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SB-722 Mobilehomes: principal residences: rent control.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/03/2018 02:40 PM
SB722:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  January 03, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  April 18, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 722


Introduced by Senator Moorlach

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 798.21 of, and to add Section 798.21.5 to, the Civil Code, relating to mobilehome park residency.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 722, as amended, Moorlach. Mobilehomes: principal residences: exceptions. rent control.

Existing

(1)Existing

Existing law regulates the terms and conditions of mobilehome park residencies. Existing law exempts certain mobilehome park rental agreements from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure that establishes a maximum amount that the landlord may charge a tenant for rent, commonly referred to as rent control. Existing law specifically exempts from rent control a mobilehome space that is not the principal residence of the homeowner and that the homeowner has not rented to another party. Existing law deems a mobilehome to be the principal residence of a homeowner unless a review of state or county records demonstrates that the homeowner is receiving a homeowner’s exemption for another property or mobilehome in this state or unless review of public records reasonably demonstrates that the principal residence is out of state.

This bill would make a mobilehome rental agreement entered into on and after January 1, 2018, exempt from rent control if management determines that the homeowner executing the rental agreement is the owner of another home, condominium, duplex, or other residence and management also determines that the homeowner is not excepted pursuant to specified criteria. The bill would except homeowners from the application of these provisions if management determines that the mobilehome is the homeowner’s sole residence, the homeowner sublets the mobilehome because of medical hardship, the mobilehome is transferred at death, or the mobilehome is actively held out for sale, as specified. The bill would require that the status of the mobilehome as a sole residence be determined in light of the totality of the circumstances and would specify a nonexclusive list of potential evidence in this regard.

The bill would prescribe notice requirements for management to apply if the terms of tenancies are to be modified after being found exempt from rent control. After a determination that a tenancy is exempt because it is not the homeowner’s sole residence, the bill would authorize a homeowner to provide management an affidavit, signed under penalty of perjury, that he or she intends to occupy the mobilehome as his or her sole residence, and upon provision of the affidavit, rent control would resume, provided that management would be authorized to adjust the base rental rate for purposes of rent control, as specified. By expanding the definition of the crime of perjury, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would specify also that certain provisions are not to be construed to authorize a homeowner to change the homeowner’s exemption status of any other property or mobilehome owned by the homeowner.

(2)The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

This bill, for a mobilehome rental agreement entered into on and after January 1, 2018, would require that a valid homeowner’s exemption be filed on a mobilehome for it to be considered a principal residence or domicile of the homeowner and to be subject to rent control. If a review of records indicates that a mobilehome fails to meet this requirement, the bill would require management to notify the homeowner, in writing, of any proposed changes and to provide the homeowner with a copy of the documents upon which management relied before modifying the rent or other terms of tenancy. The bill would grant the homeowner 90 days from the date these materials are mailed to review and respond to the notice and would prohibit management from modifying the rent or terms of tenancy prior to the expiration of the 90-day period or, if the homeowner provides information within that period, prior to responding, in writing, to the information provided by the homeowner. The bill would prohibit management from modifying the rent or terms of tenancy if the homeowner provides documentation that reasonably establishes that the information relied upon by management is incorrect or that the homeowner is not the same person identified in the documents. The bill would authorize management to file an inquiry with the local county assessor requesting a determination whether the mobilehome meets the legal standards of principal residence or domicile of the homeowner. If the local county assessor or an assessment appeals board determines that the mobilehome owner unlawfully designated his or her mobilehome as a principal residence, the bill would authorize park management to bill the homeowner retroactively for the difference between the amount charged and what would have been the prevailing market rent.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: YESNO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 798.21 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

798.21.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 798.17, if a mobilehome space within a mobilehome park is not the principal residence of the homeowner and the homeowner has not rented the mobilehome to another party, it shall be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any city, county, or city and county, which establishes a maximum amount that the landlord may charge a tenant for rent.
(b) Nothing in this section is intended to require any homeowner to disclose information concerning his or her personal finances. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize management to gain access to any records which would otherwise be confidential or privileged.
(c) For purposes of this section, a mobilehome shall be deemed to be the principal residence of the homeowner, unless a review of state or county records demonstrates that the homeowner is receiving a homeowner’s exemption for another property or mobilehome in this state, or unless a review of public records reasonably demonstrates that the principal residence of the homeowner is out of state.
(d) Before modifying the rent or other terms of tenancy as a result of a review of records, as described in subdivision (c), the management shall notify the homeowner, in writing, of the proposed changes and provide the homeowner with a copy of the documents upon which management relied.
(e) The homeowner shall have 90 days from the date the notice described in subdivision (d) is mailed to review and respond to the notice. Management may not modify the rent or other terms of tenancy prior to the expiration of the 90-day period or prior to responding, in writing, to information provided by the homeowner. Management may not modify the rent or other terms of tenancy if the homeowner provides documentation reasonably establishing that the information provided by management is incorrect or that the homeowner is not the same person identified in the documents. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the homeowner to change the homeowner’s exemption status of the other property or mobilehome owned by the homeowner.
(f) This section does not apply under any of the following conditions:
(1) The homeowner is unable to rent or lease the mobilehome because the owner or management of the mobilehome park in which the mobilehome is located does not permit, or the rental agreement limits or prohibits, the assignment of the mobilehome or the subletting of the park space.
(2) The mobilehome is being actively held available for sale by the homeowner, or pursuant to a listing agreement with a real estate broker licensed pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 10130) of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Business and Professions Code, or a mobilehome dealer, as defined in Section 18002.6 of the Health and Safety Code. A homeowner, real estate broker, or mobilehome dealer attempting to sell a mobilehome shall actively market and advertise the mobilehome for sale in good faith to bona fide purchasers for value in order to remain exempt pursuant to this subdivision.
(3) The legal owner has taken possession or ownership, or both, of the mobilehome from a registered owner through either a surrender of ownership interest by the registered owner or a foreclosure proceeding.

SEC. 2.Section 798.21.5 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
798.21.5.

(a)Notwithstanding Sections 798.17 and 798.21, a rental agreement entered into on and after January 1, 2018, shall be subject to the requirements of this section. A rental agreement subject to the requirements of this section shall be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by a city, county, or city and county that establishes a maximum amount that the landlord may charge a tenant for rent, if both of the following conditions exist:

(1)The homeowner executing the rental agreement is the owner of another home, condominium, duplex, or other residence.

(2)The management determines that the homeowner executing the rental agreement is not excepted pursuant to subdivision (c).

(b)If a rental agreement is exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by a city, county, or city and county that establishes a maximum amount that the landlord may charge a tenant for rent under subdivision (a), the management may modify the rent or other terms of the tenancy. Management shall provide the homeowner with written notice at least 90 days in advance of the effective date of the proposed modification. The notice shall include copies of the evidence upon which the determination made pursuant to subdivision (a) is based. A homeowner shall have 30 days from the date the notice is mailed to review and dispute the management’s findings. Communications disputing management’s findings shall be in writing.

(c)A homeowner shall be excepted for purposes of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) if one or more of the following apply:

(1)The mobilehome is the sole residence of the homeowner. For purposes of this paragraph, a homeowner includes a person who has a full-time tenancy in a mobilehome park under a rental agreement, a senior who is a full-time resident of a mobilehome owned by a child of the senior, and a child with a disability who is a full-time resident of a mobilehome owned by a parent or guardian of the child. Whether a mobilehome is the sole residence of the homeowner shall be determined by management in light of the totality of the circumstances. Evidence of residence may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(A)The homeowner rents, leases, occupies, or has a present ownership interest in another place of residence. An ownership interest in a place of residence solely and exclusively occupied by the homeowner’s child or parent and his or her immediate family shall not serve as evidence that the mobilehome is not the sole residence of the homeowner.

(B)Another place of residence appears as a matter of public record or in other evidence obtained by management.

(C)Monthly statements are mailed to, or payments are made from, a place of residence other than the tenancy at issue.

(D)The homeowner is regularly absent from the mobilehome for extended periods of time, other than for military service, hospitalization, vacation, family or friend emergency care, or other reasonable temporary or seasonal periods of absence, such as travel necessitated by employment or education.

(E)The mobilehome is used primarily for vacationing, storage, or business.

(F)The mobilehome has been subleased, or possession of the mobilehome has been transferred, without management’s approval, as provided in Sections 798.74 and 798.75.

(G)A review of state or county records demonstrates that the homeowner is receiving a homeowner’s exemption for another property or mobilehome.

(2)The homeowner subleases his or her home or space as a result of a medical hardship pursuant to Section 798.23.5.

(3)Ownership of the mobilehome is transferred, upon the death of the homeowner, to an heir, joint tenant, or personal representative consistent with Section 798.78.

(4)The mobilehome is being actively held available for sale by the homeowner, or pursuant to a listing agreement with a real estate broker licensed pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 10130) of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Business and Professions Code, or a mobilehome dealer, as defined in Section 18002.6 of the Health and Safety Code. A homeowner, real estate broker, or mobilehome dealer attempting to sell a mobilehome shall actively market and advertise the mobilehome for sale in good faith to bona fide purchasers for value in order to remain excepted pursuant to this paragraph. This paragraph shall apply as long as the mobilehome remains vacant and unoccupied. If the mobilehome is occupied, the exception provided by this paragraph shall apply only for a reasonable time sufficient to provide for sale of the mobilehome, which shall not exceed 120 days after the date of service of the notice described in subdivision (b).

(d)After a determination that a tenancy is exempt under subdivision (a) because it is not the sole residence of the homeowner, a homeowner may provide management an affidavit, signed under penalty of perjury, that he or she intends to occupy the mobilehome as his or her sole residence. Upon provision of the affidavit, the application of an ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure that establishes a maximum amount that the landlord may charge a tenant for rent shall resume, provided that the most recent rental rate charged to the homeowner after it was found to be exempt shall be the base rental rate.

(e)This section shall not be construed to authorize management to gain access to any record that would otherwise be confidential or privileged.

SEC. 3.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

SEC. 2.

 Section 798.21.5 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

798.21.5.
 (a) Notwithstanding Sections 798.17 and 798.21, a rental agreement entered into on and after January 1, 2019, shall be subject to this section. In order for a mobilehome to be considered a principal residence or domicile of the homeowner, a valid homeowner’s exemption shall be filed on the mobilehome. If a mobilehome within a mobilehome park is not the principal residence or domicile of the homeowner, a rental agreement for that mobilehome shall be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by a city, county, or city and county that establishes a maximum amount that the landlord may charge a tenant for rent.
(b) If, based on a review of records, a mobilehome fails to meet the requirements of subdivision (a), before modifying the rent or other terms of tenancy, the management shall notify the homeowner, in writing, by mail of any proposed changes and provide the homeowner with a copy of the documents upon which management relied.
(c) The homeowner shall have 90 days from the date the notice described in subdivision (b) is mailed to review and respond to the notice. Management shall not modify the rent or other terms of tenancy prior to the expiration of the 90-day period or, if the homeowner provides information within that period, prior to responding, in writing, to the information provided by the homeowner. Management shall not modify the rent or other terms of tenancy as authorized in this section if the homeowner provides documentation reasonably establishing that the information relied upon by management is incorrect or that the homeowner is not the same person identified in the documents. In a dispute between park management and the homeowner regarding whether the mobilehome is occupied as the principal residence or domicile of the homeowner, management may file an inquiry with the local county assessor requesting a determination that the mobilehome meets the legal standards of principal residence or domicile of the homeowner.
(d) If the local county assessor or an assessment appeals board determines that the mobilehome owner was unlawfully designating his or her mobilehome as his or her principal residence, the park management may bill the homeowner retroactively for the difference between the amount charged and what would have been the prevailing market rent.