It is unimaginable that MH owners are subject to the 3/60 law for failure to pay rent. Why our leaders agreed to such a law is beyond reason! Do you realize you can lose your home, if your rent is not paid, in a short 10 days after it is due! If this law governed stick-built homes, millions would walk the streets in protest!
And many MH owners are losing their homes as a consequence! For example, a homeowner in Anaheim thought she knew better. She never responded to park notices, she never went to court and as a consequence she lost her home. The sheriff came and evicted her. She left her home behind.
Pay special attention to the last section on Community Owned Rentals. The Cross Law Group (they work for park owners) state: Residents are abandoning their homes to the park, the park is getting their homes through a warehouseman’s lien sale, or parks purchase a home (we guess for cents on the dollar). All in all, a windfall for park owners!
This is serious. MH owners are losing millions of dollars in equity as a result of higher rents. Something should be done.
Western Manufactured Communities Association (WMA)
We mention the WMA because this group represents park owner’s groups. The WMA is very active in Sacramento and local areas. Here in Los Angeles, three WMA leaders sit on the Mobilehome Park Task Force (which is pro-park owner). Check out WMA’s website: http://www.wma.org/. Go to Resources/Service Providers/Attorneys to find a list of 22 attorney groups or individual attorneys ready to serve park owners.
So what is our lesson? Park owners usually know the law, especially when they can make money using it! If they don’t know the law, then their advisors do. In our opinion, many parks are just waiting for a resident to ignore a 3 day pay or quit notice. And don’t think you can fix this next month, because you usually can’t! After the 3 day period is up, the park usually will NO LONGER accept any payment. They will file an unlawful detainer action and proceed evicting you. And there is usually no defense against non-payment of rent.
3/60 Notices Lead to Eviction
Attorney Larry Weaver may be known to some of you. He works for park owners in the San Gabriel Valley and neighboring communities. He is listed by the WMA and his website is: http://www.mhp-lawyer.com/.
Mr. Weaver has listed three interesting articles – one titled: Everything You’ve Wanted to Know about 3/60 Notices (But Were Afraid to Ask). It is worth your time reading. We take a few excerpts from it below.
A common misconception is that in order to evict a resident for nonpayment of rent, management must serve three or more 3/60 day notices over a twelve month period. Such is not the case. If a resident is served with a 3/60, and does not pay the full amount within three days, or sell the home to an approved purchaser or vacate the premises (the space) within sixty days, the law allows you to proceed with an unlawful detainer action (the lawsuit to recover possession of the space) upon the expiration of sixty days.
So what does this mean? Simply that all it takes is for you not to pay the full amount owed within the 3 day period, then the park may file an unlawful detainer action to evict you.
You have three options: a) Sell you home within the 60 day period, b) Remove your home from the community or c) Walk away and hand the keys to your home to the manager. There are pitfalls:
In (a): Who approves a buyer for tenancy? Of course, the park. If the park stands to make $20,000 – $200,000 (if you can’t sell), they may well interfere with your sale and in effect stop any sale.
In (b): Costs between $15-$20,000, even if you can find a park that will take your home. Usually parks do not take older homes.
Obviously if you get yourself into this situation, there may be no easy way out. We would guess many lose their homes.
You can be served a 60 day notice even if you have paid within the 3 day period. As per Larry Weaver:
The so-called three strikes and your out nonpayment of rent notice is a special notice authorized by Civil Code, § 798.56(e)(5) which allows management to serve a 60 day notice for repeated failure to pay if you have, within the proceeding twelve months, served a resident with three or more nonpayment of rent notices.
If after sixty (60) days, the resident has not either sold the home to an approved purchaser or removed the home form the premises, management has a number of options available. Of course management can proceed to evict the resident for nonpayment of rent by the filing of the unlawful detainer action. However, if the resident is not someone that you feel compelled to evict, you may have an opportunity to recover your attorneys’ fees, or to obtain compliance with a long-standing rule violation, as a condition of rescinding the notice and reinstating the tenancy. Moreover, even after filing the unlawful detainer action, a conditional settlement prepared by your attorney can provide the means to obtain a court-enforced payment plan or rule compliance, or both, which results in an eviction for non-compliance, rather than having to start all over again.
Finally, after a resident vacates the premises and leaves the home, or is legally evicted pursuant to an unlawful detainer judgment, management may then be able to proceed with a warehouseman’s lien in accordance with Civil Code, § 798.56a.
Community Owned Rentals
The following is from the Cross Law Firm of San Diego. They represent owners of manufactured home communities in Southern California and handle all day-to-day operations, evictions, rules/lease review, and employment matters.
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”).
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.