MHC Resident options when facing unanticipated lot rent increases in Illinois

Long-time, often Mom & Pop and family manufactured home community operators across the state who want to retire or move on to other pursuits are selling thier community assets to new owners. But along with new ownership and management many of these communities are experiencing lot rent increases. Which is to be expected as some operators had not increased lot rent for years, even decades. However, some of those lot rent increases are creating financial hardship for residents who may own their home but whose income has not been keeping up with inflation. That makes it difficult or impossible for them to budget for the rent increase.

IMHA, to help Illinois residents understand their options when faced with a lot rent increase in their manufactured home community, provides the following information based on Illinois statute (765 ILCS 745/) Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act;

A park owner shall give 90 days' notice of any rent increase and no rent increase shall go into effect until 90 days after the notice. Upon receipt of the notice of the rent increase, a tenant shall have 30 days in which to accept or reject the rent increase. If the tenant rejects the rent increase, the tenant must notify the park owner of the date on which the tenant will vacate the premises, which shall be a date before the effective date of the rent increase.

Any month-to-month tenancy agreement must also provide a minimum of 90 days' notice to the tenant before any rent increase is effective.

Rent Deferral: A tenant may defer, for up to one year, payment of the amount by which the rent has most recently been increased if the tenant(s) provides proof of inability to pay the increased rent amount by meeting the following requirements within 30 days of the date on which the tenant(s) receive either a new lease or a notice of rent increase:

  1. The tenant(s) attest, by sworn affidavit, that they shall diligently proceed to list their mobile home with a licensed sales entity and market it for sale;
  2. The tenant(s) attest, by sworn affidavit, that the proposed new lease amount will exceed 45% of the tenant's or co-tenants' current taxable and non-taxable income, from whatever source derived; and
  3. The tenant(s) provide verification in the form of a tax return and other such documents as may be required to independently verify the annual income and assets of the tenant or co-tenants.

    If the tenant(s) meet these requirements, the tenant(s) may continue to reside in the mobile home for a period of up to 12 months or the date on which the tenant(s) sell the mobile home to a new tenant approved by the park owner, whichever date is earlier. The tenant(s) must remain current on all rent payments at the rental amount due before the notice of the rent increase. The tenant(s) shall be required to pay, upon sale of the home, the deferred rent portion which represents the difference between the actual monthly rental amount paid starting from the effective date of the rent increase and the monthly amount due per the rent increase notice without any additional interest or penalty charges. (Source: P.A. 95-383, eff. 1-1-08.)

Some county housing authorities may also be able to provide counseling or financial assistance for affected residents.

Information contained in this article is not intended, either expressly or implied, to constitute legal advice.