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MANUFACTURED & MOBILEHOMES

"Site-Built" refers to homes built on the job site, and may include wall panels, logs and other components fabricated elsewhere. The design and construction of these homes must meet local building codes.

"Modular" homes refer to homes built in a factory in sections. These homes are built using the same materials as site-built homes, and are constructed on a permanent foundation. At the job site, the builder generally installs the foundation, and connect the utilities to the house. The design and construction of modular homes must meet local building codes. These homes are generally indistinguishable from site-built homes.

"Manufactured" homes refer to a house built off-site in a factory or construction yard on a permanent chassis to standards established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which are less restrictive than the Uniform Building Code. People often refer to them as "mobile homes" or "trailers". They can be installed on permanent foundations. Building Inspectors check the work done locally (electric hook up, etc.) but are not required to approve the structure. Civil Code § 714.5 prohibits the recordation of any covenants, conditions and restrictions after January 1, 1988, that act to exclude the use of manufactured homes.

"Mobilehomes" are defined by California to be "single-family dwellings" transportable in one or more sections constructed to a federally preemptive standard. They are equated to manufactured homes. (Health & Safety Code § 18007.) Mobilehome parks are governed by the Mobilehome Residency Law. 

  • For a resident-owned park, Article 9 of the MRL, governing the relationship between residents and the park management (Civil Code § 799, et. seq.), applies only to residents who have an ownership interest in the park, not non-owning residents.
  • If the resident-owned park is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation, and no subdivision declaration or condominium plan has been recorded, then Articles 1 through 8 apply to the owning residents in the park.
  • Articles 1 through 8 (Sections 798 – 798.88), apply to any non-owning residents who continue to rent or lease their spaces in a resident-owned park. (See,  MRL FAQs No. 54, California State Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities)

Some of the regulations in Article 1 through 8 that apply to cooperatives without a recorded declaration and non-owning residents appear to conflict with similar regulations in the Davis-Stirling Act, such as:

  • The cooperative can prohibit owners from renting or subleasing their Mobilehome unless an exception applies. Civ. Code § 798.23.5(a)(1).  Rental prohibitions are not allowed by the Davis-Stirling Act.
  • The minimum term for a lease is six months and no greater than 12 months. Civ. Code § 798.23.5(b)(1). The minimum six-month term may be unreasonable rental restrictions under the Davis-Stirling Act.
  • Management may amend rules pertaining to recreational facilities after providing 60 days' notice and six (6) months' notice for all other rules. Civ. Code § 798.25. The Davis-Stirling Act requires a 28-day member comment period followed by an open board meeting to adopt Rules.
  • An owner may file an action against the management after giving 30 days' notice. Civ. Code § 798.84. Under the Davis-Stirling Act, owners should attempt dispute resolution before filing certain actions against the Association, but no notice is required.
  • If an owner violates a Rule, the owner is given seven (7) days to cure unless this it is the 4th violation in 12 months. Civ. Code § 798.56. The Davis-Stirling Act requires owners be provided notice of the violation and a hearing before imposing any discipline for violating the governing documents.

Whether the Davis-Stirling Act applies to a mobilehome park cooperative without a recorded declaration is an unanswered legal question and the corporation should check with their corporate counsel. (See also, MRL FAQs No. 55, California State Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities)

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

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