29 Nov What Mobile Home Owners Need to Know About Renting Space
Congratulations! You’ve purchased a mobile home for yourself and your family, and are excited and ready to move forward with this new chapter in your life. However, although you have purchased your house, you need a place to put your lovely new home, and that is generally within a mobile home park community, where you will be required to pay a monthly amount for the space you occupy. What do you, as a mobile home owner, need to know about renting space in a mobile home park? First of all, any lease or rental agreement must be in writing, and agreed to and signed by both parties prior to you, the tenant moving in. The lease or rental agreement is automatically renewable, for the same period of time as the original agreement. As a tenant leasing or renting space, you MUST be offered a year to year agreement that may not have less incentives than a month to month agreement. If you do not prefer a yearly agreement, you may opt for a monthly rental agreement, although you must sign a waiver stating you were offered a year to year agreement, and declined it. Read on for additional recommendations on mobile home park rental agreements.
Under the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act , a valid rental agreement between a mobile home park and a tenant MUST include:
- Terms of Payment: The amount of rent, and the due date, along with any other fees the tenant is responsible for.
- Landlord Information: The name and address of the landlord, or their agent
- Service & Fees: Landlords must provide a list of the services, facilities and utilities included. If tenants will be responsible for increases in utility rates or taxes, this also needs to be stated within the agreement. Additionally, the law states that a landlord must lower your rent if these amounts are reduced.
- Deposit: If or when a deposit is required, it must be within the written terms of the rental agreement. It must also provide the terms and conditions that explain how a landlord retains any or all of the deposit. The landlord will give the tenant a written receipt for any refundable deposit, and put the deposit in a trust account, and notify the tenant of its location. Within 14 days after a tenant vacates the space, the landlord is required to return the deposit, or provide the tenant a written statement explaining why the deposit will not be returned. The letter must be delivered personally, or sent to the last known address. If the landlord does not comply, the tenant is due the full deposit. No amount may be withheld for normal wear and tear, although a landlord may seek to recover costs that are outside the deposit for excessive damage.
- Property Boundaries: the description of the physical boundaries of your space or lot.
- Zoning: An explanation of how the land where the mobile home park is located is zoned.
- Park Rules: Any applicable rules of the mobile home park, particularly for guest parking.
- Future of the Park: A lease or rental agreement is required to have a statement that the park will remain as a mobile home park for three years, or, it can state that the park may be closed at any time with proper notice to tenants. Whichever statement is applicable, it MUST appear in larger print than any other text and able to be read easily.
Leases and agreements can be tricky, and should be drafted and approved by an attorney who specializes in renters rights law. Mobile home park owners are charged with particular rights and responsibilities under California law. Consult with an expert who can advise you on your rights regarding renters rights law to ensure your new home will be a joy, and not a nightmare.