With Hurricane Michael heading up the west coast of Florida we thought this would be a good time to remind you of the laws concerning FEMA as they pertain to mobile homes in Florida. Here are some some FAQS from the Miami Law Center that you’ll find helpful.
My mobile home is damaged, am I eligible to apply for FEMA disaster relief benefits?
You may be eligible for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) disaster relief if you are a mobile homeowner living in the mobile home or a renter living in the mobile home. Only one member of the household living in the mobile home should apply for FEMA disaster relief.
What kind of benefits will FEMA provide mobile home owners?
FEMA may provide financial assistance for repairs to the mobile home if repairs are possible. If the mobile home is classified as destroyed, the mobile homeowner may receive a cash award for the “loss of housing unit”. In extreme cases, FEMA may provide a new mobile home for temporary living, sometimes with the possibility of purchasing the home at a reduced rate.
What kind of benefits will FEMA provide to mobile home renters (not homeowners)?
FEMA may provide financial assistance to mobile home renters whose personal property was damaged by the hurricane. Mobile home renters may also be eligible to receive assistance to cover 3-months rent for alternative housing, and other needs such as disaster-caused medical expenses, repair of a car damaged by the storm, disaster-related moving and storage expenses, and food costs.
What should I do after I apply for FEMA disaster relief benefits?
After applying for FEMA benefits, you should make every effort to be present when FEMA comes to inspect the mobile home. You should take photos of the mobile home and its contents and to provide the FEMA agent any information he/she may have regarding the value of your losses.
If my mobile home is damaged or destroyed, do I still have to pay lot rent to the park?
Yes, if you own your home and rent the lot, you are obligated to pay lot rent in order to maintain possession of the lot. But, if your park is unlivable, you should speak to the park owner about whether he will reduce or waive rent for some period of time. If the owner agrees, make sure you confirm the agreement in writing, by email, or text.
If you don’t pay rent the park owner may file an eviction for non-payment of rent. If that happens, you will be required to deposit your rent with the court. If you do not deposit your rent with the court, you will automatically lose the eviction.
If you do not have money to pay the rent, you should contact your local disaster recovery center to see if you are eligible for any other financial assistance.
Who is responsible for debris clean up?
You should review your lease, prospectus, and mobile home park rules and regulations to determine if there is a written agreement regarding this issue. If there is no written agreement, then Florida law governs, which states that the mobile home park owner is responsible for cleaning the debris in common areas of the mobile home park. The mobile home owner is responsible for cleaning up the debris on his/her individual lot caused by his/her own personal property (i.e. destroyed utility sheds, mobile home parts, furniture, etc.)
If the mobile home park is destroyed, can the park owner permanently close down the park?
The park owner must provide a 6-month notice to all residents prior to closing down a mobile home park. In addition, the park owner must provide written notice to all residents within 5 days of filing an application to change the park’s zoning from mobile home park to some other use. If the park owner closes the park, you may be eligible for a small amount of financial assistance from Florida’s Mobile Home Relocation Corporation.
To find a legal aid office in Florida, go to: https://floridalawhelp.org/find-legal-help
Call us at any of our Florida offices at these locations listed below:
Florida Anchor & Barrier has offices throughout central and southern Florida.
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Florida Anchor & Barrier also has offices throughout central and southern Florida.
Tampa Fl (813) 528-5988
503 E JACKSON ST
TAMPA, FL 33602
Cape Coral Fl (239) 823-0263
1217 E CAPE CORAL PKWY
CAPE CORAL, FL 33904
Sarasota Fl (941) 448-3577
7350 S TAMIAMI TRAIL
SARASOTA, FL 32431
Lakeland FL (863) 512-2800
3616 HARDEN BLVD
LAKELAND, FL 33803
Palm Harbor FL (727) 237-6772
35246 US HWY 19 N
PALM HARBOR, FL 34684
Orlando FL (407) 792-0288
4630 S KIRKMAN RD (407, 386, 321, 352)
ORLANDO, FL 32811
Port St Lucie Fl (772) 539-5154
7548 S US HWY 1
PORT ST LUCIE, FL 34952
Daytona FL (386) 478-7814
West Palm Beach Fl (561) 337-1275
Fort Pierce FL (772) 539-5154
Ft. Lauderdale FL (954) 713-9366
Brooksville FL (352) 398-9286
Melbourne FL (321) 215-4009