Today's Law As Amended


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SB-915 Mobilehome parks: emergency relief: coronavirus (COVID-19).(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 798.63 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

798.63.
 (a) (1) The management shall not terminate or attempt to terminate the tenancy of a homeowner or resident who is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as described in subdivision (k), pursuant to subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 798.56 during a declared state of emergency or local emergency related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and during a 120-day timeframe after the state of emergency or local emergency is terminated, unless necessary to protect the public health and safety as set forth in this subdivision.
(2) The restriction set forth in paragraph (1) shall also preclude the management from issuing a notice pursuant to Section 798.30 or 798.55 or subdivision (e) of Section 798.56 during the timeframe set forth in paragraph (1).
(3) During a declared state of emergency or local emergency related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and for 120 days thereafter, a court may not issue a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer based on subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 798.56, unless the court finds, in its discretion and on the record, that the action is necessary to protect public health and safety.
(b) Except for any violation of any fire safety code, or fire enforcement as determined by the authority having jurisdiction, mobilehome residents may request additional time to comply with demands to correct violations of park rules and regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(1) (A) Any notice issued pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 798.56 during the timeframe set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall contain the following language printed in at least 12-point boldface type at the top of the notice:

“IMPORTANT Pursuant to Section 798.63 of the Civil Code, if you are a homeowner or resident who is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and you are unable to comply with this notice due to hardship from COVID-19, within seven (7) days of receiving this notice, you must notify management in writing of your need for additional time to comply. Unless the granting of additional time in accordance with this section would perpetuate a public nuisance, an imminent hazard, or an imminent hazard representing an immediate risk to life, health, and safety of the public or occupants of the mobilehome park, as set forth in Section 18420 of the Health and Safety Code, or may cause a material threat to public health or safety in the immediate future, management must grant homeowners or residents impacted by COVID-19 as much additional time as you need to comply with this notice, but not more than one year. Before granting you this additional time, management may demand that you sign a statement explaining why the impact from COVID-19 prevents you from complying with this notice within seven (7) days as would ordinarily be required. You should keep a copy of the notification you give to management and any statement that you sign.”

(B) A homeowner or resident who is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as described in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (k), shall have seven days from the date they receive the notice pursuant to subparagraph (A) to notify the management in writing of their need to have additional time to comply with the notice.
(C) Management that receives a notice, pursuant to subparagraph (B), that a homeowner or resident needs additional time to comply with a notice issued pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 798.56 shall grant the homeowner or resident the additional time to comply that the homeowner or resident requests, but in no event more than one year, unless failure to comply sooner would perpetuate a public nuisance, an imminent hazard, or an imminent hazard representing an immediate risk to life, health, and safety of the public or occupants of the mobilehome park, as set forth in Section 18420 of the Health and Safety Code, or may cause a material threat to public health or safety by endangering the life, limb, health, or safety of the public or occupants of the mobilehome park in the immediate future.
(2) (A) Any notice issued pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 798.56 during the timeframe set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall contain the following language printed in at least 12-point boldface type at the top of the notice:

“IMPORTANT: Pursuant to Section 798.63 of the Civil Code, if you are a homeowner or resident who is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and you are unable to pay the amount demanded in this notice due to hardship from COVID-19, within three (3) days of receiving this notice, you must notify management in writing of your need for additional time to pay. If you do this, management must grant you at least one year or an amount of time to which you freely and voluntarily agree without any threat, duress, or compulsion to make up the missed payment. Management may demand that you give them some evidence, such as a letter, paycheck stubs, or bank statements, showing that you have experienced a job loss, reduction in hours, or reduction in income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic before granting you this additional time. You should keep a copy of the notice and any documentation you give to management.”

(B) A homeowner or resident who is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (k), may notify management, in writing and at any time prior to the expiration of a three-day notice demanding payment of past due rent, utilities, or reasonable incidental charges pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 789.56 that they need additional time to make the payment due to hardship from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The notice shall be deemed to apply to all future rent, utilities, or reasonable incidental charges that are billed, due, payable, or the subject of a notice pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 798.56, unless the homeowner or resident provides written notice to management of a renewed ability to pay.
(C) Management that receives a notice, pursuant to subparagraph (B) shall grant the homeowner or resident one year from the expiration of the three-day notice to make the payment, unless a different amount of time is voluntarily agreed upon without threat, duress, or compulsion by the homeowner or resident and the management. Nothing in this subparagraph prevents management from offering incentives, including, but not limited to, discounts on the balance owed, to a homeowner or resident for paying unpaid rent in a shorter amount of time, but the management shall not terminate or attempt to terminate the tenancy based upon the homeowner’s or resident’s failure to meet the incentivized payment schedule.
(c) If a homeowner or resident provides written notice to the management that the homeowner or resident is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as described in subdivision (k), the management shall not do any of the following:
(1) Impose a rent increase upon the homeowner or resident while the resident is in compliance with the terms of a payment recovery plan determined by a court pursuant to subdivision (d) or mutually agreed upon by the homeowner or resident and the management, relating to the payment of overdue rent.
(2) Impose additional service charges, including otherwise permissible pass-through charges, late fees, or any other charges, upon the homeowner or resident in addition to what is included in their base rent while the homeowner or resident is in compliance with the terms of a payment recovery plan determined by a court pursuant to subdivision (d) or mutually agreed upon by the homeowner or resident and the management, relating to the payment of overdue rent, utilities, or other charges.
(3) Seek to enforce an order enjoining a continuing or recurring violation of any reasonable rule or regulation of a mobilehome park by the homeowner or resident pursuant to Section 798.88.
(d) Any homeowner or resident who is prevented by management from exercising the rights provided for in this section, including the right to a repayment plan for back rent, may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the homeowner’s or resident’s rights. The court may order injunctive relief and any other relief the court deems proper, including, but not limited to, establishing a payment recovery plan for the homeowner or resident with respect to overdue rent and allowing the homeowner or resident to remain in their residence during a payment recovery period determined by the court.
(e) Management shall itemize, on the homeowner’s or resident’s rental invoice, any payments made and due under any repayment plan.
(f) If the management receives government funding of any kind to offset the loss of revenue from rent, utilities, or other charges left unpaid due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, management shall credit a corresponding amount to the accounts of each homeowner or resident carrying an outstanding balance, distributed equally per homeowner or resident, pursuant to this section.
(g) A payment recovery period determined by a court pursuant to subdivision (d) or the additional time to pay established pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) shall be extended through the end of the 2021 calendar year if the homeowner or resident demonstrates that they have continued to suffer economic hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
(h) A homeowner or resident shall not sell or transfer their mobilehome before completing their payments pursuant to a recovery plan determined by a court pursuant to subdivision (d) or mutually agreed upon by the homeowner or resident and the management, unless the sale or transfer occurs by way of an irrevocable escrow instruction.
(i) This section shall not supersede a local ordinance that provides more protection to residents who are subject to this article.
(j) For purposes of this section, “a state of emergency or local emergency” means an emergency declared by the Governor, a city, a county, or a city and county pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(k) For purposes of this section, a homeowner or resident has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic if the homeowner or resident provides reasonable evidence of any of the following:
(1) The homeowner or resident is unable to pay any part of the rent, utilities, or other charges of the park for which the homeowner or resident is obligated, due to a job or income loss or reduction suffered as a proximate result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For purposes of this paragraph, reasonable evidence includes, but is not limited to, letters, pay stubs, or bank statements.
(2) The homeowner or resident is unable to comply with the requirements of any seven-day notice served by the management pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 798.56 due to an inability to locate, obtain, hire, pay for, or arrange for any repairs, landscaping, lot maintenance or similar remediation to the homeowner or resident’s home or space due to coronavirus (COVID-19)-imposed restrictions. For purposes of this paragraph, reasonable evidence is limited to a signed statement explaining why the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic prevents the homeowner or resident from complying with the notice within seven days.
(3) The homeowner or resident is unable to comply with a seven-day notice served by the management pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 798.56 due to an inability to relocate any person or persons residing in the homeowner’s or resident’s mobilehome due to coronavirus (COVID-19)-imposed restrictions. For purposes of this paragraph, reasonable evidence is limited to a signed statement explaining why the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic prevents the homeowner or resident from complying with the notice within seven days.
(l) It is the intent of the Legislature that the provisions of this section shall not be interpreted so as to alter the meaning or application of Emergency Rule 1, adopted by the Judicial Council on April 6, 2020.