Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

This is a discussion on Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; My husband and I are both disabled. We live in an RV in a space at an RV park paid ...

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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 05:38 PM   #1
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Default Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

My husband and I are both disabled. We live in an RV in a space at an RV park paid month to month. We do not have a lease as the park does not offer them but they allow you to stay indefinitely on a month to month basis. There are some who have been here for years.

Due to mobility difficulties, I purchased apartment sized washer and dryer and placed them on the cement pad behind the trailer. The washer was hooked up to the sewer line so it emptied into the central sewer system. There is no prohibition to washers and dryers as many of the larger RVs have them. The rules, also, have no prohibition to them. Also, several 5th wheel tenants have chest freezers in the front of their RV's in plain sight. Our washer and dryer are behind the trailer under a tarp when not in use.

I was told that we could not have them because they give the "impression of permanence."
Personally, I would think a chest freezer in plain sight in front of the RV would give more of an "impression of permanence" than an apartment sized washer and dryer under a tarp behind the trailer.

I want to know if the Fair Housing Act would cover my right to have the washer and dryer as a "Reasonable Exception" for the disabled. I don't know how broadly the act covers. I am hopeful it will give me the right to use them as getting my wash done is exhausting and detrimental to my health.

If the FHA does not cover it, is there any law that will?

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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

Nope, permission to put a washer and dryer behind your trailer is not required by the fair housing act. They might allow you to put in a small structure or trailer, with the washer/dryer in them.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 03:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

Contact a fair housing agency or a lawyer. All buildings constructed for single-family or multiple-family occupancy must meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements with respect to doorways and hallways wide enough for wheelchair access, accessible light switches and electrical outlets, and accessible kitchens and bathrooms. In addition to the federal laws defined in the Fair Housing Act, specific tenant rights laws with respect to repairs, deposits, late fees and evictions vary from state to state.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 10:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

Disagreeable:

The issue is not WHERE I put them but that I have them at all. You miss the premise altogether.

Follow:

NO prohibition to washers and dryers; many of the larger trailers are equipped with them and they are allowed to use them.

NO prohibition to appliances being outside and 4 trailers have chest freezers out in front of their 5th wheel.

Washer and dryer are both allowed and, obviously, so are outside appliances. So why the denial of right to have them behind the trailer?

Now; the other fact is that both my husband and I are disabled (I more than he), and as such, should be able to request a "reasonable exception" under either the FHA or ADA to accommodate the disability not withstanding the lack of rules prohibiting them. I am trying to find out if those rules apply to RV parks where people live as "extended stay" renters.

Trying to reason with the management is futile because if you try to tell him that he is being unfair, he will just tell you to leave. It is a dictatorship here. I am looking to find out if I can get protection from either FHA or ADA to confront him without being tossed out. There are very few places here for RVs and those that are available are booked up at least 6 months of the year due to Texas A&M alumni parking their trailers here for the football season so he would know he could fill the space with no difficulty if he did kick us out and we would have nowhere to go.

Washing clothes is a very difficult process for me and I am just trying to find a way to make it easier. If you had to walk with a walker and are unable to lift and carry anything in your arms for fear of falling, you may understand my dilemma. I really need to have the use of the washer and dryer here to enable me not to have to wear the same thing for 2 or three days so I don't have to wash as often.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 01:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

You have already been told to contact a Fair Housing attorney or agency to ask these questions.

Your concern would be that under a month to month tenancy if the RV park simply terminated your lease over this would you have grounds to contend this was a "retaliatory eviction" based on the washer/dryer issue or would they be forced to accomodate you based on your claim of disability.

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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 08:10 AM   #6
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Confused Re: Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

gail in Georgia: I have contacted HUD but it takes a minimum of 30 days for them to evaluate the situation. It has been a week, so I have another 3 weeks or more to wait.

I was just wondering if anyone knew what I was up against. No need to get snippy. I was asking for help, not chastising.
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

They have stated a fact. You live in a RV park, not a permanent residential area. If their objection is their being visible, make them invisible. I suspect you will be moving your RV soon.
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Old Aug 14th, 2013, 08:41 AM   #8
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Exclamation Re: Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

Disagreeable:
You, obviously, know NOTHING about RV parks. Most parks in the US have "long term" residents which are usually retired or elderly people who live in their RVs. This park is no different. There are people who have been here for years. It is, basically, a mobile home park that caters to RVs. The "Fair Housing" rules apply to mobile home parks so it stands to reason that it would apply to RV parks as well. I am just looking for clarification that logic prevails. When you are dealing with laws and government entities, logic is not always in play.

I don't understand the mean spirited answers, here. Do you have something against the disabled? I am not crying "wolf"; I truly have several problems that restrict my mobility. My husband is a proud disabled Veteran. We both worked all our lives and have never taken welfare, food stamps, government housing, Obamaphones, or any other "entitlement." We do get Social Security (which WE paid in to, therefore it is NOT an entitlement, it is OUR money), and my husband gets a modest disability check for his injuries from his injuries during the Gulf War. He is entitled to that payment since he was injured protecting YOUR rights to be "disagreeable."

All I am asking for is to be able to wash my clothes, period. I am not asking for anyone to do it for me or for anyone to do anything other than to allow me to have my washer and dryer accessible so I can take care of our needs. I am sorry if you have a problem with that. Don't you have a mother and father? Wouldn't you want them to be able to wash their clothes without having to jeopardize their health? Some day you may be in a like situation and then you will see how frustrating it is when you ask for a simple and innocuous accommodation and get no reasonable assistance, especially when others are allowed to break rules that exist and there is no rule that says you can't do what you want to do.
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Old Aug 14th, 2013, 09:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

You don't seem to understand that there is a reason that RV parks maintain short term appearance and leasing. It is in part to remove people they feel are undesirable for any reason. Just because you wish it was a trailer park, does not make it a trailer park. There is nothing mean spirited about pointing out your delusions of reality. In fact, I tried to offer a suggestion you could tender to them. You seem intent on trying to beat them with a stick of law, that is non existent, when you should be tendering the flowers of compromise. Good Luck to you.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 07:39 PM   #10
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Wink Re: Fair Housing in RV Parks in Texas

We retired on the South TX Coast in our RV. Unfortunately we now know that living in an RV park makes you very vulnerable to the "owner's discretion" as to what you can do (or have on the patio, etc.). The simple explanation is this: RV parks are similar to staying in a hotel room......they can ask you to leave just because they don't like you...and its legal. They can tow your rig; and a hotel Manager can evict a guest for virtually "any reason" (i.e., noise, dirty room, etc.)
If you get in an RV park that is clean and safe and cost is reasonable in Texas consider yourself lucky; it's not near as nice as Arizona or California. Good Luck, we sympathize.
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