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.
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.
As of June 1, 2010, mobilehome park owners, landlords and property management companies who use consumer reports in their daily operations (i.e. to screen applicants), are required to create and implement reasonable policies and procedures to identify and assist in combating Identity Theft. The policy must include reasonable steps to be taken if the user of a consumer report receives a Notice of Address Discrepancy (“Notice”) from a consumer reporting agency. This Notice alerts the user that there is an inconsistency between the information obtained from the consumer/applicant and the information on the credit report.
This new law, called the “Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003″ does not specifically state the steps the community’s policy must include, but some examples of recommended policies are 1. to ask the consumer to explain the inconsistency in the report or to produce further documentation to verify if the information is consistent with the credit report information and 2. compare documents such as notices of change of address or other third-party sources. It is highly recommended that the community’s policy be in writing and include a requirement that all Notices received and all steps taken in compliance with the policy be documented. Make sure the community’s employees/managers understand and are familiar with the policy.
* If you would like assistance in creating your policy, you’re welcome to visit my California Manufactured Housing Community Owners legal services page.
This is the conclusion of my blog series about dealing with threatening and violent residents.
As employers, manufactured housing community and other property owners need to ensure that employees are being placed in a safe work environment and that all reasonable steps are taken to minimize and avoid known or foreseeable risks of violent and abusive residents. By taking these appropriate steps, employers not only reduce their potential liability, they help ensure the employees are placed in a less-stressful, safer environment.
* For specific inquiries regarding a threatening/violent tenant you may have, you’re welcome to visit my San Diego Landlord Lawyer legal services page.