WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR?
By: Attorney Rob Hunt, Robert D. Hunt, P.A., Gilford, NH 03249 http://www.robhuntlaw.com
Manufactured housing park owners collect money from their tenants, but NH law does not allow unlimited charges on unlimited items. Tenants should look carefully at what they are being charged and make sure that they are only being charged legitimate fees.
Although it may seem overwhelming, Tenants should take the time to sit down and read certain NH laws that govern manufactured housing park owners and tenants. In doing so, Tenants should keep in mind that they are probably not the only ones being charged a particular fee. Often, the fee is being charged to each lot in the park.
For example, if a five dollar fee is being charged to each lot every month and there are 200 lots in the park, the park is collecting twelve thousand dollars per year just on that fee itself. Anyone can see that such a scenario could motivate certain park owners to find reasons to charge additional fees, expenses or costs for any and all items it can come up with.
Certain NH laws governing manufactured housing parks were written specifically because of this situation. Tenants in such parks are particularly vulnerable to park owners because, for example, park owners own the land upon which Tenant-owned manufactured homes are installed. Like in an apartment or a rented house, Tenants in manufactured housing parks are subject to the park rules and/or lease terms created by the park owners. But unlike tenants in apartments or rented homes Tenants in manufactured housing parks are also subject to rules which restrict the sale or removal of their manufactured home. This gives park owners more control and may further motivate them to charge fees that are likely to go unchallenged by Tenants.
There is a specific law that helps to protect NH manufactured housing park Tenants entitled Regulation of Manufactured Housing Parks (NH RSA 205-A). Part of this law is enforced by the NH Board of Manufactured Housing. Tenants should take the time to read this law and visit the Board’s website. If a Tenant believes that a park owner is charging an unlawful fee, the Board has a complaint form that can be filled out and submitted directly by Tenants. Then the Board will determine whether certain park rules are unreasonable or whether a violation of the law has occurred.
At a minimum, Tenants should be aware of the relative rights and responsibilities between themselves and manufactured housing park owners. It they are, they will be much less likely to be taken advantage of or to be unfairly charged fees for which they should not be charged.