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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 19673
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. experience with Real Estate
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Can an RV ever be considered real property

Customer Question

<p>Can an RV ever be considered real property? without removing wheels.</p><p>Can an RV  connected to an on-site 250 sq. ft. structure ever be considered a single family residence under florida law?</p>
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 years ago.

If you are asking if you can claim a homestead exemption for an RV, then the answer is maybe. It depends on all the individual facts and whether the courts would consider your RV the same as a mobile home. The Florida Statute below, sets out that certain residences, even if on rented land, can be considered as homestead protected. There isn't a lot of case law on the issue, but at least one court has discussed whether or not an RV could be a homestead for tax and debt protection purposes. In that case the Court said that whether an RV is a motor vehicle or a motor home depends on its use, as well as its physical characteristics. If it is permanently parked, the owner lives in the RV, and has no other residence then the RV, then it has the characteristics of a "motor home" and should be protected as homestead property. On the other hand, a recreational vehicle used more for transportation would be more like a "motor vehicle" not eligible for homestead protection rather than a "motor home."

222.05 Setting apart leasehold.

Any person owning and occupying any dwelling house, including a mobile home used as a residence, or modular home, on land not his or her own which he or she may lawfully possess, by lease or otherwise, and claiming such house, mobile home, or modular home as his or her homestead, shall be entitled to the exemption of such house, mobile home, or modular home from levy and sale as aforesaid.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Question is because a PUD initially was to have multi family residences and now is being cicumvented by trying to make an RV connected to a stationary 250 sq. ft. structure a single family residence that would not be permanent but different RV's would come and go and connect to this Structure.Does the Florida law require that an RV to become real property would need to be placed on and secured to a permanent foundation and have the running gear and wheels removed to meet state requirements as real property?

If this was called a condo, would this give wiggle room for the developer to get around this requirement?

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 years ago.
I can't say for certain since I don't have all the facts and the PUD, but it doesn't sound like the RV's would be in compliance with the PUD, if they could come and go. Of course, it depends on how the PUD defines its terms, including multi family residences. If it doesn't then this is going to have to be settled in the courts with a lot of splitting of hairs about what the intent was behind the PUD and what the character of the particular unit in question is in relation to the rest of the PUD.

The party in favor of making this part of the PUD without removal of the wheels etc, would try to argue the homestead laws. The other party would argue that those laws do not apply and that this is not "real" property, which it is not without it being made immobile and attached to the land.I can't predict what the result would be, but unless the terms are defined broadly in the PUD, and RV in its normal state probably doesn't qualify.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
They are trying to define that an RV connected to a stationary 250 sq. ft. structure is a single family home. The reason for the 250 sq. ft. structure is that zoning require a SFR to have at least 750 SQ. FT.Will this pass a SFR? So, if this RV comes and goes can it still be a real property ?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 5 years ago.
I'm sorry if I didn't clearly explain that I can't tell you one way or the other. As I mentioned in my last response, I don't have all the facts, including the PUD, so it would be irresponsible for me to guess. I did discuss what the points for and against would be. An administrative agency or court, who do have all the facts, will have to make their own decision after applying the facts to the law, which could go either way based on the points I raised in my previous answer.