The Cross Law Firm's Landlord Law Blog

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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August 25, 2010

Renting Out Community-Owned Manufactured Homes and Complying with The Landlord Tenant Law (Part 5)

Modern Desert Mobile Home/ Manufactured House
Image via Wikipedia

This is part 5 of my blog series about renting out community-owned manufactured homes and complying with the landlord tenant law.

Terminating the Tenancy

Terminating a tenancy for an owner-occupied manufactured home tenancy in comparison to terminating a community-owned rental is an area that community owners commonly make mistakes. Due to the high cost of moving manufactured homes, as well as other factors, the Legislature created additional protections for evicting homeowners under the MRL. A tenancy with the homeowner/resident under the MRL may be terminated only for the following select reasons:

  1. Failure to comply with a local ordinance or state law regulations related to manufactured homes within a reasonable time after notice
  2. Conduct which constitutes a substantial annoyance
  3. Conviction of homeowner/resident for prostitution or felony controlled substance offense committed on premises that resulted in conviction
  4. Failure to comply with a reasonable rule or regulation of a community
  5. Non-payment of rent or utilities

In addition, the MRL also requires that a 60-day notice to terminate possession of the premises be served (sometimes in conjunction with other types of notices) to allow the homeowner 60 days to vacate the premises and move or sell his or her manufactured home.

* For specific inquiries regarding a mobilehome law matter that you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Manufactured Housing Community Owners legal services page.

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August 2, 2010

Renting Out Community-Owned Manufactured Homes and Complying with The Landlord Tenant Law (Part 4)

This is part 4 of my blog series about renting out community-owned manufactured homes and complying with the landlord tenant law.

Ensuring the Manufactured Home is Habitable

A community-owned manufactured home tenancy creates the responsibility for the community owner not only to maintain the space, but also to ensure the inside and outside of the manufactured home is habitable for human occupation.  Ensuring that a manufactured home is habitable typically entails a few basic requirements including:

1. Make sure all fixtures work properly

2. There is hot and cold running water

3. There is no insect infestation

4. There is proper lighting and ventilation

5. There are proper electric outlets

6. There is proper waterproofing/weather protection

7. There are proper plumbing and gas facilities

8. There are proper heating facilities

9. The floors, stairways and railways are in good repair

10. The doors have deadbolts

11. There is a telephone jack

12. The windows have locks

13. All fire and other applicable codes and ordinances are complied with

There are statutory penalties imposed on landlords who fail to ensure that the community-owned rental premises is habitable for the residents.

In contrast, in an owner-occupied manufactured home tenancy regulated under the MRL, the community owner is typically responsible for the habitability of the community’s common areas only and not the home.

* For specific inquiries regarding a mobilehome law matter that you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Manufactured Housing Community Owners legal services page.

July 21, 2010

Renting Out Community-Owned Manufactured Homes and Complying with The Landlord Tenant Law (Part 3)

This is part 3 of my blog series about renting out community-owned manufactured homes and complying with the landlord tenant law.

This blog series is intended to briefly address some differences between the typical owner-occupied manufactured home tenancies governed under the MRL and the community-owned rental tenancies governed by general landlord-tenant law. Please note that this is just a summary of some of the most common differences. Owners should consult their attorneys to ensure that they have all of the proper procedures and documents in place for both situations.

* For specific inquiries regarding a mobilehome law matter that you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Manufactured Housing Community Owners legal services page.

July 7, 2010

Renting Out Community-Owned Manufactured Homes and Complying with The Landlord Tenant Law (Part 2)

This is part 2 of my blog series about renting out community-owned manufactured homes and complying with the landlord tenant law.

Renting can be profitable, but the community owner must understand that a different set of laws govern these community-owned rentals. Community owners are generally familiar with their responsibilities under the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL), which applies to the typical owner-occupied manufactured home tenancy in a manufactured home community. However, community owners must also be aware of the responsibilities and liabilities that exist when renting a community-owned manufactured home, which is regulated by general landlord-tenant law and not the MRL.

In addition, the community documents presented to residents of community-owned rentals must also reflect the different laws and not reference the MRL.

* For specific inquiries regarding a mobilehome law matter that you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Manufactured Housing Community Owners legal services page.

June 23, 2010

Renting Out Community-Owned Manufactured Homes and Complying with The Landlord Tenant Law (Part 1)

This is part 1 of my blog series about renting out community-owned manufactured homes and complying with the landlord tenant law.

In today’s economic recession, many community owners are experiencing a larger than usual accrual of community-owned manufactured homes.  This situation is due primarily to resident homeowners abandoning their manufactured homes to the community, community owners obtaining manufactured homes through warehouseman’s lien sales, or by community owners purchasing manufactured homes from distressed homeowners who are failing to pay the rent.  In any event, the community owner is left with a larger than usual inventory of community-owned, vacant manufactured homes (hereinafter referred to as “community-owned homes”).  These homes are difficult to sell in today’s market, and community owners lose space rent every month the community-owned home does not sell.  Many community owners are finding it is economically feasible to fix up the manufactured homes and rent them to non-homeowner residents (hereinafter referred to as “community-owned rentals”).

* For specific inquiries regarding a mobilehome law matter that you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Manufactured Housing Community Owners legal services page.

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.

May 21, 2010

Evict the Resident for Rule Violation or Substantial Annoyance

This is part 9 of my blog series about dealing with threatening and violent residents.  This post specifically applies to the Manufactured Housing Community and Mobilehome Park Owners.

As you are aware, a resident can be evicted for threatening and aggressive behavior either under violation of a reasonable rule and regulation (798.56(d)) and/or a substantial annoyance eviction (798.56(b)). By indicating in your rules that this type of behavior is prohibited and constitutes a substantial annoyance, and by serving the appropriate notices and obtaining substantial documentation supporting this (written witness statements, restraining orders, police reports etc.), a 60-day notice for termination of tenancy can be a very effective way to protect the employee against an abusive, violent resident.

* For specific inquiries regarding a threatening/violent tenant you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Manufactured Housing Community Owners legal services page.

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