Bill Text

Bill Information


Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-1803 Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Act.(2009-2010)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
AB1803:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 05, 2010

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2009–2010 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1803


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Nava

February 10, 2010


An act to amend Section 1369.520 of the Civil Code, relating to common interest developments. An act to add Section 798.31.5 to, and to add Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 798.90) to Chapter 2.5 of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of, the Civil Code, relating to mobilehomes.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1803, as amended, Nava. Common interest developments: dispute resolution. Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Act.
The Mobilehome Residency Law governs residency in mobilehome parks and includes provisions that are applicable to those who have an ownership interest in a subdivision, cooperative, or condominium for mobilehomes, or a resident-owned mobilehome park, as specified. Among other things, these provisions set forth the rights of residents and homeowners regarding the use of the property.
This bill would create the Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Act and would require the Attorney General to administer a mobilehome dispute resolution program. This bill would require the Attorney General to produce and distribute educational materials, collect information about mobilehome communities and make it publicly available, and provide an annual report to the Legislature. This bill would also require the Attorney General to receive complaints, investigate alleged violations at its discretion, and facilitate negotiations, as provided.
This bill would also establish the Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Fund, for the fees collected by the Attorney General and the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to the above provisions. This bill would impose a $10 assessment on landlords for each mobilehome within the community and a $250 late fee, as provided.

The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act requires a common interest development association, owner, or member to submit their dispute to alternative dispute resolution before filing an enforcement action in superior court, as specified.

This bill would make a technical, nonsubstantive change to these provisions.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide an equitable, less costly, and more efficient way for mobilehome tenants and mobilehome community landlords to resolve disputes.
(b) The Legislature finds that taking legal action against a mobilehome community landlord for violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law can be a costly and lengthy process, and that many people cannot afford to pursue a court process to vindicate statutory rights. Mobilehome community landlords will also benefit by having access to a process that resolves disputes quickly and efficiently.
(c) The Legislature intends to authorize the Department of Housing and Community Development to modify the registration and fee collection process for mobilehome communities, in order to collect the information and revenue necessary for the administration of the mediation process developed in this article.
(d) The Legislature intends to authorize the Attorney General to do all of the following:
(1) Produce and distribute educational materials regarding the Mobilehome Residency Law and the mobilehome dispute resolution program created in this act.
(2) Administer the mobilehome dispute resolution program by taking complaints, conducting investigations, making determinations, issuing fines and other penalties, and participating in administrative dispute resolutions, when necessary.
(3) Collect and annually report upon data related to disputes and violations, and make recommendations on modifying the Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Act, to the appropriate committees of the Legislature.

SEC. 2.

 Section 798.31.5 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

798.31.5.
 (a) There is hereby established in the State Treasury the Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Fund into which funds collected by the Department of Housing and Community Development pursuant to this section will be deposited, including fines and registration fees from sources to fund the mobilehome dispute resolution program. Expenditures from the account may be used only for the costs associated with administering the Mobilehome Residency Law mediation program.
(b) Each mobilehome community landlord shall pay to the department an annual registration assessment of ten dollars ($10.00) for each mobilehome that is subject to the Mobilehome Residency Law within a mobilehome community. Mobilehome community landlords may charge a maximum of five dollars ($5.00) of this assessment to tenants. The registration assessment for each mobilehome shall be deposited to fund the costs associated with the Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Act, including costs incurred by the department.
(c) Initial registrations of mobilehome communities shall be filed with the department before November 1, 2011, or within three months of the availability of mobilehome lots for rent within the community. The mobilehome community is subject to a delinquency fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for late initial registrations.
(d) Thirty days after sending late fee notices to a noncomplying landlord, the department may refer the past due account to a collection agency. If there is no response from a noncomplying landlord after 60 days in collections, the department may file an action to enforce payment of unpaid registration assessments and late fees in the superior court in the county in which the mobilehome community is located. If the department prevails, the mobilehome community landlord shall pay the department’s costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees, for the enforcement proceedings.
(e) Registration is effective on the date determined by the department, and the department shall issue a registration number to each registered mobilehome community. The department shall provide an expiration date, assigned by the department, to each mobilehome community that registers.

SEC. 3.

 Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 798.90) is added to Chapter 2.5 of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code, to read:
Article  8.5. Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Act

798.90.
 This article shall be known and may be cited as the “Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Act.”

798.90.5.
 For purposes of this article the following terms are defined as follows:
(a) “Complainant” means a landlord, community owner, or tenant, who has a complaint alleging a violation of this article.
(b) “Department” means the Department of Housing and Community Development.
(c) “Homeowner” has the same meaning as in Section 789.9.
(d) “Landlord” or “community owner” means the owner of a mobilehome park or a manufactured housing community and includes agents of the landlord or community owner.
(e) “Mobilehome” has the same meaning as in Section 798.3.
(f) “Mobilehome dispute resolution program” means the provision of this act.
(g) “Mobilehome lot” means a portion of a mobilehome community designated as the location of one mobilehome, manufactured home, or park model and its accessory buildings, and intended for the exclusive use as a primary residence by the occupants of that mobilehome, manufactured home, or park model.
(h) “Mobilehome park,” “manufactured housing community,” or “mobilehome community” has the same meaning as in Section 798.4.
(i) “Respondent” means a landlord, community owner, or tenant, alleged to have committed a violation of the Mobilehome Residency Law.

798.91.
 (a) Upon collection of fees specified in Section 798.31.5, the Attorney General shall begin administration of the mobilehome dispute resolution program.
(b) The purpose of the mobilehome dispute resolution program is to provide mobilehome community landlords and tenants with a cost-effective and time-efficient process to resolve disputes regarding alleged violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law.
(c) The Attorney General under the mobilehome dispute resolution program shall do all of the following:
(1) Produce educational materials regarding the Mobilehome Residency Law and the mobilehome dispute resolution program, including a notice in a format a landlord can reasonably post in a mobilehome community that summarizes tenant rights and responsibilities, including information on how to file a complaint with the Attorney General, and a toll-free telephone number and Internet Web site address that landlords and homeowners can use to seek additional information and communicate complaints.
(2) Distribute or delegate distribution to the department or the mobilehome ombudsman, of the educational materials described in paragraph (1) to all known landlords and distribute information alerting landlords that:
(A) Notwithstanding items already required to be posted, landlords shall post the notice provided by the Attorney General that summarizes tenant rights and responsibilities and includes information on how to file complaints in the park clubhouse or in another conspicuous area within the mobilehome park.
(B) The Attorney General may visually confirm that the notice is appropriately posted.
(C) The Attorney General may issue a fine or other penalty if the Attorney General discovers that the landlord has not appropriately posted the notice or that the landlord has not maintained the posted notice so that it is clearly visible to tenants.
(3) Distribute the educational materials described in paragraph (1) to any complainants and respondents, as requested.
(4) Perform dispute resolution activities, including investigations, negotiations, determinations of violations, and imposition of fines or other penalties pursuant to Section 798.92.
(5) Collect at a minimum the following information about mobilehome communities and make them available on a publicly searchable Internet database:
(A) The number of complaints where a violation was substantiated.
(B) The nature and extent of the complaints received.
(C) The violation of law complained about.
(D) The mobilehome dispute resolution program outcomes for each complaint.
(6) (A) Provide an annual report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature on the data collected under this section, including program performance measures and recommendations regarding how the mobilehome dispute resolution program may be improved, by January 1 of each year, beginning January 1, 2012.
(B) (1) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under this paragraph is inoperative on January 1, 2016, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to this paragraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(d) The mobilehome dispute resolution program, including all of the duties of the Attorney General under the program as described in this section, shall be funded by the collection of fines, other penalties, and fees deposited into the Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Fund created in Section 798.31.5, and all other sources directed to the mobilehome dispute resolution program.

798.92.
 (a) An aggrieved party has the right to file a complaint with the Attorney General alleging a violation of Mobilehome Residency Law.
(b) Upon receiving a complaint under this act, the Attorney General shall do both of the following:
(1) Inform the complainant of any notification requirements under the Mobilehome Residency Law for tenant or landlord violations and encourage the complainant to appropriately notify the respondent of the complaint.
(2) If a statutory time period is applicable, inform the complainant of the time frame that the respondent has to remedy the complaint under the Mobilehome Residency Law for tenant violations or landlord violations.
(c) After receiving a complaint under this act, the Attorney General shall initiate the mobilehome dispute resolution program by investigating the alleged violations at its discretion and, if appropriate, facilitating negotiations between the complainant and the respondent.
(d) (1) Complainants and respondents shall cooperate with the Attorney General in the course of an investigation by:
(A) Responding to subpoenas issued by the Attorney General, within 30 days, which may consist of providing access to papers or other documents.
(B) Providing access to the mobilehome facilities relevant to the investigation.
(C) Providing written answers to questions from the Attorney General.
(D) Providing oral testimony or depositions related to a complaint.
(2) Failure to cooperate with the Attorney General in the course of an investigation is a violation of this article.
(e) If after an investigation the Attorney General determines that an agreement cannot be negotiated between the parties, the Attorney General shall make a written determination on whether a violation of any provision of the Mobilehome Residency Law has occurred.
(1) If the Attorney General finds by a written determination that a violation of the Mobilehome Residency Law has occurred, the Attorney General shall deliver a written notice of violation to the respondent who committed the violation by certified mail. The notice of violation shall specify the violation, the corrective action required, the time within which the corrective action shall be taken, the penalties including fines, actions that will result if corrective action is not taken within the specified time period, and the process for contesting the determination, fines, penalties, and other actions included in the notice of violation through an administrative hearing. The Attorney General shall also deliver to the complainant a copy of the notice of violation by certified mail.
(2) If the Attorney General finds by a written determination that a violation of the Mobilehome Residency Law has not occurred, the Attorney General shall deliver a written notice of nonviolation to both the complainant and the respondent by certified mail. The notice of nonviolation shall include the process for contesting the determination through an administrative hearing.
(f) Corrective action shall take place within 30 business days of the respondent’s receipt of a notice of violation, except as required otherwise by the Attorney General, unless the respondent has submitted a timely request for an administrative hearing to contest the notice of violation as required under subdivision (i). If a respondent, which includes either a landlord or a tenant, fails to take corrective action within the required time period and the Attorney General has not received a timely request for an administrative hearing, the Attorney General may impose a fine, up to a maximum of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per violation, per day, for each day that a violation remains uncorrected. The Attorney General shall consider the severity and duration of the violation and the violation’s impact on other community residents when determining the appropriate amount of a fine or the appropriate penalty to impose on a respondent. If the respondent shows upon timely application to the Attorney General that a good faith effort to comply with the corrective action requirements of the notice of violation has been made and that the corrective action has not been completed because of mitigating factors beyond the respondent’s control, the Attorney General may delay the imposition of a fine or penalty.
(g) The Attorney General may issue an order requiring the respondent, or his or her assignee or agent, to cease and desist from an unlawful practice and take affirmative actions that in the judgment of the Attorney General will carry out the purposes of this article. The affirmative actions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Refunds of rent increases, improper fees, charges, and assessments collected in violation of this article.
(2) Filing and utilization of documents that correct a statutory or rule violation.
(3) Reasonable actions necessary to correct a statutory or rule violation.
(h) The Attorney General may require parties, to ensure compliance with the act from parties who have agreed to settle, to memorialize any agreement in writing, furnish the Attorney General with a signed copy of the agreement, and agree to enforcement action in the event that one or both parties fails to comply with the terms of the agreement.
(i) A complainant or respondent may request an administrative hearing before an administrative law judge to contest any of the following:
(1) A notice of violation issued under paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) or a notice of nonviolation issued under paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(2) A fine or other penalty imposed under subdivision (f).
(3) An order to cease and desist or an order to take affirmative actions under subdivision (g).
(j) The complainant or respondent shall request an administrative hearing within 15 business days of receipt of a notice of violation, notice of nonviolation, fine, other penalty, order, or action. If an administrative hearing is not requested within this time period, the notice of violation, notice of nonviolation, fine, other penalty, order, or action constitutes a final order of the Attorney General and is not subject to review by any court or agency.
(k) If an administrative hearing is initiated, the respondent and complainant shall each bear the cost of his or her own legal expenses.
(l) The administrative law judge appointed shall do all of the following:
(1) Hear and receive pertinent evidence and testimony.
(2) Decide whether the evidence supports the Attorney General’s finding by a preponderance of the evidence.
(3) Enter an appropriate order within 30 days after the close of the hearing and immediately mail copies of the order to the affected parties.
(m) The order of the administrative law judge constitutes the final order of the Attorney General and may be appealed to the superior court.
(n) When the Attorney General imposes a fine, refund, or other penalty against a respondent, the respondent may not seek any recovery or reimbursement of the fine, refund, or other penalty from a complainant or from other mobilehome tenants.
(o) All receipts from the imposition of fines or other penalties collected under this section other than those due to a complainant shall be deposited into the Mobilehome Residency Law Mediation Fund.
(p) This section is not exclusive and does not limit the right of landlords or tenants to take legal action against another party. Exhaustion of the administrative remedy provided in this chapter is not required before a landlord or tenant may bring a legal action. This section does not apply to unlawful detainer actions initiated prior to the filing and service of an unlawful detainer court action; however, a tenant is not precluded from seeking relief under this chapter if the complaint claims the notice of termination violates the Mobilehome Residency Law prior to the filing and service of an unlawful detainer action.
(q) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent a complainant from taking civil action against another party at any time if the incident or violation that resulted in the complaint is not adequately resolved by the mediation process.

798.93.
 (a) The department shall annually register all mobilehome communities. Each community shall be registered separately. The department shall deliver by certified mail registration notifications to all known mobilehome community landlords. Registration information packets shall include both of the following:
(1) Registration forms.
(2) Registration assessment information, including registration due dates and late fees, and the collections procedures, liens, and charging costs to tenants.
(b) To apply for registration, the landlord of a mobilehome community shall file with the department an application for registration on a form provided by the department and shall pay a registration fee, pursuant to Section 798.31.5. The department may require the submission of information necessary to assist in identifying and locating a mobilehome community and other information that may be useful to the state, which shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) The name and address of any owner of the mobilehome community.
(2) The name and address of the mobilehome community.
(3) The name and address of the landlord and manager of the mobilehome community.
(4) The number of lots within the mobilehome community that are subject to the Mobilehome Residency Law.
(5) The addresses of each mobilehome lot within the mobilehome community that is subject to the Mobilehome Residency Law.

798.94.
 The department shall have the capability to compile, update, and maintain the most accurate database possible of all the mobilehome communities in the state, which shall include all of the information collected under Section 798.93.

798.95.
 When requested by the Attorney General, the Office of Administrative Law shall assign an administrative law judge to conduct proceedings under this act.

798.96.
 The Attorney General shall have the authority to promulgate any necessary procedural rules to administer the mobilehome dispute resolution program.

798.96.5.
 The Attorney General may take the necessary steps to ensure that this act is implemented on its effective date.

798.97.
 In order to provide general assistance to mobilehome resident organizations, park owners, and landlords and tenants, the department may use the mobilehome ombudsman to provide technical assistance to resident organizations or persons in the process of forming a resident organization pursuant to this chapter.

798.98.
 The Attorney General, director, or individuals acting on behalf of the Attorney General or director are immune from suit in any action, civil or criminal, based upon any disciplinary actions or other official acts performed in the course of their duties under this chapter, except their intentional or willful misconduct.

798.99.
 The Attorney General may investigate potential violations that are discovered during the course of an existing formal investigation, but for which the Attorney General has not received a formal complaint.

SECTION 1.Section 1369.520 of the Civil Code is amended to read:
1369.520.

(a)An association or an owner or a member of a common interest development may not file an enforcement action in superior court unless the parties have endeavored to submit their dispute to alternative dispute resolution pursuant to this article.

(b)This section applies only to an enforcement action that is solely for declaratory, injunctive, or writ relief, or for that relief in conjunction with a claim for monetary damages not in excess of the jurisdictional limits stated in Sections 116.220 and 116.221 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(c)This section does not apply to a small claims action.

(d)Except as otherwise provided by law, this section does not apply to an assessment dispute.