Mobile Home Residents: Know Your Rights

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Whether you pay rent in an apartment or you live in a mobile home park, the state of California has laws in place to protect your rights. Similar to landlord-tenant law, the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) is enforced by the courts. While mobile home residents are traditionally more vulnerable to financial loss and exploitation, the MRL and the state of California recognize that everyone deserves a safe, stable place to live.

What Are Park Owners Responsible For?

Park owners typically hire a manager or management company to care for and operate their parks. Grounds and utilities must be kept in working order and adhere to the health and safety requirements set by the MRL. Even though mobile homeowners own their units, they still must pay rent to the park and their individual homes and accessories must meet the MRL building code.

Protecting Yourself

If you purchase a mobile home in a park, you may be required to sign a park rental agreement or lease. Typically, these agreements last for 12 months or operate on a month-to-month basis. Sometimes, long-term leases are necessary. For longer leases, which can contain multiple pages and cover topics like arbitration, you may consider hiring an attorney.

As far as rent is concerned, park owners must comply with local ordinances and give 90-day written notice before increasing rent. Occasionally, mobile home parks are rent-controlled. For utilities, most parks use a meter and sub-meter system to bill each mobile home for utilities used. Management must clearly post service providers’ rates and cannot charge you more than the gas, electricity, or water utility would charge if serving you directly.

Pursuing Legal Action

If you believe your rights have been violated, or you are living in conditions that do not meet the building code, you may have a case against your mobile home park owner. At Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP, we offer a questionnaire that can help determine the validity of your claim. Please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at (888) 998-2031 if you have any questions.

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