Evictions from Mobile Home Parks
Renting Space v Renting Mobile Home
If you own your mobile home but rent the space it sits on, and you are facing eviction, this section pertains to you. HOWEVER, if you are the tenant of a mobile home (you do not own the mobile home) then this information does not pertain to you. See Tenant’s Rights and Procedures.
How does the eviction process start?
The landlord must provide you Notice explaining why the landlord wants to evict you before filing an eviction in court against you. The landlord must allow the Notice time period to expire before proceeding with a Summons and Complaint. You can use this time to resolve the issue. If the issue is resolved, your landlord should not proceed with eviction. If the issue is not resolved, the landlord may pursue an eviction based on the allegations in the Notice. A Notice may be personally served at your home in presence of witness OR the landlord can leave a copy of the Notice with a person of suitable age and discretion. The landlord must follow up with a mailed copy. If you or anyone of suitable age is not home, the landlord can post a copy in a conspicuous place and follow up with mailing another copy via US mail. Just because a notice says that you have to be out in 3 or 10 days does not mean that your landlord can lock you out that amount of time. Your landlord still has to file a court action against you, and you cannot be evicted until you have had a chance to explain your case in front of a judge.
What notices can the park issue to evict me?
There are various types of notices. Each notice has different time periods within which the issue can be resolved. If the issue is not resolved, the landlord must wait for the notice period to expire before serving a Summons and Complaint.
- 3-DAY NUISANCE- you should only receive a 3-Day Nuisance Notice if you are accused of:
- discharging a weapon
- illegal drug manufacture or use
- Elder OR child molestation/abuse
- property damage from vandalism
- operating a motor vehicle under influence of alcohol
- 5-DAY NUISANCE- You will receive this notice if the landlord is accusing you of any other ‘nuisance’ activity. Under the law a ‘Nuisance’ is defined as an ongoing condition which constitutes an unreasonable obstruction to the free use of property and causes injury and damage to other tenants or adjacent buildings
- 10- DAY FAILURE TO PAY RENT /UTILITY or REASONABLE SERVICE FEE – There are few defenses to failure to pay rent. If you owe space rent, you can offer the unpaid amount within the 10 day period. If the landlord accepts the rent, you should obtain receipts to prove you made payment. If you offer the rent owed, and the landlord refuses, you may have a defense to a subsequent eviction.
- 180- DAY PARK CLOSING NOTICE
- 45-DAY ANY OTHER CAUSE NOTICE
How do I contest an eviction?
Summons and Complaint
Under Nevada law, an owner of a mobile home who rents space must be evicted by using the ‘formal’ eviction process. The Formal eviction process requires service of a Notice (see above) and service of a Summons and Complaint. The tenant has the right to file an Answer. Even if you do not file an Answer within the required time period (see below), you will still have an opportunity to appear in court. A Summons and Complaint must be personally served, meaning it must be delivered to you in person. It may be delivered by a constable or process server. The Complaint should state with ‘specificity’ the allegations supporting the eviction, meaning the complaint should describe in detail the basis for the eviction.
File an Answer in Response to an Eviction Action
An answer is your response to the allegations. Typically, you have 20 days to file an answer, unless the landlord has an order shortening time. The twenty days begin the day after you were served. The deadline is 20 consecutive days, meaning weekends and holidays are included. For example, if you are served on July 1st, you must file your Answer by no later than July 21st. You should explain all your defenses in your Answer. Possible defenses may include:
- General denial of allegations
- Allegations do not constitute a nuisance
- Lease violation has been cured
- Nuisance allegation has been abated
- You paid the rent, or, offered to pay the rent in full but landlord refused
- Defective notice (not served notice or notice lacked specificity)
This list in NOT all inclusive. You may need to seek legal assistance to understand what defenses are available to you.
Order Shortening Time
You may have also been served with an “Ex Parte Application and Affidavit in support of an Order Shortening Time to Answer”. This is a request to the judge to shorten the amount of time you have to file an Answer. You should review the Order Shortening Time to see how long you have to file an Answer. You may only have ten days to file an answer. However, under Nevada law you must have no less than ten days to file an Answer.
Will I have a hearing?
Show Cause Hearings are extremely important, and you should prepare for your hearing as if it were a trial.
If your paperwork includes an Order to Show Cause this means the judge has scheduled a hearing to decide whether a Temporary Writ of Restitution should be granted. A Temporary Writ of Restitution gives the landlord possession of the mobile home during the case. Prior to the hearing, you can file a statement of why a temporary writ should not be issued. At the hearing, the court will allow both parties to speak and present evidence. The court should determine if the landlord has shown (by competent, relevant, and material evidence) the existence of sufficient facts to establish, at least at first appearance, the clear right to immediate possession of the property.
If the Court determines that a Temporary Writ of Restitution should issue, the Court must require the landlord to post a bond in the amount to be set by the court. The Court determines the amount of the bond based on the Tenant’s probable loss from being wrongfully evicted pending trial. The constable will execute the Writ and require you to vacate the property but the case will proceed to trial where the landlord will attempt to obtain a money judgment and a permanent writ of restitution. If the court denies the temporary writ of restitution, you will be permitted to remain in the mobile home and the case will proceed to trial.
What do I do to prepare for trial?
You have the right to discovery in a Formal Eviction proceeding. Discovery is the procedure where parties to a lawsuit exchange information and documents in an effort to “discover” facts relevant to the case and identify potential witnesses and evidence. Discovery is governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure. Discovery devices include depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, requests for production of documents, and requests for inspection.
Pursuant to Rules of Civil Procedure, within 30 days of the filing the Answer, the parties must exchange all available documents which are contemplated to be used in support of their case. The parties must also exchange a written list of persons and/or witnesses, known to have knowledge of any facts relevant to the allegations. The list should include the person’s name, address, and a general description of the subject matter of their knowledge. This information is known as the ‘initial disclosures’. You should request the initial disclosures from the landlord or landlord’s attorney. Remember to limit your conversation since anything you say to the landlord’s attorney may be used to the landlords advantage. You may want to make the request in writing. You should review this information to assess the evidence against you. This information will be helpful to you in preparing for your trial. Remember, both parties are entitled to this information. So landlord may request the same information from you.
Be on time. Be sure to consider traffic, court security, and other possible delays. You do not want to be late to your hearing. You should also dress appropriately. Attire such as shorts, tank tops, halter-tops, etc. may not be permitted in the courtroom. At trial, each party will be able to present the facts of their case by calling witnesses and introducing evidence. You have to inform the court of your side of the story through witnesses. The landlord will present their witnesses first. The landlord’s attorney will ask questions of their own witness. Afterwards, you will be given the opportunity to cross exam that witness. You should prepare your questions in advance. After the landlord has presented their last witness, you can present your witnesses. Similarly, after you ask questions of your witness, the landlord’s attorney will be allowed to cross exam your witness.
After all evidence has been presented, the judge will decide whether the landlord has presented enough evidence to make it ‘more likely than not’ that the landlord’s version of the facts is true, andwhether those facts are enough to justify evicting you.
If the landlord wins at trial, the judgment may award a permanent Writ of restitution. A permanent writ of restitution is the legal right to take possession of the property. The landlord could also be awarded an Order for fees which is an order requiring you to pay money for any damage to the property, unpaid rent, and/or court and attorney’s fees.
If you have a writ of restitution based on unpaid rent and your lease has not expired, you may pay the judgment and save your tenancy if you pay into the court the total amount of the judgment within 5 days.