During 2005, CoMO-LAC board members have met several times with Ventura attorney Jim Holmes. Mr Holmes, of the group Howe, Holmes and Helton, has considerable experience and knowledge regarding mobile home issues. Two of our group met with him again this last December and posed several questions. The following are some of the information we received.
- 7-day notices – What is the extent of evidence needed by management to serve a 7-day notice?
Answer: Authorized reason and specific date, place, witnesses, circumstances, with respect to the reason, are needed. Are eye-witness accounts required? Yes, corroborating witness accounts. Many park managers leave this out in the notice.
- Evictions – What is the extent of evidence needed by management to serve an eviction notice?
Answer: Just a reason is needed to serve an eviction notice. However, for management to prevail in court, authorized reason and specific date, place, witnesses, and circumstances, with respect to the reason, are needed. Management must then provide a preponderance of evidence supporting the eviction reasons. This means the evidence supports eviction even a little more than it doesn’t. It means the existence of facts are more probable than non-existence. For mobilehome cases the standard is usually higher than for other evictions.
- Handicapped Parking can park management put restrictions on use of handicapped parking places in a park?
Answer: No. Resident cannot be restricted if he/she has either handicapped license plate or window placard. CA Code regulating this? CA Vehicle Code: Sect. 22511.5 (a)(1) and Sect. 21458 Para. 5
- Streets – Are streets in a park considered Fire Lanes because they are so narrow? Is this sufficient grounds for park management banning parking in the street? Is there a State code regulating this?
Answer: It doesn’t matter. Banning parking on park streets is considered reasonable by courts, and therefore enforceable by the park. CA Vehicle Code Sect. 22507 (a).
- What about sewer spills?
Answer: Local health departments have jurisdiction over sewer spills. Don’t wait for HCD to take action. Call local agency immediately if there is a sewer spill in the park. Raw sewage on the ground is a health code violation. HCD deals with health and safety of park structures such as homes and clubhouses.
- Security deposit – Is there a limit to the amount of security deposit park management can require from a new resident?
Answer: No more than 2 months rent, plus first months rent, at date of initial occupancy.
Is there a State code regulating this? Answer: Yes, MRL Sect. 798.39.
- Utility sub-meters: Who is responsible for installing them in a master-meter park? Who is responsible for maintaining them? What is the State-mandated replacement requirement/schedule?
Answer: After Jan. 1997, new mobilehomes have to be sub-metered. Resident should check to see if there is anything in the rental agreement about this issue. If not, management is responsible. See MRL 798.31, 798.32 and 798.37; Cal PUC Code Sect. 2791 Cal Real Estate Code Sect. 31:18 (3d ed) and 31:22 (3d ed)
- Mail tubes what control does management have over mail tubes attached to each house? This is not the USPS mail box.
Answer: Management cannot arbitrarily say other residents don’t want material. An individual resident must tell another resident to not put material in his/her mail tube. These are fixtures of the mobilehome. Fixture law applies. Specific restrictions would have to be in the initial rental agreement to be enforceable.
Note: If you or your friends or neighbors have an issue and you would like to get an answer, please let us know and we’ll research it. We will publish your question and our determination so that all our members can benefit. Also note, we are NOT attorneys nor do we practice law. These answers are an opinion of one attorney. It always pays to have a second opinion, especially if a lawsuit is looming.