Mobilehome parks are unique. Homeowners are not leasing, they have contracted to place their home investment in a park under a tenancy covered by a required written “Rental Agreement” ( a lease is a rental agreement) MRL 798,8. The Legislators realizing this fact have enacted laws that require protection of these homeowner’s investments, in two ways, by the park owners standards and requirements for construction to be installed and provided, and the homeowners’ rights of tenancy after contracting to place their home investment in the park.
Park Owners Standards & Requirements
#18251.Standards and Requirements. The Legislature finds and declares that the standards requirements established for construction, maintenance, and use, and design of mobilehome parks should guarantee mobilehome park residents maximum protection of their investment. Permit to Operate This permit is issued in accordance with the provisions of the California Health and Safety Code and is subjected to suspension or revocation.
#18250 Condition and Rights of Residents The Legislature finds and declares that increasing numbers of Californians live in mobilehomes and that most of those living in such mobilehomes reside in mobilehome parks. owners of mobilehomes reside within mobilehome parks for substantial periods of time. Because of the relatively permanent nature of residence in such parks and the substantial investment which a mobilehome represents, residents of mobilehome parks are entitled to live in conditions which assure their health, safety, general welfare, and a decent living environment, and which protect the investment of their mobilehomes.
Homeowner’s Rights of Tenancy – Rental Agreement
MRL 798.15 the rental agreement shall be in writing and shall contain, in addition to the provisions otherwise required by law to be included , all of the following (a-h)
MRL 798.15 (e). A description of the physical improvements to be provided the homeowner during his or her tenancy.
MRL 798.15(f) A provision listing those services which will be provided at the time the rental agreement is executed and continued to be offered for the term of tenancy and the fees, if any, to be charged fir these services.
MRL 798.12 “Tenancy” is the right of a homeowner to the use of a site within a mobilehome park on which to locate, maintain, and occupy a mobilehome, site improvements, and accessory structures for human habitation, including the use of the services and facilities of the park Rental Agreement.
MRL 798.15 (c). A copy of the text of this chapter shall be attached as an exhibit and shall be incorporated into the rental agreement by reference.( Mobilehome Residency Because of the high cost of moving mobilehomes, most Law, MRL, Articles (1-8)
MRL 798.19. No rental agreement for a mobilehome shall contain any provision by which the homeowner waives his or her rights under the provisions of Articles 1 to 8, inclusive, of this chapter. Any such waiver shall be deemed contrary to public policy and void.
MRL. 798.31 A homeowner shall not be charged a fee for other than rent, utilities, and incidental reasonable charges for services actually rendered.
MRL 798.9 “Homeowner” is a person who has a tenancy in a mobilehome park under a rental agreement.
MRL 798.56 A tenancy shall not be terminated by the management only for one or more of the following reasons, ( a to e) Nothing in this subdivision shall relieve management from its obligation to demonstrate that a rule or regulation has in fact been violated.
MRL 798.15 (h) All other provisions governing the tenancy. I believe this to be the most important provision in a mobile- home rental agreement.
Why I believe MRL 798.15 (h) All other provisions governing tenancy is so important, because WHY would mobilehome owners contract to place their home investment in the park if ?
I believe annual rent increases should be a provision governing tenancy, and an annual rent increases provision should not be more than 100% of the Consumer Price index, why? The governmental annual standard of inflation costs for mobilehome parks is only 46% of the CPI, (Rutgers Law Review), Why would a homeowner agreed to a higher rent, that would only increase the park value?
If no provision for annual rent increases, after the required written rental agreement is given “unconscionable” rent increases would be considered Constitutional Violations ”absence of meaningful choice”, “procedural unconscionable”, “economic servitude”, one investor taking unfair advantage of the weaker investor, so why would a homeowner install his home investment in the park?
If there was a provision in the required written rental agreement stating the park owner could raise the rent at time of resale what mobilehome owner would contract to place his or her investment in the park? This would not benefit the home owner it would just make the homeowners” home investment harder to sell. They could lose a sale and their value of their investment might go down.
If there was a “Change of Use” provision, MRL 798.10, in the required written rental agreement, that did not did not give the homeowner the right to negotiate the change of the use in a park owner’s Permit to Operate, why risk losing their home investment?
Other things I believe should be considered when talking about mobilehome rental agreements.
1. MRL states leases are rental agreements, MRL 798.8, therefore any lease given and the homeowner is required to sign must abide by all the MRL provisions for written rental agreements. A lease is a rental agreement, MRL798.8
2, Contract Law (1) [4} (b) Uniform Commercial Code. A contract is the total legal obligation resulting from that agreement.
3. The Mobilehome Residency law is akin to the Consumers Protection Act.
4. The California Court of Appeal confirmed the fundamental concept that an illegal act cannot be enforced by law.
5. Mobilehome owners contract to place their home investment in the park with the justified expectations the provisions of the rental agreement will be binding.
Article by Donna Matthews. Donna can be reached through Mobilehome Magazine