I live in a trailer, motor home, or fifth wheel in an RV park. I pay rent for the lot. Do I have rights?

Find out when you might have additional legal rights if you live in an RV you own in a manufactured/mobile home park and you rent the lot. #6560EN

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Do you own and live in an RV, camper, or fifth wheel trailer?

  2. Is it your only home where you live year-round?

  3. Is there at least one other person who does the same as you at this property?

If you answered yes to all 3 questions, keep reading. The property owners may say it is an RV park or a "camp" or a "resort" or not name it anything.  However, the property might fit the legal definition of a manufactured/mobile home park. If it does, you might have more legal protections.

You will learn if you are living in a manufactured/mobile home park. If you are, you will learn what your rights are living in a manufactured/mobile home park.

If you live in a manufactured/mobile home park, the state Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act (M/MHLTA), which you can read at RCW 59.20, covers you. This gives you legal rights that other RV park tenants may not have.

A recent Washington state Court of Appeals decision made it clear when a tenant renting a space lot is covered under the M/MHLTA. That case is Allen vs. Dan and Bill's RV Park.

When all these are true:

  • You own a recreational vehicle (an RV).

  • Your RV is your permanent home.

  • You rent a lot or space on property from the property owner.   

  • You do not own the land under your home.

  • You and the owner have an agreement to let you live there in exchange for rent or other payment. The agreement does not have to be in writing

To learn more about your rights under the M/MHLTA, read Tenants' Rights under the Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act.

The M/MHLTA calls an RV that you use as your home, a park model. A park model is intended for permanent or semi-permanent placement at the lot you rent.

Otherwise, if your travel trailer, motor home, truck camper, or camping trailer is primarily designed and used to live in temporarily, then legally it is just an RV that is not a park model.

It matters because the legal definition of a mobile home park depends on whether the property has at least 2 park models on separate lots.

It is part of a park or property designated as the location of one mobile or manufactured home or park model. That part of the park is for your use as part of your home.

  • It is land that the owner rents out to others.

  • It has lots for 2 or more park models or manufactured/mobile homes.

  • Its main purpose is to make money for its owner.

  • It is not just for seasonal, recreational purposes. It is intended for you to live there year-round.

Among other things:

  • It gives you the right to a written rental agreement (a lease) for a term of at least 1 year. It is always better to have a written agreement than a verbal one.

  • If the M/MHLTA covers you, your landlord must include important information in your lease, for example past and future charges connected to the lot, deposit information and utility charges.

  • Your landlord cannot tell you to leave without having a valid reason and giving you proper written notice telling you the legal reason.

  • Your landlord cannot evict you without taking you to court and getting a court order.

  • It gives you more protection around what park rules your landlord can make and how your landlord can enforce them.

  • It clearly sets out your landlord's responsibilities and your responsibilities as a tenant.

  • It protects you against the rent going up suddenly without written notice.

  • It explains how to get your landlord to make repairs and provide utilities.

  • It could give you rights and assistance if your mobile home park closes.

You can also file a complaint with the Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program. This program may help you negotiate an agreement that complies with the M/MHLTA.

Get Legal Help

Visit Northwest Justice Project to find out how to get legal help. 

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Last Review and Update: Jul 13, 2023
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