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California Mobilehome Park Residency Law 2014


No rental or sale agreement shall contain a provision by which the purchaser or homeowner waives his or her rights under this chapter (the MRL). Any such waiver shall be deemed contrary to public policy and shall be void and unenforceable.
[Question: Are not All Rights under California law waived by agreeing to binding arbitration under FEDERAL Law instead of CALIFORNIA Law? Federal Arbitration Law makes the decision of the arbitor final, -with no recourse to the courts or enforcement of California law. This sounds like a very, very gray area of conflicting jurisdiction. Is the supremacy of the California statute that disallows any requirement of waiving one's State Law rights subordinate to Federal jurisdiction once one initials their agreement to accept "mediation and arbitration"? What if we do not initial any statement of accepting Federal Arbitration over State Law? Then we must by California law remain under California Law, and under it no provision exists to punish homeowners who do not surrender or waive their State Rights and coerce them to submit to federal binding arbitration if mediation fails.

Is there a separation of the individuals who conduct mediation from those who conduct arbitration?, -or can they be the same people, -people who may say that: "If you don't like my mediation suggestions and reject them, then I assume the role, by the Park Owner's authority and your initialed agreement, to serve as Arbiter, and I decree that you MUST abide by my suggestion because it is no longer merely a suggestion but is now a legally binding mandatory order, -one against which you have no recourse because now federal law trumps California law and all of the rights you have under it"?
QUESTION: What guarantee is there that mediation and binding arbitration (if mediation leads nowhere) will be conducted in Crescent City instead of San Diego, or anywhere else? How is access to Small Claims Court in Crescent City (assuming it exists) not a positive protection for homeowners and an onerous burden to Park Owners who must travel here to appear in court? Would mediation be conducted when and where they choose? What are the rules on federal arbitration and choice of location?

If a homeowner or former homeowner of a park is the prevailing party in a civil action, including a small claims court action, against the management to enforce his or her rights under this chapter, the homeowner, in addition to damages afforded by law, may, in the discretion of the court be awarded an amount not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each willful violation of this chapter by the management.
A homeowner or former homeowner of a park who is the prevailing party in a civil action against management to enforce his or her rights under this chapter may be awarded either punitive damages pursuant to Section 3294 of the Civil Code or the statutory penalty provided by ed by subdivision (a).

-a homeowner in a park, not the state, must sue the park in court to enforce a notice or other MRL requirement, or obtain an injunction, if the management will not otherwise abide by the MRL
Violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law, like provisions of conventional landlord-tenant law, are enforced by the courts; that is, the disputing parties must enforce the MRL against one another in a court of law.

For 2014, there is only one amendment to the Mobilehome Residency Law, found in Civil Code Section 798.40.
In the Appendix, the FAQs section has expended to include new information for resident-owned parks and registration and titling. RECOMMENDATION: Read the 2013 MRL instead of the 2014 since it has a better font that's easier to read.


California Mobilehome Park Residency Law (MRL) 2013


CALIF. Housing & Community Dev. Codes. Index PDF.


Mobilehome Ombudsman at 800.952.5275. Website: www.hcd.ca.gov/codes


There are almost 4,800 mobilehome parks or manufactured housing communities in the State of

A mobilehome park is like a small subdivision with the land along the streets divided into lots
separated and identified by markers. Spaces consist of a utility pedestal for electric, gas, and water
hookup, a driveway and an area or pad for installation of the mobilehome or manufactured home.
Some parks have clubhouses and other recreational facilities. The park owner normally hires a
manager or management company to operate and maintain the park. Unlike other kinds of
tenancies, mobilehome park living is unique. Homeowners are both owners and tenants. They own
their own homes but are subject to the rental agreement or lease with the park in which they reside.
This brochure answers questions most commonly asked by mobilehome owners residing in California
mobilehome parks and provides contact information for other assistance.

Laws That Apply
what laws are unique to living in a mobilehome park?
the mobile home residency law (mrl) is the 'landlord-tenant law' for mobilehome parks, found in
the California Civil Code.
The Mobilehome Parks Act establishes health and safety (building code) requirements for
both parks and mobilehomes installed in the parks. These code requirements spell out the minimum
standards for park common area facilities, such as roads and utility systems, as well as for
mobilehome and accessory installations. The state Department of Housing and Community
Development (HCD) or delegated local government agencies enforce the Parks Act through
These two major areas of state law unique to mobilehome parks may be accessed on the Senate
Select Committee on Manufactured Homes and Communities' website:
Other laws not unique to parks, like conventional landlord-tenant laws not in conflict with the
MRL, may also apply. Website: www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook.

Park Closure or Conversion

What are my rights if the park is closed for conversion to another use?

Normally, a permit from the city or county planning agency or approval of a zoning change will be
required to convert a mobilehome park to another use. If no local permits are required to convert the
park to another land use, the management must give you a minimum 12-month written
termination notice.
Where permits are required, the park management must give homeowners at
least a 15-day written notice that management will be appearing before the local agency to obtain a
permit for the park's change of use. The local agency must require the park to submit a report on the
impact that the park's conversion will have on the ability of residents to find alternative places to relocate, and the local agency, at its discretion, may require the park to pay the reasonable costs of residents'
relocation as a condition of obtaining the permits. Once all permits have been obtained, the management must give homeowners a six-month written termination notice. The park management must also give prospective homeowners a written notice of any planned park conversion before they move in.

The Rental Agreement

Do i need to sign it?
A buyer of a mobilehome in a park may be required by park management to sign a park rental
agreement in order to live there. The park management is required to offer a homeowner a rental
agreement that includes the amount of rent, fees, the term of tenancy, and the park's rules and
regulations. The management must provide a copy of the MRL to the new homeowner along with the
rental agreement, with updated copies of the MRL furnished to homeowners by February 1st of each

The MRL provides that the management must provide a minimum 12-month rental agreement, or if
the homeowner requests it, a rental agreement for a lesser term, usually month-to-month. In either
case the monthly rent and terms must be the same. The management may also offer long-term
leases of more than one year under which the rent is exempt from local rent control.

Homeowners living in the park cannot be required to sign long-term leases but may opt for the 12-month or
month-to-month rental agreement, mentioned above. However, unless protected by a local rent
ordinance, park management can require a new resident buying a home in the park to sign a long-
term lease. Some park leases are for as long as 10, 20 or 30 years and may contain multiple pages with
arbitration, hold-harmless, and other clauses.

note: Homeowners should never sign a park rental agreement or lease before reading it fully and should consult an adviser or attorney if they do not understand it. Once signed, a rental agreement or lease is a binding legal contract which cannot be rescinded, except in certain cases by legal action.

Rents, Utilities, Fees & Taxes
How much can the park increase my rent?
It depends: Rent increases are normally governed by your rental agreement or lease. However, if you
live in one of more than 100 local jurisdictions in California that have a mobilehome rent
control ordinance and your rental agreement is not more than twelve months in duration, the park
may increase your rent only in accordance with the local ordinance. In any case, state law requires
the park to give you a written notice of any rent increase at least 90 days before the increase occurs.

Can the park charge additional fees on top of the rent?

Yes. The park may charge you a reasonable fee for services actually rendered if the fees are listed in
your rental agreement or if you have been given a 60-day written notice of a new fee. Some parks
also charge 'pass through' fees for other park maintenance costs (resurfacing the parks' roads,
replacing of the clubhouse roof, etc.)

The Mobilehome Residency Law specifies that the management cannot charge homeowners certain fees, such as fees for guests who stay fewer than 20 consecutive days or a total of 30 days in a calendar year, fees for entry, installation or utility hookup charges as a condition of tenancy, enforcement of most park rules and regulations, or extra fees for additional members of your immediate family. The park is also responsible for paying for the upkeep of park common area trees, as well as paying for the trimming, pruning or removal of any tree on a rental space if a public code enforcement inspector determines the tree poses a health and safety

How are parks rules and regulations enforced?

Park rules and regulations run with the park rental agreement and are enforceable under the MRL.

The MRL provides that a park may change a rule or regulation by issuing a 6-month written notice to residents,

or a 60-day written notice if the rules relate to park recreational facilities.

Violations of rules are enforced by the park through termination of tenancy (see the following Eviction section), a court ordered injunction, or with regard to lot maintenance by assessment of reasonable fees, but park rules have to be "reasonable" as interpreted by a court in the case of an injunction or termination of tenancy for a rule violation. The management must provide prospective park residents with a copy of the park rules and the MRL if they ask for them at the time of application for tenancy.



Mobilehome Park Disputes

If you live in a "mobilehome park" (including many trailer parks) there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that you are vulnerable to far more financial loss than an apartment tenant. The good news is that the California Legislature has enacted a special set of laws to protect you, known as the Mobilehome Residency Law ["MRL".] The MRL has many features of rent control, such as eviction protection, and many special rights not available to the more traditional residential tenants. You have all of the rights which the traditional tenant does PLUS these special rights. The MRL is in the California Civil Code Section 798 series. Its protections have also been extended to many Recreational Vehicle Park residents.

This link is through the organization that made it happen, the Golden State Mobilehome Owners' League ["GSMOL"]. They can be reached at: (714) 826-4071 and their website: http://www.gsmol.org

Special regulations under the California Code of Regulations Title 25, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 1, Article 2 (Section 1100 et seq.) also regulates mobilehome park requirements

Don't try to memorize everything. The main point is that you have plenty of laws to help you, and you can look through them to see what applies to your situation. You will note that part of the law [Civil Code 798.15(c)] requires that a copy of the MRL be attached to your rental agreement. You are supposed to have this law in your possession, already. Chances are, this is all new to you, and your park owner has not done much of anything right.

A few of the highlights in the MRL are that you can only be evicted for certain limited reasons, and that special notices have to be given. You can form a homeowner association to bargain with the park owners over park rules. The park owner cannot unreasonably interfere with your sale of the mobilehome. There are "senior citizen" parks to preserve a calm environment for the retired set (theoretically). Even some trailer occupants can enjoy these rights, under the right circumstances.


Park Inspections
Are our homes and the park subject to inspection?
Yes. The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) or a delegated local agency
may inspect your park, your space and the outside of your home for code violations once every seven
years or upon a complaint under the Mobilehome Parks Act. Inspectors do not go inside the home,
unless invited by the homeowner. Violations cited must be corrected within 30-60 days, unless the
violation is an immediate threat to life or limb, in which case it must be corrected immediately. Questions on inspections should be directed to the Mobilehome Ombudsman at 800.952.5275. Website: www.hcd.ca.gov/codes

Home Sales & Re-Sales

What rights do i have to sell my mobilehome in the park?
Despite the "mobile" connotation, once installed in a park most mobilehomes are never moved but
are resold in place in the park. Mobilehomes are expensive to move, vacant spaces in other parks are
seldom available for relocation, and the use of a private parcel for relocation of a mobilehome from a
park is either expensive or unfeasible. Since the resale of a mobilehome in the park involves
management's approval, the sale can often be a bone of contention between homeowners and the
park management. The Civil Code regulates home sales as follows:

¥ no park right of first refusal: The park management can require notice that you are selling
your home in the park but they cannot require you to sell it to them.

¥ no fee on sale: The park management cannot charge you or your agent a fee as a condition of the
sale of your mobilehome in the park unless you give them written authorization to perform a
service in the sale.

¥ park agent: The park management cannot require the selling owner or owner's heir to use the
management or a dealer or broker approved by the management as an agent in the sale, and the
management cannot show or list the home for sale without first obtaining your written

¥ removal of home from park: The park management cannot require you to remove your
mobilehome from the park upon sale
to another party, unless the home:
1. Does not meet minimum health, safety and construction code standards; or 2. Is in significantly run-down condition and disrepair, as reasonably determined by the management; or 3. Is not a mobilehome or manufactured home (i.e. smaller than 8 x 40 feet in size).

¥ For sale sign: The homeowner has the right to put up a 'for sale' sign in the window or side of the
home, or the yard facing the street on an A or H type frame if it does not extend into the street.
The sign face cannot exceed 24 x 36 inches in size and may include the name, address and phone
number of the owner or agent. Information tubes for leaflets about the home for sale may be
attached to the sign or the home.

¥ Prospective buyers: The park management has the right to approve the buyer of your home that
remains in the park, and their refusal to approve the buyer may make it difficult to sell your
mobilehome. The management must inform you and the buyer in writing within 15 business
days whether they accept or reject your buyer for residency. The management may only reject
the buyer for two reasons:

1. Buyer's inability to pay the rent and charges of the park Ð usually based on an income to rent ratio and the buyer's credit history; and 2. Buyer's inability to comply with the park's rules and regulations usually based on past rental history or conduct in other mobilehome parks or apartments.

¥ disclosure: Mobilehome owners and their sales agents must provide their buyers with a
mobilehome resale or transfer disclosure statement (TDS) on used mobilehomes that lists the
home's features, defects, and code violations, if any. The park management must also provide
buyers of homes in the park with a park disclosure check-off form indicating any problems with
specified park facilities before they sign a rental agreement to move into the park.

¥ smoke-alarms: Every mobilehome sold or resold on or after January 1, 2009 must have a smoke
alarm installed in every sleeping room.

Who handles the sales of mobilehomes and manufactured homes?
Only dealer-brokers licensed by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)
handle new manufactured homes and mobilehomes. These new homes come with a one-year
warranty from the manufacturer, but the warranty usually does not cover transit damage and may
not apply to faulty installation.
Used mobilehomes do not come with a warranty and may be sold by
dealers, real estate agents, or the homeowner, who must provide the buyer with a resale or transfer disclosure statement (TDS), as mentioned above. Complaints about mobilehome dealers should be directed to the

Mobilehome Ombudsman at 800.952.5275. Website: www.hcd.ca.gov/codes

As a homeowner, can i be evicted from the park?
Yes. The park management may evict you if:

¥ You have received notice by a government agency that you are violating a local ordinance or state
law and have not complied with the law within a reasonable period of time.

¥ Your conduct in the park substantially annoys other residents or homeowners.

¥ You don't pay the rent, utilities or reasonable charges within five days of the due date. If you are
late in paying the rent, you will be notified that you have three days to pay or vacate the tenancy.
Full payment within three days puts you back in good standing, unless you are late in paying the
rent, utilities, or charges three times within a 12-month period.

note: This is a three-strikes-and-you're-out provision, and the 3rd time you are late in
paying the rent, the park may evict you instead of accepting the late rent.

¥ You don't comply with 'reasonable' park rules and regulations (management must
attach them to your rental agreement when you move into the park). The
management must give you a written notice that a rule has been violated, after
which you have seven days to adhere to the rule before the management can
issue you a termination notice. If you have violated a rule three or more times
within a 12-month period the management may issue you a termination notice
without waiting seven days for you to correct the rule violation.

¥ Your mobilehome park is condemned or is closed for conversion to another use.

Unlike most apartment tenancies, however, the park management must give homeowners a 60-day
notice of termination
and can evict you only for specified (just cause) reasons, outlined above. Upon
a termination notice, the park not only may terminate your tenancy but also require you to remove
your home from the park by the end of the 60-day period. During this 60-day period, you also have
the right to try to resell your home in place in the park.

In the termination notice, the management must specify why you are being evicted and include
such facts as the date, place and circumstances concerning the reasons for the termination. If you
stay in the park beyond the time allowed in the notice, the park management must file an action in
court to evict you, known as an 'unlawful detainer.' In order to preserve your right to defend yourself
in an unlawful detainer action, you must follow certain procedural requirements, including the
filing of specified documents within short time frame, usually five days. Most defendants in unlawful detainer actions are best advised to obtain legal representation so they can properly comply with these requirements.
If you lose, the court may order your eviction carried out by a peace officer in a matter of weeks and you will probably lose your home if you cannot sell it or move it from the park. If you are actually evicted, the park management will file a warehouseman's lien on the home, or through an abandonment proceeding,
conduct an auction, and eventually gain title to it.

Do i have a right of privacy in my mobilehome?
yes. The park management may enter your mobilehome lot only to maintain the utilities, trees,
driveways or for maintenance of the space in accordance with park rules when you fail to do so, but
only at a time or in a manner that does not disturb your right of privacy. The management has no
right to enter your mobilehome or an enclosed accessory structure, such as a
screened-in porch, storage shed or garage, without your prior written consent, except in the case of
an emergency or where you have abandoned the mobilehome.

Senior Only
can the park management limit residency to seniors only?
yes. Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing, including mobilehome parks, against families
with children or the handicapped. But the federal law makes an exception for senior-only housing
facilities, where the park is designated for persons 55 years of age or older and a substantial majority of
seniors reside there. The law does not require mobilehome parks designated for seniors, or parks open
to families with children, to provide special facilities to accommodate their needs. Park
management, under park rules, may require everyone residing in the park to be "senior" or may allow
younger persons to reside with the seniors. Unless local zoning is an issue, parks may also change
their rules to convert a senior park to an all-age park with a six-month notice to residents.
Complaints involving discrimination against families with children in mobilehome parks should be
directed to the California State Department of Fair Employment and Housing at 800.233.3212.
Website: www.dfeh.ca.gov

Financial Assistance

What state /local financial assistance is available to low-income mobilehome owners?
Some programs that provide financial assistance to low-income or senior park residents include:

¥ renters tax credit: Homeowners, within certain income limitations, who pay rent in a
mobilehome park, may qualify for a tax credit at the time they file their annual state income tax
return if they pay state taxes against which the credit can be claimed. For information, call the
Franchise Tax Board at 800.852.5711. Website: www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/faq/ivr/203.shtml

¥ homeowners & renters assistance: Low-income mobilehome owners and renters, who are 62
years of age and older, blind, or disabled, may qualify for annual assistance on a sliding scale
depending on income by filing with the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Due to state budget deficits,
however this program is not always funded. For more information, call the FTB at 800.852.5711.
Website: www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/hra

¥ care utility assistance: Low-income residents of master-meter mobilehome parks may
qualify annually for a 20% discount on their electric or gas bills through the California Alternate
Rates for Energy Program (CARE).

For more information, check with your park management or the local gas or electric utility company
listed in your phone directory.

¥ mobilehome rehabilitation: Loans or grants are available to low-income mobilehome owners
through the Department of Housing and Community Development's CalHome program to make
specified repairs on their mobilehomes. Although not all jurisdictions participate, the funds are
channeled through qualified local government housing or non-profit agencies. For more
information check with your city or county housing department, authority or commission listed
in the government pages of your phone directory.

¥ mobilehome park resident ownership program (mprop): On a limited basis, this program
provides loans to resident organizations and non-profit organizations and 3% simple interest
loans to low-income homeowners for costs involving the resident or non-profit purchase of a
mobilehome park. For more information about the MPROP process and requirements, call the
Department of Housing and Community Development at 916.445.0110.
Website: www.hcd.ca.gov/fa/mprop

¥ section 8 housing assistance: Rent subsidies may be available to eligible low-income
mobilehome residents who live in mobilehome parks. This program is funded by the federal
government but administered by local housing agencies. Section 8 allocations are often full and
many jurisdictions have waiting lists of a year or more. For more information, check with your
city or county housing department, authority or commission listed in the government pages of
your phone directory.

Other Information or Assistance

The mobilehome ombudsman: This HCD office can assist you with complaints relating to
mobilehome registration and titling, mobilehome and mobilehome park inspections (health and
safety issues), mobilehome installations (foundation and earthquake bracing issues) and problems
relating to mobilehome dealer sales. 800.952.5275 or 916.323.9801
Website: www.hcd.ca.gov/codes

Department of fair employment & housing (DFEH): Complaints on housing discrimination should
be reported to your local fair housing commission or DFEH.
800.233.3212. Website: www.dfeh.ca.gov

Senate select committee on manufactured homes and communities: This legislative office has
information about legislation affecting the mobilehome community and mobilehome issues.
Copies of various brochures and pamphlets, such as The Mobilehome Residency Law, The Mobilehome
Parks Act, Frequently Asked Questions, and A Guide to Mobilehome Park Purchases by Residents, which
describes the steps involved in purchasing a park and converting it to resident ownership, are
available by calling the committee or through the committee's website. The committee's website
is also an excellent resource for information on various mobilehome issues and for contact
information for major manufactured housing and mobilehome organizations and homeowner

1020 N Street, Room 520
Sacramento, CA 95814
Website: www.sen.ca.gov/mobilehome

Local government: Cities and counties, particularly those with mobilehome rent control
ordinances, park conversion ordinances, or health and safety code enforcement jurisdiction, may be
of assistance with some mobilehome park issues. Check your city or county listings for your local
housing department, authority or commission in the government pages of your phone directory.

Courtesy of Senator Darrell Steinberg -Senate president pro tempore

Capitol office
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, ca 95814
tel 916.651.4006
fax 916.323.2263

District office
1020 N Street, Room 576
Sacramento, ca 95814
tel 916.651.1529
fax 916.327.8754

Rent Control
There is no statewide rent control, but many localities have enacted their own rent control laws. There are many cities and counties that have rent control just for mobilehome and/or RV parks that do not apply to apartments and other normal rentals. Rent controls vary greatly in what they cover, depending on the city or county. "Rent Stabilization" is another term for rent control, but it is the same thing.
Some limit only the rent increases, but don't protect against evictions. Some also protect against evictions. Some only provide a mediation of the dispute, but are generally toothless. Most rent control laws identify who is covered and who is not. Usually, there is some part of the government that is in charge of it, like a "Rent Board," who can address your questions, take complaints, make investigations, hold hearings, and/or generates regulations which implement the local law.

If a city has such a rent control law, it doesn't apply outside that city's borders. If a county has rent control, it only applies to "unincorporated areas" of that county, meaning any place that is not part of an official [incorporated] "city." Many communities have names, but that doesn't make them a city; that neighborhood could be part of a larger city or an unincorporated area in the county. Generally, a city will have a City Hall, and its own police and fire department.
Click here for a Complete list of Mobilehome Rent Controlled Cities and County unincorporated areas.

Trailers and Trailer Parks
If you have lived in a trailer park at least 9 months, or have a trailer in a park that has at least two mobilehomes [10' wide or greater], you have many of the rights that mobilehome owners do, such a eviction protections. They are contained in the Recreational Vehicle Occupancy Law, Civil Code 799.20 et seq.

Still have questions or need clarification? Set up a consultation. http://www.caltenantlaw.com/Mobilehome.htm
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS California Mobilehome Park Residency Law
(MRL) http://www.hcd.ca.gov/codes/mp/2013MRL.pdf

California Mobilehome Park Residency Law