How do I get rid of an abandoned Mobile Home on my property?
Unwanted or abandoned mobile homes can be a nuisance for South Carolina landowners. Believe it or not, there is an official process to remove, demolish, or sell the mobile home even if you do not have the title! It is important to note that the county is the entity that will be selling the mobile home at a public auction, not yourself as the landowner.
This article will be focusing on Section 6-1-150 SC Code of Laws: Derelict mobile homes; removal and sale. Please note that this is South Carolina State law, each county may have a slight variation in what county agency should be contacted for the removal of a mobile home.
South Carolina uses the word “derelict” for an abandoned mobile home. However, for the purposes of this article, we will be using the terms “derelict” and “abandoned” interchangeably. Title 6 of South Carolina Code of Laws gives the following definition for a derelict mobile home:
- Not connected to electricity or not connected to a source of safe potable water supply sufficient for normal residential needs, or both
- Not connected to a Department of Health and Environmental Control approved wastewater disposal system; or
- Unoccupied for a period of at least thirty days and for which there is clear and convincing evidence that the occupant does not intend to return on a temporary or permanent basis, and is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe, or vermin-infested that it creates a hazard to the health or safety of the occupants, the persons using the mobile home, or the public.
In law, conjunctions are very important. The above statement is the law verbatim, however, only the first four words, “Not connected to electricity”, must be true for the home to be deemed derelict.
What must you do as a landowner to have to the mobile home deemed derelict by the State of South Carolina?
- Apply to the local official to have the mobile home inspected
- Receive written confirmation from the local official that the mobile home has been inspected and meets the requirements for removal and disposal or sale
- Follow the procedures in Section 29-15-10 to notify the owner of the mobile home and any lienholders that the local official has determined the mobile home is a derelict mobile home and that the matter is the subject of a proceeding in the magistrate’s court
- Post a notice on each door of the mobile home for thirty consecutive days reading substantially as follows
This mobile home is the subject of a proceeding in the magistrates court to determine if it will be removed from this property. For further information, please contact: (name and telephone number of landowner seeking removal) or (name and telephone number of magistrates court where action is pending).
(Date of Notice)”
The “local official” may vary from county to county. If you’re not sure who your local official is, we would recommend starting with your county permitting or zoning office. After the home is inspected, the local official will determine whether the home has value and can be sold or the home has no value and must be removed and demolished.
If the home is to be sold, you must file with the magistrate’s office following the procedures in Section 29-15-10.
Section 29-15-10 Procedures
You as landowner must notify the owner and or lienholder of the mobile home of what is to happen to the home i.e. remove, sell, or demolish.
What if you do not know who the owner or lienholder of the mobile is? This is where the Department of Motor Vehicles comes in. To find owner information you must fill out the following form:
TR-2: Report of Abandoned, Derelict, or Unclaimed Vehicle or Mobile Home (Second form from the bottom of page)
You must notify the owner of the mobile home within five days of receiving the identity and contact information of the mobile homeowner. The magistrate will verify that the owner and or lienholder has been notified and then post the item for sale.
Who pays for the removal of the mobile home if the local official says it must be removed and demolished?
“All costs of removal and disposal are the responsibility of the owner of the derelict mobile home, and may be waived only by order of the magistrates court or if a local governing body has a program that covers removal and disposal costs.”
What happens if you refuse to pay for the removal of the mobile home that needs to be removed and demolished?
“If the landowner is the owner of the derelict mobile home and is unwilling or unable to pay the costs of removal and disposal, a lien for the costs of removal and disposal may be placed on the landowner’s real property where the derelict mobile home was located.”
If you have an abandoned mobile home on your property, give us a call!