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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 25993
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by West
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My son bought a mobile home in Iowa. The title is in his name

Customer Question

My son bought a mobile home in Iowa. The title is in his name as is the lease at the mobile home park. He bought the home from two people who owned it. One of them is still living there and won't leave. She is claiming that she signed the title right after the home was purchased and the joint owner didn't have the right to sell it without her knowledge. The person (owner) living in the mobile home was on a 60 day eviction and was to be out as of 10/1/13 which is when my son bought it. Title was signed by both parties. Title transferred with no problems. Mobile home park is stating will evict entire home at him expense if he doesn't get them out. What does he do now?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.

Roger : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX X'X a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.
Roger : If both owners signed the title , I don't understand what one of them is claiming. Can you explain?
Roger : IF the owners signed the title over to him, and they won't leave, then they're trespassing and he can file an action in small claims court to have the person removed.
Customer :

One of the owners was still living in the home when it was sold. She is claiming that because she had signed the title several months if not a cpl of years before the actual sell that it was illegal for the remaining owner to sell the home.

Customer :

We are being told be lawyers here that because they were in the home when he bought it that we have to evict them. That he can't simply remove their belongings & change locks. They won't even give him a key.

Customer :

they have no lease with the mobile home park and were in fact evicted by the mobile home park but were not physically removed

Roger : I don't understand the logic of the owner at all because if he/ she signed the documents selling the property, there's really no defense I see.
Roger : Because they're in the property, your son will have to either file an unlawful detainer or civil trespassing case in order to get them out.
Roger : So, you're being told correctly that he'll need a court order.
Customer :

that's what I thought and quite frankly she is stupid when it comes to most things but before I pay a lawyer and go to court I want to be sure she is wrong.

Customer :

Do we just file it with the court or do we have to do to court to defend it. Can they dispute it and how long does it take?

Roger : Yes, I don't see how she thinks she has any right to remain when she signed the documents to sell the place to your son.
Customer :

Problem is he makes minimum wage and can't afford a lawyer to file the papers & go to court

Customer :

she has a boyfriend living there with her who plays these games and stays as long as he can without paying bills, he has never been on the lease or had a legal right to be there

Roger : He can seek help from local legal aid agencies to get this filed. They should be able to assist him in getting this done.
Customer :

legal aid advised him that they don't "consult" in these matters when he tried to talk to them about it before

Roger : Thats strange. Legal aid usually assists with any small claims type action.
Customer :

are there forms to fill out that we can file or do they have to be drawn up by a lawyer. I know if I file the wrong form it can be thrown out. I just need this over before they evict the whole trailer

Customer :

They are saying not small claims but tenant issue because they are squatters

Roger : The next thing would be to contact the state bar association and ask for assistance in locating a legal aid or pro bono attorney in the area to assist with this issue.
Customer :

I assume just search online for a phone number for them?

Roger : I can get you the website.
Customer :

ty

Roger : http://www.iowabar.org
Roger : There are contact numbers , so he can call in and ask for help with his situation.
Roger : As for forms, there are no official state-wide forms. However
Roger : it is not unusual for the court clerks to have forms in their office.
Customer :

ok will try that, I need something done quickly is the problem and the lawyer I contacted said evict them but they were never tenants of his and the mobile home park already cancelled their lease. My son never invited them in, in fact they have kept him locked out.

Customer :

If small claims maybe we can get legal aid to help.

Roger : The alternative claim would be trespassing, but either way, you'll have to get a court order to get them out.
Roger : Usually, evictions are handled as small claims issues.
Customer :

any idea how long it would take to remove them if trespassing?

Roger : It depends on the court's do jet and how quick you could get a hearing - but probably 30 days.
Customer :

will probably need to do evict then, in iowa we can do a 3 day evict & follow up with court order within 2 wks but thanks for the advice, most likely will just have to hire lawyer for him due to needing something immediate

Roger : It's possible to seek an emergency hearing, but that's likely going to take an attorney to get that done.
Customer :

yeah either way it's amazing how the law protects the person who is wrong

Customer :

ok, thanks, bye

Roger : MIT often seems that way. Due process rights slow things down a lot.
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 25993
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by West
Roger and 3 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

nice try but the info you gave me was not valid or correct for my state, if I had followed it I would be going against the laws of my state

Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.
Hi - I believe the info is correct as to the facts provided. There may have been something about your facts that we didn't discuss that would change the scenario. From our conversation, your son owns the home and has the paperwork to prove it signed by both sellers. IF they refuse to leave, then they should be considered holdover tenants/trespassers. Thus, as we discussed above, he should be able to file an unlawful detainer action (eviction) or civil trespassing charges. I think any lawyer would tell you that's how to remove someone from your property - - with a court order. If you will, tell me what you see as different, or what you've been told. I'll be glad to discuss it. Thanks.
Expert:  Roger replied 8 months ago.
Hi Lucy -

I believe the info is correct as to the facts provided. There may have been something about your facts that we didn't discuss that would change the scenario.

From our conversation, your son owns the home and has the paperwork to prove it signed by both sellers. IF they refuse to leave, then they should be considered holdover tenants/trespassers. Thus, as we discussed above, he should be able to file an unlawful detainer action (eviction) or civil trespassing charges.

I think any lawyer would tell you that's how to remove someone from your property - - with a court order. If you will, tell me what you see as different, or what you've been told. I'll be glad to discuss it.

Also, here's the Iowa statute that I based my answer on (particularly paragraph 4):

562A.34 PERIODIC TENANCY -- HOLDOVER REMEDIES:
1. The landlord or the tenant may terminate a week-to-week tenancy by a written notice given to the other at least ten days prior to the termination date specified in the notice.
2. The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month tenancy by a written notice given to the other at least thirty days prior to the periodic rental date specified in the notice.
3. The landlord or the tenant may terminate a tenancy having a term longer than month-to-month by a written notice given to the other at least thirty days prior to the end of the first or subsequent term of the tenancy specified in the notice.
4. If the tenant remains in possession without the landlord's consent after expiration of the term of the rental agreement or its termination, the landlord may bring an action for possession and if the tenant's holdover is willful and not in good faith the landlord, in addition, may recover the actual damages sustained by the landlord and reasonable attorney's fees. If the landlord consents to the tenant's continued occupancy, section 562A.9, subsection 4 applies.

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