Residents of trailer parks in Missouri gained new rights in 2005 when the governor signed the "Mobile Home Landlord and Tenants Rights Act." The law sets out rules for lease termination, property maintenance and eviction proceedings. Landlords are legally obligated to respect a tenant's rights whether the tenant is leasing a mobile home or just a lot on which to park a trailer.
Length of Lease
Missouri law requires that landlords offer tenants a lease that is at least 12 months long, whether the tenants are renting a mobile home or just a mobile home lot. Parties to the lease can agree to a shorter lease term but tenants must have the option of a lease that is at least a year long.
If a tenant does not wish to renew a lease at the end of its term, she must give the landlord 30 days' notice. A landlord must give a tenant 120 days' notice along with a reason why the lease is not being renewed, unless the landlord has elected to no longer own or operate a mobile home park. Leases are automatically renewed unless a party to the lease gives notice of a desire not to renew.
Lot Tenants' Rights
Landlords who lease a mobile home lot must respect their tenants and maintain the premises. Missouri law states that they must respect tenants' privacy, keep the lot clean and free of weeds and debris, maintain all roads within the lot and maintain all utilities. Landlords may not charge a deposit that is greater than one month's rent, charge fees not outlined in the lease or charge late rent fees without first giving the tenant a five-day grace period.
Landlords who charge a security deposit must refund the money within 15 days after the lease ends. If the landlord retains some portion of the deposit, he must present the tenant with an itemized list of damages. Landlords who fail to do so must refund the entire deposit to tenants.
Tenants may terminate a lease if the landlord fails to remedy a breach of the lease within 30 days after receiving written notice from the tenant.
Tenants are permitted to hold meetings at reasonable times as long as the meetings don't break other provisions of the lease such as noise rules. Landlords also must not interfere with a tenant's right to sell his mobile home.
Tenants may only be evicted for breaking the lease. They can't be evicted for joining a homeowner's association, exercising any rights they have under the lease or complaining to governmental or housing authorities about the condition of the property. They may be evicted for failure to pay rent, breaking provisions of the lease, failing to obey the park's rules or breaking state mobile home laws.
Landlords can't evict tenants without a judge's order, whether the tenants are renting a mobile home or just a mobile home lot. In order to evict, landlords must give a tenant a five-day grace period to pay late rent or to cure any other breaches of the lease. Landlords may then file an eviction lawsuit in Missouri's magistrate court. The tenant is permitted to defend herself at the eviction proceeding and a judge will determine if the tenant can be evicted. If the tenant wins, the landlord can't evict her.