The Cross Law Firm's Landlord Law Blog

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 29, 2011

Death of a Resident in Your Mobilehome Community: What You Need to Know (Part 1)

Charlie Sheen in March 2009

Image via Wikipedia

It is often said that life is full of uncertainties, which rings particularly true in today’s world. Will the stock market rise or fall? Will real estate continue its downward trend? Will gas prices continue to skyrocket? When will Charlie Sheen suffer another “meltdown”?

On the other hand, you can find certainty in death and taxes. This article will give you an overview of which steps you, as owner or manager of a mobilehome community, should take upon the death of a homeowner in your community.

In a traditional landlord/tenant relationship, a month-to-month lease terminates upon the death of the tenant. In the mobilehome community, however, a resident’s death does not terminate the responsibility to pay the rent and utilities if the mobilehome remains on the space.


December 29, 2010

Distribution of the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL)

Community Management Panel
Image by LunaWeb via Flickr

Under current law, owners of mobilehome communities are required to distribute to all homeowners a copy of the Mobilehome Residency Law (“MRL”) on or before February 1 of each year when there has been a significant change to the MRL.

Now beginning January 1, 2011, community owners have a choice.  They can either distribute a copy of the MRL to all homeowners, as they did before, OR they can notify all homeowners in writing by February 1 of each year that there has been a significant change in the MRL and notifying the homeowner that he/she can request a copy of the updated MRL from the community management at no charge. Upon a request by a homeowner, Community owners and management are required to provide a copy of the MRL to the homeowner within 7 days of the request.  The request by the homeowner may be verbal or written.

This new change in the law could save community owners time and money. The current MRL is about 20 pages long and copying and distributing the MRL to all homeowners by February 1 can be expensive and time consuming.  With this new law change, community owners only have to provide copies of the updated MRL to a homeowner that requests a copy.

Please remember that this new “written notice of the change in the MRL” and opportunity to request a copy must go out to each homeowner on or before February 1 of each year where there has been a significant change in the MRL from the prior year.  Since there is no definition as to what constitutes a “significant change in the MRL,” it is advised that community owners send this notice out every February 1, regardless, allowing homeowners to request and obtain a copy of the new MRL each year.

As a word of caution, if you decide to send out a written notice to the homeowners of the MRL change instead of the actual MRL, please make sure your management office has an adequate supply of the updated MRL copies on hand to give out to requesting homeowners within 7 days of the request.

For an explanation regarding what this new written notice about the MRL change and request should include, please contact our offices for a free sample notice.  A link to the 2011 Mobilehome Residency Law can be found on the resources page of The Cross Law Firm’s website. For other questions regarding this law change, the MRL or a mobilehome legal question, please contact Tamara Cross at The Cross Law Firm, APC for assistance: (800) 859-2064 or locally in San Diego at (619) 296-0567.


December 24, 2010

Landlords, Know the Towing Regulations


Image via Wikipedia

The towing requirements for landlords and mobilehome community owners can be confusing. In this blog series I will summarize the most important aspects of the towing law as it relates to landlords, with some special items related to mobilehome community owners.

Mobilehome Residency Law -Civil Code Section 798.28.5 (applying only to mobilehome communities):

The MRL allows community owners to remove a vehicle other than a mobilehome from the community if there are signs displayed at each entrance to the community.

The signs must meet the following requirements:

1.    They must be in plain view located at all the entrances and exits to the community;
2.    The signs must be at least 17 by 22 inches and one inch lettering in height;
3.    All signs must state that public parking is prohibited and that vehicles will be removed at owner’s expense;
4.    All signs must state the telephone number of the local traffic law enforcement agency;
5.    All signs must state the name and telephone number of each towing company that the owner has a written authorization agreement with
6.    All signs must state that a citation may be issued for the violation.

Please check and make sure you have these signs at each entrance and exit, they are in plain view and the signs have all of the information stated above.

* For specific inquiries regarding towing regulations, visit my California Landlord Services page.

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