There are two types of lease agreements that can apply to a mobile home tenant: the first is when the tenant actually owns their mobile home and is simply leasing the park space; the other applies to those who rent the land and the mobile home from a landlord. While California’s landlord-tenant laws apply to the second situation, tenants who own their mobile homes fall under California Mobile Home Residency Laws (CAMRL).
Unlike common landlord-tenant laws, landlords and tenants have a few additional responsibilities in a mobile home park. A landlord’s supplemental duties include maintenance of common areas and roads within the park, and of utilities used by tenants up to the point of hookup to their mobile homes. They must also allow tenants who are only renting space (and not the mobile homes) to sell/rent out their homes. Tenants are required to fulfill all typical duties, as well as obey all park rules.
Rent Control and Eviction
Landlord-tenant laws require the landlord to give at least a 30-day advance written notice if rent will increase by 10 percent or less, and at least a 60-day written notice if the rent increase is more than 10 percent. However, landlords of mobile home tenants must give a 90-day advance written notice to the tenant, either in-person or through US mail. State law also does not regulate the amount of rent increase, and instead believes it to be a local control issue. There are certain circumstances in California’s Landlord-Tenant Law which allows tenants to withhold rent if their unit is uninhabitable. But for mobile home tenants, they cannot refuse to pay rent or pay a reduced rent in case of a utility shut-off.
As for late rent, landlords must provide residents five days from when the rent is due to pay the necessary amount. And in a 12-month period, tenants can only be late three times before the park may use late rent as fuel for eviction.
Before an eviction process can begin, the park manager must specify which rule(s) is/are broken and explain the details to the tenant. After doing so, the resident is given seven days to correct the violation. Typical landlord-tenant laws allow only three days, which is referred to as the “3-Day Cure or Quit.” If (s)he violates that rule more than twice in a 12-month period, the park can then proceed with an eviction, even if the resident corrects the violation. Additionally, the park cannot terminate a tenancy when a lease or rental agreement expires; they can only do so for unpaid rent or rule violations.
There are situations when California’s landlord-tenant laws do apply—when the tenant has rented their mobile home as well as space, and is asked to leave. In these cases, the known laws of 30-day advance written notice for those residing for less than a year, and of 60-day notice for a year or more, will apply.
Renting or Selling Your Mobile Home
Once a mobile home owner decides that (s)he would like to rent out the home to another party, their arranged agreement becomes subject to landlord-tenant laws, and not the CAMRL. When there is a transfer or sale of a manufactured home’s ownership, there is a third party involved under mobile home residency laws: the park manager. Before an official transfer can happen, the mobile home park manager must first approve the new homeowner for tenancy.
It is important to note that the park manager cannot simply reject a potential homeowner for any reason (s)he sees fit; rather, it must be because the new homeowner cannot pay the necessary rent and charges, or because (s)he is unable to comply with the mobile park’s rules and regulations indicated by prior tenancies. CAMRL sets these requirements in order to protect the mobile home park owner’s interest in space rent.
Contact an Experienced Sacramento Real Estate Attorney
If you are a potential tenant considering renting a space and/or home in a mobile home park, or you are landlord with questions regarding your rights under CAMRL, a Roseville real estate lawyer at NewPoint Law Group, LLP are well-equipped to resolve any residency issues you may have. To schedule a consultation with us, call 800-358-0305 or contact us online.