Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals
Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals
Unless a Minnesota Manufactured Home (hereinafter, the “Home”), is situated on real property which is owned by the owner of the Home (hereinafter, the “Resident”), the Resident must rent land from a Manufactured Home park (hereinafter, the “Park”) on which to locate the Home.
Because Manufactured Homes are not easily relocated once they have been situated on real property, opportunities could arise for exploitation of Owner-Residents by the owner of the Park (hereinafter, the “Park Owner”).
Therefore, a number of statutes have been adopted for the purpose of protecting Owner-Residents of Minnesota Manufactured Homes from oppressive conduct by Park Owners.
Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals – Preliminary Written Notice
Before being asked to sign a written rental agreement, a prospective resident of a Park must be given a printed statutory notice – in boldface type – providing a summary of certain statutes which will be applicable to the relationship between the Park Owner, and the residents of the Park.
This statutory notice must also be:
- posted in a conspicuous and public location within the Park, and
- provided with any residency application to live in the Park.
Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals – Lot Rental Agreement
Minnesota statutes provide that every agreement to rent a lot on which a Minnesota Manufactured Home will be situated must be:
- written, and
- signed by both the Park Owner, and the Resident.
The Park Owner must also provide a copy of a proposed rental agreement to a prospective Resident prior to signature, so that the prospective Resident can review the proposed rental agreement before signing it.
Any rental agreement with respect to a lot on which a Minnesota Manufactured Home will be situated must specify the terms and conditions of the agreement between the parties, including the following:
- Identification of the location of the specific lot to be rented, by its address or site number;
- The amount of rent to be paid to the Park Owner each month, together with a statement identifying all of the personal property, services, and facilities which the Park Owner will be providing to the Resident;
- Identification of the rights, duties, and obligations of the parties to the agreement, and all rules of the Park which will be applicable to the Resident;
- The amount of any security deposit or other financial obligation imposed on the Resident by the Park Owner; and
- The name of any person holding a security interest in the Home owned by the Resident.
Park rules are intended to govern the conduct of all residents within the Park.
(i) Changes to Park Rules
Minnesota statutes provide that a Park Owner must give a Resident at least 60 days advance written notice of any pending change in the Park rules.
A Park Rule adopted or amended after a Resident initially entered into a rental agreement may be enforced against that Resident only if the new or amended rule:
- is reasonable, and
- is not a substantial modification of the original agreement.
In addition, any changes in the Park rules which are necessitated by government action will not constitute substantial modifications of the rental agreement.
Furthermore, any change in the Park rules requiring all residents to maintain their homes, sheds, and other associated improvements in a good repair and safe condition will not be deemed to be a substantial modification of the rental agreement.
In fact, if a part of any Resident’s Home, shed, or other associated improvements become so dilapidated that:
- repair is impractical, and
- total replacement is necessary,
the Park Owner may require the Resident to make such a replacement in conformity with a generally applicable rule adopted after the Resident initially entered into a rental agreement with the Park Owner.
(ii) Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals – Security Deposits
According to Minnesota statutes, any security deposit increase shall be deemed to be a substantial modification of the rental agreement.
(iii) Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals – Rent Increases
However, a reasonable rent increase made in accordance with Minnesota statutes:
- is not a substantial modification of the rental agreement, and
- is not considered to be a Park Rule change subject to statutory restrictions.
(iv) Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals – Enforcement of Park Rules
If a Park Resident fails to comply with any rule, and a court finds that the rule is reasonable, and not a substantial modification of the rental agreement:
- the court shall issue an order in favor of the Park Owner,
- together with a judgment for costs incurred by the Park Owner in seeking enforcement of the Park Rule.
In such event, the court shall order the Resident to comply with the Park Rule within 10 days.
Thereafter, if the Resident fails to comply with the Park Rule, the Park Owner may, upon proof of three days prior written notice to the Resident, ask the court for an order evicting the Resident from the Park.
Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals – Providing Notice to Park Residents
Whenever a Park Owner is required by Minnesota statutes to give notice to any resident in the Park, the Park Owner may do so pursuant to any of the following methods:
- Personal service upon the Resident by the Sheriff, or by any private process server.
- Mailing the notice by U.S. first class mail to the last known mailing address of the Resident.
- Delivering the notice to the Resident’s Home – providing that the notice is either left with someone of suitable age and discretion at the Home, or placed in a secure and conspicuous location at the Home.
- Mailing the notice by U.S. certified mail – which shall be effective even if the Resident refuses to sign the green card acknowledging delivery of the Notice.
Minnesota statutes require that all rental agreements identify the initial amount of monthly rent to be charged to the Resident.
Thereafter, the Park Owner cannot increase the amount of the monthly rent unless the Park Owner provides the Resident with 60 days advance written notice of the increase.
In addition, the monthly rent cannot be increased to pay, in whole or in part, any civil or criminal penalty imposed upon the Park Owner by either a court, or a government agency.
The monthly rent on a Resident can be increased by the Park Owner only twice during any 12 month period.
Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals – Uniform Rent
All monthly lot rental charges must be uniform throughout the Park, with the exception that additional rent may be charged to a Resident with respect to a lot that is:
- larger than normal in size, or
- in a better location within the Park.
In addition, a Park Owner is permitted to reduce, or waive altogether, the monthly rental charges to a particular resident who has special needs.
A Park Owner may charge a reasonable fee for rental payments which are not made on time – providing that such a delinquent payment fee is identified in the rental agreement.
Park rules may provide for a limitation on the maximum number of persons permitted to reside in any Home within the Park, providing that such limitation is related to:
- the size of the Home, and
- the number of rooms that it contains.
However, no Park Owner can charge a fee to any Resident – whether as a part of, or in addition to, the monthly rent – which is based upon:
- the number of persons residing or staying in the Resident’s Home,
- the number or age of children residing or staying in the Resident’s Home,
- the number of guests staying in the Resident’s Home,
- the size of the Resident’s Home,
- the fact that the Resident’s Home is temporarily vacant, or
- the type of personal property [such as washers or dryers] used or located in the Home.
A Park Owner may charge an additional monthly fee of $4.00 per pet residing on any given lot.
A Park Owner may require a Resident to maintain a security deposit with the Park Owner in an amount not to exceed two months rent, which deposit is designed:
- to secure the Resident’s performance of the rental agreement, and
- to protect the Park Owner from damage by the Resident to Park property, including any damage done by the Resident in the installation or removal of the Resident’s Home.
In addition, the provisions of M.S. Section 504B.178 generally applicable to landlords and tenants – including the amount of interest to be paid on security deposits – shall be applicable to any security deposit held by a Park Owner.
Minnesota statutes require that a Park Owner who provides utility services to its residents can only charge the residents for such services in a manner allowed by the statutes.
Specifically, a Park Owner who charges for utility services must charge each household within the Park the same amount for such services, unless the Park Owner has installed separate usage meters for each household.
In addition, a Park Owner shall not charge for utility services at a rate which is greater than the rate which is charged to single-family dwellings with comparable service within the same market area.
In regards to the provision of electricity to Park residents, a Park Owner is permitted to charge residents a rate for electricity services which would allow it to avoid losing money in the process – excluding any administrative charges, capital expenditures, or similar expenses.
With the exception of monthly rent and utility charges authorized by statute, a Park Owner is prohibited by statute from charging any other fee to a Park Resident, or to a prospective resident, for the right to obtain or retain the use of a lot within the Park.
Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals – Installation and Removal Charges
A Park Owner is permitted to enter into a written contract with a Resident, and to receive a fee, for the Park Owner to either:
- install the Resident’s Home on a lot within the Park, or
- remove a Resident’s Home from the Park.
However, a Park Owner cannot require a Resident to use the Park owner’s services to either install or remove a Home, unless the Park Owner provides such services without charge.
Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals – Lot Maintenance
A Park Owner can charge a Resident for necessary maintenance services provided to a Resident’s lot if:
- such maintenance is required by either the lease, Park rules, Minnesota statutes, or local ordinances, and
- the Resident fails to perform such maintenance.
If a Park Owner performs the required maintenance, the Park Owner can charge the Resident for the reasonable cost of performing such services, plus a fee of up to $10, providing that before performing such services, the Park Owner gives the Resident a written notice which identifies:
- the work that needs to be done,
- the reason why such work is necessary, and
- a deadline for completing such work.
The notice must explain that if the Resident does not complete the required work by the stated deadline, the Park Owner will do the work, and send the Resident a bill for the permitted charges which identifies:
- the work performed,
- the date of its performance,
- the total cost of performing the work,
- the method used in computing the cost, and
- a deadline for payment by the Resident – which shall not be less than 30 days after the service of the notice.
In an emergency, if a failure to perform the required maintenance will endanger either Park facilities, or other residents, the Park Owner may give the Resident a written notice requiring immediate compliance.
However, if immediate compliance is essential for health or safety reasons, the Park Owner:
- need not provide the written notice, and
- can do the necessary work, and charge the Resident the reasonable cost of providing such services.
The Park Owner has the same right to collect such charges as the Park Owner has to collect rent owed by the Resident.
Conclusion – Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals
Please contact Minnesota Attorney Gary C. Dahle for assistance with:
- Minnesota Mobile Home Lot Rentals,
- the preparation of any Minnesota Manufactured Home resale purchase agreement or lease,
- issues relating to seller financing of a Home resale, or
- other title or security interest concerns.
Legal fees will be applicable – and advance payment may be required.
If you have an e-mail account, and a good Internet connection, Attorney Gary C. Dahle can assist you in any Minnesota County.
Copyright 2018 – All Rights Reserved.
2704 County Road 10, Mounds View, MN 55112
Phone: 763-780-8390 Fax: 763-780-1735
Information provided herein is only for general informational and educational purposes. The laws regarding Minnesota manufactured homes involve many complex legal issues.
If you have a specific legal problem about which you are seeking advice, please consult with a Minnesota attorney at law.
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