Mobile Home News
News / Consumer

Price of not complying with statute may prove to be too great to pay

BILL WYLLIE, www.ocala.com - April 15, 2007

I want to expand on the letter that appeared on March 27, 2007 from Stephen Pelser of Ocala regarding the FMO being the watchdog protecting the interest of people living in mobile homes. With all the mobile home parks in the Ocala area this is important information for all mobile home owners.

In 1984 the FMO was instrumental in getting Florida Statute 723 passed, which governs all aspects of mobile home parks in the State of Florida. It is due to this statute that homeowners in mobile home parks can have any protection. Equally important, however, is that each mobile home park has an active homeowners' association that is in complete compliance with FS 723. If your homeowners' association is not, you the home owner have no protection and the FMO can't help you.

All mobile home park homeowners' associations in Florida are required to be incorporated with their by-laws being in compliance with FS 723. Your elected board of directors, when taking their oath of office, are required to swear to uphold the articles of incorporation and by-laws.

As a mobile home owner you owe it to yourself to be a member of the homeowners' association and to make sure your board of directors maintains the by-laws in compliance with FS 723. Exercise your right to vote on every issue; you do not need to vote in person, you may vote by proxy.

Periodically require your board of directors to have an attorney review your by-laws for compliance. Do not assume or take someone's word for it that you are; protect your investment. You have a lot to lose if you don't.

Although there are many excellent reasons to be in compliance with FS 723, the worst-case scenario of not being so would be for your park to be sold for some purpose other then remaining a mobile home park. If you are not compliant and exercise your right of first refusal, each mobile home owner could be given as little as a 90-day notice to remove their mobile home from the premises.

If your mobile home is more then 10 years old, you will be hard pressed to find a mobile home park that will accept your home. In many cases, mobile homes have just been abandoned with the homeowners walking away with only their personal possessions.

Before this becomes a reality for you and your park, demand FS 723 compliance. Don't take my word for it, contact the FMO and ask them; they are there to help.

Support the FMO and be FS 723 compliant; there is no good reason not to.

Bill Wyllie is a resident of Saddle Oak Club in southwest Ocala.

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