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



Current Version: 08/24/20 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


SB915:v92#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  August 24, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 27, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  June 18, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  May 29, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  May 13, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  April 15, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  March 05, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 915


Introduced by Senator Leyva
(Principal coauthor: Senator Dodd)

February 03, 2020


An act to add Section 798.63 to the Civil Code, relating to mobilehomes.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 915, as amended, Leyva. Mobilehome parks: emergency relief: coronavirus (COVID-19).
Existing law, the Mobilehome Residency Law, governs the terms and conditions of residency in mobilehome parks. Under existing law, the management of a mobilehome park may not terminate or refuse to renew a tenancy, except pursuant to certain procedures, and upon giving written notice to the homeowner of not less than 60 days. This law, among other things, defines “management” to mean the owner of a mobilehome park or an agent or representative authorized to act on the owner’s behalf in connection with matters relating to a tenancy in the park. Existing law defines a “resident” as a homeowner or other person who lawfully occupies a mobilehome.
This bill would prohibit the management of a mobilehome park from terminating or attempting to terminate the tenancy of a homeowner or resident who is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as specified, on the grounds of failure of the homeowner or resident to comply with a reasonable rule or regulation of the park that is part of the rental agreement or failure to pay rent, utility charges, or reasonable incidental service charges during a declared state of emergency or local emergency related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and during a 120-day time period after the state of emergency or local emergency is terminated, unless necessary to protect the public health and safety. The bill would also prohibit, during this timeframe, the management of a mobilehome park from issuing certain notices relating to rent increases, termination of tenancy, or refusal to renew tenancy. The bill would also prohibit a court from issuing a summons on a complaint for unlawful detainer within this timeframe for failure of the homeowner or resident to comply with a reasonable rule or regulation of the park that is part of the rental agreement or failure to pay rent, utility charges, or reasonable incidental service charges, unless the court finds the action necessary to protect public health and safety.
Existing law prohibits the management of a mobilehome park from terminating a tenancy unless for one of specified reasons, including, but not limited to, failure of the homeowner or resident to comply with a reasonable rule or regulation of the park that is part of the rental agreement, as specified, and failure to pay rent, utility charges, or reasonable incidental service charges for at least 5 days from the due date. Existing law requires, after the 5 days of failure to pay rent, utility charges, or reasonable incidental service charges elapses, the management of the mobilehome park to provide the homeowner with a 3-day notice to pay or vacate the tenancy, as prescribed. Under existing law, an act or omission of the homeowner or resident does not constitute a failure to comply with a reasonable rule or regulation of the park that is part of the rental agreement unless and until the management has given the homeowner written notice of the alleged rule or regulation violation and the homeowner or resident has failed to adhere to the rule or regulation within 7 days, except as specified.
This bill would require a homeowner or resident who is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as specified, to have 7 days from the date they receive a notice of a failure to comply with a reasonable rule or regulation of the park described above to notify the management in writing of their need to have additional time to comply with the notice. The bill, with exceptions, would require management that receives the described notice to grant the homeowner or resident the additional time requested to comply with the rule or regulation, but in no event more than one year. The bill would require a notice of a failure to comply with a reasonable rule or regulation of the park that is part of the rental agreement, as specified, issued during a declared state of emergency or local emergency related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and during a 120-day time period after the state of emergency or local emergency is terminated, to contain specified language describing these provisions, printed in at least 12-point boldface type at the top of the notice.
This bill would authorize a homeowner or resident who is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as specified, to notify management in writing at any time prior to the expiration of a 3-day notice demanding payment of past due rent, utilities, or reasonable incidental charges that they need additional time to make the payment due to hardship from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The bill would require management that received the above-described notice to grant the homeowner or resident one year from the expiration of the 3-day notice to make the payment, unless a different amount of time is mutually agreed upon by the homeowner or resident and the management. The bill would also require a notice for failure to pay rent, utility charges, or reasonable incidental service charges issued during the declared state of emergency or local emergency related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and during a 120-day time period after the termination thereof, to contain specified language describing these provisions, in at least 12-point boldface type at the top of the notice.
Existing law authorizes the management of a mobilehome park to file a petition for an order to enjoin a continuing or recurring violation of a reasonable rule or regulation of the mobilehome park within the limited jurisdiction of the superior court of the county in which the mobilehome community is located.
If a homeowner or resident who provides written notice to the management of the mobilehome park that the homeowner or resident is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as specified, this bill would prohibit the management from seeking to enforce such an order or imposing rent increases or other charges in addition to what is included in the resident’s base rent while the homeowner or resident is in compliance with the terms of a specified payment recovery plan. The bill would authorize a homeowner or resident who is prevented by management from exercising the rights provided here to bring a civil action and would authorize a court to order injunctive relief and other relief the court deems proper, as specified. The bill would require management to itemize on the homeowner’s or resident’s rental invoice any payments made and due under the repayment plan. The bill would also require management to apply any government funds received to offset rent, utilities, or other charges left unpaid due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as a credit against the outstanding balances of homeowners and residents impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic equally on a per person basis. The bill would also require a specified payment recovery period to 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 798.63 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) (1) 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. time to comply. Unless doing so the granting of additional time in accordance with this section would perpetuate a public nuisance or 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, 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 or 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. 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.