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Mobile Home Park Home Owners Allegiance

Mon, Aug 31, 2020 – §798.17 Repeal – AB 2782 Signed by Governor

An act to amend Section 798.56 of, and to amend and repeal Section 798.17 of, the Civil Code, and to amend Sections 65863.7 and 66427.4 of the Government Code, relating to mobilehomes.


    1. Rental agreements meeting the criteria of subdivision (b) shall be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any local governmental entity which establishes a maximum amount that a landlord may charge a tenant for rent. The terms of a rental agreement meeting the criteria of subdivision (b) shall prevail over conflicting provisions of an ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure limiting or restricting rents in mobilehome parks, only during the term of the rental agreement or one or more uninterrupted, continuous extensions thereof. If the rental agreement is not extended and no new rental agreement in excess of 12 months’ duration is entered into, then the last rental rate charged for the space under the previous rental agreement shall be the base rent for purposes of applicable provisions of law concerning rent regulation, if any.
    2. In the first sentence of the first paragraph of a rental agreement entered into on or after January 1, 1993, pursuant to this section, there shall be set forth a provision in at least 12-point boldface type if the rental agreement is printed, or in capital letters if the rental agreement is typed, giving notice to the homeowner that the rental agreement will be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any local governmental entity which establishes a maximum amount that a landlord may charge a tenant for rent.
  1. Rental agreements subject to this section shall meet all of the following criteria:
    1. The rental agreement shall be in excess of 12 months’ duration.
    2. The rental agreement shall be entered into between the management and a homeowner for the personal and actual residence of the homeowner.
    3. The homeowner shall have at least 30 days from the date the rental agreement is first offered to the homeowner to accept or reject the rental agreement.
    4. The homeowner who signs a rental agreement pursuant to this section may void the rental agreement by notifying management in writing within 72 hours of returning the signed rental agreement to management.
    5. The homeowner who signs a rental agreement pursuant to this section may void the agreement within 72 hours of receiving an executed copy of the rental agreement pursuant to Section 798.16. This paragraph shall only apply if management does not provide the homeowner with a copy of the signed rental agreement at the time the homeowner returns the signed rental agreement.
  2. If, pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4) of subdivision (b), the homeowner rejects the offered rental agreement or rescinds a signed rental agreement, the homeowner shall be entitled to instead accept, pursuant to Section 798.18, a rental agreement for a term of 12 months or less from the date the offered rental agreement was to have begun. In the event the homeowner elects to have a rental agreement for a term of 12 months or less, including a month-to-month rental agreement, the rental agreement shall contain the same rental charges, terms, and conditions as the rental agreement offered pursuant to subdivision (b), during the first 12 months, except for options, if any, contained in the offered rental agreement to extend or renew the rental agreement.
  3. Nothing in subdivision (c) shall be construed to prohibit the management from offering gifts of value, other than rental rate reductions, to homeowners who execute a rental agreement pursuant to this section.
  4. With respect to any space in a mobilehome park that is exempt under subdivision (a) from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any local governmental entity that establishes a maximum amount that a landlord may charge a homeowner for rent, and notwithstanding any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure, a mobilehome park shall not be assessed any fee or other exaction for a park space that is exempt under subdivision (a) imposed pursuant to any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure. No other fee or other exaction shall be imposed for a park space that is exempt under subdivision (a) for the purpose of defraying the cost of administration thereof.
  5. At the time the rental agreement is first offered to the homeowner, the management shall provide written notice to the homeowner of the homeowner’s right (1) to have at least 30 days to inspect the rental agreement, and (2) to void the rental agreement by notifying management in writing within 72 hours of receipt of an executed copy of the rental agreement. The failure of the management to provide the written notice shall make the rental agreement voidable at the homeowner’s option upon the homeowner’s discovery of the failure. The receipt of any written notice provided pursuant to this subdivision shall be acknowledged in writing by the homeowner.
  6. No rental agreement subject to subdivision (a) that is first entered into on or after January 1, 1993, shall have a provision which authorizes automatic extension or renewal of, or automatically extends or renews, the rental agreement for a period beyond the initial stated term at the sole option of either the management or the homeowner.
  7. This section does not apply to or supersede other provisions of this part or other state law.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Chap. 477 (AB 1938, Williams), eff. 1/1/2013)

Note: The below information was extracted from the May 5, 1986 Report and Transcript of Hearing on Mobilehome Park Leases (see below), pages 11 through 17 of 342.

Introduction

Modern mobilehome parks are direct descendants of yesterday’s trailer and travel trailer parks, and even with the evolvement of larger residential mobilehome parks, tenancies have traditionally been on a month-to-month basis.

Because the month-to-month tenancy was adapted from conventional apartment rentals to fit mobilehome parks, a series of laws have developed over the years to protect mobilehome owners, who own their own units placed on rental land, from unreasonable eviction or other arbitrary practices. Today, the Mobilehome Residency Law protects residents in a number of ways.

Civil Code Section 798.55 (a) requires the park management to give residents a 60-day written notice of eviction, and Section 798.56 provides the only reasons for which a resident/tenant can be evicted.

Civil Code Section 798.15 provides a rental agreement shall include the terms of tenancy, the rent, and the rules and regulations of the mobilehome park, among other requirements.

Section 798.18 (a) obliges management to offer a mobilehome owner a rental agreement for a term of 12 months or a lesser term as requested by the homeowner, or optionally a term longer than 12 months if mutually agreed to by both parties.

Section 798.18 (b) provides that the terms and conditions for rent and charges cannot be different during the first 12 months of a rental agreement than the same terms and conditions afforded to residents on a month-to-month basis.

Advent of the Lease

In the past both park owners and park residents have been apprehensive about utilizing long-term rental agreements or leases.

In some cases, owners of mobilehome parks which exist on conditional use permits, rather than permanent zoning, normally do not want to tie up the spaces in long-term leases if the land can be converted to other and more profitable uses in the future.

In this regard, evicting tenants with long-term leases upon a conversion – at least in the past – was potentially more troublesome than removing 30-day tenants.

Likewise, mobilehome park residents, many accustomed to apartments or other forms of rental housing, have usually been satisfied with the informal arrangement and simplicity of a month-to-month tenancy. Additionally, those who might contemplate moving do not want to be tied up with a long-term lease.

But as newer parks have been developed, accommodating larger mobilehomes and offering, in many cases, a more permanent lifestyle, as rents in mobilehome parks have increased, and as both park owners and residents have become more sophisticated about their needs, the advantages of long-term rental agreements or leases have become apparent.

1986 has seen a surge in lease offerings, which may be attributable in part to the fact that under new legislation, SB 1352, Chapter 1084 of the Statutes of 1985, effective January 1, 1986, mobilehome park spaces covered by a rental agreement in excess of 12 months’ duration are exempt from any local rent control ordinance, at least during the term of the rental agreement.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Lease

There are advantages and disadvantages of a long-term mobilehome park lease or rental agreement for both park residents and park owners:

Advantages

  1. The park resident may gain from a long-term rental agreement by knowing what his/her long-term rental costs, over the a period of a lease, exclusive of any increases or pass throughs in taxes or capital improvements, will be. In contrast, under month-to-month tenancy, park rents may increase dramatically, usually with only a 60-day written notice.
  2. Park owners are assured, over the duration of the lease, of a set and predictable amount of income. Lease income may provide greater stability, particularly for potential investors looking to purchase such a park. Many park leases or rental agreements include pass throughs of additional property taxes or governmental costs, as well as cost of living increases, so that the net lease income will remain steady over the period of the lease regardless of increases in taxes or inflation. Additionally, under SB 1352, on leases over 12 months’ duration, the lease controls the rental terms, preempting any local rent control ordinance for the duration of the lease.
  3. Park rents and other terms and conditions of tenancy are spelled out in the lease. This gives either party the right to sue for breach of contract if the terms or conditions of the lease are abrogated.

Disadvantages

  1. Some park owners feel that leases may prevent them from increasing rents and making their income property competitive in the marketplace during times of economic change. The lease also may subject the park owner more clearly to legal action in cases of an alleged breach of the lease than under a month-to-month tenancy.
  2. For residents, a long-term rental agreement may be seemingly complicated and legalistic. The lease, by its nature, is offered by the park owner and is usually written by the owner’s attorney. Residents are seldom in an equal bargaining position with a park owner in offering to negotiate terms or conditions of such a lease, as the lease is usually offered on a take it or leave it basis.

Problems

With the increase in lease offerings has come an increase in complaints by mobilehome park residents to legislators’ offices. The major complaints can be summarized as follows:

  1. Failure to give park residents sufficient time to review the lease. A number of park residents have complained that when they have been offered a lease, they are given only a short period of time, such as one week or less, in which to review and sign it. Some residents say they need more time to review the lease or seek the advice of an attorney before signing, since they do not understand all the provisions of the lease.
  2. Failure to offer a month-to-month tenancy. Other residents contend that some park owners offer leases as the only tenancy available and as a substitute for a 30-day or month-to-month tenancy, which will no longer be offered. If true, this would appear to be a violation of Section 798.18 of the Civil Code, which provides that a homeowner shall be offered a rental agreement for a term of 12 months or a lesser period as the homeowner requests.
  3. Requiring residents on month-to-month tenancy to pay a higher monthly rent. In a number of cases where leases are offered, although the park owner gives the resident the option of remaining on a month-to-month tenancy, the resident is required to pay a higher rent than if he/she signs the lease for the same space. This policy may also be affected by Civil Code Section 798.18 (b). Although the rent could differ after the first year, under 798.18 the question is whether the rent could be different in the first year of a long-term rental agreement than the rent on a month-to-month basis, for the same space.
  4. Pass through costs. Mobilehome owners have complained that in some cases the park owner is passing through all variable costs, including increases in government fees, taxes, insurance, capital improvements and maintenance costs, in addition to the rent. In taking any risk out of the cost side of the equation, they say, the park owner is guaranteed a straight profit in the established lease rent. In these cases, tenants contend, they would be no better off than under a month-to-month tenancy.

These are just some of the complaints on leases which have been registered with the Senate Select Committee on Mobilehomes and various legislators by mobilehome constituents.

The purpose of the May 5th hearing is for the Select Committee to hear testimony from both park owners and park residents, as well as their representatives, concerning the issues involved with the offering of long-term mobilehome park rental agreements and leases.

Senate Bill No. 1352 – CHAPTER 1084

An act to add Section 798.17 to the Civil Code, relating to mobile­home parks.

[Approved by Governor September 27, 1985. Filed with Secretary of State September 27, 1985.]

Legislative Counsel’s Digest

SB 1352, L. Greene. Mobilehome parks: rent control.

Existing state law does not preclude governmental regulation of rents, fees, and charges in mobilehome parks, although existing provisions of the Mobilehome Residency Law contain limitations on fees and charges.

This bill would provide that specified mobilehome-park site rental agreements in excess of 12 months’ duration and extensions thereof prevail over conflicting provisions in any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by a local governmental entity and limiting or restricting rent. The bill would, however, not supersede other provisions of state law.

The bill would specify that, upon expiration of a rental agreement or extension thereof subject to the bill, the last rental rate charged under the previous rental agreement shall be the base rent for purposes of applicable provisions of law concerning rent regulation. The bill also would require rental agreements entered into pursuant to the bill to contain a specified notice that the agreement would be exempt from local rent regulation.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 798.17 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

798.17. (a) Rental agreements meeting the criteria of subdivision (b) shall be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any local governmental entity which establishes a maximum amount that a landlord may charge a tenant for rent. The terms of such a rental agreement shall prevail over conflicting provisions of such an ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure limiting or restricting rents in mobilehome parks only during the term of the rental agreement or one or more uninterrupted, continuous extensions thereof. If the rental agreement is not extended and no new rental agreement in excess of 12 months’ duration is entered into, then the last rental rate charged for the space under the previous rental agreement shall be the base rent for purposes of applicable provisions of law concerning rent regulation, if any.

The first paragraph of a rental agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall contain a provision notifying the homeowner that the agreement will be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any local governmental entity which establishes a maximum amount that a landlord may charge a tenant for rent.

(b) Rental agreements subject to this section shall meet all of the following criteria:

(1) The rental agreement shall be in excess of 12 months’ duration.

(2) The rental agreement shall be entered into between the management and a homeowner fr the personal and actual residence of the homeowner.

This section does not apply to or supersede other provisions of this part or other state law.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 798.17 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

798.17. (a) Rental agreements meeting the criteria of subdivision (b) shall be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any local governmental entity which establishes a maximum amount that a landlord may charge a tenant for rent. The terms of such a rental agreement shall prevail over conflicting provisions of such an ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure limiting or restricting rents in mobilehome parks only during the term of the rental agreement or one or more uninterrupted, continuous extensions thereof. If the rental agreement is not extended and no new rental agreement in excess of 12 months’ duration is entered into, then the last rental rate charged for the space under the previous rental agreement shall be the base rent for purposes of applicable provisions of law concerning rent regulation, if any.

The first paragraph of a rental agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall contain a provision notifying the homeowner that the agreement will be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any local governmental entity which establishes a maximum amount that a landlord may charge a tenant for rent.

(b) Rental agreements subject to this section shall meet all of the following criteria:

(1) The rental agreement shall be in excess of 12 months’ duration.

(2) The rental agreement shall be entered into between the management and a homeowner for the personal and actual residence of the homeowner.

This section does not apply to or supersede other provisions of this part or other state law.

(Approved by Governor September 27, 1985. Filed with Secretary of State September 27, 1985.)

3. The homeowner shall have at least 30 days from the date the rental agreement is first offered to the homeowner to accept or reject the agreement.

4. The homeowner who executes a rental agreement offered pursuant to this section may void such agreement by notifying management in writing within 72 hours of the homeowner's execution of the rental agreement.

(c) The homeowner shall have the option to reject the offered rental agreement and instead accept a rental agreement for a term of 12 months or less from the date the offered agreement begins. In the event the homeowner elects to have a rental agreement for a term of 12 months or less, including a month-to-month agreement, the agreement shall contain the same "rental charges" terms and conditions as the offered rental agreement during the first 12 months, except for options contained in the offered rental agreement to extend or renew the agreement.

(d) Nothing in subdivision (c) shall be construed to prohibit management from offering gifts of value, other than rental rate reductions, to homeowners who execute a rental agreement pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Statutes of 1986, Chapter 1416, SB 2141 – L. Greene)

(Amended by Ch. 24, Stats. of 1991, eff. 05/10/1991)

(f) At the time the rental agreement is first offered to the homeowner, the management shall provide written notice to the homeowner of the homeowner's right (1) to have at least 30 days to inspect the rental agreement, and (2) to void the rental agreement by notifying management in writing within 72 hours of the acceptance of a rental agreement. The failure of the management to provide the written notice shall make the rental agreement voidable at the homeowner's option upon the homeowner's discovery of the failure. The receipt of any written notice provided pursuant to this subdivision shall be acknowledged in writing by the homeowner.

(g) This section does not apply to or supersede other provisions of this part or other state law.

(Amended by SB-360, Ch. 170, Stats. of 1991, eff. 01/01/1992)

(c) If, pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4) of subdivision (b), the homeowner rejects the offered rental agreement or rescinds a signed rental agreement, the homeowner shall be entitled to instead accept, pursuant to Section 798.18, a rental agreement for a term of 12 months or less from the date the offered rental agreement was to have begun. In the event the homeowner elects to have a rental agreement for a term of 12 months or less, including a month-to-month rental agreement, the rental agreement shall contain the same rental charges, terms, and conditions as the rental agreement offered pursuant to subdivision (b), during the first 12 months, except for options, if any, contained in the offered rental agreement to extend or renew the rental agreement.

(g) No rental agreement subject to subdivision (a) that is first entered into on or after January 1, 1993, shall have a provision which authorizes automatic extension or renewal of, or automatically extends or renews, the rental agreement for a period beyond the initial stated term at the sole option of either the management or the homeowner.

(Amended by SB-1454, Ch. 289 (1992), eff. 01/01/1993)

Assembly Bill No. 1938 CHAPTER 477
http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201120120AB1938

An act to amend Sections 798.17 and 798.39.5 of the Civil Code, relating to mobilehomes.

Approved by Governor September 23, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State September 23, 2012.

(b) Rental agreements subject to this section shall meet all of the following criteria:

(4) The homeowner who signs a rental agreement pursuant to this section may void the rental agreement by notifying management in writing within 72 hours of returning the signed rental agreement to management.

(5) The homeowner who signs a rental agreement pursuant to this section may void the agreement within 72 hours of receiving an executed copy of the rental agreement pursuant to Section 798.16. This paragraph shall only apply if management does not provide the homeowner with a copy of the signed rental agreement at the time the homeowner returns the signed rental agreement.

(f) At the time the rental agreement is first offered to the homeowner, the management shall provide written notice to the homeowner of the homeowner’s right (1) to have at least 30 days to inspect the rental agreement, and (2) to void the rental agreement by notifying management in writing within 72 hours of receipt of an executed copy of the rental agreement. The failure of the management to provide the written notice shall make the rental agreement voidable at the homeowner’s option upon the homeowner’s discovery of the failure. The receipt of any written notice provided pursuant to this subdivision shall be acknowledged in writing by the homeowner.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Chap. 477 (AB 1938, Williams), eff. 01/01/2013)

Assembly Bill No. 2782 CHAPTER 35
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB2782

An act to amend Section 798.56 of, and to amend and repeal Section 798.17 of, the Civil Code, and to amend Sections 65863.7 and 66427.4 of the Government Code, relating to mobilehomes.

Approved by Governor August 31, 2020. Filed with Secretary of State August 31, 2020.

798.17. (a) (1) Except as provided in subdivisions (i), (j), and (k), rental agreements meeting the criteria of subdivision (b) shall be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any local governmental entity which establishes a maximum amount that a landlord may charge a tenant for rent. The terms of a rental agreement meeting the criteria of subdivision (b) shall prevail over conflicting provisions of an ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure limiting or restricting rents in mobilehome parks, only during the term of the rental agreement or one or more uninterrupted, continuous extensions thereof. If the rental agreement is not extended and no new rental agreement in excess of 12 months’ duration is entered into, then the last rental rate charged for the space under the previous rental agreement shall be the base rent for purposes of applicable provisions of law concerning rent regulation, if any.

(i) This section shall not apply to any rental agreement entered into on or after January 1, 2021.

(j) This section shall not apply to any rental agreement entered into from February 13, 2020, to December 31, 2020, inclusive.

(k) This section shall remain in effect until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed. As of January 1, 2025, any exemption pursuant to this section shall expire.

(Amended by Stats. 2020, Chap. 35 (AB 2782, Stone), eff. 01/01/2021)