delivered to the tenant by the landlord, acceptance of possession and payment of rent without reservation gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the tenant.

© If a rental agreement given effect by the operation of this section provides for a term longer than one year, it is effective for only one year.

As per Section B:
If a Tenant accepts possession of a Written Rental Agreement & Pays the Rent without Reservation, it give the Rental Agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the Tenant.

On a side note Section C is interesting:
If a Rental Agreement is longer than 1 Year, it is effective for only 1 Year.

Personally, we like our Month-To-Month Leases.

Coach 62,

Here it is. Pretty basic and the judge didn’t have any problem with it. I understand each judicial district in OH is like its on little fiefdom, so you may have a different experience.


Effective 10-1-15, the terms under which you occupy lot 20 at Wheat Hill Mobile Home Community will change as follows:

  1. Your monthly lot rent will increase by $10.00.

  2. Your security deposit will increase by $10.00

  3. You will subject to the terms of a new, month-to-month, rental agreement. This will follow shortly.


Rolf Jacobs


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We have a few parks in OH. Seems like you have all the same conclusion. We encounter the same issue especially when we take over a new park. As Rolf and others stated, simply pass out the new Rules and Regulations & leases along with your cover letter. In our letter we inform the tenant of the following:

Failure to return a signed copy does not excuse you from these rules. They will still apply to you. However, failure to return the copy may indicate that you are not interested in remaining to reside at the park.

Note that this was reviewed by our attorney who is the lead counsel for the OH MHI so we are quite confident.


Thank you - makes sense, but reminds me a tad of the story that led to the class action lawsuit against Frank. If I recall he sent out a similar notice ( in Texas? ) and the JOP or whatever the hell he was ruled against him saying she didn’t sign it so it didn’t apply.

Not saying you’re wrong, just saying that it may not be airtight in every case.

Maybe Frank can jump in and point out where I’m wrong here.

Texas is a foreign country. We operate a bunch of parks in TX and evictions are adjudicated by the Justice of the Peace (JP). They are elected locally and are “good ol’ boys” not uncommonly retired police officers. They do not need ANY legal training and they make their own rulings, often contradictory to state law. You have the option of appealing to a higher court, but don’t expect that things will go well the next time you are in the JP court.

In jurisdictions like that, it is advised that you or the manager speak with the JP and his clerk to find out exactly how they want issues resolved. Some want a 3 day notice for non-payment and some a 7 or 10 day notice. In a situation like failing to abide by new rules that the resident did not sign, find out in advance what the JP will require and the rulings will go your way.

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It’s true Texas is a special place and landlord laws are often enforced based on the whims of the JP. It’s almost worth checking the JP and their style before purchasing a Park in TX, just so you know what you’re getting.

In Austin where Frank had issues they are a bunch of hippies voting for Bernie Sanders so it’s no surprise the JP there had a tenants based mindset you would find in Canada, no offense @Greg

No offence taken, fact is our Landlord Tenant Board was initially called the Tenant Protection Board. The name however is the only thing they have changed since it’s inception. To be honest though the regulations are only bad in Ontario, which is a nanny state/province, the rest of Canada is not so bad.