The Cross Law Firm's Landlord Law Blog

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 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?

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.


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September 17, 2010

Renting Out Community-Owned Manufactured Homes and Complying with The Landlord Tenant Law (Part 7)

This is part 7 of my blog series about renting out community-owned manufactured homes and complying with the landlord tenant law.

Notices for Failure to Pay Rent

In an owner-occupied manufactured home governed by the MRL, the community owner must give the homeowner a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit as well as a 60-day notice to terminate possession of the premises to terminate the tenancy for non-payment of rent. The MRL requires that all termination notices to homeowner give the homeowner at least 60 days to either remove their manufactured home or sell the manufactured home in place.

In a community-owned rental if the tenant fails to timely pay the rent, the landlord need only give the tenant a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit. If the tenant fails to pay the full amount owed within the 3 days, the landlord can immediately file an unlawful detainer and request possession of the property. No 60-day notice is required in a failure to pay rent situation.

* 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 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.

March 10, 2010

Reasonable Accommodations for the Disabled: Your legal responsibilities as an owner or manager (Part 4)

This is the conclusion of a 4-part blog series advising manufactured home community managers/owners on accommodating disabled tenants.

These laws recognize that a manufactured home community is a business establishment and owners have a legitimate, non-discriminatory interest in renting to individuals who will timely pay the rent and who will obey the rules of the community. Whether or not an individual has a disability should not play a role in this determination. These laws insure that owners of rental properties make business decisions based on legitimate, non-discriminatory factors only, and not on the basis of arbitrary physical or mental disabilities of which an individual cannot control. What owners and managers must and cannot do regarding disabled individuals may seem overwhelming.

This blog series is not designed to scare owners or managers into thinking they absolutely have to rent to a disabled individual or make all requested modifications or accommodations to comply with these laws. The purpose of the disability laws is not to give more benefits to disabled individuals in the rental arena, but simply to insure that disabled individuals receive equal access and enjoyment to the rental premises.

* For specific inquiries regarding a disabled tenant you may have, your welcome to visit my California Manufactured Housing Community and Mobilehome Park Owners legal services page.

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