Chapter 5.16 MOBILEHOME PARK RENT CONTROL REGULATIONS
A. When the county of Los Angeles adopted Chapter 8.57 of the Southern California Code (Ordinance No. 87-0228) to regulate mobilehome parks in the unincorporated areas of the county, the county found that there was within the county of Los Angeles a shortage of spaces for the location of mobilehomes. The area that is now the city of Malibu was previously part of the unincorporated area of the county and was subject to Chapter 8.57 of the Southern California Code. The city of Malibu incorporated on March 28, 1991. There continues to be a shortage of mobilehome spaces in the area that is now the city of Malibu. Because of this shortage, there is a low vacancy rate and rents are presently rising and causing concern among a substantial number of mobilehome park residents. Because of the high cost of moving mobilehomes; the potential for damage resulting therefrom; the requirements relating to the installation of mobilehomes, including permits, landscaping and site preparation; the lack of alternative homesites for mobilehome residents; and the substantial investment of homeowners in such homes, a virtual monopoly exists in the rental of mobilehome park spaces, creating a situation where park owners have unbridled discretion and ability to exploit mobilehome park residents and homeowners.
B. Homeowners are in the unique position of having made a substantial investment in a mobilehome that is situated on land that is rented or leased. In this situation both the park owner and the homeowner have a financial stake in the relationship.
C. Additionally, because park space is virtually unavailable and relocating difficult and costly, the closure of a mobilehome park or its change of use has disastrous implications or results for homeowners, who may find it impossible to relocate to a comparable park.
D. For these reasons, among others, the city council finds and declares it necessary to protect the owners and occupiers of mobilehomes from unreasonable rent increases, while at the same time recognizing the need of park owners to receive a fair return on their property. In addition, the city council finds that it is necessary to provide for the preparation and approval of reports evaluating the impact of changes of use of the parks and provide for measures to mitigate the impact on residents of these changes of use. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6700)
“Allowable legal expenses” means attorney’s fees and costs incurred in connection with successful good-faith attempts to recover rents owing, and successful good-faith unlawful detainer actions not in derogation of applicable law, to the extent same are not recovered from homeowners. Attorney’s fees and costs incurred in proceedings before the commission, or in connection with civil actions against the commission, are not allowable as operating expenses.
“Base rent” means: (1) for spaces not subject to a long term lease that complies with the provisions of Civil Code Section 798.17, the space rent charged on March 28, 1991; and (2) for spaces subject to valid long term leases on March 28, 1991, which leases comply with the provisions of Civil Code Section 798.17, the last space rent charged under the long term lease.
“Capital improvements” means the park owner’s cost of constructing new improvements or replacing old improvements in the mobilehome park, subject to the following limitations:
1. The improvement must: have a life expectancy of five years or more and must be treated as capital improvements for federal and state income tax purposes, and may not be deducted for such tax purposes as expenses.
2. Normal routine maintenance and repair are not capital improvements.
3. Insured repairs and replacement are not capital improvements.
4. The improvements must be permanently fixed in place or relatively immobile.
5. Those improvements that the park owner intends to pass through to the homeowner through special and limited rent increases, except for necessary infrastructure improvements, must be approved by fifty (50) percent plus one of the homeowners.
“Capital improvements” include construction, installation or replacement of all or a portion of a clubhouse, laundry facility or other common area facilities a swimming pool, sauna, hot tub or other recreational amenities, streets, security gates, outdoor or common area lighting, retaining walls, sewer, electrical, plumbing, water or television reception systems, sprinkler systems, or any addition to or upgrade of existing improvements.
“Commission” means the mobilehome park rent stabilization commission, as established by this chapter.
“CPI” means the Consumer Price Index (All Items) prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside area relating to all urban consumers. If the method of calculating the CPI is substantially revised after the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter, the method in effect upon adoption of such ordinance shall continue to be used, or the revised CPI shall be adjusted by the city to correspond to that method.
CPI Adjustment Period. The city shall calculate and furnish a figure constituting the CPI change for use as the basis of rent increases. Such figure need only be based upon available data. This figure shall be based on the changes in the CPI during the last available twelve (12)-month period for which information is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics prior to the effective date of the base rent or current space rent.
“Gross income” means and includes the following:
1. Gross rent, computed as gross rental income at one hundred (100) percent paid occupancy; plus
2. Interest from rental deposits, unless directly paid by the park owner to the homeowner (interest shall be imputed at the rate of five and one-half percent of all deposits, unless such deposits earn greater interest); plus
3. Income from laundry facilities, cleaning fees or services, garage and parking fees attributable to mobilehome spaces; plus
4. All other income or consideration received or receivable for, or in connection with the housing services; minus
5. Uncollected rents due to vacancy and bad debts, to the extent that the same are beyond the owner’s control. Uncollected rents in excess of three percent of gross rents shall be presumed to be unreasonable, unless proven otherwise. Where uncollected rent must be proven, the average of the preceding three years’ experience shall be used, or other comparable method.
“Homeowner” means any person entitled to occupy a mobilehome which is located within a mobilehome park in the city.
“Housing services” means services provided by the park owner related to the use or occupancy of a mobilehome space, including, but not limited to, water and sewer, natural gas, electricity, refuse removal, management and administration (including employee salaries and fringe benefits), maintenance and repairs, supplies, advertising, recreation facilities, laundry facilities, parking, security services, insurance, property taxes, governmental assessments, and other costs reasonably attributable to the operation of the mobilehome park. The term “housing services” shall not include legal fees or mortgage payments, whether for principal, interest, or both.
“Mobilehome” means a structure designated or designed for human habitation, transported over the highways to a-permanent occupancy site, and installed on the site either with or-without a permanent foundation. “Mobile-home” includes a manufactured home, as defined in the Health and Safety Code, but does not include either a recreational vehicle or a commercial coach, as they are defined in the Health and Safety Code.
“Mobilehome park” means an area of land where two or more mobilehome spaces are rented or leased for mobilehomes used as residences. “Mobilehome park” does not include developments which sell lots for mobilehomes or which provide condominium ownership of such lots, even if one or more homes in the development are rented or leased out.
“Mobilehome park owner” or “park owner” means the owner, lessor, operator or manager of a mobilehome park in the city.
“Necessary infrastructure improvements” means maintenance (such as replacement of a necessary component of a system or improvement, and other than normal maintenance or repair which constitute “operating expenses” pursuant to this section of streets, electrical, gas, plumbing, sewer or water systems, except that costs of replacement or repair incurred or required as a result of the park owners negligence.
“Operating expenses” shall include the following:
1. Real property taxes;
2. Utility costs;
3. Management expenses (contracted or park owner-performed), including necessary and reasonable advertising, accounting, insurance, and other managerial expenses, and allowable legal expenses. Management expenses are presumed to be five percent of gross income, unless established otherwise;
4. Normal repair and maintenance expenses, including painting, normal cleaning, fumigation, landscaping, and repair of all standard services, including electrical, plumbing, carpentry, furnished appliances, drapes, carpets and furniture;
5. Park owner performed labor, which shall be compensated at a reasonable hourly rate, based upon documentation being provided, showing the date, time and nature of the work performed;
6. License and registration fees required by law, to the extent same are not otherwise paid by homeowners;
7. Capital expenses with a total cost of less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) per year, benefited unit, and the amortized portion of other capital expenses otherwise allowed by regulation.
“Operating expenses” shall not include:
1. Avoidable and unnecessary expenses since the base year, including refinancing costs;
2. Mortgage principal and interest payments;
3. Any penalty, fees or interest assessed or awarded for violation of this or any other law;
4. Legal fees, except allowable legal expenses as defined in this section;
5. Depreciation of the property;
6. Any expense for which the park owner has been reimbursed by any security deposit, insurance settlement, judgment for damages, settlement or any other method;
7. Land lease payments;
8. Cost of replacement or repair incurred or necessary as a result of the park owner’s negligence or failure to maintain.
“Space rent” means the consideration on a monthly basis, including any bonuses, benefits or gratuities, demanded or received in connection with the use and occupancy of a mobilehome space in a mobilehome park, or for housing services provided, but exclusive of:
1. Any amount paid for the use of a mobilehome;
2. Security deposits and special and limited rent increases;
3. User fees for services or facilities which may be utilized at the option of the homeowners and are not included in monthly space rent; and
4. Utility charges for those mobilehome parks which bill homeowners separately whether or not the mobilehomes are individually metered. (Ord. 121 §§ 5—7, 1994; Ord. 116 § 2 (part), 1994; Ord. 115U §§ 2, 3 (part), 1994; Ord. 75 § 2, 1992; Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6701)
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following tenancies in mobilehome parks located in the city, except that all tenancies in mobilehome parks shall be subject to the registration provisions of Sections 5.16.060 and 5.16.070:
A. Mobilehome park spaces rented for nonresidential uses;
B. Mobilehome parks managed or operated by the United States Government, the state of California, the county of Los Angeles or the city of Malibu;
C. Tenancies which do not exceed an occupancy of twenty (20) days and which do not contemplate an occupancy of more than twenty (20) days;
D. Tenancies for which any federal or state law or regulation specifically prohibits rent regulations;
E. Tenancies subject to rental agreements exempt from local ordinances pursuant to Civil Code Section 798.17; and
F. Tenancies covered by leases or rental agreements existing at the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter which are not exempt pursuant to subsection E of this section, but only for the duration of such leases or rental agreements. Upon the expiration or other termination of such lease or rental agreement, this chapter shall immediately be applicable to the tenancy, unless that lease or rental agreement immediately succeeded by a lease or rental agreement referred to in subsection E of this section. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6702)
A. There is established a commission to be known as the “Malibu Mobilehome Park Rent Stabilization Commission.” The commission shall be comprised of five residents of the city. A member of the commission shall be appointed to a vacant position by four-fifths vote of the city council and serve at the pleasure of the city council. In no event shall any member of the commission be or, at any time during the immediately five years have been, a park owner or homeowner.
B. The city manager shall provide all administrative staff necessary to serve the commission. The city clerk shall serve as secretary of the commission and shall be responsible for the maintenance of all records of the commission. The secretary shall keep a record of its proceedings, which shall be open for inspection by any member of the public. The city attorney or the designee of the city attorney shall act as legal counsel to the commission. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6703)
Within the limitations provided by law, the, commission shall have the following powers and duties:
A. To receive, investigate, hold hearings on, and pass upon all issues relating to mobilehome park rent stabilization, as set forth in this chapter;
B. To make or conduct such independent hearings or investigations as may be appropriate to obtain such information as is necessary to carry out its duties;
C. To adjust space rents either upward or downward upon completion of its hearings and investigations; and
D. To adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind administrative rules to effectuate the purposes and policies of this chapter, within the limitations provided by law or by rules adopted by the city council. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6704)
A. Registration Required. Within sixty (60) calendar days after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, park owners shall register all mobilehome park spaces with the city clerk. No park owners shall be eligible to receive any rent increases as provided for in this chapter unless current registration information is on file with the city clerk.
B. Initial Registration. The initial registration shall include the names, business addresses, and business telephone numbers of each person or legal entity possessing an ownership interest in the park and the nature of that interest, and all lienholders, (no later than thirty (30) days after acquiring such interest); the number of mobilehome spaces within the park; the name and address of each resident; a rent schedule reflecting space rents within the park on December 31, 1984, for all spaces not exempt from this chapter pursuant to Section 5.16.030; a listing of all other charges, including utilities, now included in space rent, paid by homeowners and the approximate amount of each such charge; a list of all spaces exempt from this chapter pursuant to Section 5.16.030 and the reason for the exemption and, for those exempt pursuant to leases or rental agreements, the date of the expiration of the lease or rental agreement and the amount of the rent; and the name and address to which all required notices and correspondence may be sent.
C. Determination of Rents. The city manager or his or her designee shall determine the base rent. The decision of the city staff may be appealed to the commission. The decision of city staff, or the commission on appeal, shall be final. The city manager may promulgate regulations necessary to effectuate the purpose of this section.
1. The city manager or his or her designee may require re-registration as deemed necessary and may promulgate regulations to effectuate the purpose of this section.
2. The registration requirements provided in this section or which may be established by the city shall apply to all mobilehome parks and mobilehome park spaces, including those exempted from the provisions of this chapter by reason of the existence of a valid rental agreement. (Ord. 75 § 3, 1992; Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6705)
A. Establishment of Registration Fee. At the time of initial registration or any subsequent registration, park owners shall pay to the city such registration fee for each mobilehome rental space within the park as may be established by resolution of the city council (not to exceed the reasonable and necessary costs of administration of this chapter). The city council may also provide that up to two-thirds of that fee may be passed through to homeowners as special and limited rent increases if apportioned equally among the spaces and charged in twelve (12) equal consecutive installments.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, where the total annual amount of the fee to be passed through to each homeowner is less than forty-eight dollars ($48.00), the park owner may elect to recover the fee from the homeowners in one lump sum rather than in equal monthly installments.
B. Late Charge. If a park owner does not pay the fee provided for in subsection A of this section within the time period established by the city council, a late charge shall be assessed in an amount established by resolution. No late charges may be passed through as special and limited rent increases to homeowners.
C. Unpaid Fee. No hearing or other proceedings shall be scheduled to take place, and no rent increase will be granted or will take effect for any mobilehome park for which there are unpaid registration fees.
D. Purpose of the Fee. The registration fee provided for by this section is intended to defray the reasonable and necessary costs associated with the administration of this chapter and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.
E. Other Administrative Fees. The city council may set by resolution other administrative fees to cover the reasonable costs of processing various requests and appeals, as it deems necessary. (Ord. 168 § 1, 1997; Ord. 116 § 2 (part), 1994; Ord. 91 § 1, 1993; Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6706)
On or after March 28, 1991, no increase in space rents in excess of the amounts permitted pursuant to Section 5.16.090(A) and (B) shall be effective unless approved by the commission as set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6707)
A. Formula Increases. Space rents may be increased automatically and annually by no more than the total percentage change in the CPI for the applicable CPI adjustment period as determined by the city, except that space rent shall not be increased by more than five percent and may be increased by up to two percent. Calculation of the one-year limitation on formula increases shall be from the date the last formula increase became effective for that particular space.
B. Vacancy Increases. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, upon vacancy, space rent may be increased up to fifteen percent of the then current maximum allowable rent permitted by this chapter prior to the vacancy.
C. Special and Limited Rent and Rent Increases.
1. Government Required Services. The homeowner shall pay to the parks owner, on the herein described terms, no less than sixty (60) days after the park owner has notified the homeowner in writing, the increased costs to the park owner of government required services, which are to be included as part of the homeowner’s rent but separately listed items on the monthly statement.
a. For the purposes of this chapter, “government required services” shall be defined as services required by governmental agencies which are new or in addition to those services legally required to be provided by the park owner to homeowners or to the mobilehome park on March 28, 1991.
b. Such services include fees and charges legally levied by an agency of federal, state or local government upon the park owner. Such services do not include predictable expenses for operation of the mobilehome park, such as common-area utilities expenses or expenses which maintain the safe and healthful use of mobilehome park facilities.
c. The park owner’s actual out-of-pocket costs of providing government required services may be charged to the homeowner upon sixty (60) days’ written notice, using the following formula: Amount actually paid by the park owner, divided by the total number of spaces in the mobilehome park, divided by twelve (12) months, equals the sum for government-required services to be charged to the homeowner. Notwithstanding the formula described above, only those costs of providing governmental required services in the twelve (12) months immediately preceding the proposed charge shall be reimbursed to the park owner by the homeowner in the manner herein described. The park owner shall charge the homeowner only those costs for government required services which are not reimbursed to the park owner by insurance or other sources.
2. Capital Improvements. a.(i) Necessary infrastructure improvements subject only to the provisions of subsection (C)(2)(d) of this section; and (ii) subject to the vote requirements and the capital improvement limitations set forth in Section 5.16.020, and also subject to review by the commission pursuant to Section 5.16.110, the actual net costs of a capital improvement plus an interest charge to compensate the park owner for the use of money in making the improvement, as described below, may be charged to the homeowners upon sixty (60) days’ written notice, using the following formula: net amount actually paid by the park owner for the capital improvement, plus an interest charge as described below, divided by the total number of spaces in the mobilehome park affected by the improvement, divided by the amortization period for the capital improvement allowed by the Internal Revenue Service, equals the monthly sum for capital improvements to be charged to the homeowners and billed separately from space rent.
b. The interest charge that may be added to the costs of materials and labor is the current rate derived from the then-current prime interest rate, computed on a declining balance over a five-year period with equal monthly payments (the five-year period represents the amount of time allowed for fully amortizing the cost of capital improvements).
c. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (C)(2)(a) of this section and Section 5.16.100, the city manager may approve special and limited rent increases for necessary infrastructure improvements upon a showing by the park owners that the proposed improvement meets the requirements of Section 5.16.020 and that the park owner obtained a minimum of three bids from qualified persons/entities to perform the work, if possible, and that the park owner selected the person/entity submitting the lowest responsible bid to perform the work for the proposed necessary infrastructure improvement. No commission review is required or permitted.
D. 1. Sublease Surcharge. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, upon sublease of a space and/or lease of a mobilehome, the space rent may be increased up to fifteen (15) percent of the rent otherwise permitted under this chapter. This rent surcharge shall be effective only for the duration of the sublease and shall be eliminated when and if the sublease is terminated. A sublease surcharge shall not become effective until twelve (12) months after the last vacancy increase pursuant to subsection B of this section. The sublease surcharge rent amount shall be calculated separately and shall not be included in the maximum allowable rent for the purposes of calculating formula increases pursuant to subsection A of this section. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to those spaces granted hardship exemptions pursuant to subsection F of this section for as long as the space is eligible for such exemption.
2. Absentee Owner Surcharge. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, in the event that a homeowner does not use his or her mobilehome at a mobilehome park as a primary or principal residence and the homeowner is not otherwise subject to subsection (D)(1) of this section, the homeowner’s space rent may be increased up to fifteen (15) percent of the rent otherwise permitted under this chapter. This rent increase shall be effective only until the homeowner occupies his or her mobilehome at the mobilehome park as a primary residence or the homeowner subleases his or her space or mobilehome and becomes subject to subsection (D)(1) of this section. For purposes of this chapter, a primary residence is a residence where the homeowner resides for over one hundred eighty-five (185) days during a calendar year.
E. Sublease Hardship Exemption. Upon application, the city manager may grant a hardship exemption in connection with the sublease surcharge, which exemption shall last for a term of one year. At the expiration of any particular term of the exemption, the applicant may apply to renew the one-year term by again establishing qualification for the exemption. The application and renewal application shall be in the forms provided by the city manager with a copy to the park owner and, shall include sufficient evidence to establish whether the applicant qualifies for an exemption pursuant to this section and shall be signed by the applicant under penalty of perjury. The city manager shall grant the exemption for any qualified applicant.
1. Qualification. To qualify for the sublease hardship exemption, the applicant must satisfy all of the following criteria:
a. The applicant must own a mobilehome at the applicable park, and must have occupied the mobilehome as his or her primary residence for a minimum of three years prior to applying for this exemption.
b. The applicant must present adequate evidence that he or she would qualify for the Low Income Rate Payer Assistance Program for Submetered Households.
c. The combined value of assets owned by the applicant must not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000.00) excluding the value of the mobilehome itself.
d. No person other than the applicant can declare the applicant as a dependent for purposes of federal or state taxes.
In the event that the applicant, after receiving the hardship exemption, at any time ceases to satisfy all of the foregoing criteria, from that point on, the applicant will not be qualified to receive, and shall not receive, the hardship exemption.
2. Effect of Exemption. Each applicant who qualifies for the hardship exemption shall be exempt from the sublease surcharge provided in subsection D of this section. (Ord. 121 §§ 2—4, 8, 9, 1994; Ord. 115U § 3 (part), 1994; Ord. 74 § 3, 1992; Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6708)
A. 1. In order to implement a rent increase as permitted under Section 5.16.090 of this chapter or a rent decrease based on a reduction of housing services, the applicant must file with the commission a proposed rent schedule on the form provided by the commission. Any proposed capital improvement to be passed through to homeowners must be approved by the commission after the park owner files an application showing the amount of the expense, the amount to be passed through and proof of a majority vote in favor of the special and limited rent increases.
2. Where the park owner is the applicant, the park owner shall serve each affected homeowner, either personally or by mail, with written notice of the proposed increase, in accordance with state law, and with notice that a request for approval of same is being filed with the commission. Where a homeowner (or homeowners) is the applicant, the homeowner shall serve the affected park owner by mail or personally at the address and to the person designated in the registration form submitted by the park owner to receive notices on behalf of the park owner. The applicant shall file proof of such service with the commission concurrent with the filing of the rent increase or decrease application. Copies of the rent schedule, request for increase and supporting documentation shall be available to any homeowner requesting same at the park owner’s office in the affected mobilehome park.
B. If the city determines that the application is not complete, accurate, or not in compliance with this chapter, within twenty-one (21) days of the date on which the application was filed, the city shall give written notice of the deficiencies to the applicant.
C. The city shall set a hearing on any request complying with the requirements of this chapter no sooner than fifty (50) days and no later than seventy (70) days after the application is accepted as complete. The city shall send written notice to the park owner, who shall post such notice in a conspicuous place, of the time and place set for the hearing. If the commission approves an increase as requested, or lower than requested, the same shall take effect as noticed by the owner or as the commission may otherwise direct.
D. In the application for rent adjustment under this chapter, the park owner shall indicate which, if any, of the mobilehome spaces are covered by leases or contracts which provide for more than a month-to-month tenancy, together with expiration date of each such lease or contract. Any rent increase approved by the commission under this chapter shall not be applicable to spaces covered by such leases or contracts during the term of such leases or contracts.
E. Homeowner(s) in a mobilehome park may initiate commission review of a proposed land rent increase by filing with the city clerk a written petition. The petition shall be in substantially such form and contain such information as may be required by the commission. (Ord. 116 § 2 (part), 1994; Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6710)
A. All review hearings conducted by the commission shall be open to the public.
B. All parties to the hearing may have assistance from an attorney or such other person as may be designated by the parties in presenting evidence or arguing their position. All witnesses shall be sworn in and all testimony shall be under penalty of perjury.
C. In the event that either the park owner or the homeowner(s) should fail to appear at the hearing at the specified time and place, the commission: may hear and review such evidence as may be presented and make such decisions as if both parties had been present.
D. All review hearings shall be tape-recorded. Tapes shall be preserved for six months, or longer, if requested by either party affected by the hearing.
E. The commission may promulgate regulations to effect the purpose of this section and to assure fair hearings. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6711)
A. The commission’s decision shall be based on the preponderance of the evidence at the hearing. All parties to the hearing shall be advised of the commission’s decision and given a copy of the findings upon which the decision is based.
B. Consistent with its findings, the commission may:
1. Permit the requested increase to become effective, in whole or in part;
2. Deny the increase;
3. If circumstances justify, order a reduction in rent to a rate determined by the commission; or
4. Order that the park owner reimburse the applicant(s) the full amount, or any part of the amount, of the application fee where: (a) the applicant for a rent reduction was successful; (b) the park owner has not proven that the rent reduction ordered or the award of costs would deprive the park owner of a fair return as defined in this chapter; and (c) circumstances otherwise warrant the award of costs to the applicant.
C. If the commission finds that an increase that went into effect, or any portion thereof, is not justified, the park owner shall refund the amount found to be unjustified to the homeowner within sixty (60) days after the decision of the commission is announced.
D. If the commission finds that a proposed increase, or any portion thereof that was previously inoperative, is justified, the homeowner shall pay the amount found justified to the park owner within sixty (60) days after the decision of the commission is announced.
E. The conclusions and findings of the commission shall be final.
F. Any party disputing the final conclusions and findings of the commission may seek review of the commission’s actions pursuant to Sections 1094.5 and 1094.6 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. (Ord. 135 § 1, 1995; Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6713)
Formal rules of evidence or procedure which must be followed in court shall not apply to commission proceedings, except to the extent that the commission shall determine. No action of the commission hereunder shall be held void or invalid or be set aside by any court on the grounds of any improper admission or rejection of evidence, or by reason of any error, irregularity, informality, neglect or omission (hereinafter called “error”) as to any matter pertaining to applications, notices, findings, records, hearings, reports, recommendations, or any matters of procedure whatever, including but not limited to those included in this section, unless after an examination of the entire case, including the evidence, the court shall be of the opinion that the error complained of was prejudicial, and that by reason of such error the party complaining or appealing sustained and suffered substantial injury, and that a different result would have been probable if such error had not occurred or existed. There shall be no presumption that error is prejudicial or that injury was done if error is shown. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6714)
After a noticed-public hearing, as it deems necessary, the city council may adopt by resolution guidelines to aid in the implementation of this chapter. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6715)
A. Prior to or at the time of agreeing to rent spare to a new homeowner in a mobilehome park, the owner shall provide each new homeowner or prospective homeowner with a copy of the mobilehome park rent stabilization ordinance, as currently in force.
B. No owner may require, directly or indirectly, that any resident or prospective resident sign a lease or rental agreement that provides that it shall be exempt from local rent control or provides for space rent in excess of that permitted by this chapter as a condition of tenancy in the park and no owner may deny a tenancy to a prospective purchaser of a mobilehome in the park on the ground that the prospective purchaser will not sign such a lease or rental agreement.
C. The notice shall contain a place for the homeowner to acknowledge receipt of the notice. The park owner shall sign an acknowledgment that the required notice has been given to the homeowner and provide the homeowner with a copy of the executed acknowledgment. (Ord. 74 § 1, 1992: Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6716)
A homeowner may refuse to pay any increase in rent which is in violation of this chapter. Such refusal to pay shall be a defense in any action brought to recover possession of a mobilehome space or to collect the rent increase. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6717)
Notwithstanding Section 5.16.160, in any action brought to recover possession of a mobilehome space, the court shall consider as grounds for denial any violation of any provision of this chapter. Further, the determination that the action was brought in retaliation for the exercise of any rights conferred by this chapter shall be grounds for denial. Any action brought within one year of a petition or complaint filed with the commission by the homeowner pursuant to this chapter shall be presumed to be retaliatory; this presumption affects the burden of proof, and is rebuttable by the park owner. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6718)
If any park owner demands, accepts, receives or retains any payment of rent in excess of the maximum lawful space rent, as determined under this chapter, then the homeowners in such mobilehome park affected by such violation, individually or by class action, may seek relief in a court of appropriate jurisdiction for injunctive relief and damages. The prevailing party will recover costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees as part of any court judgment. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6719)
Any person violating any provision, or failing to comply with any requirement of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor under the provisions of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment for a period of not more than six months, or by both. Each violation of any provision of this chapter, and each day during which any such violation is committed, permitted or continued, shall constitute a separate offense. (Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6720)
A park owner may file a rent adjustment application for one, some or all the spaces in a mobilehome park in order to establish the maximum allowable rent or to achieve a fair and reasonable return. Homeowners may file a rent adjustment application based on reduction in services or other grounds established by this-chapter or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the grant of a rent adjustment upon application by a park owner when required to permit a fair and reasonable return to the park owner. The city shall receive relevant evidence, in accordance with applicable regulations, demonstrating that a landlord is not receiving a fair and reasonable return in determining these applications. (Ord. 115U § 4, 1994: Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6721)
A. Statement of Purpose. The purpose of this section is to implement the provisions of state law addressing the adverse impacts on the residents and homeowners in a park which is converted, closed or where the park’s use is changed or ceased.
B. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply in addition to those listed in Section 5.16.020.
1. “Advisory agency” means the planning department, commission, or hearing officer as designated by the city council.
2. “Change of use” means a use of a mobilehome park for a purpose other than the rental, or the holding out for rent, of two or more mobilehome sites to accommodate mobilehomes for human habitation. “Change of use” includes, but is not limited to, a change of the park or any portion thereof to a condominium, stock cooperative, or any form of ownership wherein spaces within the park are to be sold, and the cessation of use of all or a portion of the park, whether immediately or on a gradual basis, or the closure of the park. “Change of use” shall not include mere purchase of the park by its existing homeowners.
3. “Comparable housing” means housing which is comparable in floor space area, deck and lot size, and number of bedrooms and other relevant factors to the mobilehome to which comparison is being made, which housing meets the minimum standards of the State Uniform Housing Code.
4. “Comparable mobilehome park” means any other mobilehome park substantially equivalent in terms of park condition, amenities, ocean views and beach access and other relevant factors.
5. “Date of application for change of use” means the date of filing of an application for rezoning, general plan amendment, use permit, site development permit or other discretionary development approval under this code, which application seeks approval of a change of use of a mobilehome park or the date of the closure or cessation of use.
6. “Eligible homeowner” means a homeowner whose mobilehome or manufactured home was located in a mobilehome park on the date of the application for a change of use.
C. General Requirements.
1. Any person who files an application for a rezoning, general plan amendment, subdivision map, use permit, site development permit or for any other discretionary development approval, for the purpose of a change of use of a mobilehome park or closure, shall file with the advisory agency a report on the impact of the conversion, closure, or cessation of use (hereinafter “closure”) upon the residents of the mobilehome park who will be displaced, no later than the filing of the first such application necessary to authorize such closure.
2. No application shall be considered or deemed completed or processed for consideration and approval unless and until such conversion impact report shall have been filed as required by this subsection.
3. Use of a property as mobilehome park shall not be terminated for the purpose of conversion to another land use or cessation of use until approval by the advisory agency and the city council, or appeal, has been received.
4. No building permit shall be issued on property occupied by a mobilehome park at the effective date of this chapter or hereinafter for uses other than those associated with the mobile home park use and allowed under the special use permit, until approval under this section has been received.
D. Conversion Impact Report.
1. The conversion impact report shall address the availability of adequate replacement housing in mobilehome parks and the cost of relocating displaced residents.
2. In order to evaluate adequately and address those issues, the conversion impact report shall contain the following information:
a. The names, addresses and mobilehome site identification numbers of all persons owning mobilehomes within the mobilehome park and of all mobilehome residents on the date of application for change of use;
b. The age, including date of manufacture, of each mobilehome within such park, including the type of mobilehome, width characteristics, size, and number identifying the mobilehome site being occupied;
c. A list of vacant mobilehome sites in comparable mobilehome parks within a fifty (50) mile radius of the park which is the subject of the application or request;
d. The list shall contain a schedule of site rental rates for each park listed and the criteria of the management of each park for acceptance of new homeowners and used mobilehomes;
e. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of one or more housing specialists from the list compiled by the advisory agency, and the names, addresses and telephone numbers and fee schedules of persons qualified as mobilehome movers and of persons who are qualified appraisers of mobilehomes and an explanation of the services the housing specialists will provide;
f. The applicant may designate other housing specialists, and mobilehome movers and appraisers; provided, that use of any such persons pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to approval by the advisory agency;
g. A relocation plan which will include:
i. Timetable for implementing the physical relocation of mobilehomes,
ii. Implementation of relocation assistance,
iii. Payment of relocation costs, and
iv. Conversion of the park to one or more other uses.
3. The application shall include within the conversion impact report the steps proposed to mitigate any adverse impact on the ability of displaced homeowners to find adequate housing in a mobilehome park, including the reasonable costs of relocation.
a. All eligible homeowners and all mobilehome tenants of eligible homeowners shall be provided with the services of one or more housing experts to assist them in relocating to available and adequate housing upon their request. Any such experts shall be those approved pursuant to this section.
i. A factor to be considered is that the conversion will not result in the displacement of low-income individuals or households who cannot afford rents charged in other parks.
ii. A factor to be considered is it the conversion is to another residential use, the homeowners have first opportunity to occupy and the construction schedule will not result in long-term displacement.
b. No benefits shall be provided to any person who is renting a mobilehome from the owner of the mobilehome park where such person shall have executed a written agreement with such mobilehome park owner waiving his or her rights to any such benefits. No such waiver shall he valid unless it contains the text of this section, and unless such person shall have executed a written acknowledgment that he or she has read and understands his or her rights pursuant to this chapter and knowingly agrees to waive them.
c. In order to facilitate the intentions of the homeowners or tenants and an applicant for a change of use with regard to a change of use, the parties may agree to mutually satisfactory relocation assistance. To he valid such an agreement shall be in writing, shall include a provision stating that the homeowner is aware of the provisions of this chapter, shall include a copy of this chapter as an attachment, shall include a provision in at least ten (10) point type which clearly states the right to seek and the importance of obtaining an attorney’s advice prior to signing the agreement, and shall be drafted in form and content otherwise required by applicable state law. Any person signing such an agreement may rescind it in writing within ten (10) business days of final approval of change of use. Any such agreement which is procured by fraud, misrepresentation, coercion or duress of any kind shall be void and unenforceable.
E. Hearing and Notice.
1. Upon the receipt of an impact report, within thirty (30) days the advisory agency shall examine the same and advise the applicant whether it is complete. When a complete impact report has been filed and accepted by the advisory agency, within thirty (30) days the advisory agency shall set a time, place and date for a hearing.
2. At least thirty (30) days prior to the hearing, the advisory agency shall mail notice to the applicant and the homeowners of the date, time and place of the meeting.
3. At least fifteen (15) days prior to the scheduled public hearing before the advisory agency on the conversion impact report, the applicant shall provide the homeowner and all other persons described with a copy of this chapter, a copy of the conversion impact report, and date and time for an informational meeting pursuant to subsection (E)(4) of this section.
4. Not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the scheduled public hearing before the advisory agency, the applicant shall conduct an informational meeting for the residents of the mobilehome park regarding the status of the application, the timing of proposed relocation of residents, proposed relocation costs and assistance, and the contents of the conversion impact report. The meeting shall be conducted on the premises of the mobilehome park. The housing specialist(s) designated in the impact report shall be present at such meeting.
5. Within five (5) days prior to the public hearing, the applicant shall file with the advisory agency a statement made under penalty of perjury that all requirements pursuant to subsections (E)(3) and (4) of this section have been complied with and include date, time, and place where such meeting as required by subsection (E)(4) of this section occurred.
F. Findings and Decision. At the conclusion of the hearing, the advisory agency shall render its decision. The advisory agency shall approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the relocation impact report. The advisory agency shall approve the relocation impact report if it finds that the relocation impact report contains the information required pursuant to this section. In approving the relocation impact report, the advisory agency may impose such conditions as it finds necessary to mitigate the adverse impacts on the residents; however, any steps required to be taken by the park owner pursuant to this section shall not exceed the reasonable costs of relocation. Notice of the advisory agency action shall be mailed to the park owner, to all homeowners and to all persons who have filed written request therefor.
G. Request for Appeal. The park owner or any homeowner may appeal the advisory agency’s decision to the city council. The appeal shall be filed with the city on a form provided for that purpose within ten (10) days after the action of the advisory agency. When an appeal is filed, it shall be accompanied by a fee in an amount determined according to Section 5.16.070. The city shall, within forty-five (45) days, set a time and date for a hearing, and shall mail written notice of such hearing to the park owner, all homeowners, the person requesting the hearing, the advisory agency and all persons who have filed written request therefor, at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing.
For all requests for hearing, the city council may sustain, modify, reject or overrule any recommendations or rulings of the advisory agency and may make such findings as are not inconsistent with the provisions of this section.
H. Extensions. Any of the time limits specified in this section may be extended by mutual consent of park owner and the advisory agency, or the city council, on appeal, with notice to affected homeowners, except where prohibited by state law.
I. Expiration and Extension of Relocation Impact Report. The approval of a relocation impact report shall become null and void after thirty-six (36) months from the date of the mailing of the final approval of the relocation impact report. Thereafter, the park owner shall not convert, close or cease the use of the park until such time as a new relocation impact report is approved. However, upon application of the park owner, filed with the advisory agency on or before the date of expiration, the relocation impact report may be extended by the advisory agency up to an additional thirty-six (36) months. An application for an extension shall be subject to the notice and hearing procedures of this section.
J. Conditions. In the approval of a mobilehome park conversion, the city may attach conditions deemed reasonable in order to mitigate the impacts associated with the conversion. Such conditions shall not be limited to, but may include, the following:
1. If the land occupied by the park is to be sold, the homeowners shall be given the right of first negotiation (from the seller) and matching rights (right of last refusal) for the purchase of the park and all the improvements.
2. The homeowners be given the option of a long-term lease of the land and purchase of the improvements.
3. The city may attach an effective date upon their approval of the conversion. This date will provide sufficient time for the relocation of the mobilehome to other parks.
K. Revocation and Amendment. Any time prior to the closure of the mobilehome park, the advisory agency may, in its discretion, and upon good cause shown, initiate proceedings for the revocation or amendment of an impact report. Good cause may include, but is not limited to, change of circumstances which render the conditions or requirements of the relocation impact report no longer necessary or appropriate, negligent or fraudulent misrepresentation of fact relating to the relocation impact report, or noncompliance with the conditions of the impact report. Prior to revoking or amending a relocation impact report, the advisory agency shall conduct a hearing in accordance with the applicable procedures set forth in subsection E of this section. Upon revocation, the park owner shall not convert, close, cease or change the use of the park until such time as a new relocation impact report is approved. Such revocation or amendment is subject to the same request for hearing as is provided in subsection G of this section.
L. Evictions Pending Compliance with Relocation Impact Report. Termination of a tenancy of any resident pursuant to Civil Code Section 798.56 or any other provision of law shall not relieve the park owner of its obligation to comply with the conditions or requirements of the relocation impact report applicable to that resident. However, if the termination of tenancy is based on subdivisions (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) or (f) of Section 798.56 of the Civil Code, the advisory agency, upon request by the park owner, may grant to the park owner extensions of time within which to comply with the conditions of the relocation impact report.
M. Additional Authority of the Advisory Agency. If, notwithstanding the fact that the park owner has not served a six (6) months’ or twelve (12) months’ notice on the residents, the advisory agency finds that the park owner is attempting to close or convert a park, then the advisory agency shall require the filing of a relocation impact report.
N. Obligations of Applicant After Approval of Conversion Impact Report. After the date of determination that the conversion impact report complies with the requirements of this chapter, the applicant shall undertake or be responsible for performance of the following obligations:
1. Not later than thirty (30) days from the date of such determination, the housing specialist or specialists shall make personal contact with each homeowner of the mobilehome park and commence consultations to determine the applicable costs and assistance to be provided. The housing specialist or specialists shall give each homeowner and former resident eligible to receive relocation assistance written notice of his or her rights to relocation assistance as determined by the city under this chapter.
2. Not less than one-hundred twenty (120) days prior to the date any homeowner is required to vacate the mobilehome park, any cash or monetary relocation costs required by this chapter shall be paid to such homeowner, to any former resident eligible for such costs, or to any person, firm or corporation performing relocation related services for the homeowner, as the homeowner may direct. If the applicant purchases the mobilehome the homeowner shall be required to promptly submit to the applicant all documents necessary to transfer complete title and ownership of such mobilehome to the applicant, free and clear of all security interest, liens, or other encumbrances.
3. The date upon which any resident of the mobilehome park is required to vacate such park, or upon which any mobilehome is required to be removed from the mobilehome park, shall be not less than six months from the date of notice of termination of tenancy pursuant to Civil Code Section 798.56(f)).
4. If the owner of the mobilehome park, the applicant homeowner or tenant specifically requests that any of the time limitations required by this section be modified, the city shall consider any such modification and evidence relating to the need therefore at the public hearing on the conversion impact report. The city shall have the power to make modification in such time limits, both in response to a request and on its own motion, in conjunction with any approval of a conversion impact report, as the city may deem just and reasonable.
O. Payment of Relocation Assistance Benefits—Prerequisite to Issuance of Building Permit to Redevelop Park. No building permit shall be issued for the development of any real property which has been or is being converted from a mobilehome park pursuant to this chapter unless and until the applicant or the owner of the property, as the case may be, who is responsible for payment of any required monetary relocation assistance, shall have filed with the advisory agency a verified statement made under penalty of perjury that relocation assistance payments required pursuant to this chapter have been paid. Such statement shall specify in itemized form each payee, the amount paid, the date of payment, and the type of relocation or other assistance for which each such payment was made.
P. Violations. Violations of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor. In addition, any park owner or applicant who violates any rights of any homeowner or mobilehome tenant established under this chapter shall be liable to the person for actual damages caused by such violation, plus costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. No park owner shall take any wilful action to threaten, retaliate against or harass any park resident with the intent to prevent such residents from exercising his or her rights under this chapter. (Ord. 74 §§ 4—9, 1992; Ord. 48U § 1 (part), 1991: prior code § 6723)