Legislature Approves Stone Bill to Protect Mobilehome Owners in Disputes with Parks
SACRAMENTO— The Legislature has approved AB 3066 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) to help mobilehome owners resolve disputes with mobilehome park owners.
“Affordable legal help for mobilehome owners is almost non-existent when it comes to resolving disputes with owners of mobilehome parks,” said Stone. “For people on fixed incomes, litigation without assistance is too expensive and burdensome, even in cases of serious quality-of-life issues. I urge the Governor to approve this necessary measure.”
In California mobilehome parks, people own their mobilehomes but not the land beneath it. Current law requires these individuals to go to court to address problems with park owners. AB 3066 balances the relationship between mobilehome owners and park owners by establishing a pilot program for assessing Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) violations at the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Mobilehome owners would have additional assistance resolving issues related to home sales, complaint responses, and charges leading to eviction.
Under current law, no state entity has jurisdiction over violations of the MRL, so mobilehome owners must turn to civil litigation when they have disputes with park owners. Because of this, mobilehome owners often simply drop complaints. Common violations of the MRL include:
- Selective, inconsistent enforcement of park rules
- Park owners violating their own park rules of “no subletting” by renting out their mobile homes but not allowing homeowners to rent out their own mobile homes
- Interference with home sales
- Attempts to prevent mobilehome owners from using the clubhouse, especially for meetings
- On-site management failure to keep posted office hours or respond to resident complaints
- Bullying and threatening behavior by onsite managers
- Frivolous charges leading to eviction
AB 3066 creates a 5-year pilot program allowing HCD to collect and evaluate MRL complaints. To maximize enforcement efforts on the most egregious violations, HCD would select the most severe violations to refer to legal aid nonprofits, which would then provide free assistance to mobilehome owners in their pursuit of litigation.
There are about 7,000 mobilehome parks in California with over 700,000 residents.
The Governor has until September 30 to sign AB 3066.