The Cross Law Firm's Landlord Law Blog

May 29, 2013

CARE (California Alternate Rates for Energy) Issues New Income Qualification Levels

Landlord Attorney San DiegoThe California Alternate Rates for Energy, otherwise known as “CARE” has issued new income qualification levels as of June 1, 2013. These new income levels will be used to determine if an individual or household qualifies for discounted electric and gas rates.

To be eligible for the CARE discount, individuals or households must have gross income below the income stated on the CARE chart. These CARE income levels should be communicated to residents and the applicable prevailing residential gas and electric rate schedule as published by the serving utility shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the Community.

The revised income levels are as follows per number of individuals in the household:

     1 person                                $22,980
     2 persons                              $31,020
     3 persons                              $39,060
     4 persons                              $47,100
     5 persons                              $55,140
     6 persons                              $63,180
     7 persons                                     $71,220
     8 persons                              $79,260
     Each additional person             $8,040

If you have any specific questions about the new CARE levels and how to notify your community, please contact our Landlord Attorney in San Diego today.


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August 21, 2012

Managing Lawyer Tamara Cross Given Client’s Choice 2012 Award by Avvo

Tamara Cross Receives Client's Choice 2012 Award

Tamara Cross Receives Client’s Choice 2012 Award

Tamara Cross, Managing Attorney at The Cross Law Firm, APC based in San Diego, Ca received the distinguished Client’s Choice 2012 Award by Avvo.com.  This award is given to the top attorneys in each practice area within California.

About Avvo:

Avvo empowers consumers by rating doctors, dentists and lawyers, and having these real professionals answer their questions. Avvo profiles contain helpful information including experience, background, disciplinary history, and reviews from patients and clients.

Information meets guidance in the editorial Avvo Rating. The rating is calculated using a mathematical model that considers elements such as years of experience, board certification, education, disciplinary history, professional achievement, and industry recognition-all factors that are relevant to assessing a doctor, dentist or lawyer’s qualifications.

Contact San Diego Landlord Attorney Tamara Cross at The Cross Law Firm for a reduced-fee consultation today.


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January 17, 2012

Attorney Tamara Cross to Give WMA’s 2012 Update of New Laws Seminar in San Diego

WMA LogoThe Western Manufactured Housing Association‘s (WMA) 2012 Update of New Laws Seminar focuses on changes in the state law, as well as changes in state and federal regulations, and how these changes affect community operations. This year we will also discuss developing your Annual Quick List of important tasks that need to be accomplished annually.

The speaker panel will include mobilehome industry attorney Tamara Cross from The Cross Law Firm, APC and an industry veteran who owns and/or manages multiple manufactured home communities.

The seminar takes place tomorrow, January 18th, 2012 at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley.  Seminar hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m and lunch is included.

These seminars fill up quickly so early registration is recommended.

Join us for these updates, refreshers and other useful resources to help you navigate the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) like a pro!


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November 2, 2011

Mobilehome Owner Dies Without a Will: What to do as the Mobilehome Park Owner

If the homeowner dies without a will, then as the community owner, the situation is not any different than that described above. You might be presented with a “Small Estates Affidavit”. In the absence of that, a representative of the estate still needs to be appointed. The process is essentially the same as that described above in that a petition is filed with the court by the person who seeks appointment as the legal representative. And if that person is approved by the court, he or she will be issued “Letters of Administration” as discussed previously.

In the situation where you have actual knowledge that the resident has died, but no one has come forward on that person’s behalf, then complicated issues of the proper service of notices necessary under the MRL arise. The proper steps or action to take in such situation will depend on the particular factual circumstances involved. As a result, it is recommended that you specifically consult with your legal counsel about the proper course of conduct in this situation, so you as the owner, can protect yourself from potential liability.

The death of a resident can present many potential “traps” for the mobilehome community owner or manager and it is recommended that you consult with legal counsel to determine the proper steps to take so you can avoid unnecessary liability.

After all, particularly when it comes to legal expense, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

For more information, contact Mobilehome Park Lawyer Tamara Cross today.


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October 7, 2011

Small Estates Affidavit: What Should You Request From an Heir to Protect Yourself as the Mobilehome Park Owner

A Small Estates Affidavit contains certain declarations under oath about:

1. The death of the resident
2. The legal heirs
3. The value of the estate
4. Other items required by the probate code section that authorizes its use

However, if an heir has been appointed as a representative of the estate by the court, he or she will receive a document, issued by the court, described above as “Letters of Administration”. That document will, among other things, contain the signature of a judge and a stamp from the court showing it has been issued and filed. Most importantly, it will identify the individual(s) who have been given the authority by the court to act on behalf of the estate, and the powers granted to that individual.

Then, and only then, can you rest assured that you are now dealing with the proper person(s) who have the authority to act on behalf of the estate.

For more information, contact Mobilehome Park Attorney Tamara Cross today.


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September 21, 2011

Death of a Resident in Your Mobilehome Community: What NOT to Do

Depending on the location of your community or where the resident died, the process whereby someone becomes appointed as the representative of the decedent’s estate can take several months. During that time, you as the community owner or manager, need to proceed cautiously:

1. DO NOT be persuaded into allowing family members access to the mobilehome if you have a key

2. DO NOT enter the mobilehome at their request to obtain clothing or documents

3. DO NOT sign contracts with heirs who have not presented proper documentation that they in fact have the legal authority to act on behalf of the deceased resident.

Contact our Mobilehome Owner Attorney at The Cross Law Firm, APC for more information.

August 22, 2011

Death of a Resident in Your Mobilehome Community: What You Need to Know (Part 3 Continued)

Continued from Death of a Resident in Your Mobilehome Community: What You Need to Know (Part 3)

Who Should You (as the Mobilehome Community Owner) Deal With Regarding the Decedent’s Estate (Continued)?

However, in the case of a supposed heir or personal representative, your inquiry does not stop upon mere verification of death. Once you have verified or established that the resident is dead, the question for you as the owner, regardless of whether the person has died with or without a will, is does that individual have authority to act or not. This would generally require an official court document, typically known as “Letters of Administration”, depending on the particular county. A possible exception to this, is something frequently referred to as a “Small Estates Affidavit”. This document, which is executed under oath, can be used in certain situations (which are specified in the probate code) and can allow for the release of personal property of the deceased pursuant to the statements in that declaration. There are specific requirements with regard to such affidavits, so it is recommended that you consult with legal counsel if you are presented with such a document.

Furthermore, the HCD allows an heir, after 40-days from the death of the resident, to fill out and file a form called “Certificate for Transfer Without Probate”. With this form, the heir signs an affidavit under oath, and if all requirements are met, the HCD will transfer title of the mobilehome into the individual’s name. Documentation reflecting that the HCD has transferred (or is transferring) title of the mobilehome to the heir/personal representation should also be suffi cient to prove authority to act.

In the absence of documents showing title has been transferred to the heir, joint tenant or personal representative, only the legally appointed representative of the estate with specific court ordered powers has the authority to act on behalf of the deceased. This includes the authority to sell the mobilehome or to enter the home and remove its contents.

Contact Tamara Cross at The Cross Law Firm, APC to discuss additional questions regarding the death of a resident in your mobilehome community.

August 11, 2011

Tamara Cross, Managing Attorney of The Cross Law Firm, APC Gives Mobilehome Park Seminar on 8/18/2011 in San Diego, CA

Tamara Cross, Attorney at The Cross Law Firm, APC is presenting the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association’s (WMA) August 2011 MCM Seminar discussing pools, parking and other tricky issues that managers and owners of mobilehome parks throughout California face.  The seminar will take place at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley on Thursday, August 18, 2011.

From the WMA’s website:

“This seminar focuses on topics that demand a lot of attention from management. These are also the topics that can get management into the most trouble, namely discrimination. Make sure to attend this seminar to learn the do’s and don’ts when tackling these issues.

Six units of MCM credit can be earned upon passing the corresponding exam administered at the end of the seminar.  Seminar hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch is included. “

Please visit our website for more information about California Mobilehome Park Attorney Tamara Cross.


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August 2, 2011

Death of a Resident in Your Mobilehome Community: What You Need to Know (Part 3)

Who Should You (as the Mobilehome Community Owner) Deal With Regarding the Decedent’s Estate?

While there are an innumerable number of ways to die, when someone dies, it is either with a will (“testate”) or without a will (“intestate”). In the first instance, the dearly departed has executed a writing which identifies someone whom they want to manage their affairs upon death and what they want to happen with their property. In the latter, they have left that up to the laws of the state they are in.

From your perspective as the mobilehome community owner, the obligation to establish the death of the resident is that of the person(s) seeking to take some action regarding the mobilehome or its contents. This person(s) should be able to present you with a certified copy of a death certificate which will verify the identity and death of the resident. Depending on the county, this certificate will contain an official stamp, typically in purple ink, reflecting that it is an official record of that county.

To determine if a mobilehome is owned in joint tenancy, you can look at the Housing and Community Development (HCD) issued title of the mobilehome and it should indicate that the owners are “joint tenants.” If title is held in joint tenancy, then the verification of the resident’s death (and in some situations an accompanying “Affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant”), as well as confirming the identity of the joint tenant should be enough to establish that the individual has authority to take control over the mobilehome.

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June 30, 2011

Death of a Resident in Your Mobilehome Community: What You Need to Know (Part 2)

The Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) provides limited rights to the decedent’s heirs, joint tenants or personal representative. Specifically, the MRL allows a homeowner’s heir, joint tenant or personal representative of the decedent’s estate, who gains ownership of a mobilehome in a mobilehome community as a result of the homeowner’s death, to sell the mobilehome in place in the community to an approved purchaser. This right, however, is conditioned on the heir, joint tenant or personal representative satisfying all of the deceased homeowner’s obligations under the lease. These obligations include satisfying the rent, utilities and maintenance obligations since the death of the homeowner and that continue to accrue until the date the mobilehome is sold. (Civil Code Section 798.78(a).)

One problem with this provision of the MRL that is of concern to you as a community owner, is that it assumes the person has a particular status (heir, joint tenant or personal representative). So, the question(s) for you as the community manager or owner are:

    1. How do you know who is legally entitled to access and potentially sell the deceased homeowner’s mobilehome?
    2. How do you ensure that a person claiming to have authority to act for the deceased homeowner is the legal representative of the decedent’s estate?
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