The legislature finds that:
Manufactured/mobile homes provide a significant source of homeownership opportunities for Washington state residents. However, the increasing number of closures and conversions to other uses of manufactured housing communities and mobile home parks, combined with low vacancy rates in existing parks and communities and the extremely high cost of moving homes when these parks and communities close, make this type of affordable housing option increasingly insecure for the tenants who reside in these parks and communities.
Many tenants who reside in these parks and communities are senior citizens or low-income households and are, therefore, the residents most in need of reasonable security or permanency in the siting of their home because of the adverse impacts on the health, safety, and welfare of tenants forced to move due to closure or conversion to another use of the manufactured housing community or mobile home park.
Manufactured/mobile home tenants have a reasonable expectation of long-term security when they move their home into a community or park. Some tenants have been forced to relocate due to a closure or conversion soon after the tenant has moved into the community or park. The legislature finds that unless a park owner sells the park to resident homeowners or another entity with the purpose of preservation or justly compensates the homeowners for the loss of their homes, a minimum notification period of three years before the closure or conversion of a community or park is a reasonable balancing of the rights and interests of both community and park owners and the manufactured/mobile home owners.
Given the effort and expense involved in moving a manufactured/mobile home and the imbalance of economic power in this type of landlord-tenant relationship, it is the intent of the legislature to provide an opportunity for manufactured/mobile home tenants to remain in manufactured housing communities and mobile home parks for at least three years.
Any mobile home space tenancy regardless of the term, shall be based upon a written rental agreement, signed by the parties, which shall contain:
The terms for the payment of rent, including time and place, and any additional charges to be paid by the tenant. Additional charges that occur less frequently than monthly shall be itemized in a billing to the tenant;
Reasonable rules for guest parking which shall be clearly stated;
The rules and regulations of the park;
The name and address of the person who is the landlord, and if such person does not reside in the state there shall also be designated by name and address a person who resides in the county where the mobile home park is located who is authorized to act as agent for the purposes of service of notices and process. If no designation is made of a person to act as agent, then the person to whom rental payments are to be made shall be considered the agent;
The name and address of any party who has a secured interest in the mobile home, manufactured home, or park model;
A forwarding address of the tenant or the name and address of a person who would likely know the whereabouts of the tenant in the event of an emergency or an abandonment of the mobile home, manufactured home, or park model;
A statement that: "The park may be sold or otherwise transferred at any time with the result that subsequent owners may close the mobile home park, or that the landlord may close the park at any time after the required closure notice as provided in RCW 59.20.080." The statement required by this subsection must: (i) Appear in print that is in bold face and is larger than the other text of the rental agreement; (ii) be set off by means of a box, blank space, or comparable visual device; and (iii) be located directly above the tenant's signature on the rental agreement;
h. A copy of a closure notice, as required in RCW 59.20.080, if such notice is in effect;
i. The terms and conditions under which any deposit or portion thereof may be withheld by the landlord upon termination of the rental agreement if any moneys are paid to the landlord by the tenant as a deposit or as security for performance of the tenant's obligations in a rental agreement;
j. A listing of the utilities, services, and facilities which will be available to the tenant during the tenancy and the nature of the fees, if any, to be charged together with a statement that, in the event any utilities are changed to be charged independent of the rent during the term of the rental agreement, the landlord agrees to decrease the amount of the rent charged proportionately;
k. A written description, picture, plan, or map of the boundaries of a mobile home space sufficient to inform the tenant of the exact location of the tenant's space in relation to other tenants' spaces;
l. A written description, picture, plan, or map of the location of the tenant's responsibility for utility hook-ups, consistent with RCW 59.20.130(6);
m. A statement of the current zoning of the land on which the mobile home park is located;
n. A statement of the expiration date of any conditional use, temporary use, or other land use permit subject to a fixed expiration date that is necessary for the continued use of the land as a mobile home park; and
o. A written statement containing accurate historical information regarding the past five years' rental amount charged for the lot or space.
Any rental agreement executed between the landlord and tenant shall not contain any provision:
Which allows the landlord to charge a fee for guest parking unless a violation of the rules for guest parking occurs: PROVIDED, That a fee may be charged for guest parking which covers an extended period of time as defined in the rental agreement;
Which authorizes the towing or impounding of a vehicle except upon notice to the owner thereof or the tenant whose guest is the owner of the vehicle;
Which allows the landlord to alter the due date for rent payment or increase the rent: (i) During the term of the rental agreement if the term is less than two years, or (ii) more frequently than annually if the initial term is for two years or more: PROVIDED, That a rental agreement may include an escalation clause for a pro rata share of any increase in the mobile home park's real property taxes or utility assessments or charges, over the base taxes or utility assessments or charges of the year in which the rental agreement took effect, if the clause also provides for a pro rata reduction in rent or other charges in the event of a reduction in real property taxes or utility assessments or charges, below the base year: PROVIDED FURTHER, That a rental agreement for a term exceeding two years may provide for annual increases in rent in specified amounts or by a formula specified in such agreement. Any rent increase authorized under this subsection (2)(c) that occurs within the closure notice period pursuant to RCW 59.20.080(1)(e) may not be more than one percentage point above the United States consumer price index for all urban consumers, housing component, published by the United States bureau of labor statistics in the periodical "Monthly Labor Review and Handbook of Labor Statistics" as established annually by the department of commerce;
By which the tenant agrees to waive or forego rights or remedies under this chapter;
Allowing the landlord to charge an "entrance fee" or an "exit fee." However, an entrance fee may be charged as part of a continuing care contract as defined in RCW 70.38.025;
Which allows the landlord to charge a fee for guests: PROVIDED, That a landlord may establish rules charging for guests who remain on the premises for more than 15 days in any 60-day period;
By which the tenant agrees to waive or forego homestead rights provided by chapter 6.13 RCW. This subsection shall not prohibit such waiver after a default in rent so long as such waiver is in writing signed by the husband and wife or by an unmarried claimant and in consideration of the landlord's agreement not to terminate the tenancy for a period of time specified in the waiver if the landlord would be otherwise entitled to terminate the tenancy under this chapter; or
By which, at the time the rental agreement is entered into, the landlord and tenant agree to the selection of a particular arbitrator.
Any provision prohibited under this section that is included in a rental agreement is unenforceable.
Any rental agreement shall be assignable by the tenant to any person to whom he or she sells or transfers title to the mobile home, manufactured home, or park model.
A tenant who sells a mobile home, manufactured home, or park model within a park must provide the buyer with a copy of a closure notice provided by the landlord pursuant to RCW 59.20.080, if such notice is in effect, at least 15 days in advance of the intended sale and transfer.
A tenant who sells a mobile home, manufactured home, or park model within a park shall notify the landlord in writing of the date of the intended sale and transfer of the rental agreement at least 15 days in advance of such intended transfer and shall notify the buyer in writing of the provisions of this section. The tenant shall verify in writing to the landlord payment of all taxes, rent, and reasonable expenses due on the mobile home, manufactured home, or park model and mobile home lot. The tenant shall notify the buyer of all taxes, rent, and reasonable expenses due on the manufactured/mobile home or park model and the mobile home lot.
At least seven days in advance of such intended transfer, the landlord shall:
Notify the selling tenant, in writing, of a refusal to permit transfer of the rental agreement; or
If the landlord approves of the transfer, provide the buyer with copies of the written rental agreement, the rules and regulations, any closure notice as required in RCW 59.20.080, if such notice is in effect, and all other documents related to the tenancy. A landlord may not accept payment for rent or deposit from the buyer until the landlord has provided the buyer with these copies.
The landlord may require the mobile home, manufactured home, or park model to meet applicable fire and safety standards if a state or local agency responsible for the enforcement of fire and safety standards has issued a notice of violation of those standards to the tenant and those violations remain uncorrected. Upon correction of the violation to the satisfaction of the state or local agency responsible for the enforcement of that notice of violation, the landlord's refusal to permit the transfer is deemed withdrawn.
The landlord shall approve or disapprove of the assignment of a rental agreement on the same basis that the landlord approves or disapproves of any new tenant, and any disapproval shall be in writing. Consent to an assignment shall not be unreasonably withheld.
Failure to notify the landlord in writing, as required under subsection (3) of this section; or failure of the new tenant to make a good faith attempt to arrange an interview with the landlord to discuss assignment of the rental agreement; or failure of the current or new tenant to obtain written approval of the landlord for assignment of the rental agreement, shall be grounds for disapproval of such transfer.
A landlord shall not terminate or fail to renew a tenancy of a tenant or the occupancy of an occupant, of whatever duration except for one or more of the following reasons:
In accordance with RCW 59.20.045(6), substantial violation, or repeated or periodic violations, of an enforceable rule of the mobile home park as established by the landlord at the inception of or during the tenancy or for violation of the tenant's duties as provided in RCW 59.20.140. The tenant shall be given written notice to cease the rule violation immediately. The notice shall state that failure to cease the violation of the rule or any subsequent violation of that or any other rule shall result in termination of the tenancy, and that the tenant shall vacate the premises within twenty days: PROVIDED, That for a periodic violation the notice shall also specify that repetition of the same violation shall result in termination: PROVIDED FURTHER, That in the case of a violation of a "material change" in park rules with respect to pets, tenants with minor children living with them, or recreational facilities, the tenant shall be given written notice under this chapter of a six month period in which to comply or vacate;
Nonpayment of rent or other charges specified in the rental agreement, upon 14 days written notice to pay rent and/or other charges or to vacate;
Conviction of the tenant of a crime, commission of which threatens the health, safety, or welfare of the other mobile home park tenants. The tenant shall be given written notice of a 15 day period in which to vacate;
Failure of the tenant to comply with local ordinances and state laws and regulations relating to mobile homes, manufactured homes, or park models or mobile home, manufactured homes, or park model living within a reasonable time after the tenant's receipt of notice of such noncompliance from the appropriate governmental agency;
Change of land use of the mobile home park including, but not limited to, closure of the mobile home park or conversion to a use other than for mobile homes, manufactured homes, or park models or conversion of the mobile home park to a mobile home park cooperative or mobile home park subdivision. The landlord shall give the tenants three years' notice**, in the form of a closure notice meeting the requirements of RCW 59.21.030,** in advance of the effective date of such change. The three-year closure notice requirement does not apply if:
The mobile home park or manufactured housing community has been acquired for or is under imminent threat of condemnation;
The mobile home park or manufactured housing community is sold to an organization comprised of park or community tenants, to a nonprofit organization, to a local government, or to a housing authority for the purpose of preserving the park or community; or
The landlord establishes a simple, straightforward, and timely process for compensating the tenants for the loss of their homes and actually compensates the tenants for the loss of their homes at the greater of their market value, as determined prior to a change of use or sale of the property, or $5,000, at any point during the closure notice period and prior to a change of use or sale of the property. At such time as the compensation is paid, the tenant shall be given written notice of at least 180 days in which to vacate, and the tenant shall continue to pay rent for as much time as he or she remains in the mobile home park or manufactured housing community**. Nothing in this subsection (1)(e)(iii) prevents a tenant from relocating his or her home out of the mobile home park or manufactured housing community pursuant to chapter 59.21 RCW. In the event that a home remains in the mobile home park or manufactured housing community after a tenant vacates, the landlord shall be responsible for its demolition or disposal**;
Engaging in "criminal activity." "Criminal activity" means a criminal act defined by statute or ordinance that threatens the health, safety, or welfare of the tenants. A park owner seeking to evict a tenant or occupant under this subsection need not produce evidence of a criminal conviction, even if the alleged misconduct constitutes a criminal offense. Notice from a law enforcement agency of criminal activity constitutes sufficient grounds, but not the only grounds, for an eviction under this subsection. Notification of the seizure of illegal drugs under RCW 59.20.155 is evidence of criminal activity and is grounds for an eviction under this subsection. The requirement that any tenant or occupant register as a sex offender under RCW 9A.44.130 is grounds for eviction of the sex offender under this subsection. If criminal activity is alleged to be a basis of termination, the park owner may proceed directly to an unlawful detainer action;
The tenant's application for tenancy contained a material misstatement that induced the park owner to approve the tenant as a resident of the park, and the park owner discovers and acts upon the misstatement within one year of the time the resident began paying rent;
If the landlord serves a tenant three 20-day notices, each of which was valid under (a) of this subsection at the time of service, within a 12-month period to comply or vacate for failure to comply with the material terms of the rental agreement or an enforceable park rule, other than failure to pay rent by the due date. The applicable 12-month period shall commence on the date of the first violation;
Failure of the tenant to comply with obligations imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of municipal, county, and state codes, statutes, ordinances, and regulations, including this chapter. The landlord shall give the tenant written notice to comply immediately. The notice must state that failure to comply will result in termination of the tenancy and that the tenant shall vacate the premises within 15 days;
The tenant engages in disorderly or substantially annoying conduct upon the park premises that results in the destruction of the rights of others to the peaceful enjoyment and use of the premises. The landlord shall give the tenant written notice to comply immediately. The notice must state that failure to comply will result in termination of the tenancy and that the tenant shall vacate the premises within 15 days;
The tenant creates a nuisance that materially affects the health, safety, and welfare of other park residents. The landlord shall give the tenant written notice to cease the conduct that constitutes a nuisance immediately. The notice must describe the nuisance and state (i) what the tenant must do to cease the nuisance and (ii) that failure to cease the conduct will result in termination of the tenancy and that the tenant shall vacate the premises in five days;
Any other substantial just cause that materially affects the health, safety, and welfare of other park residents. The landlord shall give the tenant written notice to comply immediately. The notice must describe the harm caused by the tenant, describe what the tenant must do to comply and to discontinue the harm, and state that failure to comply will result in termination of the tenancy and that the tenant shall vacate the premises within 15 days; or
Failure to pay rent by the due date provided for in the rental agreement three or more times in a 12-month period, commencing with the date of the first violation, after service of a 14-day notice to comply or vacate.
Within five days of a notice of eviction as required by subsection (1)(a) of this section, the landlord and tenant shall submit any dispute to mediation. The parties may agree in writing to mediation by an independent third party or through industry mediation procedures. If the parties cannot agree, then mediation shall be through industry mediation procedures. A duty is imposed upon both parties to participate in the mediation process in good faith for a period of ten days for an eviction under subsection (1)(a) of this section. It is a defense to an eviction under subsection (1)(a) of this section that a landlord did not participate in the mediation process in good faith.
Except for a tenant evicted under subsection (1)(c) or (f) of this section, a tenant evicted from a mobile home park under this section shall be allowed 120 days within which to sell the tenant's mobile home, manufactured home, or park model in place within the mobile home park: PROVIDED, That the tenant remains current in the payment of rent incurred after eviction, and pays any past due rent, reasonable attorneys' fees and court costs at the time the rental agreement is assigned. The provisions of RCW 59.20.073 regarding transfer of rental agreements apply.
Chapters 59.12 and 59.18 RCW govern the eviction of recreational vehicles, as defined in RCW 59.20.030, from mobile home parks. This chapter governs the eviction of mobile homes, manufactured homes, park models, and recreational vehicles used as a primary residence from a mobile home park.
The closure notice required by RCW 59.20.080 before park closure or conversion of the park shall be given to the director and all tenants in writing, and conspicuously posted at all park entrances.
The closure notice required under RCW 59.20.080 must be in substantially the following form:
"CLOSURE NOTICE TO TENANTS
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN on the . . . . day of . . . ., . . . ., of a conversion of this mobile home park or manufactured housing community to a use other than for mobile homes, manufactured homes, or park models, or of a conversion of the mobile home park or manufactured housing community to a mobile home park cooperative or a mobile home park subdivision. This change of use becomes effective on the . . . . day of . . . ., . . . ., which is the date three years after the date this closure notice is given.
PARK OR COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT OR OWNERSHIP INFORMATION:
For information during the period preceding the effective change of use of this mobile home park or manufactured housing community on the . . . . day of . . . ., . . . ., contact:
PURCHASER INFORMATION, if applicable:
Contact information for the purchaser of the mobile home park or manufactured housing community property consists of the following:
PARK PURCHASE BY TENANT ORGANIZATIONS, if applicable:
The owner of this mobile home park or manufactured housing community may be willing to entertain an offer of purchase by an organization or group consisting of park or community tenants or a not-for-profit agency designated by the tenants. Tenants should contact the park owner or park management with such an offer. Any such offer must be made and accepted prior to closure, and the timeline for closure remains unaffected by an offer. Acceptance of any offer is at the discretion of the owner and is not a first right of refusal.
RELOCATION ASSISTANCE RESOURCES:
For information about the availability of relocation assistance, contact the Office of Mobile/Manufactured Home Relocation Assistance within the Department of Commerce."
The closure notice required by RCW 59.20.080 must also meet the following requirements:
A copy of the closure notice must be provided with all rental agreements signed after the original park closure notice date as required under RCW 59.20.060;
Notice to the director must include: (i) A good faith estimate of the timetable for removal of the mobile homes; (ii) the reason for closure; and (iii) a list of the names and mailing addresses of the current registered park tenants. Notice required under this subsection must be sent to the director within 10 business days of the date notice was given to all tenants as required by RCW 59.20.080; and
Notice must be recorded in the office of the county auditor for the county where the mobile home park is located.
The department must mail every tenant an application and information on relocation assistance within 10 business days of receipt of the notice required in subsection (1) of this section.