The mission of the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes is to provide consumer protection for Florida residents living in the communities we regulate through education, complaint resolution, mediation and arbitration, and developer disclosure.
Every year the division receives a large number of complaints from mobile home owners. Often, home owners and park owners are unaware of the statutory authority of the Division. In an effort to alleviate any frustration that may occur, a brief list has been complied to the describe what we can and cannot do. The list describes mobile home park concerns which the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes has the authority to take action against and the areas in which we do not have statutory authority.
Improper or untimely notice
The Division may take action against a park owner if its notice of lot rental increase, reduction in services or utilities, or a change in the rules and regulations is not given in a timely fashion or does not disclose accurate and proper information. The park owner is also required to file a copy of the notice of increase with the Division. Refer to section 723.037(1), Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-32.002, Florida Administrative Code.
Failure of the park owner to meet with the association board or a committee of five designated by a majority of the affected home owners
A park owner is required to meet with a designated committee to discuss the reasons for the lot rental increase, reduction in services or utilities, or change in the rules and regulations. Refer to section 723.037(4), Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-32.004, Florida Administrative Code.
Failure of the park owner to provide a prospectus
Parks that offer 26 or more mobile home lots for rent or lease must provide the home owner with either a prospectus or offering circular approved by the Division. The park owner is not required to provide a prospectus or offering circular if the tenancy is a renewal or the home owner has previously received a copy of the prospectus or offering circular. Park owners who fail to comply with this provision can be penalized by the Division. Refer to sections 723.011(1)(a) and 723.011(2), Florida Statutes.
Failure of the park owner to provide written notification in the absence of a prospectus
A park owner of a mobile home park with 10 or more, but less than 26, mobile home lots offered for rent or lease must provide, prior to occupancy, written notification to the mobile home owner of the following: the park’s zoning; future plans for the park; the name and address of the park owner; all fees, charges, assessments, and other financial obligations not included in the rental agreement; and a copy of the rules and regulations. Refer to section 723.013, Florida Statutes.
Failure of the park owner to file advertising materials with the Division
The Division will take action against any park owner that fails to file all advertising materials used to promote the mobile home park within 30 days of the end of each calendar quarter in which it was used (unless the advertising was previously filed). Refer to section 723.016, Florida Statutes.
Assessing a fee or other charge
A park owner may only assess a fee or charge disclosed in the prospectus, collected as a matter of custom, or agreed to in writing on the anniversary date of the rental agreement or at the beginning of the term of the agreement. However, a pass-through or pass-on charge, such as ad-valorem taxes or utility charges, may be assessed or increased anytime during the term of the lot rental agreement. No user fee can be charged by the park owner for services that were previously provided, unless there is a corresponding decrease in the amount of rent. A park owner must follow specific procedures in order to assess entrance fees; exit fees may not be charged. Refer to sections 723.031(5)(c),723.037(1) and 723.041, Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-31.001(5), Florida Administrative Code.
Increase in lot rental amount
The Division can take action when a park owner raises the rent without having first provided an approved prospectus to the home owner, if one is required, or if the park owner attempts to raise the rent more frequently than annually. Refer to sections 723.031(5)(a) and (7), Florida Statutes.
Improvements, appliances and equipment
The Division can take action against a park owner who requires a home owner to make improvements to their home when the improvements were not disclosed in the prospectus before occupancy. A park owner is also prohibited from requiring a home owner to buy equipment for the mobile home from the park owner, such as underskirting. In addition, a park owner may not prohibit a home owner from installing electric or gas appliances in their mobile home, and may not charge an additional fee for such installation. Refer to sections 723.042, 723.043, and 723.044, Florida Statutes.
Sale of the mobile home park and mobile homes in the park
If a park owner wants to sell the park, the park owner must notify the officers of the homeowners’ association (created pursuant to sections 723.075 through 723.079, Florida Statutes) of the offer. The Division may take action against any park owner who implements a rule or rental agreement which restricts a home owner’s ability to sell their mobile home. Refer to sections 723.058 and 723.071, Florida Statutes.
A park owner may not sell water, electricity or gas to a home owner for more than the park paid; however, concerning the distribution of water, the park owner may charge for actual maintenance incurred and administrative cost. Refer to section 723.045, Florida Statutes.
Restrictions on use of facilities
A park owner must provide a 90-day notice to the home owner before restricting or eliminating the use of facilities that are specifically set forth in the prospectus. Refer to section 723.037, Florida Statutes.
The Division may take action if a park owner does not follow the procedures for evicting a resident as described in Chapter 723, Florida Statutes. However, the Division cannot intervene if the park owner has filed eviction proceedings in court. Only a court of law can determine if the park owner’s reason for evicting the resident is valid. Refer to section 723.061, Florida Statutes.
Rules and regulations
A park owner must post a copy of all rules and regulations in a conspicuous place in the park. Refer to section 723.035, Florida Statutes.
A park owner can not stop a home owner’s invitee from coming and going from the mobile home, or charge the home owner additional fees for the invitee. An “invitee” is a person whose stay is limited to 15 consecutive days or 30 total days a year, unless such person has the permission of the park owner or unless permitted by a rule or regulation to stay longer. All guests or invitees are required to abide by the park rules and regulations. Refer to section 723.051, Florida Statutes.
Infringement of the right of mobile home owners to peaceably assemble, and the right of home owners to invite public officers, candidates for public office, or representatives of a tenant organization into the park
While the Division is unable to prohibit the park owner from enforcing rules that infringe upon the right of the mobile home owner to peaceably assemble or to invite public officers into the park, it may levy a civil penalty against a park owner who enforces such rules. Any home owner who is prevented from exercising these rights should bring an action against the park owner in a local court as provided in section 723.056, Florida Statutes. Refer to sections 723.054 and 723.055, Florida Statutes.
Reasonableness of rent
The Division is prohibited from taking any action to determine whether or not an increase in lot rent is “unreasonable.” Only a court of law may make such a determination. Refer to section 723.033, Florida Statutes.
Enforcing the general obligations of a park owner or a home owner
Section 723.022, Florida Statutes, describes the general obligations of a park owner, such as complying with the requirements of local building, housing and health codes. Section 723.023, Florida Statutes, describes the general obligations of a mobile home owner, such as keeping their lot clean and sanitary. The Division cannot enforce either the park owner’s general obligations or the home owner’s general obligations; however, either party may go to court to enforce compliance with these provisions.
Actions of the board of directors of the homeowners’ association
Once properly formed, the association becomes the representative of the mobile home owners in all matters relating to Chapter 723, Florida Statutes. The Division cannot “undo” actions taken by the board of directors, nor can we enforce the association’s bylaws. The home owners may go to court to enforce the bylaws, or review their bylaws for procedures to recall board members. Refer to sections 723.075, 723.076, 723.078, and 723.079, Florida Statutes.