Mobile home park tenants get eviction notice after 45 years - Source New Mexico (2023)

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As lawmakers consider mobile home park reforms, couple likely to challenge eviction

SANTA FE COUNTY — What used to be called the Dale Mobile Village was named after the owner Jack Dale, who ran the place for decades with his wife.

It’s a tight-knit community in a rural part of Santa Fe County that has been shaken up in part by a change in ownership.

Dale’s children still live there. His granddaughter grew up with a man named Erasmo Ochoa-Dozal.

In January, the family sold the property, which has at least a dozen occupied mobile homes parked on it, to Ochoa-Dozal, and he renamed it Alborada Mobile Home Park.

But Aaron Dennis said he and other tenants didn’t have prior notice of the sale.

“We never got a chance to say anything,” he said.

Ochoa-Dozal told all the tenants he was raising their monthly rents. For Aaron and Rachel Dennis, it would mean their rent would rise from $380 to $700, a 184% increase which would make the lot unaffordable for them.

However, just saying you’re going to raise rents is not a legal notice of a rent increase, so the tenants organized a meeting and demanded he propose it in writing.

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In response, Ochoa-Dozal said he delayed the rent increases to April and sent a letter to the tenants on Wednesday giving them two months “to think about what they want to do before they sign a new contract, which is coming next week.”

“I’m trying to do the best I can,” Ochoa-Dozal said.


Ochoa-Dozal said in an interview he raised the rents in order to pay the mortgage on the property.

“I bought the place but the mortgage and all that, it’s impossible to run a business like that,” Ochoa-Dozal said. “But our mortgage costs a lot.”

“He needs the $700 per space to pay for his mortgage, because he mortgaged it that much,” said Rachel Dennis, who handles the bills for herself and her husband.

Ochoa-Dozal said the mobile home park is not his only source of income. He said he works in construction.

Rachel works as a secretary for eight hours per week on average, and Aaron, a retired artist and video editor, is on a fixed income through Social Security.

“We’re barely making it as it is,” Aaron Dennis said. “It’s just out of the question.”

Before publication of this article, Ochoa-Dozal invited Source New Mexico to visit the trailer park in order “to really have a good report” that would not be “one-sided.”

“It’s going to be hard for you to understand, and people like you probably want to hear and see what’s going on, thinking that sometimes landlords abuse people,” Ochoa-Dozal said. “But believe me, it’s the opposite.”

Source New Mexico agreed to meet Ochoa-Dozal at the park. About two hours later, a spokesperson for him sent a written statement saying an attorney advised him “to postpone meeting with you until he has had ample time to obtain legal counsel.”

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Eviction notice doesn’t give reason

On Feb. 1, Ochoa-Dozal sent the couple an eviction notice, telling them to move out 30 days later, which was March 2.

Ochoa-Dozal became “really upset” when he found out Maria Griego, an attorney with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, had sent him a letter detailing the illegal practices and letting him know the 30-day notice to terminate is invalid and illegal, and that the Dennis couple has every right to stay in their home until further notice.

“He’s already so upset and mad at us that he’s ready to throw us out, right now,” Rachel Dennis said.

Ochoa-Dozal said he is evicting the couple because they refused to purchase a tenant’s insurance policy. Aaron Dennis said Ochoa-Dozal asked him and the other tenants to make him the beneficiary of the insurance policies.

“I understand there is a legal requirement for the insurance, but not for him to be involved,” Aaron Dennis said.

Ochoa-Dozal said he has not tried to evict anyone else living in the park, and Griego said no one has been evicted yet.


In New Mexico, the Landlord Tenant Act governs rental agreements generally but there is also the Mobile Home Park Act, designed to provide greater protections to residents because they generally own their home but rent the lot.

Griego said mobile home park tenants are inherently vulnerable to abusive practices by unscrupulous landlords.

The Mobile Home Park Act limits when landlords can end a rental agreement, for things like not complying with the rules of the park, or if the park has been rezoned. It requires a landlord to follow very strict compliance with notice requirements, but also provide detailed reasons why the tenancy is being terminated.

“That didn’t happen here,” Griego said.

Ochoa-Dozal simply gave the Dennis couple a 30-day notice to terminate the rental agreement without citing any particular reason, Griego said.

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“That’s illegal,” she said.

Griego is representing the Dennis couple and other park residents but none of the residents have filed anything in court.

“If he’s got reasonable reasons, I’d like to have him present them in writing,” Aaron Dennis said.

Forty-five years ago, Aaron and Rachel rented out a parcel of land in the Dale Mobile Village. Aaron Dennis said they originally planned to stay here no more than five years while looking for their own piece of property.

They couldn’t afford it, so they have lived here “by default” for decades. In that time, Aaron Dennis said he once disagreed with Dale’s decision to cut out Chinese elm trees which, according to Ochoa-Dozal, were growing into the septic tank.

But in the 45 years they’ve lived there, nothing ever escalated to the point of eviction.

“Oh nothing, no, never ever,” Aaron Dennis said.

Couple not the only ones

The Dennis couple’s story is simply one of many New Mexicans whose landlords see these mobile home parks “as a means of making profit,” Griego said.

“Communities are destroyed, low-income families are left scrambling looking for new housing,” Griego said.

New Mexico has a shortage of affordable housing, and “we need to protect the affordable housing that we have,” she said.

A proposal to change state law going through the Legislature called Senate Bill 298 would require mobile home park managers to provide residents a written copy of the rental agreement.

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It would also increase the amount of time a resident can get caught up on rent after receipt giving notice to vacate from three days to 45 days. It would also require landlords to apply payments made to delinquent rent first so people are less likely to be evicted when they make payments.

It would also require advance notice of owners’ intent to sell the park and give residents associations priority, should they wish to purchase the park.

“That would be huge,” Aaron Dennis said. “We didn’t have any opportunity to even discuss the possibility of working out something like buying it ourselves.”

The bill would also limit the frequency of, and amount of rental increases statewide.

“Unfortunately, a case like this proves the need for that,” Aaron Dennis said.

The Dennis couple also can’t afford to move their mobile home, and are considering selling it. In the meantime, they’ll be out in the national forest or staying with friends, if it comes to it.

“That’s the situation with a good number of the tenants, I understand,” Aaron Dennis said.

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How long does it take to evict a tenant in New Mexico? ›

New Mexico law takes into account the health, building, safety, and housing codes. If a tenant violates any of these codes, the landlord must first issue a 7-Day Notice to Comply, which gives the tenant seven days to fix their violation or else they may be evicted.

Is New Mexico allowing evictions? ›

In New Mexico, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms or illegal activity. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.

What are my rights as a tenant in New Mexico? ›

Every New Mexico tenant has the legal right to seek proper and fair housing without any kind of discrimination against them. The New Mexico landlord-tenant law also allows them to request required repairs for the unit (If it needs them).

What is a 3 day notice of substantial violation New Mexico? ›

(N.M. Stat. Ann. § 47-8-33(A) (2021).) Three-Day Unconditional Quit Notice: When a tenant has committed a substantial violation (such as hurting another person at the rental unit property), the landlord can give the tenant a three-day unconditional quit notice.

How long does an eviction stay on your record in New Mexico? ›

Evictions stay on your record for seven years, but many people are not the same person they were seven years ago. If you have an eviction on your record and are trying to rent a new place, follow the tips below to boost your chances.

How long does an eviction stay on your record near New Mexico? ›

Generally, an eviction report will remain part of your rental history for seven years. If you are in the process of applying for a lease, ask the landlord or leasing company to tell you the name of the tenant screening company they use. Contact the company in advance to find out whether the eviction is still appearing.

How much notice does a landlord have to give for eviction? ›

They don't have to give you any reasons why they want to evict you. They have to give you at least 28 days notice, but this could be longer depending on your agreement. If you don't leave by the time your notice ends, your landlord has to go to court to get a court order to make you leave.

Does New Mexico have squatters rights? ›

The basics of New Mexico's adverse possession laws are that as long as certain key elements are met, such as living on the property for a specified statutory period of time while paying taxes, a squatter has the legal right to claim adverse possession on the property.

Can you refuse to leave a rental property? ›

If you do not leave at the end of the notice period, your landlord must apply to the court for a possession order. If the court gives them a possession order and you still do not leave, they must apply for a warrant for possession - this means bailiffs can evict you from the property.

What is the Mobile Home Park Act New Mexico? ›

For this very reason, the New Mexico Legislature enacted the New Mexico Mobile Home Park Act to protect mobile home park residents.” The state Mobile Home Park Act requires mobile home park owners to publish and enforce community rules only after soliciting comments from the community and posting responses.

What is New Mexico's statute of limitations? ›

New Mexico Statute of Limitations for Crimes

Capital or first-degree violent felonies: None. Second-degree felony: Within six (6) years. Third- or fourth-degree felonies: Within five (5) years.

What is New Mexico statute 47 8 1? ›

The purpose of the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act [47-8-1 NMSA 1978] is to simplify, clarify, modernize and revise the law governing the rental of dwelling units and the rights and obligations of owner and resident, and to encourage the owners and the residents to maintain and improve the quality of housing in ...

What is the temporary eviction ban? ›

It means that if you are renting private rented accommodation you cannot be evicted during these months, even if you have been issued with a valid notice of termination. The eviction ban covers: Approved housing bodies. Cost rental tenancies.

How long is a speedy trial in New Mexico? ›

This rule is affectionately known as the “182 day rule.” The rule can be affected by events such as a mistrial, one's failure to appear, an extension of time, etc., but with the typical case the trial must commence within 182 days from the date of one's arraignment.

How do you serve a summons in New Mexico? ›

Service upon the attorney or upon a party shall be made by delivering a copy to the attorney or party, or by mailing a copy to the attorney or party at the attorney's or party's last known address. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.

How long does it take to get a court order to remove a tenant? ›

They have to give you the notice at least 14 days before they evict you. You might be able to ask the court again to delay the date you'll need to leave - for example if you can now repay your arrears or you're going to be homeless. Your council might have a legal duty to help you find you accommodation.

How do I find out if I have an eviction on my record for free? ›

Another way to find out about a tenant's eviction record is to go to your state's court website or the website for the court located in the same city or county as the rental unit. Because evictions are considered part of the public record in most states, the general public is allowed to have access to eviction cases.

What rights do long term tenants have? ›

If the tenant has an ongoing contract or agreement with their original landlord, then they retain the right to live in the property when it changes hands. The tenant in situ also has the right to remain in the property until their tenancy reaches its natural end or they are evicted for good cause.

What are the ways by which tenants can be protected against eviction? ›

1. Consent in Writing: The tenant in entitled to protection from eviction if he can prove that for creating the sub-tenancy there was a written consent of the landlord. It excludes any other consent, namely, oral consent or implied consent .

What is Section 21 eviction notice? ›

In England, a Section 21 notice must give your tenants at least 2 months' notice to leave your property. You may need to give a longer notice period if you have a 'contractual' periodic tenancy. This is a fixed term tenancy that has ended, but included a clause to continue as a periodic tenancy.

Can a tenant claim squatters rights? ›

If squatters are not correctly removed, then legal action can be taken. Whether a person is in a building or on land, often people refer to Squatter Rights. However, in truth there is no such thing as the rights of a squatter or trespassers.

Is New Mexico a stand your ground state? ›

New Mexico Law

Though New Mexico does not have a stand your ground statute, the state supreme court has held that there is no duty to retreat before using force in public.

Why are squatters protected? ›

Since 1977 squatters have enjoyed what were known as 'squatters rights'. These resulted from the legislation Protection From Eviction Act 1977 which sought to protect tenants from losing their homes without the involvement of the courts.

Can tenants refuse eviction? ›

If a landlord does, they will almost certainly face charges of harassment. If a tenant refuses to leave the rental property then a landlord must always follow correct procedures to evict a tenant legally, otherwise the situation could become increasingly drawn out and costly.

What happens if a tenant wants to leave? ›

If you reach an agreement to leave your tenancy early

If you need to leave before the end of your tenancy, your landlord or agent can charge an 'early termination' fee to cover any reasonable costs. For example, rent up to the end of your fixed tenancy period or costs to find a new tenant.

What is a Section 8 eviction notice? ›

What is a section 8 notice? Your landlord can give you a section 8 notice if they have a legal reason to end your tenancy. For example, rent arrears. Legal reasons for eviction are called 'grounds for possession' on the notice.

Do you pay property taxes on a mobile home in New Mexico? ›

Manufactured homes/ mobile homes (MH) are taxed based on their value which is determined in the Assessor's Office by cost manuals, less depreciation. The owner, who has a non-permanent MH and owns the land it sits on, will receive two tax bills, one for the MH and one for the land.

What is the difference between a Park home and a mobile home? ›

A park home is a type of mobile home that you live in all year round. You buy the park home but rent your pitch from a residential site owner.

Is a mobile home real property in New Mexico? ›

Manufactured Home as Real Property

When a manufactured home is placed on a permanent foundation and the tongue and axles have been removed, its title should be deactivated and it should be entered on the books of the county as real property, subject to real estate taxes instead of personal property taxes.

How long before a debt is uncollectible in New Mexico? ›

In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for open accounts is four years, while the statute of limitations for written contracts is six years. In New Mexico, if a creditor can provide a signed credit card agreement, the six year statute of limitations applies.

How long is a Judgement good for in New Mexico? ›


A judgment is a lien on the real estate of the judgment debtor and expires after fourteen years. N.M. Stat. § 39-1-6.

How long is the statute of limitations in Mexico? ›

Limitation Periods

Ten years, as a general rule. Five years for some specific claims regarding maritime disputes and agency fees. One year, in exceptional cases.

What is New Mexico statute 47 8 24? ›

47-8-24. Right of entry. (3) where the resident gives reasonable prior notice and alternate times or dates for entry and it is practicable or will not result in economic detriment to the owner, then the owner shall attempt to reasonably accommodate the alternate time of entry.

What is the property damage statute of limitations in New Mexico? ›

In New Mexico, you have 3 years to file a personal injury claim and 4 years to file a property damage claim. The clock on these time limits starts from the time you sustained your injury or when a reasonable person would have discovered the injury or property damage.

What is the New Mexico Civil Rights Act? ›

House Bill 4 (HB 4) creates the “New Mexico Civil Rights Act.” The Act gives a person who claims deprivation of “rights, privileges or immunities” secured by the New Mexico Constitution the right to bring a lawsuit in state district court and recover actual damages and injunctive relief.

Who does the eviction ban apply to? ›

The Eviction Ban applies to:

Tenants in the private rental market. Students in student-specific accommodation.

How do you serve notice on a tenant? ›

Therefore, as above, you will need to serve notice by:
  1. email (after checking that the tenancy agreement includes a clause allowing you to serve notice by email) and/or by either:
  2. Personal delivery - through the letterbox of the property(this will be legally received the following business day)
Feb 20, 2023

Will a tenant pay rent after quit notice? ›

Paying rent after serving notice

After notice is served on the tenant, they must pay within the time frame in the notice, so if the tenant gets a three-day notice to pay rent or quit, they must pay within three days. Once the tenant pays, they have cured the breach of the lease and cannot be evicted.

What is Rule 6 504 in New Mexico? ›

Witness interviews.

Upon request of a party, any witness named on the witness list of the opposing party, other than the defendant, shall be made available for interview prior to trial.

What is New Mexico Rule 6 506? ›

Rule 6-506 - Time of commencement of trial A. Time limits for arraignment. (1)Defendant not in custody. A defendant who is not in custody shall be arraigned on the complaint or citation within thirty (30) days after the filing of the complaint or citation or the date of arrest, whichever is later.

What is New Mexico statute 31 19 1? ›

Terms Used In New Mexico Statutes 31-19-1

Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime. Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.

What is Replevin in New Mexico? ›

— Replevin is a possessory action, the main purpose of which is to restore plaintiff to immediate possession of the property and which secondarily permits recovery also of damages for the unjust caption or detention. Johnson v. Terry, 1944-NMSC-035, 48 N.M. 253, 149 P.

How long do you have to respond to a motion in New Mexico? ›

Unless otherwise specifically provided in these rules, any written response and all affidavits, depositions or other documentary evidence in support of the response shall be filed within fifteen (15) days after service of the motion.

What is Rule 1 005 NMRA? ›

Any document required to be served by Rule 1-005(A) NMRA may be served on a party or attorney by electronic transmission of the document if the party or attorney has agreed to be served with pleadings or papers by electronic mail or if the attorney for the party to be served has registered with the court's EFS.

What is a 3 day eviction notice in New Mexico? ›

A New Mexico Notice to Quit (Non-Payment), also referred to as Form 4-901, is a document used to inform a tenant that their rent is past due. The notice gives the tenant two options; to pay rent in full within three (3) days or deliver possession of the dwelling.

How late can you be on rent before eviction? ›

How far behind on my rent can I get before eviction? The law varies depending on the type of tenancy agreement you have with your landlord. But, generally, it states that a tenant has to be 8 weeks behind on rent (if paying weekly) or two months behind (if paying monthly).

What is a 7 day notice to vacate New Mexico? ›

A New Mexico 7-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Compliance), also referred to as Form 4-902, is a document that specifies violations and describes the nature of the alleged breach committed by a tenant.

What happens if a tenant refuses to leave? ›

If you do not leave at the end of the notice period, your landlord must apply to the court for a possession order. If the court gives them a possession order and you still do not leave, they must apply for a warrant for possession - this means bailiffs can evict you from the property.

What is a no-fault eviction? ›

Since the Housing Act 1988, private landlords have been able to use 'no-fault evictions' to repossess their properties, even if there has been no particular problem with the tenant. Also known as a 'Section 21 eviction', the right to repossess a property has given many landlords peace of mind.

What happens if tenants don't leave? ›

If the court grants a possession order and tenants still don't leave, landlords must apply for a warrant for eviction – meaning bailiffs can remove tenants from the property.

Is New Mexico a landlord friendly state? ›

The rental market is strong and profitable. The state is somewhat landlord-friendly as there are no rent control laws and evictions may take less time than in other states. All US states, including New Mexico, have a statewide Landlord-Tenant law in place.

How long can a landlord leave you without air conditioning in New Mexico? ›

Landlords in New Mexico are required to provide a safe and habitable living space and make requested repairs in a reasonable amount of time (7 days).
Landlord Responsibilities in New Mexico.
ItemLandlord Responsibility?
Air conditioningYes
Garbage removalYes
Elevators (in multi-unit buildings)Yes
6 more rows
Jan 10, 2022

How much notice does a tenant have to give? ›

1 month's notice if your tenancy runs from month to month. If your rental period runs for longer than a month, you need to give the same amount of notice as your rental period. For example, if you pay rent every 3 months, you'll need to give your landlord 3 months' notice.

What is a Section 8 eviction? ›

A Section 8 eviction notice is passed when you want to evict the tenant because of something they have, or have not, done such as the tenant failing to pay their rent, causing destruction to your property or they are being a nuisance to neighbours.

What form is 30 day notice to vacate New Mexico? ›

A New Mexico lease termination letter, or Form 4-903, can be used by a landlord or tenant seeking to terminate a month-to-month lease. The notice must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the next rent payment for it to become in effect.

How much notice does a tenant have to give to move out in New Mexico? ›

State law requires giving at least 30 days notice for termination. However, state law does not require notice to be given to end fixed term lease agreements on their end date. Read further to learn more about notice requirements and the residential lease termination process in New Mexico.

How do I get out of a lease in NM? ›

One is to provide proper written notice. It requires that the tenant serve the landlord a 30 days notice before terminating their lease. The other condition involves payment of a fee, usually the equivalent of 2 months' rent.


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