When renting a lot in a mobilehome park the park owner is required to give a written “Rrental Agreement” with an attached copy of the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL),#79815. Whose provisions (a-h), are incorporated into the rental agreement by reference. The provision # 798.8, states that a rental agreement is an agreement between the management and homeowner establishing the terms and conditions of a park tenancy, added is the statement, that a lease is a rental agreement. This is where I believe there is confusion. All the provisions in the MRL refer to a rental agreement, while many park owners require the homeowners to sign a standard type rental lease that I do not believe contain the provisions required for a mobilehome park rental agreement.
Before discussing the provisions required for the required written rental agreement MRL 798.15 (a – h) I want to list other provisions that pertain to the Mobilehome Rental Agreements (leases).
• # 798.16. The rental agreement may include such other provisions permitted by law, but need not include specific language contained in state or local laws not a part of this chapter. (This I believe would include all the laws in the Mobilehome Parks Act, pertaining to standards and conditions of the Park Owner’s Permit to Operate).
• # 798.19. No rental agreement for a mobilehome shall contain a provision by which the homeowner waives his or her rights under the provisions of Articles 1-8, inclusive, of this chapter. Any such waiver shall be deemed contrary to public policy and void. ( As leases are rental agreements, no original lease or a new lease can contain a provision where by the homeowner waives his or her rights under any of these MRL Articles).
• Article 1. General # “Tenancy”# 798.12 is the right of a home owner 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 services and facilities of the park
• Article 4. Fees and Charges # 798.31.A homeowner shall not be charged a fee for other than rent, utilities, and incidental reasonable charges for services actually rendered. (Covered in the rental agreement # 798.15 (f) the utility installations required to be provided, this would be the fees, if any, the commodity used.).
• Article 6. Termination of Tenancy # 798.56. A tenancy shall be terminated by the management only for one or more of the following reason, provisions (a- e). (And only after proper notices have been given).
Now for the provisions in Article 2 Rental Agreement, #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. (Those otherwise required by law, would be the laws pertaining to the park owner’s contractual duty to provide and maintain the standards and conditions of his Permit to Operate).
1). Term of tenancy and rent therefore. (Tenancy can only be terminated when there is a violation of park rule. Rent therefore, I believe should be a provision for annual rent increases).
2). The Rules and Regulations of the park.
3). A copy of the MRL attached and incorporated into the rental agreement (lease) by reference.
4). A provision specifying (1) it is the responsibility of the management to provide and maintain physical improvements in good working order. (2) a reasonable period
to repair.
5). A description of the physical improvements to be provided the homeowner during his or her tenancy.( # 798.12., Tenancy is the right of homeowner to the use of site and installations)
6). A provision listing those services which will be provided at the time the rental agreement (lease) is executed and will continued to be offered for the term of tenancy and any fees, if any, to be charged for those services. ( Will the commodities used be part of the monthly rent?).
7). A provision giving the management the right to charge a reasonable fee for maintenance of the land, if after notification to the homeowner and he or she fails to do so.
8). All other provisions governing tenancy. ( I believe annual rent increases to be a provision of tenancy and should be included(so there would be no unconscionable rent increases).Also I believe the park owner does not have the legal right to add any fees or provisions that are not a term and conditions of tenancy in the required written rental agreement). The reason being; Contract Law (1) [4} (b) Uniform Commercial Code, The Code distinguishes “agreement” from “contract”: An “agreement” is the bargain of the parties in fact as determined from their language or by implication from other circumstances: a “contract” is the total legal obligation resulting from that agreement. (The law states, # 798.8, that a rental agreement (lease) is an agreement between management and the homeowner establishing the terms and conditions of a park tenancy, therefore I believe all rental agreements (leases) should contain theses laws and be enforced, and if there is any change both parties should agree to the change, in writing.
Article by Donna Matthews, Advocate for Mobilehome Owners for 25 years.
Donna can be reached through Mobilehome Magazine: e-mail: fawodley@yahoo.com; phone: 818-886-6479.