Condemning a mobile home usually occurs when a government entity determines it is no longer fit for human habitation. Patterns of unsafe mobile home code violations typically determine these decisions. No one should live in a condemned home or even use it unless they can prove that repairs fix the cited problem. Often, this is difficult to do for mobile homes. In these instances, it’s important to know how to condemn a mobile home.
You see, mobile homes, if not well taken care of can deteriorate very fast and most often than not, the repairs are either too expensive or not even worth it. As a mobile home park owner, realize that if a home poses a threat to the lives of the residents, then you must go ahead and have it condemned.
What are some of the reasons for having a mobile home condemned?
There are many reasons which can lead to such a drastic decision. They can include:
- The home is old and was abandoned by the owners for more than 60 days.
- The utilities have been disconnected.
- An inspector sites the home as a hazard and renders it unsafe for occupancy.
- The mobile home is dilapidated even without specific hazards.
- Presence of persistent or significant toxic mold
- Chemical contamination
- Persistent pest infestation
How to condemn a mobile home: Step #1
There are steps you have to take as a park owner to have the house condemned and possibly demolished. However, these steps will vary with the jurisdiction, meaning the city, county and state your park resides. Before making any rash decisions, research what steps pertain to your residential area.
To get the ball rolling, you need to observe the property. List all the possible health and safety violations that you notice from the outside. It is best you do not enter unless you have permission from the owner if they are still living in it. If they abandoned their home, then don’t go inside.
There are also a few questions you should ask before entering the residence. These will help you determine the level of damage and whether the house is in a state of disrepair:
– How safe does the house seem according to the house codes?
– What signs of structural damage can you see?
– Are there trash or weeds in the yard?
– Is the foundation or the roof compromised?
– Are there any signs of rodents or pests inhabiting the home?
– Is there any sign of life?
How to condemn a mobile home: Step #2
Once you have verified everything, it is time to contact the local authority. Check the government pages or the website of your town for the contact information of the officials in your area. Call the office and inform them about your concerns as a park owner. The housing inspector will come over and inspect the mobile home.
Most cities post their mobile home building codes and regulations online. It is a good idea to check the ordinances in your area. This way, you will know if your particular situation warrants immediate attention and the best way to go about it to get quick action.
How to condemn a mobile home: Step #3
Follow up on the complaint and check whether the inspection or any legal proceeding about the home is taking place. Be aware, even if an inspection takes place and the inspector does condemn the house, getting it off your property will not be a sure thing. As a matter of fact, this could be a tedious process that might take a while before the county authorities do anything.
The officials might issue a citation or a notice to alert the homeowner of the problems. The owner will need time to respond to the citation and to address the problems. If the owner does not respond within the expected timeframe, the local government will go ahead and condemn it and will eventually demolish it. However, in this case, you need to understand that “eventually” could be a very long time.
How to condemn a mobile home: Step #4
If given the opportunity, you should attend any legal hearing or proceeding to testify on the condition of the house. The amount of time taken to demolish the house may be shorter if you do. However, the legal battle could take longer if there were occupants in the mobile home. If the owner negotiates a rehabilitation agreement with the building authority, then it could be possible for them to reverse the condemned status.
Will the owner of the mobile home get compensation?
There is also the issue of compensation to the mobile home owner if the building gets condemned. If the owner of the home was living there at the time of the order, the housing authority might agree to compensation. In this case, the owner would get a pro-tanto award. The compensation will cover the destruction of their property, and it will be a written offer based on the value of the home. Once the mobile home is off of your property, then you can go ahead and lease the space to another homeowner.
Safety above everything else
While you may not necessarily want to learn how to condemn a mobile home, you may find yourself in a situation where it is necessary to know. House neglect is often a result of drastic financial or health problems. Protect yourself, the inhabitants, and other residents of your mobile home park by making the safe call.