BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                             SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
                           Senator Ellen M. Corbett, Chair
                              2009-2010 Regular Session


          AB 2120 (Silva)
          As Amended May 20, 2010
          Hearing Date: June 15, 2010
          Fiscal: No
          Urgency: No
          BCP:jd
                    

                                        SUBJECT
                                           
                                  Mobilehome Parks

                                      DESCRIPTION  

          Existing law requires park management to provide all homeowners  
          with a copy of the Mobilehome Residency Law prior to February 1  
          of each year, if a significant change was made in the prior  
          year.  This bill would, instead, give management the option of:  
          (1) providing all homeowners with a copy of the MRL; or (2)  
          providing written notice to all homeowners that there has been a  
          change to the MRL and that they may obtain one copy of the MRL  
          from management at no charge.  

                                      BACKGROUND  

          Enacted in 1978, the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) governs the  
          relationship between park owners or managers and the residents  
          of the 4,800+ mobilehome parks and manufactured housing  
          communities in California.  In most of those parks, residents  
          own their home but lease the land on which their home is  
          installed.  

          In order to ensure those residents have access to the MRL,  
          existing law requires a copy to be attached to their rental  
          agreement and requires management to distribute an updated copy  
          whenever a significant change was made in the prior year.  This  
          bill would, instead of requiring that distribution, give  
          management the option of either distributing a copy or providing  
          a written notice to homeowners that they may obtain a free copy  
          from management. 

                                                                (more)



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                                CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW
           
           Existing law  , the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL), contains nine  
          Articles that extensively regulate the rights, responsibilities,  
          obligations, and relationships between mobilehome park  
          owners/management and park residents.  (Civ. Code Sec. 789 et  
          seq.)

           Existing law  requires a copy of the MRL to be attached as an  
          exhibit and incorporated into the rental agreement by reference.  
           Management is required 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 prior year. (Civ. Code Sec. 798.15.)

           This bill  would, instead, give management the option of: (1)  
          providing all homeowners with a copy of the MRL; or (2)  
          providing written notice to all homeowners that there has been a  
          change to the MRL and that they may obtain one copy of the MRL  
          from management at no charge.  Upon such a request, management  
          must provide a copy within a reasonable time, not to exceed 10  
          days.

                                        COMMENT
          
          1.   Stated need for the bill  

          The author asserts that the required distribution of the MRL  
          "has become both an environmental burden and cost-prohibitive  
          for [the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association  
          (WMA)] members, especially given the economy.  When the  
          provision was added to the MRL in 1987 to require distribution,  
          the body of law was more condensed (4 pages-WMA publication) as  
          opposed to today (20 pages -WMA publication)."  The author  
          further states:

            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, which is 7,300,000 pages that need to be printed,  
            every single year.  In addition, since prospective residents  
            may request a free copy, it really adds up, year after 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. 

                                                                      



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          2.   AB 2120 would preserve the ability to receive a copy of the  
          MRL  

          The Legislature has previously made the policy choice that  
          residents of mobilehome parks and manufactured housing  
          communities should receive a copy of the MRL under several  
          circumstances, including every year there is a significant  
          change.  That choice recognizes the importance of providing  
          residents with a copy of the statutory provisions that govern  
          their rights and obligations.  

          This bill seeks to preserve that ability for residents to  
          receive a copy of the MRL but also responds to concerns about  
          the costs and environmental effects of printing unnecessary  
          copies.  Specifically, this bill would give management a choice  
          to either: (1) distribute a copy to all homeowners; or (2)  
          provide written notice to all homeowners that they may obtain a  
          free copy of the MRL.  Management would have to perform one of  
          those two options (distribute a copy or provide written notice)  
          prior to February 1 of each year in which a significant change  
          was made to the MRL by legislation in the prior year.
          If management elects to provide a written notice, and a  
          homeowner subsequently requests a copy of the MRL, management  
          would be required to provide a copy within a reasonable time,  
          not to exceed 10 days.  That "reasonable time" of up to 10 days  
          would appear to provide management with more than enough time to  
          print up or order additional copies of the MRL should they not  
          have any available. Considering that a 10 day delay between  
          requesting and receiving a copy of the MRL appears to be  
          excessive, the following amendment is suggested to, instead,  
          require a copy to be available within a reasonable time, not to  
          exceed 7 days upon request.  That shorter time frame would  
          appear to provide management with time, if needed, to order or  
          print additional copies of the MRL and ensure that homeowners  
          receive their free copy in a timely manner.

             Suggested amendment  :

            On page 2, line 17, strike out "10" and insert: 7

          The author further notes that management is not a homeowner's  
          only source for copies of the MRL - other entities, such as  
          Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League (GSMOL) and WMA do  
          have copies available.  While it is essential for homeowners to  
          have access to the MRL, and to preserve that protection, it is  
          also important for resources to be available for residents who  
                                                                      



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          do read the statutory language of the MRL and still have  
          questions about their rights and obligations.

          3.   No opposition  

          Committee staff notes that while several groups opposed a prior  
          version of bill, there is no opposition to the current version  
          of the bill.


           Support :  California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance 

           Opposition  :  None Known

                                        HISTORY
           
           Source  :  Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association

           Related Pending Legislation  :  None Known

           Prior Legislation  :  None Known

           Prior Vote  :

          Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee (Ayes 9,  
          Noes 0)
          Assembly Floor (Ayes 68, Noes 0)

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