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Lawmakers preserve eviction protection

A bill sent to Gov. Jeb Bush secures the fund that shields mobile home owners from thousands of dollars in moving costs if park owners sell their land.

Published May 3, 2003

TALLAHASSEE - Mobile home owners can relax.

The Florida Legislature sent a bill to Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday that secures an emergency state fund they depend upon when park owners evict them and sell the lots they were renting.

With a 115-3 vote, the House agreed to preserve the Florida Mobile Home Relocation Trust fund. The Senate had already passed the bill (SB 1944), 40-0. The governor is expected to sign it.

Mobile home owners and park owners agreed to pick up the added cost. To preserve the fund, the state added $1 to the cost of decals already purchased annually by mobile home owners and a $1 fee to park owners for every lot they rent out. The decals range between $50 and $100, depending on the size of the mobile home.

House Speaker Johnnie Byrd was among three members to vote against the bill and held up a vote until the last day of the session.

The law was created in recent years to help mobile home owners cope with a growing trend in redevelopment.

For years, residents of mobile home parks typically purchased their homes but rented the lots from park owners. But as land has become scarce, cities have rezoned more property to allow for more profitable development, and many park owners could not resist the price. So they evicted home owners, leaving them to pay thousands of dollars to move their homes.

[Last modified May 3, 2003, 02:06:29]

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