TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-44
Mobile and Manufactured Homes

SECTION 31-44-7


§ 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 the 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 the 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 paragraph (vi) or (vii) of this subdivision, 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 § 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, 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 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, nothing in this section 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 the leasehold is remaining on the assumed portion of the lease.

(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 the rules and regulations comply with the provisions of § 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 in it.

(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 in it.

(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 § 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 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 in this section;

(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 the 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 § 31-44-7.1;

(7) Except as provided in this section, 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 § 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.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1984, ch. 382, § 2; P.L. 1993, ch. 154, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 109, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 140, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 278, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 519, § 1.)