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  • Summary date: Jun 1 2022 - View Summary

    Enacts Article 8, GS Chapter 42, to be cited as the Mobile Home Park Act. Sets the scope of the Article to apply to mobile homes only, defined as a single-family dwelling built on a permanent chassis designed for long-term residential occupancy and containing complete electrical, plumbing, and sanitary facilities and designed to be installed in a permanent or semi-permanent manner with or without a permanent foundation, which is capable of being drawn over public highways as a unit, or in sections by special permit; or a manufactured home, as defined in GS 143-143.9(6), if the manufactured home is situated in a mobile home park. Includes 11 other defined terms. Provides that the Article's provisions supersede conflicting provisions of the Chapter unless indicated otherwise. 

    Requires a written lease or rental agreement prior to any tenancy or other lease or rental occupancy of space in a mobile home park, defined as a parcel of land used for the continuous accommodation of five or more occupied mobile homes and operated for the pecuniary benefit of the owner of the parcel of land or the owner's agents, lessees, or assignees; includes noncontiguous land parcels that are a part of the same subdivision, but excludes mobile home subdivisions or property zoned for manufactured home subdivisions. Requires notice of quit to be delivered to the homeowner or affixed to the mobile home's main entrance prior to termination of tenancy, with notice given within the time line required for tenancies under GS 42-14, based on the lease term, and include the reason for termination. Limits grounds for termination to five described circumstances, including conduct of the homeowner on the premises that constitutes annoyance to other homeowners or interference with park management; failure of the homeowner to comply with written rules and regulations of the mobile home park in the rental agreement or its amendments; and certain dangerous or criminal conduct of the homeowner, lessee, their guests, or associates. Requires an action for termination be commenced in the manner of other tenancies as described in GS 42-26. Requires the homeowner be given at least 90 days to sell the mobile home or remove any mobile home from the premises from the date the notice is served or posted, unless (1) the occupant is not the owner and the occupancy is contrary to the rules and regulations of the landlord, in which case 30 days' notice is required or (2) conduct of the homeowner, lessee, or their guests or associates on the premises constitutes grounds for termination under new GS 42-85(a)(5), including that which endangers the landlord or other persons on the premises, constitutes willful damage or destruction of property on the premises, constitutes criminal activity, or is the subject of a pending action for public nuisance, in which case 10 days' notice is required. Voids any waiver of notice. Includes specific requirements for notice regarding noncompliance with rules and regulations regarding a statutorily required 30-day period to cure noncompliance.

    Establishes notice requirements of the owner of the mobile home park to the homeowners in the event of the mobile home park being the subject of a condemnation proceeding or acquisition by a governmental agency, and of the landlord when the landlord desires to change the use of the park that would result in eviction of inhabited mobile homes. Allows homeowners to file a complaint with the NC Human Rights Commission (Commission), as provided in the Article in GS 42-108, or bring a cause of action against a landlord, if the landlord makes any oral or written statement threatening eviction for violations or actions that are not one of the five permitted grounds for termination under the Article. Allows the court to award a statutory penalty of up to $20,000 to the homeowner in addition to other authorized remedies under the Article. 

    Details required options a landlord must provide to a homeowner within 30 days of a written demand when the landlord intends to change the use of the land of the mobile home park which would result in displacement of one or more mobile homes, including (1) payment of relocation costs to a location within 100 miles of the park and (2) submission of a binding offer to purchase the mobile home for greater of either a set amount for the home, based on section size and subject to annual adjustment by the Commission, or the appraised in-place fair market value. Defines in-place fair market value and relocation costs. Sets additional requirements and limitations regarding offers to purchase and appraisals under these provisions. Limits the remedies provided to homeowners who have not been otherwise given notice to terminate the homeowner's lease or rental agreement as of the date of the notice of the change in use. Voids any waiver of the remedies provided.

    Places the burden upon the landlord to provide compliance with the Article's notice requirements for termination. Provides defenses for the homeowner to include that the landlord's allegations are false or the grounds for termination are invalid.

    Provides actions the landlord can take upon a homeowner's failure to pay rent when due, including payment of rent or removal of the homeowner's unit, with 10 days' required written notice. Requires 60 days' written notice to increase rent, as specified. Prohibits increasing rent when the mobile home park does not have a current registration with the Commission or has unpaid penalties or fees owed to the Commission, or the landlord has not complied with a Commission order. Voids any increase in violation of these provisions.

    Sets forth a standard form for a notice of termination to be served at the same time and in the same manner of a notice to quit or a notice of nonpayment of rent. Requires the homeowner to appear in court to defend the eviction action. Gives a homeowner at least 48 hours to remove the mobile home and vacate the premises if the court rules in favor of the landlord or park management, and up to 30 days from the ruling if the homeowner prepays the landlord any amounts due and the pro rata share of rent for each day, unless the termination is due to conduct described in GS 42-85(a)(5), including that which endangers the landlord or other persons on the premises, constitutes willful damage or destruction of property on the premises, constitutes criminal activity, or is the subject of a pending action for public nuisance. Prohibits termination for the purpose of making the homeowner's space in the park available for another mobile home or trailer coach.

    Authorizes homeowners to meet and establish a homeowners' association and assemble, free of charge, in the mobile home park's common areas at reasonable hours and when facilities are not in use. Allows charges for cleaning and repair of actual damages. Requires the landlord to host and attend up to two meetings per calendar year upon request by a homeowner or resident, subject to described notice requirements.

    Allows the owner or owner's agent of a mobile home park to charge a security deposit of up to one month's rent, or two months' rent for multiwide units. Requires legal process be used for the collection of utility charges and incidental service charges other than those provided in the rental agreement, or eviction.

    Describes remedies of the landlord associated with summary ejectment, including judgment for possession and a judgment for amounts owed to the landlord and any pro rata daily amount for the homeowner to remain on the premises after judgment. Requires service of a writ of possession by the sheriff in the same manner as other tenancies under GS 42-36.2. Includes required content of the judgments. Provides for extension of execution of the writ for limited situations relating to a safe removal of the mobile home. Provides for removal by the landlord and sheriff in the event removal is not completed within the time permitted by the writ, with limited liability and authority to charge reasonable removal and storage charges to any party. Accounts for security interests on the subject mobile home and notice to security holders. 

    Bars owners or owners' agents from paying or receiving from an owner or seller of a mobile home any entry fee of any type as a condition of tenancy in the mobile home park. Defines entry fee to exclude rent, security deposits, state or local government fees, utilities, incidental reasonable charges for services performed, late fees, or membership fees paid to join a resident or homeowner cooperative that owns the mobile home park. Prohibits the owner or owner's agent of a mobile home park from requiring or giving special preference for purchasing a mobile home from any particular seller. Prohibits mobile home sellers from conditioning a sale on the purchaser locating the home in a particular park or group of parks. 

    Prohibits landlords from requiring payment of a selling fee or transfer fees by a homeowner or prospective homeowner, as specified. Allows homeowners to place for sale signs on or in their mobile home, as specified. Permits charging application fees for prospective buyers buying a mobile home in-place and applying for tenancy in the mobile home park. Bars sellers from paying or offering other consideration to the mobile home park owner or their agent to reserve spaces or induce acceptance of one or more mobile homes in the mobile home park. 

    Establishes statutory maintenance and repair responsibilities of a landlord, and limitations of a landlord's responsibilities, concerning all landlord owned and provided utilities, accessory buildings and structures, and the mobile park premises. Sets notice requirements for service interruptions. Establishes a timeline for the landlord to remit moneys collected from residents for utilities under contract to the utility, and remedies for violations.

    Sets annual notice requirements relating to individual charges for water usage in the mobile home park. Includes monthly billing requirements for water usage by homeowners and residents. Provides for instances of a water leak, including notice and billing requirements.

    Prohibits mobile home park management from taking retaliatory action against a homeowner or resident who exercises any right conferred upon the homeowner or resident by the Article or other law. Establishes situations in which management's action is presumed retaliatory in an action or an administrative proceeding, with limited exceptions, which management may rebut with sufficient evidence of a nonretaliatory purpose. Prohibits management from (1) harassing, intimidating, or threatening, or attempting to harass, intimidate, or threaten, any person for filing or attempting to file a complaint, joining or attempting to join an association of residents or homeowners, engaging in activities to promote the organizing and education of residents and homeowners, or voting or attempting to vote on a matter before the association of residents or homeowners or (2) coercing or requiring a person to sign an agreement. 

    Requires the terms and conditions of a tenancy to be adequately disclosed in writing in a rental agreement by the management to any prospective homeowner prior to rental or occupancy of a mobile home space or lot, which must be signed by both parties with copies provided to each party. Specifies required disclosures and sets conditions for a rental agreement, including that the standard agreement is a month-to-month tenancy. States five prohibited provisions, including binding homeowners to arbitration. Deems it a violation of the Article to require a homeowner to sign a new lease or agreement that violates these requirements and limitations, or to mislead a homeowner about their obligation to sign a new lease or agreement. 

    Requires management to adopt written rules and regulations concerning all homeowners' or residents' use and occupancy of the premises, with criteria rules and regulations must meet to be enforceable. Details requirements for rules or regulations which require homeowners to incur a cost or impose restrictions or requirements on their right of control of their mobile home and any accessory buildings or structures as a separate unit of ownership, as defined, to be found reasonable. Gives further requirements and limitations relating to compliance with rules and regulations of management with regard to the sale or transfer of mobile homes or accessing buildings or structures. Deems as unenforceable any provision in a rental agreement that limits or restricts a homeowner's right to sell a mobile home or accessory building or structure to a buyer of the homeowner's choosing except as permitted by the Article. Provides a procedure for a homeowner to challenge any new or amended rule or regulation within 60 days of notice of management's intent, using the complaint procedure set out in GS 42-108 of the Article. 

    Authorizes the management of a new mobile home park or manufactured housing community development to require as a condition of leasing a home site for the first time the site is offered for lease, that the prospective lessees purchase a mobile home or manufactured home from a particular seller. Allows a licensed mobile home dealer or manufactured home dealer to contract with management of a new park or community development for exclusive rights to first-time rental of one or more home sites. 

    Allows for mediation agreements between management and homeowners, except for nonpayment of rent or in cases which the health or safety of other homeowners is in imminent danger, and provides for the effect of such stipulations in court actions.

    Establishes notice requirements relating to a landlord's intent to sell the park following one of ten described triggering events demonstrating the landlord's intent, and a landlord's intent to change the use of the land comprising the mobile home park. Provides limitations for actions during specified period following notice. Provides groups or associations of homeowners the opportunity to purchase within 180 days of notice, with extensions permitted, with authority to assign the rights to a public entity as specified. Establishes required actions of landlords following notice. Provides for each triggering event to create an independent option to purchase. Details requirements and limitations relating to opportunities to purchase, including six situations that exempt the landlord from the required notice or extension provisions. Allows a group or association of homeowners to submit an offer to purchase at any time absent a triggering event. Deems void any park sale in which the landlord or seller is substantially noncompliant with these provisions. Deems the homeowner rights provided as property interests, and provides that any title transfer subsequent to a triggering event to be defective unless the property interests are secured or until an equitable remedy is provided. Provides for the Commission to investigate violations upon filed complaints or on its own, at the Commission's discretion, and grant remedies under GS 42-91, and impose fines of the greater of up to 30% of the sale or listing price of the park, and file a civil action for relief. Authorizes the Attorney General to investigate possible violations of these provisions, with permitted actions enumerated regarding preliminary findings of substantial noncompliance that are likely to result in significant harm to the property interests of the homeowners. Additionally permits homeowners or their assignees to file a civil action alleging violations of the provisions under GS 42-108 of the Article.

    Allows one or more homeowners to form a cooperative to offer to purchase or finance a mobile home park. Requires the homeowner to be a member of the homeowners' association to participate in the cooperative. Makes participation in a cooperative voluntary. 

    Provides for a homeowner and landlord's private right of action to enforce protections from abuse or disregard of state or local laws, as defined; peaceful enjoyment of the homeowner's mobile home space; and tenancy free from harassment or frivolous lawsuits. 

    Establishes a right of action by any homeowner, assignee, resident, association of homeowners, or landlord for any alleged violation of a rental agreement, and authorizes a court to award economic damages, penalties authorized under the Article, appropriate equitable and injunctive relief, and reasonable attorneys fees and costs, as specified. Provides a court authority to order the 180-day purchase period suspended and to stay or cancel pending transactions, or other equitable relief related to violations of notice of sale and opportunity to purchase requirements, with authority to award a statutory penalty of at least $20,000, not to exceed 30% of the park's purchase price, in addition to fines and penalties imposed by the Commission under GS 42-102 of the Article. Authorizes the court to award a statutory penalty of at least $15,000, not to exceed $50,000 to each aggrieved party for each violation of GS 42-86(c) and (d), relating to prohibited rent increases and required notice of a rent increase. 

    Requires a landlord to grant local government officers and employees access to the park to investigate or conduct a study related to utilities found to create a significant health or safety danger to park residents. 

    Provides for privacy rights of homeowners, with exceptions for entry by consent, in event of an emergency, or the home abandonment. Allows entry for management to fulfill duties and ensure compliance with relevant state and local laws and rules, and the park's rules and regulations, subject to a requirement to make a reasonable effort to provide 48 hours' notice before entry. 

    Establishes recordkeeping requirements for a landlord relating to homeowners and residents, to be kept for 12 months after tenancy ends, with transfer of the records to the new owner upon any sale or transfer of the park. Requires identified records be kept for at least 48 months following any sale or transfer of the park. Sets six requirements for the Commission to consider in adopting rules to implement the provisions. Allows a homeowner to file a complaint with the Commission for any violation. Deems a violation of recordkeeping requirements relating to written rules and regulations adopted during a resident's tenancy or all requirements for keeping records following a sale or transfer  presumed when a landlord has not retained adequate records as required for a resident. 

    Directs the Commission to establish a dispute resolution and enforcement program as part of the Article. Grants the Commission ten powers and duties, including creating and maintaining a registration database of mobile home parks, creating and maintaining a database of mobile home parks that have had complaints filed against them under the program, and annually reporting to the specified NCGA committee and publishing the report to the Commission's website. Authorizes the Attorney General to investigate and enforce compliance with the Article. 

    Sets forth the procedure of the complaint process under the Commission, which includes filing a complaint, the Commission investigating the complaint or initiating an investigation of potential violations on its own, the Commission facilitating negotiations between the parties or making written findings regarding whether a violation occurred, notification of a violation to the parties with required content included, an opportunity to contest the Commission's decision, a seven-day period for a respondent to comply with the notice of violation, the Commission assessing a penalty of up to $5,000 per violation per day a violation remains uncorrected. Grants the Commission the authority to issue a cease and desist order as specified. Provides the grounds and procedure for a contested decision or action of the Commission. Bars landlords from seeking recovery or reimbursement of any penalties imposed by the Commission from a complainant, homeowner, or resident. Deems penalties a lien against the mobile home park until the landlord pays. Makes retaliatory actions for filing a complaint or harassment or intimidation against a homeowner subject to a fine of up to $10,000 imposed by the Commission. Details confidentiality rules relating to complainants. Identifies rights and obligations excluded from enforcement under these provisions. 

    Requires the Commission to register and annually renew all mobile home parks on an individual basis and send notification and information packets to landlords and parks as specified. Establishes a procedure for registration and directs the Commission to establish a registration fee. Allows a landlord to charge homeowners up to half of the registration fee. Requires initial registrations to be filed by February 1, 2023, and within three months after that date of the availability of mobile home lots for rent within a new park. Provides for delinquent registration fees of up to $5,000. Requires the Commission to establish a system to respond directly to inquiries about the registration process, and to create and maintain a database that includes all information collected during the registration process. 

    Details requirements of the database the Commission must create and maintain for complaints filed with the Commission, including preparing an annual report with described content.

    Establishes the Mobile Home Park Fund within the General Fund, maintained by the Department of Administration, to support the Commission. 

    Makes conforming changes to GS 42-14. Repeals GS 42-14.3, Notice of conversion of manufactured home communities.

    Effective October 1, 2022.

    Reenacts GS 105-130.5(b)(24) as it existed immediately before its expiration. Reenacts GS 105-134.6(b)(19) as it existed immediately before its expiration, and recodifies the provision as GS 105-153.5(b)(16). Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2022.