2000-H 7907A
Enacted 7/22/2000

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Introduced By:  Representatives Henseler and S. Anderson Date Introduced:   February 17, 2000

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Sections 31-44-7 and 31-44-14 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-44 entitled "Mobile and Manufactured Homes" are hereby amended to read as follows:

31-44-7. Lease -- All terms and conditions of the occupancy must be fully disclosed in a written lease by the mobile and manufactured home park owner to any prospective mobile and manufactured home park resident at a reasonable time prior to the rental or occupancy of a mobile and manufactured home space or lot. The disclosures shall include, but shall not be limited to the following:

(1) The licensee shall agree at all times during the tenancy to:

(i) Maintain the premises when necessary to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water;

(ii) Keep each mobile and manufactured home space or lot marked in such a way that each resident will be certain of his or her area of responsibility;

(iii) Keep any exterior area of the mobile and manufactured home park within his or her control, not the responsibility of each resident, free from any species of weed or plant growth which are noxious or detrimental to the health of the residents;

(iv) Be responsible for the extermination of any insect, rodent, vermin, or other pest dangerous to the health of the residents whenever infestation exists in the area of the mobile and manufactured home park not the responsibility of the resident or in the area for which the resident is responsible including the mobile and manufactured home if the infestation is not the fault of the resident and particularly if the infestation existed prior to the occupancy of the resident claiming relief;

(v) Maintain all mobile and manufactured homes rented by the owner in a condition which is structurally sound and capable of withstanding adverse effects of weather conditions;

(vi) Maintain all electrical, plumbing, gas, or other utilities provided by the licensee in good working condition. In the event of any repairs or construction to any utility in any mobile and manufactured home park, written notice shall be given twenty-four (24) hours prior to such repairs or construction to each tenant of the mobile and manufactured home park, except in cases of emergencies, after which any repair shall be completed within seventy-two (72) hours unless good cause is shown as to why the action or repair has not been completed; no utility shall be discontinued during the repairs or construction for more than three (3) consecutive hours unless the plans have been reviewed by the city or town engineer;

(vii) Maintain all utilities provided to mobile and manufactured homes within the park up to and including the connection to the individual mobile/manufactured home, and all water and sewage lines and connections in good working order, and in the event of any emergency, make necessary arrangements if possible for the provisions of such service on a temporary basis; and there shall be no additional charge for the use of water because a resident has children;

(viii) If the park operator fails to comply with subdivision (1)(vi) or (1)(vii), the resident may notify the park operator of the resident's intention to correct the condition at the park operator's expense. After being notified by the resident in writing, if the park operator fails to comply within fourteen (14) days or more promptly as conditions reasonably require in case of emergency, the resident may cause the work to be done by a contractor and, after submitting to the park operator an itemized statement, deduct from the resident's rent the actual and reasonable cost of the work.

(ix) Respect the privacy of the resident and if only the mobile and manufactured home space or lot is rented, agree to enter the mobile and manufactured home only with the permission of the owner only after notice to the resident;

(x) Allow all residents freedom of choice in the purchase of all services, pursuant to section 31-44-3 "rules and regulations";

(xi) Allow a resident to terminate a rental agreement whenever a change in the location of the resident's employment requires a change in the location of his or her residence if the resident gives thirty (30) days notice; provided, however, that a resident who is a member of the armed forces of the United States may terminate his or her rental agreement with less than thirty (30) days if he or she receives reassignment orders which do not allow such prior notification;

(xii) Maintain any road in the mobile and manufactured home park within the licensee's control in good condition, provide adequate space for parking of one car for each lot and be responsible for damage to any vehicle, excluding damages from speed bumps, which is the direct result of any unrepaired or poorly maintained access road within the park and that is within the licensee's control;

(xiii) Make reasonable rules for guest parking which shall be clearly stated in the rules of the park;

(xiv) Provide a written lease having a term of not less than one year unless the resident requests, in writing, a term for less than one year, or unless a resident in writing states that he or she does not desire a written lease; provided, however, nothing herein shall prevent prospective residents from assuming from the current resident the balance of leasehold if same shall have a period of less than one year; provided further the notice of any rental increase shall be provided to the prospective resident in the event that less than sixty (60) days of such leasehold is remaining on the assumed portion of the lease herein.

(2) The resident shall agree at all times during the tenancy to:

(i) Keep the unit and his or her area of responsibility as marked by the owner in a clean and sanitary condition, free of garbage and rubbish;

(ii) Keep the supplied, basic facilities including any plumbing fixture, cooking and refrigeration equipment, and electrical fixtures in a rented mobile and manufactured home unit in a clean and sanitary condition and exercise reasonable care in their proper use and operation;

(iii) Observe all reasonable rules and regulations of the licensee concerning the use, occupation, and maintenance of the premises, provided such rules and regulations comply with the provisions of section 31-44-3;

(3) Any action on the part of the resident which may be grounds for eviction from the mobile and manufactured home park or termination of the rental agreement shall be clearly stated therein.

(4) The terms for the payment of rent shall be clearly set forth and any charges for services, mobile and manufactured home space or lot rent, unit rent, or any other charge shall be specifically itemized in the rental agreement and in any billing to the resident by the owner. The total rent for the term of the rental agreement shall be stated therein.

(5) The right of the mobile and manufactured home park owner to designate himself or herself as the sole and exclusive agent for the sale of any mobile and manufactured home pursuant to section 31-44-4 "sale of mobile and manufactured homes" of this chapter shall be clearly stated in the rental agreement.

(6) The lease prescribed by this chapter shall not contain the following:

(i) Any provision allowing less than a seven (7) day grace period in which to pay rent without the assessment of a late charge;

(ii) Any provision allowing the licensee to assess a late charge in excess of five percent (5%) of the monthly rent due;

(iii) Any provision which allows the owner to increase the total rent or change the payment arrangements during the term of the rental agreement; provided however that prorated increases for increased taxes only may be added if stated in the original lease;

(iv) Any provision allowing the owner to charge an entrance fee to a resident assuming occupancy, except as provided herein;

(v) Any provision which denies to the resident the right to treat as a breach of the agreement, a continuing violation by the owner, substantial in nature, of any provisions set forth in the lease or of any state statute unless the owner discontinues such violation within a reasonable time after written notice is given by the resident by registered or certified mail;

(vi) Any provision waiving the restrictions of section31-44-7.1;

(7) Except as provided herein, the lease shall be signed by both the mobile and manufactured home park licensee and the mobile and manufactured home park resident and shall contain the notice set forth in section 31-44-8, printed verbatim in a clear and conspicuous manner.

(8) It shall be the obligation of the licensee to abide by all the terms and conditions set forth in this section notwithstanding the execution of written lease of any resident.

31-44-14. Resident owned mobile home parks -- Record keeping -- (a) Resident owned mobile home parks shall maintain a copy of each of the following, where applicable, which shall constitute the official records of the association:

(1) The plans, permits, warranties, and other items provided by the developer;

(2) A photocopy of the resident association documents;

(3) A copy of the current rules of the association;

(4) A book or books containing the minutes as well as any tape recordings, if any, of all meetings of the association, of the board of directors, and of the unit owners, which minutes and tapes shall be retained for a period of not less than seven (7) years; provided however that any tape recordings shall not be considered an official record such tapes shall be available to any member to be duplicated at the members' cost and expense; said duplication cost shall not exceed ten dollars ($10.00) per tape;

(5) A current roster of all unit owners and their mailing addresses, unit identification, and, if known, telephone numbers;

(6) All current insurance policies of the association, including a fiduciary bond of the association, and their agents;

(7) A current copy of any management agreement, lease, or other contract to which the association is a party or under which the association or the unit owners have an obligation or responsibility;

(8) Bills of sale or transfer for all property owned by the association;

(9) Accounting records for the association and separate accounting records for each unit it operates, according to good accounting practices. All accounting records shall be maintained for a period of not less than seven (7) years:

(i) Accurate, itemized, and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures.

(ii) A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly statement of the account for each unit designating the name of the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the amount paid upon the account, and the balance due.

(iii) All audits, reviews, accounting statements, and financial reports of the association.

(iv) All contracts for work to be performed. Bids for work to be performed shall also be considered official records and shall be maintained for a period of one (1) year.

(10) Ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to elections, which shall be maintained for a period of one year from the date of the meeting to which the document relates;

(11) All rental records where the association is acting as agent for the rental unit.

(b) The official records of the association shall be maintained in the city/town in which the resident owned association operates.

(c) The official records of the association shall be open to inspection by any association member or the authorized representative of such member at all reasonable times. Failure to permit inspection of such association records as provided herein entitles any person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover reasonable attorney's fees from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denies access to the records for inspection. The right to inspect the records includes the right to make or obtain copies, at the reasonable expense, if any, of the association member.

(d) Insurance.. - The association shall use its best efforts to obtain and maintain adequate insurance to protect the association property.

(e) Financial report.. - Within sixty (60) days following the end of the fiscal or calendar year or annually on such date as is otherwise provided in the bylaws of the association, the board of directors of the association shall mail or furnish to each unit owner a complete financial report of actual receipts and expenditures for the previous twelve (12) months. The report shall show the amounts of receipts by accounts and receipt classification and shall show the amounts of expenses by accounts and classification including, but not limited to the following:

(1) Cost for security;

(2) Professional and management fees and expenses;

(3) Taxes;

(4) Costs of recreation facilities;

(5) Expenses for refuse collection and utilities;

(6) Expenses for lawn care;

(7) Costs for building maintenance and repair;

(8) Insurance costs;

(9) Administrative and salary expenses;

(10) General reserves, maintenance reserves, and depreciation reserves;

(11) Aging of all rental income and accounts payable.

(f) Elections: The members of the resident owned mobile home park, responsible for tabulating votes cast in any election held by the resident owned mobile home park, shall do so at a time and place open for viewing by the members of the resident owned park, within the city/town in which the resident owned association operates.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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