The Cross Law Firm's Landlord Law Blog

January 24, 2017

Mobilehome Notices Required by Feb. 1 Under the 2017 MRL

Mobilehome Attorney CaliforniaPer California Law, there are three important notices mobilehome park owners and manufactured housing community owners and/or their management need to send to all homeowners/residents by February 1 of each year:
 
1. Notice of MRL significant change:
 
You need to distribute a copy of the 2017 Mobilehome Residency Law to all homeowners and residents OR notify all homeowners and residents in writing by February 1, 2017 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.  
 
2. CARE Notice:
 
The management of a master-meter park shall give written notice to homeowners and residents on or before February 1, 2017 in their utility billing statements about assistance to low-income persons for utility costs available under the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, established pursuant to Section 739.1 of the Public Utilities Code. The notice shall include CARE information available to master-meter customers from their serving utility, to include, at a minimum: (1) the fact that CARE offers a discount on monthly gas or electric bills for qualifying low-income residents; and (2) the telephone number of the serving utility which provides CARE information and applications. The park shall also post the notice in a conspicuous place in the clubhouse, or if there is no clubhouse, in a conspicuous public place in the park. 
 
3. Rights & Responsibilities Notice (UPDATED)
 
Management is required to send the below notice of Rights & Responsibilities to all homeowners and residents pursuant to California Civil Code 798.15(i) by February 1, 2017.  The Notice or Rights and Responsibilities was just amended- so please make sure you have the updated language from the MRL.  Here it is: 
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL MANUFACTURED HOME/MOBILEHOME OWNERS: CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES THAT YOU BE MADE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING:
The Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL), found in Section 798 et seq. of the Civil Code, establishes the rights and responsibilities of homeowners and park management. The MRL is deemed a part of the terms of any park rental agreement or lease. This notice is intended to provide you with a general awareness of selected parts of the MRL and other important laws. It does not serve as a legal explanation or interpretation. For authoritative information, you must read and understand the laws. These laws change from time to time. In any year in which the law has changed, you may obtain one copy of the full text of the law from management at no charge. This notice is required by Civil Code Section 798.15(i) and the information provided may not be current.
Homeowners and park management have certain rights and responsibilities under the MRL. These include, but are not limited to:
1. Management must give a homeowner written notice of any increase in his or her rent at least 90 days before the date of the increase. (Civil Code Section 798.30)
2. No rental or sales agreement may contain a provision by which a purchaser or a homeowner waives any of his or her rights under the MRL. (Civil Code Sections 798.19, 798.77)
3. Management may not terminate or refuse to renew a homeowner’s tenancy except for one or more of the authorized reasons set forth in the MRL. (Civil Code Sections 798.55, 798.56) Homeowners must pay rent, utility charges, and reasonable incidental service charges in a timely manner. Failure to comply could be grounds for eviction from the park. (Civil Code Section 798.56)
4. Homeowners, residents, and their guests must comply with the rental agreement or lease, including the reasonable rules and regulations of the park and all applicable local ordinances and state laws and regulations relating to mobilehomes. Failure to comply could be grounds for eviction from the park. (Civil Code Section 798.56)
5. Homeowners have a right to peacefully assemble and freely communicate with respect to mobilehome living and for social or educational purposes. Homeowners have a right to meet in the park, at reasonable hours and in a reasonable manner, for any lawful purpose. Homeowners may not be charged a cleaning deposit in order to use the park clubhouse for meetings of resident organizations or for other lawful purposes, such as to hear from political candidates, so long as a homeowner of the park is hosting the meeting and all park residents are allowed to attend. Homeowners may not be required to obtain liability insurance in order to use common facilities unless alcohol is served. (Civil Code Sections 798.50, 798.51)
6. If a home complies with certain standards, the homeowner is entitled to sell it in place in the park. If you sell your home, you are required to provide a manufactured home and mobilehome transfer disclosure statement to the buyer prior to sale. (Civil Code Section 1102.6d) When a home is sold, the owner is required to transfer the title to the buyer. The sale of the home is not complete until you receive the title from the seller. It is the responsibility of the buyer to also file paperwork with the Department of Housing and Community Development to register the home in his or her name. (Civil Code Sections 798.70–798.74)
7. Management has the right to enter the space upon which a mobilehome is situated for maintenance of utilities, trees, and driveways; for inspection and maintenance of the space in accordance with the rules and regulations of the park when the homeowner or resident fails to maintain the space; and for protection and maintenance of the mobilehome park at any reasonable time, but not in a manner or at a time that would interfere with the resident’s quiet enjoyment of his or her home. (Civil Code Section 798.26)
8. A homeowner may not make any improvements or alterations to his or her space or home without following the rules and regulations of the park and all applicable local ordinances and state laws and regulations, which may include obtaining a permit to construct, and, if required by park rules or the rental agreement, without prior written approval of management. Failure to comply could be grounds for eviction from the park. (Civil Code Section 798.56)
9. In California, mobilehome owners must pay annual property tax to the county tax collector or an annual fee in lieu of taxes to the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). If you are unsure which to pay, contact HCD. Failure to pay taxes or in lieu fees can have serious consequences, including losing your home at a tax sale.
10. For more information on registration, titling, and taxes, contact: the Department of Housing and Community Development www.hcd.ca.gov (800) 952-8356; your County Tax Collector; or call your local county government.

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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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June 2, 2010

The Red Flags Rule

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.

May 27, 2010

Conclusion of Threatening and Violent Tenants Blog Series

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.

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