Can my mobile home park charge me a pet fee without notice?

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Can my mobile home park charge me a pet fee without notice?

I purchased a mobile home in a park 7 years ago. When I moved in the park manager verbally informed me that I did not have to pay a “pet fee” if my cat never went outside. The new manager of 6 months left me a voicemail yesterday that I owe $33 in back rent for a “cat fee” that she says she left a message about on someone else’s phone over a month ago. If the message was on my phone I could have removed the cat from the property. If I was never aware of owing this fee, do I legally have to pay the $33?

Asked on May 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Custom and practice in the rental industry is that all fees owed by a tenant (including pet fees) are to be spelled put in writing and in the presumed written lease between the tenant and the landlord.

In your situation if you have lived in the mobile home park for 7 years without having ever to pay a pet fee yet had a pet at all such times and you were never invoiced for a pet fee, I fail to see what legal and factual basis the mobile home park now has to assess you such a fee based solely upon some unilateral verbal notice when you were simply presented with the $33.00 bill. 


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