TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Meoshi Mullins was given a notice in January that said on March 1, her rent will double.
“I can’t afford to move,” said Skylite Trailer Park tenant Meoshi Mullins. “I’ve got three kids…they just don’t care.”
Rent for the plot of land her mobile home sits on is being raised from $700 to $1,400.
She says she scrounged up the money and was on her way to pay it when she saw an eviction notice on her front gate. She wasn’t the only one who got the message.
Dozens of residents were given the same eviction notice, which told them they had 30 days to vacate the premises.
“I don’t know where I’m going to go, if I’m going to go under a bridge or what,” said Colleen Anglen, who also owns a trailer at the mobile home park. Anglen rents the land from I Touch LLC.
8 On Your Side obtained a copy of one of the tenants’ leases which states that the landlord can end the lease if they give at least a 30-day notice.
Community activist Ana Lamb spent the day speaking with residents, telling them that doesn’t matter.
“What the owner is doing is sending a random rule saying you have 30 days, and that’s not true,” Lamb said.
Then, the county stepped in.
“The attorney I spoke to says the notices that were sent out were sent out in error and that new notices would be coming out—that all tenants would be given protections and their rights will be upheld under the law,” said Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Services Manager Eric Olsen.
On Friday evening, tenants received a new notice, saying their eviction date was extended to Sept. 8.
The letter provided residents with more answers and explained the eviction was “due to change in use of the land.”
“Now you have six months to figure things out, do you feel a little better now?” 8 On Your Side’s Nicole Rogers asked Anglen.
“Yeah, a lot better, phew,” she replied.
The extension now raises new questions.
“I still want to know who I’m supposed to pay the rent to,” Anglen exclaimed. “If we can’t pay rent, then they’ll accuse us of not paying rent.”
8 On Your Side reached out by phone and email to the attorney representing the owners of the mobile home park.
As of this writing, we have not heard back.
If you’re facing anything like this, don’t be afraid to call 8 On Your Side at 1-800-338-0808. We’re here to help.
If you’re in a similar situation in Hillsborough County, you can reach out to Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Services at (813) 635-8316.