Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act
Title 27 Chapter 47 of the South Carolina Code of Laws is known as the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act.
Mobile Home Parks are distinct in that individuals can rent the land on which their mobile home sits. What makes mobile home parks even more special are tight knit communities that can be built due the common rules residents agreed to before living in the community. However, the only constant in life is change. Personal circumstances change, park rules change, owners change, but knowing the laws that govern mobile home parks can help you maintain control of those changing circumstances.
Mobile home park residents deal with problems that are unique to park life. South Carolina recognized this and implemented the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act. This act clarifies the law governing the renting of lots in a South Carolina mobile home park.
It is important to note that this act only applies to the renting of a lot within a mobile home park. For this act to apply, the following must be true:
- The tenant owns the manufactured home and rents the land in a mobile home park.
- The mobile home park has more than five lots available to rent
This act does not apply to a rental lot for Recreational Vehicles or towed campers.
Before we start lets take a look at how this act legally defines a Mobile Home in South Carolina:
“A structure transportable in one or more sections which in the traveling mode is eight body feet or more in width or forty body feet or more in length or when erected on site is three hundred twenty or more square feet and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems contained in the structure.”Title 27 Chapter 47 SECTION 27 47 210(1) South Carolina Code of Laws
The Rental Agreement
Section 27-47-310 (A) of this act says that the mobile home park owner must provide the resident with an agreement in writing that states the terms and conditions for renting a lot in a mobile home park. This section also specifies what must be included in the lot rental agreement.
- Duration of the lease
- Location and approximate size of the lot leased pursuant to the agreement
- Monthly rental rate
- Date payment is due
- Place of payment
- Personal property, services, and facilities provided by the owner
- Regulations governing residency which, if violated, may be cause for eviction
- Statement of amounts to be paid by the resident including, but not limited to, security deposits, Service fees, and installation charges
- Improvements, if any, which the resident may make to the rental lot including landscaping
- Improvements, if any, required to be made by the resident
- Restrictions, if any, regarding pets, children, number of occupants, and vehicle storage
- Notice required to exercise option for renewal or to terminate tenancy.
The Mobile Home Park Owner Obligations
A Mobile Home Park Owner must provide written notice to residents of the park at least 30 days in advance before raising the lot rent.
Most park owners awesome people, but some may try to raise the rent in the middle of a 12-month lease. If this happens, simply pull out your leasing agreement and read the rate that you locked in for a 12-month period. If you are living on a month-to-month lease in a mobile home park, you may open yourself up to multiple lot rent increases during your time at the park. It may be to your advantage to lock in a longer rental agreement period if you are planning on staying in the park for a while.
Approving or disapproving potential tenants is the responsibility of the park owner or manager. However, there is a small loophole written in Section 27-47-440 (B) that states:
“The owner has fifteen days after receiving the purchaser’s written application for entry to the park to notify him in writing of approval or disapproval. Notice is complete upon deposit in the United States mail addressed to the purchaser at the address stated in his application. If the owner fails to act within fifteen days, the application is approved.”Title 27 Chapter 47 Section 27-47-440 (B) South Carolina Code of Laws
Technically, if the owner or manager of the park does not respond to your written application, you are approved. Is this realistic? Most likely not because you would still need a rental agreement in order to live in the park. It would be best to ask the owner of the park for an update on the application. Most mobile home park owners are super friendly and personable. If your park application is delayed, it is most likely an honest mistake.
If you are a resident of a mobile home park what are your obligations?
- Comply with the obligations of applicable provisions of the building, housing, and health codes
- Keep the manufactured home lot clean
- Comply with regulations and the rental agreement and require other persons in the park with his consent to comply and conduct themselves in a manner that does not disturb other residents unreasonably or violate the rental agreement
- Pay rent on time
- Give written notice to the owner whether he desires to continue the tenancy beyond the original term within thirty days of receiving notice of a new rental rate under Section 27‑47‑420.
Security deposits are usually required when moving into a mobile home park. Tenants are owed this money when they leave the park. The owner, however, can withhold all or a certain amount of the deposit for rent not paid or damages caused by tenants. However, in order for the owner to withhold any amount of money from the security deposit deductions must be itemized in a written notice to the resident within thirty days after the tenant leaves the park.
In the unfortunate event a tenant of a mobile home park is facing eviction, it is important to know what can happen to your home if you do not get it off the property.
“If a manufactured home remains on the lot twenty days after the resident has been evicted, the procedure in Section 29‑15‑10 may be commenced in order to sell the home in a commercially reasonable sale at public auction. The manufactured home owner or resident is not prohibited from moving the home before the day of the sale; however, he must pay any filing fee or advertising costs incurred for initiating the procedure in Section 29‑15‑10.”Title 27 Chapter 47 SECTION 27 47 530 South Carolina Code of Laws
If you find your self in this situation, give us a call!
If you would like to read the Tenancy Act for yourself, click here.