WMA supported SB 125 was just passed by both California houses and signed into law by the Governor.  It  allows park employees to come onto your property, remove everything you have “stored” outside your mobile home (does not include items in a storage shed however) and move the items to a storage area.  In order to get your property back, you must pay the park all charges, including moving and storage charges.  Of course what you CAN HAVE outside your mobile home is detailed in your Park Rules and Regulations; however all we have seen lately say you can HAVE NOTHING STORED OUTSIDE the mobile home!   The consequence of not paying the park, you not only lose your possessions but the park can then evict you for non-payment.

Of course the legislature was duped into thinking park owners would only use it to “clean up” their mobile home parks of undesirable and unsightly debris and refuse.  But let’s face it, our mobile home spaces are cramped and we should all be allowed to “store” non-hazardous” items outside in an area not seen from the street or neighbors.  Today the law only allows a storage shed up to 110 sq. ft. on a space.  Why not allow two, especially if there is room on the space and the neighbors are not affected?  Or why not allow a resident to store items in a closed, fenced area.

Only time will tell, but our feeling is that now park owners will use this against park residents, especially those residents who are not “favored” in our parks.  And especially those who will not fight back—seniors, widows, and low income people—the one’s who are the most vulnerable.

The following is included for your information. We know it is long and detailed. Unfortunately the law sometimes is long and detailed.   It comes from a website and provides additional information about SB125.

COMMENTS  :  According to the author (WMA), mobilehome park owners want to provide a desirable living environment for their residents; however, problems arise when a tenant fails to maintain their homesite by allowing personal items to be stored outdoors where they are often neglected and left to deteriorate and become an eyesore.  Other residents may complain about the condition of  another resident’s space but the park management is not able to  remove the debris or junk.  Although management can send notices of noncompliance and verbally request a resident clean up the debris and trash from their space eviction is the only remedy available to the management to enforce the rules of the park. This bill would allow management to remove the debris from the resident or homeowners premises and store it until either the resident claims or abandons it and charge the resident the cost  of removing and storing the debris. Safeguards for residents:  This bill would prevent management from evicting a resident or homeowner for the same rules that allowed the management to remove the resident’s property.  A resident could be evicted for nonpayment of the costs of the removal of the junk from their space; however, the notice of            payment is required to be delivered in person.  This provision would provide some protection in the event an individual is out  of town when the items are removed from the space and is unaware of the need to reimburse the park management.  The park  management is also responsible for proving that cleanup was nondiscriminatory.

This Bill

This Bill: 1)Requires the management to provide the homeowner or resident written notice 14 days prior to  removing the property.  The notice must include the rule, regulation or code that has been violated and the  estimated charges to be imposed by the management.     2)  Provides the mobilehome and appurtenance or accessory structures cannot be removed under this rule.  3)  Requires a homeowner or resident to pay the management the actual, reasonable cost of removing and storing the property if a notice of nonpayment is personally served on the homeowner.  4)  Requires management of a park to provide a homeowner or resident written notice within seven days from the date the property is removed to a storage area, of the following:  a) An inventory of the property removed;  b) Where the property may be claimed; and, c) Notice that the cost of removal shall be paid by the resident or homeowner.  5)  Provides the homeowner 60 days to claim the property after  which time it will be considered      abandoned and may be disposed of by the management. 6)  Provides if the homeowner or resident claims the property but does not reimburse the management for storage cost, management may bill the individual on a monthly basis.7)  Allows the management to dispose of the property prior to the  end of the 60 day period if the homeowner or resident informs the management, in writing, of his/her intent to abandon the property.8)  Requires if the management auctions or sells the property and the funds exceed the amount owned to the management for  storage, the management must refund the difference to the homeowner or resident within 15 days of receiving the funds. 9)  Requires the refund to a homeowner to be sent first-class mail  or personal delivery and include an accounting of the costs of removal and storage of the property and the proceeds from the sale of the property. 10)  Requires if the sale or auction of the property is less than the cost of storage the homeowner or resident is responsible for the difference and the management may collect if a notice of nonpayment is personally served on the homeowner. 11)  Prohibits the management of a park from evicting a resident or homeowner based on a violation of this section. 12) Places the burden of proof that enforcement of this provision has been executed in a nondiscriminatory and nonselective manner on the management. 13)  Allows park management to recover the cost of a title search upon successful eviction of a resident.

 Governor signs Senate Bill 237 (Migden) into law

Governor Schwarzenegger also signed Senate bill 237 (Migden) into law. The bill prohibits park rental agreements entered into beginning January 1, 2006 from including a provision giving the park management the right of first refusal to buy a homeowner’s mobilehome offered for sale in the park to a third party. WMA worked with the author, Senator Carole Migden, and was successful in amending the bill to allow for a separate agreement between the management and the resident to purchase a right of first refusal on the home, if they mutually agree.

CoMO-LAC believes this is a bill beneficial to you as a mobilehome owner.