What You Need to Know
Loosely defined as "a residence that is able to be moved using a vehicle or its own engine," mobile homes account for over 515,000 residences in the state of California. According to the Mobile Home Park Home Owners Allegiance (MHPHOA), California is the state with the second-highest number of mobile home and RV parks in the country, with 5,041 currently active.
As Chico accounts for 25 of these parks, it's no question that current or future residents may have a couple of questions about their rights as a mobile home park tenant. Better understanding the California Mobilehome Residency Law can be a great first step into feeling safe and secure in your new home.
Basics of Your Agreement
A standard tenant agreement, as outlined in Article 2 of the law, should include:
- Length of the tenancy and rent
- Park rules and regulations
- Copy of Article 2 of the Mobilehome Residency Law
- Copy of Notice in Civil Code Section 738
Additional provisions may include fees associated with maintenance, landlord responsibilities and services provided, and any other regulations that the landlord deems necessary. These may consist of pest control policies, pet agreement, rent control for individual tenants, etc.
As outlined in Section 738.23.5, mobile homeowners are allowed to sublease or rent out their space if they deem it necessary. However, these subleasees also have to uphold the agreement signed by the original tenant, and some landlords may even require that a lease or additional agreement be signed. There may also be a required waiting period of up to a year before the landlord will allow a home to be subleased or rented.
They also reserve the right to withhold or recharge the security deposit for any new tenants.
Likewise, as the mobile home remains in the park, the homeowner still assumes the responsibility of paying for their spot on the lot and any park-related charges.
Terminating Your Tenancy
Both landlords and the tenant retain the right to terminate a tenancy at any time. At present, there are only seven recognized reasons that could be grounds for termination from a landlord:
- Failure to comply with local and state regulations after receiving a notice of noncompliance.
- Persistent conduct that can be considered a "substantial annoyance" to other homeowners or tenants.
- Conviction of prostitution.
- Failure to comply with reasonable rules and regulations outlined in the agreement
- Failure to pay rent or utility charges after at least five days from the due date and after three days written notice.
- Condemnation of park.
- Change of use of the park.
In any termination instance, regardless if it is landlord enforced or by the tenant's choosing, a 60-day notice must be exchanged between the management and the tenant.
As with most rental properties, utility charges can be included in the rent or billed separately - this varies from park to park. The park management is also required to make known which utilities are being paid by tenants in both individual mobile homes and common areas.
If applicable, the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program may be made available to low-income residents. Management must make this information known to tenants and should indicate any available utility discounts under CARE and any contact information for an application.
While these are only a few of the notable sections outlined in the 2020 California Mobilehome Residency Law, we encourage you to speak with an attorney prior to entering into any contract.
Peters, Habib, McKenna, Juhl-Rhodes & Cardoza, LLP Protects Mobilehome Owners
Our firm has been dedicated to protecting mobilehome park tenants for years. We stand by the notion that all residents are entitled to a safe and healthy living environment and work tirelessly to fight for their rights. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a mobilehome park’s negligence, contact our office to schedule a consultation by calling (530) 342-3593 or visiting our website.