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SB-274 Mobilehome parks: tenancies.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/07/2019 09:00 PM
SB274:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 07, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 274


Introduced by Senator Dodd

February 13, 2019


An act to amend Sections 798.34 and 798.74 of, and to add Section 798.62 to, the Civil Code, relating to mobilehome residency.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 274, as amended, Dodd. Mobilehome parks: tenancies tenancies.
The Mobilehome Residency Law governs the terms and conditions of residency in mobilehome parks. The law requires, among other things, that the management of a mobilehome park comply with noticing and other specified requirements in order to terminate a tenancy in a mobilehome park because of a change of use of the mobilehome park.
This bill would require management to offer the previous homeowner a right of first refusal to a renewed tenancy in the park on the same terms at the time of the natural disaster, if the park is destroyed due to a fire or other natural disaster and management elects to rebuild the park in the same location. The bill would require park management to make the offer for a renewed tenancy to a previous homeowner by mail, telephone, and email, as specified. The bill would prohibit management from entering into any other tenancy agreements for the rebuilt park unless the number of available tenancies in the rebuilt park exceeds the number of outstanding renewal tenancy offers that have not expired or been rejected.
The law provides that a homeowner may be charged a fee for an individual staying with the homeowner for more than 20 consecutive days or a total of 30 days in a calendar year. Existing law prohibits park management from charging a fee to an individual who lives alone and shares their occupancy with one other person, designated as a companion, provided that only one individual may be designated as a companion within a calendar year, except as specified.
This bill would, instead, allow an individual to designate up to 3 companions in a calendar year, but no more than one companion at a time, unless otherwise authorized by management.
Existing law grants management the right of prior approval of a purchaser of a mobilehome that will remain in the park, provided that approval cannot be withheld from a purchaser who has the financial ability to pay the rent and charges of the park, except as otherwise provided. Existing law requires park management to consider the amount and source of the purchaser’s gross monthly income or means of financial support when making this determination.
This bill would require a selling homeowner or their agent to provide notice to management of a sale of a mobilehome before close of the sale. The bill would require management, upon receipt of that notice, to provide a selling homeowner or prospective purchaser with the standards that management customarily utilizes to approve a tenancy application and a list of all documentation needed to determine if the prospective purchaser will qualify for tenancy in the park. The bill would prohibit management from withholding approval from a prospective purchaser of a mobilehome unless management reasonably determines that the purchaser will not comply with the rules and regulations of the park, the purchaser does not have the financial ability to pay the rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park, or the purchaser commits fraud, deceit, or concealment of material facts during the application process.
This bill would provide that a prospective purchaser is presumed to have the financial ability to pay the rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park if the purchaser’s gross monthly income during the 3 months immediately preceding submission of the application is at least 3 times greater than the combined monthly amount of those charges, the prospective purchaser has prequalified for loan financing for the mobilehome being purchased, or the prospective purchaser’s reported credit score from a consumer credit reporting agency meets or exceeds the minimum which management customarily utilizes to approve a tenancy application. The bill would allow the purchaser to provide, and require park management to consider, evidence of additional financial assets, assets if an application is denied due to the inability to pay the rent, estimated utilities, and other charges, including savings accounts, certificates of deposit, stock portfolios, real property, and any other financial asset that can be liquidated or sold, when making that determination.
The Mobilehome Residency Law authorizes, in addition to damages afforded by law, a penalty against management to be awarded to a homeowner or former homeowner not to exceed $2,000 for each willful violation of the Mobilehome Residency Law.
This bill would presume that management committed a willful violation of the law as described above if it is proven that management withheld approval from a prospective purchaser, as specified, and the purchaser established the financial ability to pay the combined rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park. The bill would provide that management may be held liable to a prospective homeowner or selling homeowner for failing to comply with the provisions of the bill.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 798.34 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

798.34.
 (a) A homeowner shall not be charged a fee for a guest who does not stay with the homeowner for more than a total of 20 consecutive days or a total of 30 days in a calendar year. A person who is a guest, as described in this subdivision, shall not be required to register with the management.
(b) A homeowner who is living alone in the mobilehome and who wishes to share occupancy of their mobilehome with one other person, to be designated as the homeowner’s companion, may do so, and management shall not impose a fee for that person. For purposes of this subdivision, a homeowner may only designate one person at a time as a companion and shall not designate more than three companions in total during any calendar year, unless otherwise authorized by management. Management may refuse to allow a homeowner to share their mobilehome with a companion under this subdivision if park residency is subject to age restrictions and the proposed companion is unable or unwilling to provide documentation that the proposed companion meets those age restrictions.
(c) A homeowner may share their mobilehome with any person over 18 years of age if that person is providing live-in health care, live-in supportive care, or supervision to the homeowner. Management shall not charge a fee for the live-in caregiver but may require written confirmation from a licensed health care professional of the homeowner’s need for the care or supervision, if the need is not readily apparent or already known to management.
(d) A senior homeowner who resides in a mobilehome park that has implemented rules or regulations limiting residency based on age requirements for housing for older persons, pursuant to Section 798.76, may share their mobilehome with any person over 18 years of age if this person is a parent, sibling, child, or grandchild of the senior homeowner and requires live-in health care, live-in supportive care, or supervision. Management shall not charge a fee for this parent, sibling, child, or grandchild, but may require written confirmation from a licensed health care professional of the need for the care or supervision, if the need is not readily apparent or already known to management. As used in this section, “senior homeowner” means a homeowner who is 55 years of age or older.
(e) A guest, companion, live-in caregiver, or family member under the care of a senior homeowner, as they are described in this section, shall have no rights of tenancy in the park, and any agreement between the homeowner and the guest, companion, live-in caregiver, or family member under the care of a senior homeowner shall not change the terms and conditions of the rental agreement between management and the homeowner.
(f) A violation of the mobilehome park rules and regulations by a guest, companion, live-in caregiver, or family member under the care of a senior homeowner, as they are described in this section, shall be deemed a violation of the rules and regulations by the homeowner and subject to subdivision (d) of Section 798.56.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to create a duty on the part of management to manage, supervise, or provide care for a homeowner’s guest, companion, live-in caregiver, or family member under the care of a senior homeowner, during that person’s stay in the mobilehome park.

SEC. 2.

 Section 798.62 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

798.62.
 (a) If a mobilehome park is destroyed as a result of a wildfire or other natural disaster, and management elects to rebuild the park at the same location, management shall, before offering any tenancy in the rebuilt mobile park to the public pursuant to subdivision (b), first offer the previous homeowner a right of first refusal for shall offer a renewed tenancy in the rebuilt mobilehome park-management shall offer the previous homeowner a renewed tenancy park to all previous homeowners. The offer for the renewed tenancy shall be on substantially the same terms as the homeowner’s previous homeowner’s rental agreement that was in existence at the time of the wildfire or other natural disaster. The offer shall clearly state when it expires.

(b)The right of first refusal shall run for a period of at least 180 days before management may offer tenancies at the rebuilt mobilehome park to the public.

(b) Management shall make the offer by mailing it to the last postal address for the previous homeowner known to management, which may be the previous homeowner’s former address within the park. If management has an email address or telephone number for the previous homeowner, management shall additionally attempt to notify the homeowner of the offer by those means.
(c) The offer of a renewed tenancy shall run until rejected by the previous homeowner in writing, or at least 180 days after management complies with subdivision (b), whichever comes first.
(d) Management shall not enter into any other tenancy agreements for the rebuilt park unless the number of available tenancies in the rebuilt park exceeds the number of outstanding renewal tenancy offers made pursuant to subdivision (a) that have not been expired or rejected.

(c)

(e) For purposes of this section, “previous homeowner” means a homeowner with a valid tenancy in the previous mobilehome park at the time of the wildfire or other natural disaster.

SEC. 3.

 Section 798.74 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

798.74.
 (a) The management may require the right of prior approval of a prospective purchaser of a mobilehome that will remain in the park and that the selling homeowner or their agent give notice of the sale to the management before the close of the sale. Approval cannot be withheld if the purchaser has the financial ability to pay the rent and charges of the park unless the management reasonably determines that, based on the purchaser’s prior tenancies, they will not comply with the rules and regulations of the park.
(b) (1) A selling homeowner or their agent shall give notice of a sale of a mobilehome that will remain in the park to management before the close of the sale.
(2) Management shall provide the seller and the prospective purchaser both of the following, in writing, upon receiving the notice required in paragraph (1):
(A) The standards that management customarily utilizes to approve a tenancy application, including the minimum reported credit score from a consumer credit reporting agency that management requires for approval.
(B) A list of all documentation that management will require to determine if the prospective purchaser will qualify for tenancy in the park.
(c) Management shall not withhold approval from a prospective purchase of a mobilehome unless any of the following apply:
(1) Management reasonably determines that, based upon the purchaser’s prior tenancies, they will not comply with the rules and regulations of the park.
(2) The purchaser does not have the financial ability to pay the rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park.
(3) The purchaser has committed fraud, deceit, or concealment of material facts during the application process.
(d) It shall be presumed that a prospective purchaser has the financial ability to pay the rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) if any of the following are satisfied:
(1) The prospective purchaser’s average gross monthly income during the three months immediately preceding submission of the application is at least three times greater than the combined monthly rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park for the mobilehome space.
(2) The prospective purchaser has prequalified for loan financing for the mobilehome being purchased by them.
(3) The prospective purchaser’s reported credit score from a consumer credit reporting agency meets or exceeds the minimum that management customarily utilizes to approve a tenancy application.

(b)(1)

(e) In determining whether the prospective purchaser has the financial ability to pay the rent and charges of the park, park pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), the management may require the prospective purchaser to document the amount and source of their gross monthly income or means of financial support. However, management shall not require the prospective purchaser to submit copies any of the following:
(1) Documentation beyond that disclosed pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b).
(2) Copies of any personal income tax returns in order to obtain approval for residency in the park. However, management may require the purchaser to document the amount and source of their gross monthly income or means of financial support. returns.

(2)The purchaser may provide evidence of additional financial assets to management to be considered in their ability to pay the rents and charges of the park pursuant to paragraph (1), including, but not limited to:

(f) (1) Within 15 business days of receiving all of the information requested from the prospective purchaser, management shall notify the seller and the prospective purchaser, in writing, of either acceptance or rejection of the application. During this 15-day period, the prospective purchaser shall comply with the management’s request, if any, for a personal interview.
(2) (A) If management rejects the application, management shall state the reason for the rejection in accordance with subdivision (c). If the rejection is based upon an alleged lack of financial ability to pay the rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), the prospective purchaser may elect to provide additional financial or asset information to management to demonstrate their financial ability to pay the rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park. For purposes of this paragraph, “additional financial information” includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(A)

(i) Savings accounts.

(B)

(ii) Certificates of deposit.

(C)

(iii) Stock portfolios.

(D)

(iv) Trust interests of which the purchaser is a beneficiary.

(E)

(v) Real property.

(F)

(vi) Similar financial assets that can be liquidated or sold.

(3)Management shall consider evidence of all financial assets provided by the purchaser pursuant to this subdivision to determine whether the purchaser has the financial ability to pay the rent and charges of the park.

(c)Upon written request of any selling homeowner or prospective homeowner who proposes to purchase a mobilehome that will remain in the park, management shall inform that person, in writing, of the information management will require and the standards that will be utilized in determining if the person will be acceptable as a homeowner in the park.

(d)Within 15 business days of receiving all of the information requested from the prospective homeowner, the management shall notify the seller and the prospective homeowner, in writing, of either acceptance or rejection of the application, and the reason if rejected. During this 15-day period the prospective homeowner shall comply with the management’s request, if any, for a personal interview. If the approval of a prospective homeowner is withheld for any reason other than either of the following, the management or owner may be held liable for all damages proximately resulting therefrom:

(1)Reasons stated in this article.

(2)Reasons based upon fraud, deceit, or concealment of material facts by the prospective purchaser.

(B) If the prospective purchaser elects to provide additional financial and asset information specified in subparagraph (A), management shall consider the information together with the prospective purchaser’s gross monthly income to determine whether the purchaser has the financial ability to pay the rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park.

(e)

(g) If the management collects a fee or charge from a prospective purchaser of a mobilehome in order to obtain a financial report or credit rating, the full amount of the fee or charge shall be credited toward payment of the first month’s rent for that mobilehome purchaser. If, for whatever reason, the prospective purchaser is rejected by the management, the management shall refund to the prospective purchaser the full amount of that fee or charge within 30 days from the date of rejection. If the prospective purchaser is approved by the management, but, for whatever reason, the prospective purchaser elects not to purchase the mobilehome, the management may retain the fee, or a portion thereof, to defray its administrative costs under this section.
(h) (1) Management may be held liable by the selling homeowner, prospective purchaser, or both, for any and all damages proximately caused by management’s failure to comply with this section.
(2) If it is proven that management withheld approval from a prospective purchaser when the purchaser has established financial ability to pay the combined rent, estimated utilities, and other charges of the park pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), and the purchaser was not rejected pursuant to paragraph (1) or (3) of subdivision (c), management shall be presumed to be in willful violation of this section and the damaged selling homeowner shall be entitled to an award of the penalty amount set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 798.86, in addition to any other consequential damages awarded to the selling homeowner as the prevailing party in any civil action.
(i) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Charges” means all charges authorized and imposed by management under Section 798.31.
(2) “Consumer credit reporting agency” has the same meaning as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 1785.3.
(3) “Credit score” has the same meaning as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1785.15.1.