§ 31-44-4. Sale of mobile and manufactured homes.
(a) No owner of a mobile and manufactured home park shall deny any resident the right to sell his or her mobile and manufactured home owned by him or her while the mobile and manufactured home is in the park or require the resident to remove the mobile and manufactured home because of the sale of the home, except as provided in this section.
(b) A mobile and manufactured home park licensee, directly or indirectly engaged in the business of selling mobile and manufactured homes, may impose conditions on the rental or occupancy of a new lot, including the right to sell the first unit or impose an entrance fee on that lot.
(c) An owner of a mobile home or manufactured home remaining within the park may utilize one of the following methods in selling the home to a qualified buyer:
(1) Sell the home through his or her own individual efforts;
(2) List the home with a licensed real estate broker at a commission not to exceed ten percent (10%);
(3) List the home with park licensee at a commission not to exceed ten percent (10%).
The mobile and manufactured home commission shall provide recommendations for screening of prospective purchasers by the park licensees.
(d) No licensee shall exact a commission or fee with respect to the price realized by the resident, except as provided in this section, unless he or she has acted as agent for the resident in a sale pursuant to a written contract.
(e) No owner of a mobile and manufactured home park shall make or enforce any rules which require any resident to sell his or her mobile and manufactured home to the owner.
No owner of a mobile and manufactured home park shall make any rule or enter into a contract, which shall abrogate or limit the tenant's right to place "for sale" signs on or in his or her mobile manufactured housing. However, the park owner may by rule or contract provision impose reasonable limitations as to size, quality registration of the signs, requirements that the posting of the signs be pursuant to bona fide efforts to sell, and removal when the home is no longer being offered for sale. No limitation as to size or quality shall restrict the use of painted or printed signs which are two feet (2') by two feet (2') or less in size and which contains no more than "for sale," "address" and "phone number".
(f) An owner may refuse to sell a mobile and manufactured home, allow a mobile and manufactured home to remain in the park, or to approve entry to the mobile and manufactured home park for good cause. For the purpose of this section, "good cause" means a reasonable cause for the owner to believe:
(1) That the purchaser will not meet the entry requirements for the park and the entry requirements are equally applied by the owner to all purchasers and prospective residents;
(2) That the purchaser intends to utilize that purchased mobile and manufactured home for an illegal purpose or for any purpose that would disturb the quiet enjoyment of the other residents of the park;
(3) That the purchaser is or will be financially unable to pay the rent for the mobile and manufactured home space or lot upon which the purchased mobile and manufactured home is located;
(4) An owner may require the removal of a mobile home being sold whose age and condition does not meet the standards of mobile homes in the park; or
(5) No owner or operator of a mobile and manufactured home park shall require a mobile or manufactured home at the time of sale or foreclosure, which is safe, sanitary, and in conformance with aesthetic standards, to be removed from the park; provided that this clause (5) shall not apply where the owner or operator has initiated the foreclosure as mortgagee.
(6) Any resident or prospective resident who is aggrieved pursuant to this subsection, shall have the right to petition the director for a hearing within twenty (20) days of the alleged violation by the owner. Said hearing shall occur within thirty (30) days from the receipt of said petition. The director or his or her designee shall take all reasonable action to effectuate prompt resolution of said claim and shall render a decision within fifteen (15) days of the conclusion of said hearing.
(g) A mobile and manufactured home shall be presumed to be safe if it is established that the mobile and manufactured home was constructed to any nationally recognized building or construction code or standard. Failure to meet any standard or code shall raise no presumption that the mobile manufactured home is unsafe; nor may the failure be used as a reason for withholding approval of an on site sale.
(h) The mobile and manufactured home park owner shall have the burden of showing that a mobile and manufactured home is unsafe, unsanitary, or fails to meet the aesthetic standards of the development. No aesthetic standard shall be applied against a mobile and manufactured home if the standard relates to physical characteristics, such as size, original construction materials, or color which cannot be changed without undue hardship to the tenant.
(i) Any homeowner wishing to sell his or her home must request in writing a statement of the park owner's intentions regarding the conditions of the dwelling. Within ten (10) days of the receipt of the request of the homeowner for the park owner's intentions, the park owner must approve the home's condition for resale or deliver a written statement specifying ways in which the home is not safe, sanitary, or in conformance with aesthetic standards. Failure of the park owner to respond within ten (10) days shall be deemed approval of the home's condition for resale.
(j) In the event of resale or resiting of a mobile and manufactured home, the local building official in the city or town where the mobile and manufactured home is to be located shall, upon the request of either party, inspect the unit and shall issue a certificate of approval in the case of an on site sale or a certificate of occupancy in the case of resiting, to the owner of the unit, provided the authority finds the unit safe for human habitation and the site meets local zoning requirements. A fee of not more than thirty dollars ($30.00) may be charged for the inspection by building officials.
(k) No licensee shall discriminate in the treatment of tenants of mobile and manufactured homes as the result of the sale of the home, whether the tenant is the tenant prior or subsequent to the sale.
(l) Every person who sells a mobile and/or manufactured home shall warrant to the buyer that the home is free and clear of all liens and if the seller violates the warranty, then the seller shall be strictly liable to the buyer in damages.
(m) Every person who sells a mobile and/or manufactured home in this state which will be located at a mobile or manufactured home park in this state and retains a secured interest in the mobile and/or manufactured home shall file a notice of the lien with the recorder of deeds of the city or town within which the park is located as allowed by the provisions of § 34-13-8 and with the uniform commercial code division of the department of state.
(n) Prior to the execution of a purchase and sale agreement, every owner of a mobile and manufactured home park, shall disclose to the prospective purchaser the rental history for the preceding three (3) years of the land on which the home will be located.
(o) The owner of a mobile and manufactured home park shall not require the purchaser to provide the names of more than three (3) references from whom the park owner can seek information concerning the behavior and financial reliability of the purchaser; nor shall the purchaser be required to obtain a written report from any reference; the park owner shall not require the purchaser to submit copies of any personal income tax returns in order to obtain approval for residency in the park. However, the park owner may require the purchaser to document the amount and source of his or her gross monthly income or means of financial support. If the park owner or management rejects a purchaser as a prospective homeowner, the ownership or management shall inform the selling homeowner in writing no later than ten (10) days of its reasons for the rejection. If the approval of a purchaser is withheld for any reason other than those stated in these articles, the park owner or management may be held liable for all damages proximately resulting in it.
(p) The park owner or management may require the right of prior approval of a purchaser of a mobile and manufactured home that will remain in the park and that the selling homeowner or his or her agent give notice of the sale to the park owner or management before the close of the sale. Approval cannot be withheld if the purchaser has the financial ability to pay the rent and charges of the park unless the park owner or management reasonably determines that, based on the purchaser's prior tenancies, he or she will not comply with the rules and regulations of the park.
(q) If the park owner or management collects a fee or charge from a prospective purchaser of a mobile and manufactured home in order to obtain a financial report or credit rating, the full amount of the fee or charge shall be credited toward payment of the first month's rent for that mobile and manufactured home purchaser.
(r) If, for whatever reason, the prospective purchaser is rejected by the park owner or management, the park owner or management shall refund to the prospective purchaser the full amount of that fee or charge within thirty (30) days from the date of rejection. If the prospective purchaser is approved by the park owner or management, but, for whatever reason, the prospective purchaser elects not to purchase the mobile or manufactured home, the park owner or management may retain the fee, or a portion of it, to defray its administrative costs under this section.
(s) No owner or operator of a mobile and manufactured home park shall require any person as a precondition to renting, leasing, or otherwise occupying a space for mobile and manufactured housing in a mobile and manufactured home park to pay any fee of any kind, unless services are actually rendered. The park owner or management shall not perform any service unless so requested in writing.
(P.L. 1984, ch. 382, § 2; P.L. 1986, ch. 79, § 2; P.L. 1986, ch. 173, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 116, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 456, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 234, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 309, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 119, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 146, § 1.)