ACT 80 - 2010 (Effective March 18, 2011)

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Manufactured HomeCommunity Rights Act

ACT 261 of 1976 as amended by Act 80 of 2010

THIS VERSION, WAS POSTED BY THE “PENNSYLVANIA MANUFACTURED HOUSING ASSOCIATION” and can also be found at their web-site. The Coalition does not warrant the accuracy of what is provided, and is strictly for guidance purposes only.

(Web Site: www.pmha.org)

 THE ACT TAKES EFFECT MARCH 18, 2011.

MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITY RIGHTS ACTAct 261 of 1976 as amended by Act 80 of 2010

AN ACTHB2212 Amending the act of November 24, 1976 (P.L.1176, No.261), entitled "An act providing for the rightsand duties of mobile home owners or operators and mobile home residents," further providing forshort title and for definitions; providing for written leases; further providing for disclosure of fees;and making editorial changes.The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:

 

Section 1. The title and section 1 of the act of November 24, 1976 (P.L.1176, No.261), known as the Mobile Home Park Rights Act, are amended to read:AN ACT Providing for the rights and duties of manufactured home owners or operators and [mobile] manufactured home lessees.

 

Section 1. Short Title.--This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Manufactured HomeCommunity Rights Act."Section 2. Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the act are amended to read:

 

Section 2. Definitions.--As used in this act:"Agency." The Office of Attorney General."Designated notification recipient lessee." A lessee who designates in the lease a specific lesseeand address for the purposes of receiving all required notices with regard to the manufactured home leased space. Delivery by certified or registered mail to a lessee so designated shall be deemed sufficient for purposes of this act."Eviction." The removal of a lessee, occupants and manufactured home from a manufactured home community in accordance with an order of possession by a court of the Commonwealth."First-time lessee." The resident who places or causes to be placed a manufactured home in amanufactured home community."Lessee." A PERSON that rents a manufactured home community space and is the responsibleparty for the performance of the terms of lease."Lessor." An operator that rents a manufactured home space to a lessee and that is responsiblefor the performance of the terms of lease.

Page 2"Manufactured home." The term includes:(1) A manufactured home as defined in section 603(6) of the National Manufactured HousingConstruction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-383, 42 U.S.C. § 5402(6)).(2) A mobile home as defined in 75 Pa.C.S. § 102 (relating to definitions)."Manufactured home community" or "community." A site, lot, field or tract of land, privately orpublicly owned or operated, upon which three or more manufactured homes, occupied for dwelling orsleeping purposes, are or are intended to be located, regardless of whether or not a charge is made for such accommodation."Manufactured home community owner" or "community owner." An owner or operator of amanufactured home community."Manufactured home occupant." An individual who resides in a manufactured home, WHO ISEITHER A LESSEE OR A MANUFACTURED HOME RESIDENT."Manufactured home resident." An owner of a manufactured home who leases or rents space ina manufactured home community. The term does not include a person who rents or leases amanufactured home."Manufactured home space." A plot of ground within a manufactured home community designed for the accommodation of one manufactured home."Manufactured home space lease" or "lease." A written contract between a manufactured homelessee and a manufactured home community owner containing reciprocal rights and duties, including the payment of rent for the use of ground for the placement of a manufactured home in amanufactured home community."Rent." Ground rent for a manufactured home space."Rules and regulations." Policies and guidelines established by a manufactured home community owner that relate to community living."Service charges." Charges for electricity, gas service which is underground and piped directly to individual units within a manufactured home community, trash removal, sewage, water, INTERNET,cable and all other utilities.

 

Section 3. Evictions.--(a) A manufactured home community owner may terminate or refuse torenew the lease of a lessee or may evict a lessee and manufactured home occupants only for one ofthe following reasons:

Page 3(1) Nonpayment of rent.(2) A second or subsequent violation of the rules of the manufactured home communityoccurring within a six-month period.(3) If there is a change in use of the community land or parts thereof.(4) Termination of the manufactured home community.(b) A manufactured home lessee shall only be evicted in accordance with the followingprocedure:(1) A lessee shall not be evicted by any self-help measure.(2) Prior to the commencement of any eviction proceeding or the termination of or failure torenew the lease of a lessee, the manufactured home community owner shall notify the manufacturedhome community lessee in writing of the particular breach or violation of the lease or communityrules by certified or registered mail.(i) In the case of nonpayment of rent, the notice shall state that an eviction proceeding may becommenced if the manufactured home lessee does not pay the overdue rent within 20 days from thedate of service if the notice is given on or after April 1 and before September 1, and 30 days if givenon or after September 1 and before April 1 or an additional nonpayment of rent occurring within sixmonths of the giving of the notice may result in immediate eviction proceedings.(ii) In the case of a breach of the lease or violation of the community rules, other than non payment of rent, the notice shall describe the particular breach or violation. No eviction actionshall be commenced nor shall the manufactured home community owner terminate or refuse to renew the lease of the manufactured home community lessee unless the manufactured homecommunity lessee has been notified as required by this section, and upon a second or subsequentviolation or breach occurring within six months, the manufactured home community owner may commence eviction proceedings at any time within 60 days of the last violation or breach.(c) A manufactured home community lessee shall not be evicted nor shall the manufacturedhome community owner terminate or refuse to renew the lease of a manufactured home communitylessee when there is proof that the rules the lessee is accused of violating are not enforced withrespect to the other manufactured home lessees or non residents on the community premises.

 

Section 4. Community Rules and Regulations.--(a) A manufactured home community owner may at any time establish fair and reasonable rules and regulations reasonably related to the health,

Page 4 safety and upkeep of the community, provided the rules and regulations are not arbitrary or capricious and are included in any written lease and delivered to existing lessees and are posted in the public portion of the community office or other conspicuous and readily accessible place in the manufactured home community.(b) All rules or rental charges shall be uniformly applied to all manufactured home lessees orprospective manufactured home occupants of the same or similar category. THE LESSEE SHALL BE PROVIDED WITH A WRITTEN COPY OF THE RULES AND REGULATIONS PRIOR TO THE OWNER'S OROPERATOR'S ACCEPTANCE OF ANY INITIAL DEPOSIT, FEE OR RENT. In addition a copy of this act shall be posted in the public portion of the community office or other conspicuous and readilyaccessible place in the mobile home park and a copy of the following notice shall be reproduced in capital typewritten letters or in ten-point boldface print and be given to each resident upon enteringinto the lease."IMPORTANT NOTICE REQUIRED BY LAW The rules set forth below govern the terms of your lease or occupancy agreement with thismanufactured home community. The law requires all of these rules to be fair and reasonable.As a lessee, you may continue to stay in this community as long as you pay your rent and otherreasonable fees, service charges and assessments hereinafter set forth and abide by the rules of thecommunity. Entrance and exit fees may not be charged. Installation and removal fees may not becharged in excess of the actual cost to the manufactured home community owner or operator for providing such service for the installation or removal of a manufactured home in a manufacturedhome space.As a lessee, you may be evicted for any of the following reasons:(1) Nonpayment of rent.(2) A second or subsequent violation of the rules of the manufactured home communityoccurring within a six-month period.(3) If there is a change in use of the community land or parts thereof.(4) Termination of manufactured home community.As a lessee, you shall only be evicted in accordance with the following procedure:(1) A lessee shall not be evicted by any self-help measure.(2) Prior to the commencement of any eviction proceeding, the manufactured home community

Page 5 owner shall notify the lessee in writing of the particular breach or violation of the lease or communityrules by certified or registered mail.(i) In the case of nonpayment of rent, the notice shall state that an eviction proceeding may be commenced if the manufactured home lessee does not pay the overdue rent within 20 days from the date of service if the notice is given on or after April 1 and before September 1, and 30 days if givenon or after September 1 and before April 1 or an additional non payment of rent occurring within sixmonths of the giving of the notice may result in immediate eviction proceedings.(ii) In the case of a breach of the lease or violation of the community rules, other thannonpayment of rent, the notice shall describe the particular breach or violation. No eviction actionshall be commenced unless the lessee has been notified as required by this section, and upon asecond or subsequent violation or breach occurring within six months, the manufactured homecommunity owner may commence eviction proceedings at any time within 60 days of the lastviolation or breach.As a lessee, you shall not be evicted when there is proof that the rules you as the lessee are accused of violating are not enforced with respect to the other manufactured home residents ornonresidents on the community premises.In addition, no eviction proceeding for nonpayment of rent may be commenced against you as the lessee until you have received notice by certified or registered mail of the nonpayment and have been given to pay the overdue rent 20 days from the date of service if the notice is given on or after April 1 and before September 1, and 30 days if given on or after September 1 and before April 1. However, only one notice of overdue rent is required to be sent to you as the lessee during any six month period. If a second or additional violation occurs within six months from the date of the firstnotice then eviction proceedings may be immediately started against you.You are entitled to purchase goods or services from a seller of your choice and the communityowner shall not restrict your right to do so.If you desire to sell your manufactured home, the manufactured home community owner maynot prevent the sale and may not claim any fee in connection therewith, unless there exists aseparate written fee agreement. However, the manufactured home community owner may reservethe right to approve the purchaser as a resident in the manufactured home community.Enforcement of the Manufactured Home Community Rights Act is by the Attorney General of the

Page 6 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the District Attorney of the county in which the manufacturedhome community is located. As a lessee, you may also bring a private cause of action. If your rights are violated you may contact the State Bureau of Consumer Protection or your local District Attorney."Section 3.The act is amended by adding a section to read:

 

Section 4-A. Written Lease.--(a) Every lease for a manufactured home space shall be in writing and shall be for a duration term of one month, unless a longer period is mutually agreed upon by both the lessee and manufactured home community owner, and shall be renewable.(b) RENTS FOR A MOBILE HOME SITE, COMMONLY KNOWN AS GROUND RENTS, shall not change more than once in a 12-month period.(c) FOR EACH LEASE PERIOD OVER 60 days prior to the expiration of the term of a manufactured home community lease, the manufactured home community owner shall offer the lessee a renewal lease for the same term and with the same provisions as the original agreement, unless the manufactured home community owner notifies the lessee in writing OF ANY CHANGES, at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the lease. Section 4. Sections 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 16 of the act are amended to read:

 

Section 5. Underskirting and Tie-down Equipment.--A manufactured home community owner or operator may designate the type of material or manner of installation for underskirting, awnings,porches, fences or other additions and alterations to the exterior of the manufactured home and tie down equipment compliant with all applicable requirements of the act of November 29, 2004(P.L.1282, No.158), known as the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act and the act of November10, 1999 (P.L.491, No.45), known as the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, in order to insure thesafety and good appearance of the manufactured home community, but under no circumstances maya resident be required to purchase such equipment from a supplier designated by the communityowner or operator.

 

Section 6. Disclosure of Fees.--(a) All rent, fees, service charges and assessments payable to the community owner and utility charges for water, sewer, trash, INTERNET, cable, electricity and fuelcharges payable to the owners or others AND NOTICE OF ANY OTHER UTILITY CHARGES FORWHICH THE LESSEE MAY BE RESPONSIBLE shall be fully disclosed in writing to a prospectivemanufactured home lessee prior to the manufactured home community owner or operator's

Page 7 acceptance of any initial deposit, fee or rent and prior to execution of the manufactured home spacelease. For current manufactured home residents the manufactured home community owner oroperator shall fully disclose all rent, fees, service charges and assessments payable to the communityowner and utility charges for water, sewer, trash, cable, electricity and fuel charges payable to othersin writing prior to the execution of a mandatory lease of at least one month in duration.(b) The manufactured home community owner may require that the prospective lessee or current lessee sign a receipt indicating receipt of a copy of the required disclosure and the manufactured home community rules and regulations so long as these documents are clearly identified in the receipt itself. The receipt shall indicate nothing more than that the documents identified in the receipt have been received by the lessee.(c) Failure to disclose such rent, fees, service charges and assessments shall render them voidand unenforceable in the courts of the Commonwealth. Increases in such rent, fees, service chargesand assessments payable to the owner shall be unenforceable until 30 days after notice thereof hasbeen posted in the public portion of the community office or other conspicuous and readily accessibleplace in the manufactured home community and mailed to the manufactured home lessee. However,rent shall not be increased during the term of the lease.(d) The written disclosure shall contain a cover sheet with the following statement in 12-point,sans-serif type, except the term "five days" in the final paragraph of the notice shall appear in 16-point, sans-serif, bold type.This document contains important information regarding your legal rights and your financialobligations in leasing or renewing or signing a new lease for a manufactured home space. Makesure that you read the entire document and seek legal advice if you have any questionsregarding the information stated in this document.The statements contained in this disclosure are only summary in nature. A prospective lesseeshould refer to all references, including all lease or rental agreement documents as well as anyrules and regulations that have been established for the manufactured home community. Oralrepresentations should not be relied on as correctly stating the representations of themanufactured home community owner or operator. Instead, you should refer to the lease or rental agreement and required disclosure documents for correct representations. You should alsorefer to the act of November 24, 1976 (P.L.1176, No.261), known as the Manufactured Home

Page 8 Community Rights Act, to become familiar with your obligations and rights as a manufacturedhome resident.You have five CALENDAR days from the date you received this documentation to cancel youragreement in writing to the manufactured home community owner or operator.(e) All new leases, lease extensions and lease renewals, WHICH ARE FOR MORE THAN A 60-DAYPERIOD, shall contain the following full disclosures:(1) The manner in which utility and other services, including, but not limited to, sewage andwaste disposal, cable television, water supply and storm drainage, will be provided, and the entityproviding them. The services and the lot rental amount or user fees charged by the manufacturedhome community owner for the services provided by the manufactured home community owner shallalso be disclosed.(2) An explanation of the manner in which the manufactured home space rental amount will beincreased, including, but not limited to, notification to the manufactured home lessee at least 60 daysin advance of the increase.(3) Disclosure of any factors that may affect the lot rental amount, including, but not limited tothese factors:(i) Water rates.(ii) Sewer rates.(iii) Waste disposal rates.(iv) Maintenance costs, including costs of deferred maintenance.(v) Management costs.(vi) Property taxes.(vii) Major repairs or improvements.(viii) Any other fees, costs, assessments or service charges that the manufactured home lesseeis required to pay or that the manufactured home owner or operator intends to charge during theterms of the lease or rental agreement.(4) Disclosure of the manner in which the pass-through charges will be assessed.(5) A report of the utility fees charged for the manufactured home space paid to theCOMMUNITY OWNER by a prior lessee during the previous 12 months.(6) Disclosure of all SERVICE CHARGES currently charged for services offered which the

Page 9 manufactured home lessee may elect to incur and the manner in which the fees will be increased.(7) Any manufactured home community rules and regulations that have been established and anexplanation of the manner in which the rules and regulations will be set, changed or promulgated.(8) THE rent history OF THE MANUFACTURED HOME SPACE for the three full calendar years immediately preceding the prospective initial rental agreement date. This information shall be for basic manufactured home space rental only and does not apply to other fees such as late charges and guest fees. Additionally, the calculation of rent history shall be posted in the public portion of themanufactured home community's rental office or other conspicuous and readily accessible place and in the same place as any rules and regulations that have been established for the manufacturedhome community are posted.(9) Citations or other documents from Federal, State or local governmental agencies whichrequire the manufactured home community owner to take corrective action, including citations fromthe Department of Environmental Protection regarding water and sewage. Such information shall alsobe posted within the community in the same place as manufactured home community rules andregulations are displayed until the corrective action has been completed.

 

Section 7. Appliance Installation Fees.--No manufactured home community owner or operatormay restrict the making of any interior improvements in a manufactured home so long as suchimprovements are in compliance with applicable building codes and other provisions of law; nor mayhe restrict the installation, service or maintenance of an electric or gas appliance in a manufacturedhome or charge any fee for such installation unless the fee reflects the actual cost to themanufactured home community owner or operator of such installation or its use.

 

Section 9. Installation and Removal Fees.--(a) Any fee charged by the community owner for theinstallation or removal of a manufactured home in a manufactured home space shall not exceed theactual cost to the manufactured home community owner or operator for providing such service. Suchfees shall be refundable to the lessee at the time of removal in the event that the owner or operatoracts to recover possession of said space for reasons other than nonpayment of rent or breach of acondition of the lease within one year of the initial installation of such manufactured home. Failure torefund such fees as provided shall entitle the lessee to recover treble their amount plus court costsand reasonable attorney fees.(b) Limitations on this type of installation fee shall not bar the manufactured home community

Page 10 owner or operator from requiring a reasonable security deposit in accordance with the act of April 6,1951 (P.L.69, No.20), known as "The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951."

 

Section 10. Other Fees.--In accordance with a lessee's right to invite to the lessee's dwelling unitsuch social and business visitors as the lessee wishes, no fee may be charged for overnight visitors orguests occupying a lessee's manufactured home. However, if such overnight visitors or guests sofrequently remain overnight for residential purposes so as to increase the number of personsnormally living in the unit, the owner or operator of a manufactured home community may revise therent due to conform to the rent paid by other lessees with a like number of members in theirhousehold.

 

Section 11. Sale of Manufactured Homes.--(a) Any rule, regulation or condition of a lease purporting to prevent the sale of a manufactured home belonging to a lessee shall be void and unenforceable in the courts of the Commonwealth. The manufactured home community owner oroperator may reserve the right to approve the purchaser of said manufactured home as a lessee, but such approval may not be unreasonably withheld. Any claim for a fee or commission in connectionwith the sale of such manufactured home shall be void and unenforceable unless the claimant shall infact have acted as a bona fide licensed manufactured home sales agent for the manufactured homeowner pursuant to a separate written fee agreement.(b) Prior to a lessee or occupant in a manufactured home community offering a manufacturedhome for sale, the lessee or occupant must obtain from the community operator the then-currentdisclosure document required by this act and provide a copy to any prospective buyer along with anattached sheet of paper with the following information printed in 12-point boldfaced type:Be advised that this manufactured home offered for sale is subject to the Manufactured HomeCommunities Rights Act and a written lease required under that law. You are advised that thecommunity in which this home is now placed requires an approved application for lessees andoccupants and a fully executed lease prior to your right to reside in the community.You shall have a minimum of 5 CALENDAR days after receiving this disclosure required under theManufactured Home Communities Rights Act to void the transaction with the operator, if any,and, if terminated, you shall be returned any deposits and rents paid to the operator of thecommunity.(c) Failure of the resident seller to obtain a dated acknowledgment from the prospective buyer of

Page 11 the manufactured home of receipt of the disclosure may be grounds for cancellation of the sale bythe buyer.

 

Section 12. Waiver of Rights.--The rights and duties of manufactured home community ownersand operators and the [mobile] manufactured home lessees may not be waived by any provisions ofa written or oral agreement. Any such agreement attempting to limit these rights shall be void andunenforceable in the courts of the Commonwealth.

 

Section 13. Damages.--(a) Any manufactured home community owner, operator or lesseeaggrieved by a violation of their rights under this act may institute a private cause of action torecover damages, or for treble damages where so provided in this act, or for restitution in anyappropriate court of initial jurisdiction within the Commonwealth.(b) If disclosure as required by section 6 was not provided to the manufactured homecommunity prospective first-time lessee prior to execution of the manufactured home space rentalagreement or prior to initial occupancy of a manufactured home, the rental agreement is voidable bythe lessee DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF OCCUPANCY until five CALENDAR days after the receipt ofthe disclosure by the lessee.(c) To VOID the rental agreement, the prospective first-time lessee shall deliver written notice tothe manufactured home community owner or operator within five days after receipt of the disclosureand shall thereupon be entitled to a refund from the owner or operator of the community of anydeposit together with installation costs for the manufactured home, paid to the owner or operator ofthe community park.(d) The manufactured home community owner or operator may not collect rent from aprospective first-time lessee until the manufactured home community owner or operator and thelessee have entered into the rental agreement.(e) When the manufactured home community owner or operator and a manufactured homelessee execute a new, renewed or extended LEASE for a manufactured home space, WHICHINCREASES RENT OR PAYABLES TO THE LESSOR, the manufactured home community owner oroperator may not collect INCREASED RENT OR FEE PAYABLE rent from the manufactured home lessee until the manufactured home community owner or operator and the manufactured home lessee have entered into the new, renewed or extended lease. After receiving 60 days' notice of thecommunity owner's or operator's intent to offer a new lease, the manufactured home occupant shall

Page 12have 30 days to either accept the new, renewed or extended rental agreement or to notify themanufactured home community owner or operator of intent to vacate within 30 days. No INCREASED rent or FEE lease charges shall be effective against a lessee prior to the 61st day after receiving the owner or operator notice.(f) A manufactured home lessee who chooses not to enter into a new, renewed or extendedrental agreement shall have 60 days from the date of notification of intent to vacate themanufactured home community, to enter into contract to sell or to relocate the manufactured home.NO INCREASED RENT FEE OR LEASE CHARGE SHALL APPLY DURING THIS PERIOD. So long as themanufactured home community owner or operator complied with disclosure as provided in section 6,the manufactured home lessee who does not enter into a new, extended or renewed rentalagreement shall not be entitled to relocation costs.

 

Section 16. Retaliatory Evictions.--Any action by a manufactured home community owner oroperator to recover possession of real property from a manufactured home community lessee or tochange the lease within six months of a lessee's assertion of rights under this act or any other legalright shall raise a presumption that such action constitutes a retaliatory and unlawful eviction by theowner or operator and is in violation of this act. Such a presumption may be rebutted by competent evidence presented in any appropriate court of initial jurisdiction within the Commonwealth.This act shall apply to:(1) New sales and leases of manufactured home community spaces entered into after theeffective date of this section.(2) Extensions and renewals of leases of manufactured home community spaces enteredinto after the effective date of this SECTION.This act shall take effect in 150 days.APPROVED – The 19th day of October, A.D. 2010

Edward G. Rendell, Governor