What is the Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program (MHDRP)?

Owners of manufactured and mobile homes who rent a space for their home in a park or community have important rights and responsibilities under the state Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act (MHLTA), RCW 59.20. Landlords have rights and responsibilities under the law, too.

How did MHDRP start?

The 2007 WA State Legislature recognized that there are factors unique to the relationship between a manufactured/mobile home tenant and their landlord. The difficulty and expense of moving and relocating a manufactured/mobile home creates unique challenges. The Legislature found that many tenants who experienced violations of the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act (MHLTA) were often left without protections or access to legal remedies. In response, the State Legislature passed into law RCW 59.30. This law authorizes the Attorney General’s Office to administer the Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program and enforce the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act. It also authorizes the Department of Licensing to register manufactured/mobile home communities and collect registration fees.
Mission
The Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program enforces the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act, educates stakeholders, and fosters relationships between manufactured/mobile home community land owners and homeowners. We facilitate communication among parties in an effort to resolve disputes and avoid evictions.

Vision

We seek to foster a safe and sustainable manufactured/mobile home community industry in Washington State through excellence in service, respected regulatory leadership, and effective membership in stakeholder organizations.
What are the Licensing Requirements and how is this program funded?
By law, landlords are required to register each pad in their community or park with the Department of Licensing and pay $10 per year per pad that is rented to a person who owns their home. Landlords may charge each homeowner a maximum of $5 per year of this assessment. The fee is then used to fund MHDRP and cover DOL’s registration and licensing costs.
If you have a computer, their link to MHDRP is http://www.atg.wa.gov/MHDR.aspx.

Outcomes

The Washington State Program began in 2007. There are now four annual reports and 16 quarterly reports detailing the outcomes of complaints made both by residents and landlords.
Go to: http://www.atg.wa.gov/MHDR/StatsAndCaseOutcomes.aspx for further information.
Complaints Received and Closed
300 Complaints were received in FY2011 266 Complaints were closed in FY2011 from FY2010 and FY2011(some were complaints that originated in FY2010) 65 Complaints remained open at the conclusion of FY2011
Requests for Dispute Resolution/Complaints Disposition: 202 of the 266 closed complaints were resolved through facilitated negotiations:
o 151 closed complaints resulted in agreements to comply with RCW 59.20 during negotiations (75%);
o 44 closed complaints did not indicate a violation of RCW 59.20 for investigation (22%)
o 7 (seven) closed complaints that were not resolved through negotiation were assigned to investigation (3%) 64 of the 266 closed complaints were not handled through the negotiation process:
o 28 closed ‘complaints’ were not complaints but were inquiries/informational requests only, and either stated no complaint or otherwise did not relate to RCW 59.20 but submitted on complaint forms.
Editor’s Note: I’ve been writing about the Wa. State Dispute Resolution Program now for three years. Isn’t it about time that the “powers” in Sacramento work to legislate a similar program in California? Would you support it? I sure would! We need enforcement! And the cost is $5.00/year/space.