With the Governor signing into law several new bills that will go into effect on July 1, 2011, one specific section will help mobile home owners and mobile park owners. Section 723.024 of the Florida Statutes has been created to allow local governments to enforce violations of 723.022 and 723.023 against the party responsible for the violation. I have listed the statutes referred to in the new law below:
723.022 Mobile home park owner’s general obligations. A mobile home park owner shall at all times:
(1)Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes.
(2)Maintain buildings and improvements in common areas in a good state of repair and maintenance and maintain the common areas in a good state of appearance, safety, and cleanliness.
(3)Provide access to the common areas, including buildings and improvements thereto, at all reasonable times for the benefit of the park residents and their guests.
(4)Maintain utility connections and systems for which the park owner is responsible in proper operating condition.
(5)Comply with properly promulgated park rules and regulations and require other persons on the premises with his or her consent to comply therewith and conduct themselves in a manner that does not unreasonably disturb the park residents or constitute a breach of the peace.
723.023 Mobile home owner’s general obligations. A mobile home owner shall at all times:
(1)Comply with all obligations imposed on mobile home owners by applicable provisions of building, housing, and health codes.
(2)Keep the mobile home lot which he or she occupies clean and sanitary.
(3)Comply with properly promulgated park rules and regulations and require other persons on the premises with his or her consent to comply therewith and to conduct themselves in a manner that does not unreasonably disturb other residents of the park or constitute a breach of the peace.
So for example, if a mobile home owner is not complying with local codes and ordinances, and violating a local building code with an attachment built onto their unit, instead of the City coming in and fining the mobile home park owners, the City would now fine the owners of the mobile home. This will help mobile home park owners in their compliance efforts, as now the park owner can call the City out to inspect a potential violation, and the non-complying mobile homeowner will be responsible for the fines, not the park owner. This also goes the other way, and a mobile home owner will not be responsible for issues that should be taken care of by the mobile home park owner.
This new law gives the mobile home park owners new leverage, as before it was not always in their best interest to call code enforcement on their tenant, since in most cases, they would ultimately be responsible for the fines levied by a local government. With this new law going into effect, park owners do not have to worry about having to pay fines levied by the local governments, while trying to keep mobile home owners in compliance with rules and regulations.
As always, the park owners must be careful not to selectively enforce the rules, and must make sure that when they look to enforce rules, they do so across the board.