WHEN CAN MANAGEMENT REQUIRE YOU TO MOVE YOUR MOBILEHOME TO UPGRADE THEIR PARK?

Recently a GSMOL Manager in Sacramento posed a question to Senator Dunn regarding the removal of a mobilehome upon sale to a third party.  Below is an excerpt from Senator Dunn’s reply:

LETTER FROM STATE SENATOR JOSEPH DUNN

With regard to the refusal of your park management to permit you to resell your mobilehome in the park due to its age, our committee consultant indicates you should consider (calling HCD or) getting a private home inspector to check out the home and verify its condition.  Age is no longer the criteria under Civil Code Section 798.73 (MRL) for determining whether a home can be resold in place.  The issue is whether it complies with health, safety and construction standards of state law.  If you need to make repairs as the result of the inspection, have those done and get a report verifying that the home meets code and present it to the management.  If they still refuse to permit you to resell, you should check with GSMOL or another mobilehome owner advocacy group, or an attorney about possible legal action.

Joseph L. Dunn, Senator, 34th District. Sacramento (916) 651-4034

Garden Grove  (714) 705-1580Fax (714) 705-158

Capitol Office State Capitol, Room 2080, Sacramento CA95814

State Senator Joe Dunn (D-Garden Grove) was elected in November 1998 to represent the 34th Senate District in Orange County; he was re-elected handily in 2002. The district includes the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster.  Sen. Dunn is a strong advocate for seniors and affordable housing. He has been honored with legislator-of-the-year awards from mobilehome owners and others.  Sen. Dunn lives in Santa Ana with his wife, Diane, and their two children.

THE COALITION” asked the same question of Attorney Stuart Parker.  Mr. Parker is knowledgeable about the Mobilehome Residency Law.  The following is his analysis of the law regarding removal of older mobile homes by the park, per 798.73: this law:

LETTER BY ATTORNEY STUART PARKER

WHEN CAN PARK MANAGEMENT REQUIRE THAT A  MOBILEHOME BE REMOVED ON SALE?

At the request of CoMO-CAL, Attorney Stuart Parker provides the following analysis of the law regarding removal of older mobile homes by the park, per 798.73.5

Dear CoMO-CAL:

Although Park Management often tries to confuse and complicate the issues in order to establish its authority, the answers to the above questions fall into several simple rules which derive from California Civil Code section 798.73   and can be stated as follows:

RULE NO. 1:  Park Management may never require the removal of a mobilehome from the Park on sale unless the mobilehome does not comply with the Health and Safety standards provided in Sections 18550, 18552, and 18605 of the Health and Safety Code and the regulations established there under, as determined following an inspection by the appropriate enforcement agency, as defined in Section 18207 of the Health and Safety Code.

RULE NO. 2:  Park Management may not even lawfully propose the removal of a mobilehome on sale unless it falls into one of the following three categories:

Category No. 1: The mobilehome is more than twenty years old, or more than twenty-five years old if manufactured after September 15, 1971, and is twenty feet wide or more;

Category No. 2: The mobilehome is more than seventeen years old, or more than twenty-five years old if manufactured after September 15, 1971, and is less than twenty feet wide;

Category No. 3: The mobilehome is in a significantly run-down condition or in disrepair, as determined by the general condition of the mobilehome and its acceptability to the health and safety of the occupants and to the public, exclusive of age.  With respect to this category, the law requires  that the management should use reasonable discretion in determining the general condition of the mobilehome and its accessory structures. Furthermore, the management shall bear the burden of demonstrating that the mobilehome is in a significantly run-down condition or in disrepair.                                     .

In summary, the legal ability of the park management to require removal of a mobilehome on sale is entirely dependent on the ability of park management to establish Health and Safety Code violations that have not been remedied.

Stuart Parker, Esq., Attorney At Law

4929 Wilshire Blvd.  Suite 225 Los Angeles, CA   90010-3817
Phone:  323-931-2999
Fax:  323-937-5770    E-mail:  smp@stuartmparker.com

The following is an excerpt to a question posed by a resident in a California Mobile Home Park to Housing and Community Development (HCD) in Riverside.  Sal Poidomani heads that office and is very knowledgable about the law:

LETTER FROM SAL POIDOMANI, HCD RIVERSIDE OFFICIAL

Your statement and interpretation of section 798,73 in the Mobilehome Park Residency Law is correct. This law applies to both pre or post 1976.  Regardless if the home is pre-HUD home (pre 1976) it may not be removed unless the home meets all the factors contained in section 798.73 (age, width and condition).  Bottom line, the home must be in significantly run down condition as determined by the enforcement agency.  Historically, if we (HUD) conduct inspections of homes under this section and as requested by the park manager/owner and we find the home to be in substandard condition, we will cite the home owner and give them 30 days to comply.  If they do comply, we no longer have a substandard home and therefore, not subject to 798.73.  Essentially, the park is back to square one.  On the other hand, if the home is vacant, and there is no one to cite or make the repairs, then the park can invoke section 798.73 and have the home removed.

Sal Poidomani      (951)782-4420, (951)782-4431 (mobile office program)

Codes and Standards Administrator II, State of California

Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)

Division of Codes and Standards

3737 Main Street, Suite 400,  Riverside, Ca. 92501

 

CONCLUSION

There should be no doubt regarding this law.  You are not legally required to move your mobilehome when it is up for sale just because it is old.  The only reason why you would have to move it is because there are existing health and safety issues that are uncorrected.

(These might include unsafe porches, railings, or steps.  These might include electrical extension chords that you are using outside your home, or a shed that is too close to your home.  If you have any questions regarding what might be a health and safety issue, please call HCD at …)

This law also applies to your buyer.  A park can not arbitrarily tell you that your buyer must remove the home upon sale.      Removal is entirely dependent on the ability of park management to establish Health and Safety Code violations that have not been remedied.

The law is clear.  Senator Dunn, Sal Poidomani of HCD, and our attorney Stuart Parker all  agree on the meaning of 798.73 (Removal of Mobilehome on Third Party Sale).  You DO NOT have to move your mobilehome out of a park unless there are uncorrected “health and safety” violations.

Violations may range from stairs, railings or porches that are unsafe, to electrical chords being used outside your home.  If there is any question, you can request an HCD inspection.  Simply call HCD Riverside at  951-782-4420 and they will send you form #415 for that purpose. Simply write Technical Service Request in Section #4 on the form to request a “technical service inspection.” The cost is $66.00 and well worth it if there is any confusion about the condition of your home.  If the HCD inspection finds violations, don’t panic.  Usually they are easily resolved—fixing a porch railing, removing an extension chord, etc.  HCD allows you 30 days to correct the violations.  As per Mr. Poidomani above, “If they do comply, we no longer have a substandard home and therefore, not subject to 798.73.  Essentially, the park is back to square one.”  HCD may even write “O.K. to sell” leaving no question about that issue.

CoMO-CAL is always available to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.  Do not hesitate to call or email us (1-800-929-6061, comocal@yahoo.com).