What is the Los Angeles County Mobilehome Park Interim Rent Regulation Ordinance?
On August 14, 2018, the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors introduced an interim mobilehome park rent regulation ordinance. The interim ordinance, which will go into effect 30 days from the date of its adoption, will prohibit rent increases in excess of three percent per year related to mobilehome space rent for a period of 180 days on all properties located in the unincorporated areas of the Los Angeles County.
How do I determine if a mobilehome park is in the unincorporated Los Angeles County?
Visit the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk website at https://lavote.net/precinctmap and type the number and street name of the mobilehome park.
My park owner recently raised my rent. Does the ordinance apply to me?
If the rent was increased by three percent or more on or after February 13, 2018, rent must be capped at that rate for the next 12 months. If rent was increased by less than three percent on or after February 13, 2018, the park owner can increase rent by a percentage—when added to the previous increase—that would not exceed a cumulative three-percent increase. This rate is capped for the next 12 months.
Can a park owner ever raise the rent more than what’s allowed by the ordinance?
If a park owner believes the ordinance keeps them from receiving a fair and reasonable return in operation of the mobilehome park and wants to increase rent more than three percent, they may request a hearing with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA). The park owner must provide evidence to support their claim. A hearing officer will make a determination and provide a response in writing.
What if a park owner is not complying with the ordinance?
If a homeowner-resident believes a park owner is increasing rent more than what’s allowed by the ordinance, they can request a hearing with DCBA. The homeowner-resident must provide evidence to support their claim. A hearing officer will make a determination and provide a response in writing. If it is determined that the park owner is not in compliance, the County can fine the park owner up to $1,000 per offense, per day. A park owner can appeal any fine by requesting an administrative hearing before a hearing officer.
Does the ordinance impact a long-term lease of more than one year?
The ordinance does not impact certain agreements such as long-term leases of more than 12 months. The California Mobilehome Residency Law requires that rental agreements exempt from any local ordinance shall state in the first sentence of the first paragraph that the rental agreement will be exempt from any ordinance, rule, regulation, or initiative measure adopted by any local governmental entity which establishes a maximum amount that a landlord may charge a tenant for rent.
What happens after the interim ordinance expires?
The interim ordinance expires 180 days following its adoption, unless the Board of Supervisors extends the interim ordinance or replaces it with a Mobilehome Rent Regulation Ordinance.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA STATE MOBILEHOME RESIDENCY LAWS
Does state law regulate rent increases in mobilehome parks?
State law, also known as the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL), does not regulate how much rent can be charged or increased. State law does require a 90-day advance written notice to increase rent for all rental agreements. However, if a homeowner-resident has a long-term lease, the lease will limit rent adjustments to fixed amounts and will say how often rents are adjusted.
Does a homeowner-resident have to sign a long-term lease, or are there other options?
- Homeowner-residents have 30 days to accept or reject a long-term lease.
- Homeowner-residents have the option of requesting a month-to-month or annual rental agreement.
- If a homeowner-resident rejects a long-term lease of more than 12 months, the park owner cannot increase the rent above the terms provided for in the rejected long-term lease, for one year after the rejection date.
- Homeowner-residents are allowed 72 hours to cancel the lease by notifying park management in writing.
Can the park manager force homeowner-residents to sign a long-term lease, causing them to lose rent control protections?
- If the current homeowner-resident is residing in the park, they can reject a long-term lease and opt for a shorter term with the same terms and conditions contained in the long-term lease.
- Homeowner-residents have 30 days to review and accept or reject a long-term lease and are given 72 hours to cancel the lease by notifying park management in writing.
- Buyers, or prospective residents, may not have the option to reject a long-term lease.
Is the park allowed to issue an eviction notice to a homeowner without explanation?
In a mobilehome park, a homeowner-resident’s tenancy can only be terminated for just cause. There are seven authorized reasons for termination specified in state law, including violation of a park rule or regulation. Park management must specify which rule was broken, explain the details and advise what to do to correct the violation. Park management must give the homeowner-resident seven days to correct the violation. If the resident violates a rule more than twice in a 12-month period, park management may proceed with eviction whether or not the resident corrected the violation.
Can park management evict a homeowner-resident for late rent payments?
Yes. The homeowner-resident has five days from the due date to pay rent. If the rent is late, the park can give the homeowner-resident a 3-day notice to pay or risk eviction in 60 days. A homeowner-resident can be evicted if they pay their rent late more than three times within a 12-month period.
What rights do mobilehome tenants have in the case of an eviction?
Tenants who rent, but do not own, their mobilehomes are subject to eviction protections and procedures in conventional landlord-tenant law. Under State law, tenants in rental homes for less than one year generally are entitled to a written 30-day notice of termination if there is no cause for termination. Tenants in rental homes for one year or more generally are entitled to a written 60-day notice of termination if there is no cause for termination.
For more information about the ordinance, visit: lacounty.gov/mobilehomeparks/
HOW THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS CAN HELP
The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) can help mobilehome park owners and residents through Consumer Counseling, Dispute Resolution program and Small Claims Court Advisory.
DCBA provides one-on-one consumer counseling via telephone, e-mail, or in-person consultations. This service provides you the opportunity to explain the problem, circumstances, and desired outcome. DCBA staff can work with you on how formulate a plan to resolve the issue.
Dispute Resolution Program (Mediation)
DCBA’s Dispute Resolution Program offers an alternative to going to court and can help you resolve disputes at no cost. The goal of mediation is to help you resolve a dispute. Our trained mediators do not represent either side or decide an outcome. The mediator may guide parties reach a mutual agreement. Participation is voluntary.
If you are unable to resolve your dispute in mediation, you can still go to court.
Small Claims Court Advisors
Small Claims Court is a special court where you can resolve disputes regarding monetary damages. Small claims hearings are informal. There is no jury. Parties represent themselves without lawyers. Small Claims Court handles civil cases suing for $10,000 or less.
DCBA’s Small Claims Court advisors can provide you information on the small claims court procedures, from how to start your case how to collect your judgment. Our services are free.