Lakeland, FL asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida

Q: Can the park legally charge us for an additional occupant? Do we have legal recourse on the money already paid?

My wife and I are elderly, and we live in a mobile home park. We own the home, but the landlord owns the land. We pay monthly rent. When we first moved to our current residence our son lived with us. He moved out in the 80's, but in Dec 2011, he came back home to live with us. Park management knew that he was living with us and our rent remained the same until May 2019 when park management increased it by $100. They gave us a 90-day notice for the rent increase. We have paid an additional $3000 since May. Management stated the reason for the increase was that our son represented an additional occupant. I reminded them in writing that they had not charged us for 5 years and that my son had lived with us when we first moved into the park. They still charged us. The park's ownership has not changed from 2011 till the present time. We have not signed a lease since we have lived here. Park policies such as those regarding an additional occupant are not published.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
Answered
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Florida Statute 723.035 Rules and regulations.— provides that:

"(1) A copy of all rules and regulations shall be posted in the recreation hall, if any, or in some other conspicuous place in the park.

...".

If they have not posted rules and regulations providing additional occupants, and you don't have a written lease (assuming you didn't sign one when you moved in), it's doubtful that they can charge extra for an additional occupant. They can refuse to renew your (apparently unwritten) rental agreement but only yearly.

Linda Liang agrees with this answer

Linda Liang
Linda Liang
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Boca Raton, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Do you have lease in writing with them? Do you have a copy of their regulation? Are there any rules stated in the lease or the regulation regarding additional occupants? Are the rules "posted in the recreation hall, if any, or in some other conspicuous place in the park?"

If they answers are no, no, no, you have a valid argument not to pay.

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