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Consumer Sourcebook

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Mobile Home Parks

Mobile homes can be substantially less expensive than traditional houses because they are constructed in a factory rather than built on-site. A mobile home, also referred to as "manufactured housing," may not be very "mobile" once it is installed on a site. A mobile home owner can be in the odd position of owning his or her home but renting the land upon which it sits if the home is located in a mobile home, or manufactured housing, park. Manufactured housing parks straddle a complex intersection of statute, common law, culture, zoning laws, and economics. Legal questions involving manufactured housing parks can be complicated because of competing, and seemingly irreconcilable, legal doctrines. The purpose of this section is to outline the New Hampshire statute that regulates manufactured housing parks.

The Law

RSA 205-A defines a manufactured housing park as any parcel of land under common ownership or control that contains, or is designed to contain, two or more manufactured housing units such as mobile homes. Owners and operators of manufactured housing parks are prohibited from:

  • Requiring more than three months' rent as an entry fee, or charging any fee unless services are rendered
  • Limiting whom current residents can sell their manufactured housing to, other than requiring new owners to meet park rules
  • Discriminating against prospective buyers of manufactured housing on the basis of age or family status
  • Requiring tenants to purchase goods or services from particular person or business, such as requiring residents to purchase skirting and tie downs from a particular person or business
  • Preventing a person or business from selling or supplying goods or services to park residents
  • Requiring that prospective residents purchase their housing from a particular person, except when the park is newly constructed
  • Charging residents for the maintenance and repair of underground systems, such as fuel tanks

In addition, owners and operators of manufactured housing parks must:

  • Disclose, in writing, all the terms and conditions of tenancy
  • Provide a written copy of the park rules and residents' rights to each tenant
  • Be available to residents
  • Not require tenants to get permission for overnight guests
  • Not impose rental surcharges for children or pets

The law also outlines the legally allowable reasons for eviction from a mobile home park. Park residents have specified periods of time available to them to "correct" the reason for the eviction. Before a tenant can be legally evicted from a manufactured housing park, the resident must be notified that she or he has:

  • 30 days to pay any rent owed
  • 60 days to comply with any local, state or federal law that has been violated
  • 60 days to repair any damages to the leased property
  • 60 days notice for repeated "breaches of the peace"
  • 60 days to comply with park rules
  • 18 months to vacate due to a condemnation or a change in the use of the park's land

Park owners are required to fully disclose to a prospective tenant in writing all rent, and utility and service charges before the tenant signs the lease agreement. Once the lease agreement is signed, rents and fees cannot be increased without a minimum of 60 days written notice to the tenant.

The New Hampshire Board of Manufactured Housing (the Board) can also be a significant source of protection for manufactured housing park tenants. The Board provides a low-cost and efficient alternative to the Courts for a wide range of tenant grievances. The Board is an administrative panel made up of housing park tenants, owners, two member of the NH House of Representatives, and a consumer representative, empowered to "hear and determine" disputes between park tenants and management concerning illegal or unreasonable park rules. The Board conducts informal evidentiary hearings and makes decisions, which are reviewed by the Superior Court, and can be adopted as enforceable court orders. The Board's jurisdiction extends to all of the prohibited practices listed in RSA 205-A: 2, 7 and 8. The Board does not, however, have authority to hear matters directly involving rent increases or evictions, nor can it rule on health and safety issues. These matters must be dealt with in district court. Information about the Board, its rules, as well as complaint forms, can be found at the Board's Web site.

New Hampshire's Landlord-Tenant Law (RSA 540) also generally applies to mobile home parks (for more information on this statute, refer to Renting, Security Deposits and Evictions). Park residents have the right to enforce their rights to live in a safe and healthy environment in accordance with state and local health codes. Furthermore, mobile home park residents have special rights and protections if the park is sold.

Points To Remember

  • You have the right to buy your mobile home from any dealer or private party.
  • You may not be charged more than 3 months' rent as an entry fee into a manufactured housing (mobile home) park.
  • Your written rental agreement must include all the terms of the tenancy including the obligations of both the tenant and the owner.
  • You must be given a copy of the park rules and residents' rights.
  • A park owner may not charge for overnight guests.
  • A park owner may not charge extra for children and/or pets.
  • A park owner may not charge tenants extra for the upkeep and repair of park systems, such as fuel tanks, sewers, and such.
  • A park owner must give tenants 60 days' notice of any rent increase and an explanation for the increase.
  • A park owner must comply with all building, housing, zoning and health codes.

Where To Go If You Have A Problem

Contact the NH Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau if you have a problem with a mobile home or other manufactured housing park:

NH Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
33 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301-6397
(603) 271-3641

You may also find the Manufactured Home Owners and Tenants Association (MOTA) to be a valuable resource:

MOTA
PO Box 998
Concord, NH 03302-0998
(603) 224-0408

The Board of Manufactured Housing will accept complaints involving manufactured housing park rules, excluding rent and eviction issues:

Board of Manufactured Housing
57 Regional Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2219

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New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658