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Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

Mobile Home Residents FAQ’s

Mobile home owners frequently ask of the Park can charge the resident a late fee if they miss paying the rent and utility bill by one day?  The answer is as follows:

Late fees on rents, utility charges or other pass through fees are not regulated by the MRL, however, California court cases regarding late fees generally have upheld residential leases with preset late penalties if they bear a reasonable relationship to the actual damages that could be anticipated or sustained by the landlord for late payment, such as administrative costs relating to accounting for and collecting the late payments.  For example, a 3% charge for late payment of rent ($15 on a $500 rent bill) is probably going to be construed as reasonable.

Whether $50 is reasonable depends on the outstanding amount of the late rent and utilities owed.  In summary, if the signed lease or rental agreement stipulates a late fee, then the resident must pay.

Construction work is scheduled in the park that I Manage Do I have to contact the local utilities first?

Instead of calling the local utilities, dial 811 and be connected to the appropriate regional notification center that will contact the subsurface installation operators.  The subsurface installation operator will then mark the lines that they own, operate or maintain within the area where you will be digging. (Government Code §4216.2)

For residents who do not own the mobilehome they are living in, what rights do they have in the case of an eviction?

The MRL eviction protections and procedures only apply to homeowners who own their own homes and rent their spaces, not to tenants who rent mobilehomes owned by the park, park management, or other persons.  Certain sections of the MRL do apply specifically to both homeowners and “residents” (Civil Code §798.11).  However, the MRL’s “just cause” eviction provisions (Civil Code §798.56) do not apply to residents who rent mobilehomes owned by others.  They would be subject to the requirements of conventional landlord tenant law (Civil Code §1940 et seq.).  In such a case for these tenants, where there is a notice of eviction without any reason, tenants living in the rental home for less than a year generally would be entitled to a 30 day notice of termination; those living there for a year or more, are entitled to a 60 day notice if eviction is without cause.  (Exceptions to the 60 day requirement are in Civil Code §1946.1.)

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