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Q: How do I legally dispose of an abandoned mobile home in North Carolina? ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: How do I legally dispose of an abandoned mobile home in North Carolina?
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: cullepm3-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 20 Nov 2006 17:10 PST
Expires: 20 Dec 2006 17:10 PST
Question ID: 784381
A tenant abandoned his mobile home on our property 2 years ago. We do
not have the title and cannot locate the tenant.  My primary goal is
to desroy/remove the mobile home.  If we destroy/remove the mobile
home and the owner comes looking for it afterwords, can he sue me? 
How much can he sue me for?  The value of the mobile home?  How is
this determined?  What steps should I take before destroying/removing
so that I can't be sued?  Post/mail notices?  How do you legally take
possession of a mobile home in North Carolina (without hiring a
Subject: Re: How do I legally dispose of an abandoned mobile home in North Carolina?
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 20 Nov 2006 19:42 PST

This may partly depend on whether you were leasing space to the
tenant at the time he abandoned the mobile home. If you were, the
statute which covers this is pretty precise and clear, and is 
mentioned in Chapter 42 of the North Carolina General Statutes,
'Landlord and Tenant', under Section 42-25.9(g), 'Remedies':

"Ten days after being placed in lawful possession by execution of
 a writ of possession, a landlord may throw away, dispose of, or
 sell all items of personal property remaining on the premises,
 except that in the case of the lease of a space for a manufactured
 home as defined in G.S. 143?143.9(6), G.S. 44A?2(e2) shall apply to
 the disposition of a manufactured home with a current value in
 excess of five hundred  dollars ($500.00) and its contents by a
 landlord after being placed in lawful possession by execution of
 a writ of possession."

More on the page:

G.S. 143?143.9(6) defines mobile home:

"Manufactured home. ? A structure, transportable in one or more
 sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight feet or more
 in width or is 40 feet or more in length, or when erected on
 site, is 320 or more square feet, and which is built on a
 permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with
 or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required
 utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning
 and electrical systems contained therein."

G.S. 44A?2(e2) states:

"Any lessor of a space for a manufactured home as defined in G.S.
 143?143.9(6) has a lien on all furniture, furnishings, and other
 personal property including the manufactured home titled in the
 name of the tenant if (i) the manufactured home remains on the
 demised premises 21 days after the lessor is placed in lawful
 possession by writ of possession and (ii) the lessor has a
 lawful claim for damages against the tenant. If the lessor has
 received a judgment for possession of the premises which has
 been executed, then all property remaining on the premises may
 be removed and placed in storage. Prior to the expiration of
 the 21?day period, the landlord shall release possession of the
 personal property and manufactured home to the tenant during
 regular business hours or at a time mutually agreed upon. This
 lien shall be for the amount of any rents which were due the
 lessor at the time the tenant vacated the premises and for the
 time, up to 60 days, from the vacating of the premises to the
 date of sale; and for any sums necessary to repair damages to
 the premises caused by the tenant, normal wear and tear excepted;
 and for reasonable costs and expenses of the sale. The lien
 created by this subsection shall be enforced by public sale
 under G.S. 44A?4(e). The landlord may begin the advertisement
 for sale process immediately upon execution of the writ of
 possession by the sheriff, but may not conduct the sale until
 the lien has attached. This lien shall not have any priority
 over any security interest in the property that is perfected
 at the time the lessor acquires this lien. The lessor shall
 not have a lien under this subsection if there is an agreement
 between the lessor or the lessor's agent and the tenant that
 the lessor shall not have a lien."

So it sounds to me like a call to the Sheriff's office to 
inquire about a writ of possession would be the next step.
If I'm misunderstanding that part, I'm sure they'll be able
to clarify the process.

If the tenant was not leasing space for the mobile home, it
may be a slightly different matter, but you describe them as
a tenant, so if, for example, you were renting them a room
and allowing them to keep the home on your land at no cost,
with a lease for the room but not for the land usage, or 
even if you were allowing them to stay on the land at no
cost, it seems likely that the same statutes will apply.

It is extremely unlikely that you could be sued after two
years of abandonment and efforts to locate the former tenant,
even if you destroyed the property without contacting the
Sheriff's office, but I believe you'll find that following
due process will provide an expedient resolution and free
you from any need to be concerned about litigation.

You might want to read this section of the statutes as to
what contents, if any, of the trailer, might constitute
"unclaimed property" which needs to be turned over to the
State Treasurer for the sake of reclamation by the owner
of his descendants in the future:

"Unclaimed property consists of bank accounts, wages, utility
 deposits, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, bonds, and contents
 of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned ? that is, for
 which there have been no documented transactions or contact
 with the owners for a statutory period of time. In most cases,
 this period of time varies from 1 to 5 years depending upon the
 property type. There are over 100 types of property which may
 become unclaimed."

More on this page:

The full statute which is pertinent is here:

By definition, I don't think a mobile home qualifies as a
"motor vehicle", but if, for some reason it does, it will be
covered under this section of chapter 20:

 20?77. Transfer by operation of law; sale under mechanic's
or storage lien; unclaimed vehicles:

The homepage for the searchable N.C. General Statutes is here:

I think that points you in the right direction, but if you 
have any questions that you think I can address better than
the Sheriff's office, please post a Request for Clarification,
and I'll see what I can do.


Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.

Searches done, via Google:

"abandoned property" "north carolina"

north carolina general statutes
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