SB753 - Creates the mobile home landlord and tenant rights act - Coleman
SB 0753 Creates the mobile home landlord and tenant rights act
Sponsor:Coleman
LR Number:2818S.01I Fiscal Note:2818-01
Committee:Small Business, Insurance & Industrial Relations
Last Action:02/11/04 - Hearing Conducted S Small Business, Insuarance and Journal page:
Industrial Relations Committee
Title:
Effective Date:August 28, 2004
Full Bill Text | All Actions | Available Summaries | Senate Home Page | List of 2004 Senate Bills
Current Bill Summary

SB 753 - This act governs the legal rights and remedies of mobile home leases and mobile home lots containing five or more mobile homes.

ORDINANCES AND CODES - Under this act, no person shall rent or offer for rent or sale any mobile home that does not conform to sanitation, housing and health codes.

EXEMPTIONS - Mobile home parks operated by the state or federal government and recreational camper or travel parks are not subject to the provisions of this act.

LENGTH OF LEASES - Under the act, mobile home park owners are required to offer each tenant a written lease for a term of not less than 12 months, unless the parties agree to a different term subject to existing leases, which shall be continued pursuant to their terms. Tenants in possession on the effective date of this act shall have 30 days after the receipt of the offer for a written lease to accept or reject the offer. The park owner must notify his tenants in writing within 30 days of the effective date of this act that a written lease is available. If the tenant shall fail to sign and return the written lease to the park owner within 30 days, then the tenancy may be terminated by the park owner only by giving the tenant written notice that the tenancy shall terminate not sooner than 60 days from the date the rent payment next becomes due.

RENEWAL OF LEASE - Every lease of a mobile home or mobile home lot shall contain an option which automatically renews the lease unless:

(1) The tenant provides 30 day notice that he does not desire to renew the lease;

(2) The park owner provides the tenant 120 days notice that the lease will not be renewed due to specific reasons; or

(3) The park owner elects to cease operation of the mobile home park. If the park owner is ceasing operations of the park, the tenant shall be entitled to a minimum of 120 days notice. If there is less than 120 days remaining in the term of the lease, the tenant is entitled to the balance of his lease plus a written month to month tenancy, at the expiring lease rate, to provide the tenant with a full 120 days notice.

TERMS OF FEES AND RENTS - The terms for payment of rent and fees shall be specifically itemized in the lease. Rent charged by a park owner may be increased upon the renewal of a lease provided 60 days notice has been provided prior to the expiration of the lease. Any provision of a lease whereby the provisions of this act are waived is void.

MOBILE HOME PARK PROVISIONS - All mobile park leases shall contain covenants which bind the park owner to:

(1) Keep the park area free from weeds and plant growth;

(2) Maintain all utilities in good working condition;

(3) Respect the privacy of tenants;

(4) Maintain all roads withing the park in good condition;

(5) Disclose the names and addresses of all the owners of the park;

(6) Provide a custodian's office and furnish each tenant with the name and address of the custodian.

LEASE PROHIBITIONS - No lease shall contain a provision that:

(1) Allows the park owner to charge a late fee without allowing the tenant a 5-day grace period;

(2) Allows the park owner to charge an amount in excess of one month's rent as a security deposit;

(3) Requires the tenant to pay fees not specified in the lease;

(4) Allows the park owner to move the mobile home to a different lot.

No lease shall require the tenant to purchase a mobile home from the park owner.

TENANT DUTIES - The act outlines the basic duties of the tenant. For example, the tenant is prohibited from storing inoperable motor vehicles at the mobile park and refrain from storing furniture on the premises.

RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE PARK - Rules promulgated by the park owner are enforceable only if copies of the rules were delivered to the tenants prior to signing the lease; they apply to all tenants in a fair manner; the rules fairly inform the tenant of what he or she can do or not do; and the rules are not for the purpose of evading the obligation of the park owner.

This act requires the Missouri Housing Development Commission to produce a distribute pamphlets delineating the rights of mobile home landlords and tenants under this act. All new tenants shall be offered a pamphlet before they are obligated under a lease and shall sign an acknowledgment of receipt to be kept on file by the park operator.

STATUTORY GROUNDS FOR EVICTION - Under the act, a park owner may only evict a tenant for:

(1) Non-payment of rent;

(2) Failure to comply with park rules; or

(3) Failure to comply with local ordinances or other state laws regulating mobile homes.

IMPROPER GROUNDS FOR EVICTION - A tenant shall not be evicted for:

(1) Exercising his or her rights under the lease;

(2) Complaining to any governmental authority regarding the park owner's alleged violations of any health or safety law, regulation, code or ordinance; or

(3) Being a member of a home owners association.

SECURITY DEPOSITS - Mobile home park owners are required to give the tenant an itemized list of damages within 15 days after the expiration of the lease. The park owner's failure to furnish an itemized list shall constitute an agreement that no damages have incurred and that the security deposit is due to the tenant. Park owners owning parks containing 25 or more mobile homes shall pay interest to the tenant on security deposits.

RESTRICTIONS ON GOODS AND SERVICES - Under the act, park owners are prohibited from restricting a tenant's access to goods and services. A park owner cannot require the tenant to purchase gas or fuel from a particular dealer as a condition of the lease unless the owner provides the gas or fuel through a centralized distribution system.

TERMINATION OF LEASE - A tenant may terminate a lease and vacate the premises if the park owner fails, within 30 days of written notice, to remedy a condition which deprives the tenant of his or enjoyment of the premises. A park owner who is found in violation of any code, statute, ordinance, or regulation governing the operation of a mobile home park or the maintenance of premises shall be liable for court costs and reasonable attorney fees. A park owner may terminate the lease if the tenant fails to pay rent after the owner has provided notice. If a tenant breaches any of the mobile home park rules, the park owner must provide the tenant with specific notice of tenant's breach. If the breach continues after the tenant has received such notice, the park owner may terminate the lease.

REMAINING IN POSSESSION - Tenants who remain in possession of the premises after a lease expires shall pay the park owner a sum, not to exceed two times the previous rent, for each day the tenant remains in possession.

MOBILE HOME SALES - Under the act, park owners cannot restrict a mobile home owner from selling his or her mobile home. The park owner cannot restrict a mobile home owner from securing the services of an independent salesperson when selling his or her home. The park owner is prohibited form imposing a fee on the sale of a mobile home unless the park owner assists the mobile home owner in the sale of such home. If the park owner assists the mobile home owner in the sale of his or her mobile home, the fee shall be set forth in writing prior to the sale and shall be a percentage of the actual sales price of the mobile home.

TENANT MEETINGS - Under this act, tenants may hold tenant meetings at reasonable hours and when facilities are available and shall not be subject to prohibition by the park owner. Tenants may ask for assistance from non-profit organizations in organizing a tenants' organization.

SECURITY DEPOSIT - This act requires landlords to return security deposits within 15 days (down from 30 days) or furnish an itemized list of damages.

This act is similar to SB 328 (2003).
STEPHEN WITTE