Proposed House bill could give mobile home tenants more rights against park owners

ST. CLOUD, Fla. — For the past four years, people living in Lake Runnymeade Mobile Home Park in St. Cloud have been fighting to get and keep basic amenities from their property owner.


In the past few years, residents said the property has started to deteriorate, all while the rent continues to rise.

“I was paying $410 a month when I first moved here. Next month, I pay $915,” said Angela Silas,” a resident at Lake Runnymeade.

Silas showed Eyewitness News pictures of gray and brown drinking water and the community pool with green water while blocked off with caution tape.

“We’ve had dark water coming out of our sinks before to the point where it’s sandy and stuff,” said Christine Clemans, a resident at Lake Runnymeade.

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Silas and Clemans said they have brought the concerns to management and said they have not had them addressed.

Since Tuesday, residents have had to boil water to drink and bathe after the park management cut the park water supply off, and fear problems will only get worse until House Bill 613 possibly passes.

House Bill 613 is sponsored by State Representative Paula Stark who represents District 47.

The bill got its first reading in January after being filed in November.

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HB 613 Revises powers, duties, & obligations of Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, & Mobile Homes of DBPR; revises provisions relating to mediation & mediator selection.

The bill will give equal rights to tenants and property owners of mobile homes in the state.

“What we’re finding is that a lot of the park owners especially the newer park owners, may be large corporations or hedge funds. Do not become part of the associations, and in some cases, some of them are the bad actors,” said Paula Stark, State Representative for District 47.

If passed, HB 613 aims to meet three key points that help to educate and inform tenants across the state to fight back against owners by dealing with:

  • Property rental increase notifications and the language behind it
  • Address the need for live-in aides for the elderly
  • Lot Fees
  • Shortening the length of time to wait for mediation

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“If we don’t know who needs to be educated then we’re sitting back and not helping the scenario,” said Stark.

The bill will help mobile homeowners who are in the association.

It would also help to educate mobile home tenants that need help with ongoing problems that aren’t being addressed by owners.

HB 613 still needs to move through the committee before getting the green light from the state.

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