Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by John Burrows

Posted by Tommy on April 03, 2006 at 11:53:20:

Hi John,
How much does he owe you in lot rent? Would you consider relieving his debt in exchange for the title? As stated, “You cannot get blood out of a turnip”, so the money is lost anyway. I would definitely rewrite my contract and have it reviewed by an attorney to protect me from this in the future.

This is not a qualified opinion, I haven’t even done a deal yet. Thanks

Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by John Burrows

Posted by John Burrows on April 01, 2006 at 12:16:18:

I am having to evict a problem, non paying tenant from a small park in Post Falls Idaho. He will not sign over the trailer so I can demolish it. It has absolutely no value except negative.

The Idaho statutes do not address this issue and so far I have not gotten any help from the courts as to what path to take other than hiring an attorney which I don’t want to do if it can be avoided.

Anyone have any Ideas on this one?? Any help would be appreciated for sure.

Thanks in advance, John B

Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by Gavin Wilkinson

Posted by Gavin Wilkinson on April 06, 2006 at 16:40:14:

Get a judgement in small claims court against the tenant for rent due (he owes you rent if he does not move the home).

Have the sheriff auction off the home to pay the judgement.

If no one bids, bid 1$, and now you own the home.

Just a Thought… - Posted by Ryan (NC)

Posted by Ryan (NC) on April 02, 2006 at 21:44:34:

This is just a random thought and it won’t help in this case but it might prevent future problems… Why not include an irrevocable power of attorney similar to the one in DOW right in the lot lease allowing you to sign for the title if the home is left vacant on your lot and rent has been unpaid for more than say 60 days.

Like I said it’s just a random thought but it seems to me that this would eliminate the title problems on abandoned homes and would simply require the lease to be notarized in order to make it legal. Maybe it’s time to update our lease agreement… what ya’ll think?

Best wishes,
Ryan Needler

Another thing Joe says is… - Posted by Dr. B. (OH)

Posted by Dr. B. (OH) on April 02, 2006 at 20:59:32:

if you’re having a hard time finding the former owner, let the word out that you have some money for him. Chances are he’ll come around lookin’ fer that $$. Thats when you buy the title from him.

If you think he’ll steer clear of you, thinking its a trick. Have a friend let the word out he has $$ for the former tenant. Wouldn’t he like to have $2-300 right about now?

Happy Trail(er)s,

Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by Dave Fl.

Posted by Dave Fl. on April 01, 2006 at 15:12:13:

I have exactly the same problem x 2. My solution, after trying to do the right thing and got nowhere, is to park a roll-off next to it and take it apart piece by piece.
If anyone has a better way I’d like to hear it.
Dave Fl.

Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by Tony Colella

Posted by Tony Colella on April 06, 2006 at 21:51:51:

Gavin, in some locations and under some conditions your advice is dead on. But the procedures vary greatly not only from state to state but county to county that you brush is too broad.

For instance, I have done Lonnie deals in parks that were located only 2 exits apart but were located in different counties. The procedure was entirely different in each.

Much depends upon the training of the local sheriff offices (in my opinion) but local law and courts have much to dictate.

Not all will conduct sheriff sales for lot rent owed or the only after great effort (after swimming upstream).

Your response does not take into account Lienholders rights (which changes much from one area to the next). In some areas I have worked in, Lienholders are only responsible for lot rent after they are notified of the default in lot rent by their buyer (the parks tenant). In other locations, the lienholder is not responsible for lot rent until the repossess.

As bad as it may sound, the best advice is county specific and unless you have another investor who can help you, try talking to local park managers (particularly corporate owned type parks), mobile home dealers and your local sheriff’s office to find out how to proceed next and what if any attorney can best help you throught the firt one. Usually after the first, you are an expert and may no longer need the assistance of an attorney.


Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by John Burrows

Posted by John Burrows on April 06, 2006 at 19:23:53:

That’s a good thought and will give it some consideration.I was hoping not to have to deal with all the fuss and feathers, but may have to go to court. There is a process connected to the Idaho eviction proceedings that allows for costs. I will need to check with the sheriff dept. and connect the dots.

Thanks for the advise…John

Re: Just a Thought… - Posted by John

Posted by John on April 03, 2006 at 09:07:16:

Any procedure that is not covered by the statutes in the juristiction can be contested in court. You also have to have a title in your possetion to sign. A poa gives one the authority to sign specific documents spelled out by the document, but most poa’s are regulated by statute.I suppose if one initiated a durable poa invoked by non payment of lease it might work, but who would sign something like that? Interesting thought though. Many juristictions other than Idaho’s have specific laws spelling out the process for removing trailers from parks and these can differ from other abandonment statutes. Most laws favor the tenant so one has to be careful. This is uncharted ground for me and aparantly most others. I have had this court for 5 years now and it has been a good run for the most part. Most of the folks have been great with the exception of this character that has caused some problems all along. Although paying him off goes against my grain I’m not going to cut of my nose to spite my face. I will also add some stuff in the leases to show intent,and any contract spelled out properly could help to expedite court proceedings.

Thanks, JB

Re: Another thing Joe says is… - Posted by John

Posted by John on April 03, 2006 at 09:30:35:

Good thought. I will probably have to swallow my pride and pay this jerk off, much cheaper. I can still run him down. This guy has been a problem off and on for the last few years. We have cut him a lot of slack. See what happens when you are the good guy? He is also a loose cannon with a couple road rage issues under his belt and has agressivly approached the manager ( a gal) on at least one occasion. He wouldn’t come out of his trailer when I was around, also would not make eye contact when driving by. I am going to have to watch my P’s & Q’s when dealing with this character, no telling what could happen. This mobile park business is interesting and even with extensive background checks you can still end up with some strange folks. There is one gal in the park a city accountant by the way that drinks on occasion and gets in yelling spars with with a non existant person. The last time she was stark naked standing on the deck yelling. The manager threatend to call the police and so far she stays inside and yells. good fun.

Thanks for the thoughts,


Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by John

Posted by John on April 01, 2006 at 19:36:45:

The problem I am having is not physically removing the junk, it is doing it properly so I don’t get sued by the tenant who dosn’t pay rent and is gettng evicted.Most states have statutes that regulate this stuff. Idaho does not have a statute that targets removal. You have to hire an attorney to do it legally and I am not interested in that. I have trashed a couple of mobiles in my park in the past by getting a dumpster for a day and a track hoe with a thumb. It does not take long and is kinda fun except for the money spent. It can cost 2k with dump fees and machine rental…J

Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by Gavin Wilkinson

Posted by Gavin Wilkinson on April 10, 2006 at 16:57:42:

Your criticisms of my advice are good. I intentionally painted with a broad brush because, as you say, procedures will vary. But the general idea is usually the same.

I assume when someone abandons a home it is older, and not financed by a bank.

Re: Just a Thought… - Posted by Ryan (NC)

Posted by Ryan (NC) on April 03, 2006 at 22:01:01:

I agree that there is room for abuse and contesting but as for who would sign it… Just trust me on this one, I spent 5 years working in the payday advance business prior to going full time with the MH’s and I originated somewhere in excess of 40,000 loans during that period with fully disclosed APR’s of 469.29%+. If you make something a ?standard practice? people will sign what is put in front of them IF it gets them what they want NOW even if it may not always be in their best interest down the road.

Not sure if you’ve ever tried to use buyout evictions before, but after the smoke clears the first time and you see how fast and easy it works you’ll never wanna see the inside of the courthouse again.

Best wishes,
Ryan Needler

you can do this in MO and we have… - Posted by Marty (MO)

Posted by Marty (MO) on April 03, 2006 at 15:59:13:

the dmv has limited poa forms and we have our buyers sign them and have them notarized.

works like a charm!

Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by Lyal

Posted by Lyal on April 02, 2006 at 08:24:11:

I don’t understand… you’ll spend 2 grand to get rid of the home but you won’t spend a few hundred bucks for an attorney to cover your butt from what could be a big legal exposure???
Talk to other park owners and ask who knows how to do this (that way they’re not learning on your dime). Call them up and see what it will cost and get it done. You’ll sleep better.

Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by Tony Colella

Posted by Tony Colella on April 10, 2006 at 18:58:56:

Actually I find that most of the abandoned homes I have come across were financed. The people owed far more than the home was worth and thus had to walk away because they had no other option.

The seller’s with paid off homes tended to sell so as to obtain at least some cash and end their concerns over lot rent accruing.

No different than the typical Lonnie dealer’s world. Park owner’s harderst lot rent collections tend to come from homes vacant and left on their lots by financing companies until they finally repo, sell or move.


Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by John

Posted by John on April 02, 2006 at 09:46:31:

First of all an attorney will not provide all the paperwork necessary for a court order for a coouple hundred bucks. I can do that myself. Second there is no law in Idaho that criminalizes leaving trailers on site. I can sue the owner and get damages plus fees if applicable, but it would be futile as most civil cases are. You cannot get blood out of a turnip! The guy that owns this thing is in trouble anyway and a bit more will not phase him one iota. Going through the courts will probably be necessary which I can do myself, I have some experience there, but takes time and money, usually several months, and I will still have to remove the trailer myself at my expense. I should have had a stipulation in the lease that allows for park ownership after abandonment.This could speed the court process some, but Idaho statutes clearly identify abandonment and there are time and procedural requiremnents for determination. The leases will be changed this week. Since Idaho has no regulating statute any attorney would have shoot from the hip using case law and try for a court order. Another park owner in Idaho responded to me last night with a similar delima that took him 7 months to resolve in the courts and still had to demolish the trailer on his clock and pay the attorney. I am considering paying the owner a few bucks for the title, easier than all the court and attorney stuff.

Thanks, John

Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by Steve-WA

Posted by Steve-WA on April 02, 2006 at 10:33:25:

I think you may be looking at this from a wrong angle in thinking that his abandonment is a criminal issue. Previously you stated that ID law was ambiguous, but now you say that the statutes clearly identify abandonment - so follow the abandonment process to gain title?!

Putting it in your lease? Would that hold up in a court of law? I’m sure it would hold up in
the court of “what the tenant believes”, but if tested, would it pass? Sounds like a stretch - I would definitely get an attorney’s review of that.

If the guy would take a few bucks, then definitely go that way and git 'er done. I feel ya, brother, when it comes to standing on principle, but as our friend and mentor Joe Kaiser says, “Standing on principle, while noble indeed, makes bad business sense if it ultimately ends up costing you money.”

This is something I keep finding myself going back to - principle don’t pay Safeway.

Seems like the way to go is to get the title as quickly and cheaply as possible, get the demo permit, and do it. Then move forward.

Re: Removing an abandoned mobile home. - Posted by John

Posted by John on April 02, 2006 at 21:52:55:

The idea is surely to expedite the process. Idaho abandonment statutes do not specifically address mobiles, but abandonment in general. It is a long and drawn out process that requires some months and expense. I may end up going that route if other efforts prove fruitless. There does not seem to be too much exposure in this area. I contacted a couple other courts in the area and they have not had a similar problem possibly because their coaches are all saleable. This particular coach is the worst in my park and is not saleable. I suspect the owner would take a few bucks and some more free rent for the title or bill of sale, but I hate going that route. That might still be the cheapest way out. I am going to send him a couple registered letters tomorrow to test the waters.

Thanks for the input, John