BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 2120
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 28, 2010

                                 Norma Torres, Chair
                    AB 2120 (Silva) - As Amended:  March 22, 2010
          SUBJECT  :   Mobilehome parks.

           SUMMARY  :  Requires the management in a mobilehome park to notify  
          all homeowners where they can obtain a copy of the Mobilehome  
          Residency Law (MRL) prior to February 1 of each year, if a  
          significant change was made in the MRL by legislation enacted in  
          the prior year.

           EXISTING LAW  

          1)Requires all rental agreements in mobilehome parks to be in  
            writing (Health and Safety Code Section 798.15).

          2)Requires a copy of the text of the MRL to be attached as an  
            exhibit to all rental agreements and states that the MRL shall  
            be incorporated into the rental agreement by reference (Health  
            and Safety Code Section 798.15).

          3)Requires management to provide all homeowners with a copy of  
            the MRL prior to February 1 of each year, if a significant  
            change was made in the law by legislation enacted in the prior  
            year (Health and Safety Code Section 798.15).

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   None

           COMMENTS  :   

          The Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) is California's  
          landlord-tenant law for mobilehome parks.  When a homeowner  
          signs a rental agreement in a mobilehome park, a copy of the  
          text of the MRL must be attached as an exhibit.  Anytime the MRL  
          is significantly changed, park management must provide a new  
          copy of the MRL to every homeowner by February 1 of the next  
          year.  The requirement to provide a new copy of the MRL to every  
          homeowner every time there is a significant change to the law  
          has been in statute since 1981.  Since then, the MRL has been  
          changed every year.  

          The MRL encompasses Civil Code Sections 798-799.9.  The bills  


                                                                  AB 2120
                                                                  Page  2

          sponsor, the Western Manufactured Housing Communities  
          Association, prepares copies of the law for its member parks to  
          distribute that are 20 pages long.  The Senate Select Committee  
          on Manufactured Homes and Communities annually produces a  
          publication that includes the full text of the MRL.  In the  
          English version of that document (it is also available in  
          Spanish), the MRL takes up 54 pages. 

          AB 2120 proposes to eliminate the requirement that management  
          provide a new copy of the MRL to homeowners and instead require  
          management to notify residents where they can obtain a copy of  
          the MRL by February 1 of each year in which the law was changed  
          by legislation enacted in the prior year.
           Arguments in support
          According to the sponsor:

               "?the requirement to physically distribute copies of the  
               MRL each year has become both an environmental burden and  
               cost-prohibitive for WMA members, especially given the  
               economy.  When the provision was added to the MRL to  
               require distribution, the body of law was more condensed (4  
               pages-WMA publication) as opposed to today (20 pages-WMA  

               Prior to other means of communication, it may have made  
               sense to physically distribute certain documents, such as  
               the MRL, because there was no other way of obtaining the  
               information.  However, the advent of the internet is  
               dramatically changing the way government interacts with the  
               public and the way business interacts with its customers.   
               The annual distribution of the MRL makes no sense anymore  
               given the numerous other ways residents can access the  

               There are approximately 365,000 mobilehome spaces in the  
               state of California spread among 4,700 parks.  This means  
               that if every space were to receive the minimum of one copy  
               per year, that is 7,300,000 pages that need to be printed  
               [based on WMA's 20-page publication], every single year.   
               Since the phrase 'significant change is subjective,  
               mobilehome park owners simply provide a new document every  
               single year regardless of the significance of the change in  
               the body of law."


                                                                  AB 2120
                                                                  Page  3

           Arguments in opposition
          According to the Golden State Manufactured-Home Owner's League,  
          the Western Center on Law & Poverty, and the California Rural  
          Legal Assistance Foundation:

               "Because most homeowners can not easily move their home,  
               the rights established in the MRL?are critical to  
               protecting their investment in their home.  Indeed, he MRL  
               defines so much of the day-to-day rights and  
               responsibilities of homeowners, the law has long required  
               that the MRL be incorporated into the lease.

               This is why the requirement to give homeowners a copy of  
               the MRL annually, when the MRL has been amended  
               substantively, was first established-to ensure that  
               homeowners have an up-to-date copy of the law that protects  
               their investment, and governs their relationship with the  
               park owner.  This gives homeowners the ability to make  
               informed decisions about enforcing their rights and  
               observing their responsibilities.

               We see no meaningful benefit to deleting this requirement.   
               Indeed, doing so may lead to more litigation and conflict,  
               and put unsophisticated homeowners at risk.  Without this  
               requirement, many homeowners are unlikely to know of  
               changes in the law and may lead many to rely on an outdated  
               copy of the MRL.  The consequences of this could be  
               disastrous for a homeowner who may lose his or her home if  
               evicted over a misunderstanding of the law."

           Committee amendments

           Strike the changes to the law currently in the bill and replace  
          with language stating that by February 1 of each year in which  
          the MRL was significantly changed by legislation enacted in the  
          prior year, management must do one of the following:

               1)     Provide all homeowners with a copy of MRL; or 

               2)     Provide written notice to all homeowners that there  
                 has been a change to the MRL and that they may obtain one  


                                                                  AB 2120
                                                                  Page  4

                 copy of the text of the law from management at no charge.  
                  Management must provide the copy within a reasonable  
                 time not to exceed ten days upon written request.  

          This ensures that homeowners will know when the MRL is  
          substantively changed and can still receive a free, printed copy  
          of the text of the law if they wish.


          Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (sponsor)
          California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance

          Executive Council of Homeowners
          California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation 
          Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners' League
          Western Center on Law & Poverty
          Individual letters (55)
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Anya Lawler / H. & C.D. / (916)