Q: Is the park required to provide a lease agreement in the language of the resident if the resident is non-English speaking?
A. Not in most cases. Civil Code Sec. 1632 provides that a person engaged in a trade or business, who negotiates a contract or lease — including a rental agreement covering a dwelling, apartment or mobilehome — in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, shall provide the other party, if he or she requests it, with a written copy of the contract or agreement in that language prior to execution of the document. However, this provision does not apply to contracts or agreements negotiated with the use of an interpreter, or to month-to-month rental agreements. Additionally, most mobilehome parks do not “negotiate” their leases with homeowners or prospective homeowners, but rather offer the lease on a “take it or leave it” basis.
Q: Do the protections of the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) apply to all residents in mobilehome parks, or do they only apply to homeowners?
A. Many of the most important provisions of the MRL expressly apply to homeowners only, such as the terms and receipt of written leases (Civil Code §§798.15 and 798.18-798.19.5), amendment procedures for rules and regulations (Civil Code §798.25), fees and charges (Civil Code §§798.30-798.39.5), evictions (Civil Code §§798.55-798.56), and rental qualifications and procedures. On the other hand, issues dealing with a “community” of persons often include “residents”, such as management entry into mobilehomes or park spaces (Civil Code §798.26), vehicle removal (Civil Code §798.26.5), communications and right to assemble (Civil Code §§798.50-798.52), and abatement of park nuisances, and injunctions for violating park rules (Civil Code §§798.87-798.88).
Q: I am a manager in a mobilehome park where an elderly resident is putting herself in danger. When I call her family, they are unresponsive. What do I do to make sure she and the other residents are safe from harm?
A. Contact your county’s Adult Protective Services program. APS is a state-mandated program (Welfare & Institutions Code Sec. 15610.10) that provides evaluation and assistance for seniors (age 65 and older) and dependent adults (age 18-64 and physically or mentally impaired) who are reported to be unable to meet their own needs. APS agencies investigate reports of alleged victims endangered by physical, sexual or financial abuse, isolation, neglect, or self-neglect.