Sunday, August 22, 2021


Our main Ed Fund Academy blog has a new address:

The new site is more easily read on a tablet or smartphone.

The course blogs and other links will continue to be available both from here and from the new site, but we will not be updating the main blog on this site.

The blog posts (e.g. Virtual Townhall information and "Your Rights Bytes" articles) that we will feature on the new site are also available by email.   Subscribe to the Ed Fund's email list HERE.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Availability of Park Facilities - JULY UPDATE - Bruce Stanton

 To:  All GSMOL Leaders/Members

 Fr:  Bruce Stanton, Corporate Counsel


 At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, GSMOL received many questions and concerns from members regarding closure of clubhouses, pools and other common area facilities, and the issuance of “stay-at-home” and “shelter-in-place” orders at State and local levels.  GSMOL recommended Members obey government orders and avoid the risk of using common area facilities during pandemic conditions for their own health and well-being.  GSMOL also advised that due to these unique conditions, County Health Orders and the Governor’s Emergency Declaration take temporary precedence over the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) Civil Code 798.24 obligation to make common area facilities “open or available” to park residents “at all reasonable hours”.  There were then significant health reasons for keeping facilities closed, and depending upon local County guidelines, common area facilities might still be prohibited from being completely “open and available”.  The virus was not the fault of anyone, including the park owners, and we all should listen to and follow health directives being issued by government leaders during these challenging times. 

GSMOL’s initial messages were relevant for the times, when much was still unknown, vaccines were months away and a strict “shelter-in-place” was ordered throughout California.  We now find ourselves in far different circumstances, with a majority of Californians vaccinated and the State’s economy re-opened as of June 15th.  County health orders are being modified to allow limited “in person” gatherings and the re-opening of indoor establishments.  The “stay-at-home” Order has been lifted.  Under these circumstances it is reasonable to expect that common area facilities in mobilehome parks must re-open in compliance with what each County allows.   GSMOL’s concern is that some park owners might use the pandemic as a convenient excuse to keep common area facilities closed, regardless of what the local County allows.  To do so is not “reasonable” under Civil Code 798.24, and amounts to a violation of the MRL, with a possible $2,000.00 penalty per violation if  found to be “willful” under Civil Code 798.86.

A park owner is a “business” just like a restaurant or a retailer.  When a County allows ”businesses” to resume limited operations this applies to park owners as well, and management should allow clubhouses, laundry facilities and pools to re-open subject to safety protocols required by the County.  This may include limited occupancy, sanitization, mask-wearing and social distancing.  A park owner is well within its right to limit usage according to what the County requires.  But concerns about the cost or labor involved in such a re-opening should not be the basis for keeping facilities locked up.  It is still management’s obligation to follow the County guidelines and the MRL, and to take whatever steps are available to re-open.  Management and its employees might need to be trained in proper safety procedures and become more vigilant about the number of persons using the facilities.  But this “extra work” would not justify a discretionary closure of facilities.  Park Owners should be guided by what the County allows, rather than the cost to implement County safety protocols.

There can be many “moving parts” to this issue, and conditions are sometimes changing day-to-day.  Vigilance and adoptability are required.  But we can now recommend the following advisory policy for GSMOL members:

  1. Follow and closely monitor health Orders issued by your County.  Look for any Order which allows businesses to resume “indoor” or “outdoor” activities.
  2. If your County confirms businesses can resume “indoor” operations, ask management in writing to re-open consistent with those County health guidelines. 
  3. If you receive no response, or receive a reply contrary to County health guidelines, contact your County to obtain written verification that the park IS able to re-open its facilities safely in compliance with County guidelines.
  4. Relay the County response to park management and now demand that they re-open facilities.
  5. If management refuses, make a claim for a “service reduction” pursuant to a local rent stabilization ordinance (RSO) or consult with an attorney re: possible breach of contract or MRL violations.  One can also file a claim with the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) under the new Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Program (MRLPP).

Other Questions and Answers re: Civil Code 798.24 Common Area Facilities Availability/Hours:

Question:  Can a park use Civil Code 1942 (b) to keep common area facilities permanently closed?

Answer:  NO.  Civil Code sec. 1942.9 (b), enacted in January, 2021 as part of SB 91, states that a landlord who temporarily makes a service or amenity unavailable in compliance with federal, state or local public health orders/guidelines is not in violation of a rental agreement and has not reduced services under an RSO.  The key is that the closure must be “in compliance with” government orders.  If State or local government allows facilities to re-open, a park owner is NOT “in compliance” with those Orders if facilities remain closed, and this law cannot be an excuse for failing to re-open.

Question:  Must a park re-open outdoor facilities like a pool, even if indoor facilities are not re-opened?

Answer:  YES, if the County allows.  In March 2021, the City of Hayward decided in favor of residents who applied for a rent reduction under the Hayward RSO due to a pool closure.  The City found the park owner did not re-open the pool when the County allowed it to do so, and thus triggered a “service reduction” under the Ordinance.  Each resident was awarded a one-time rent rebate equal to 1.5% of the monthly rent for those months when the pool remained closed contrary to County health orders.

Question:  Can a park owner keep common area facilities closed due to “maintenance”?

Answer:  YES, but only for a “reasonable” time.  With or without COVID-19, it is reasonable to temporarily close a common facility for “maintenance” as long as (a) there really is “maintenance” happening; and (b) the temporary closure does not exceed a “reasonable” time to complete the “maintenance”.  Indefinite closures with no evidence of any “maintenance” and no communication to residents about the scope and length of the “maintenance” are not “reasonable” and could trigger a violation of Civil Code 798.24.  That section contains a one-sentence, simple statement whose plain meaning is clear, and any continuing closure for undefined “maintenance” violates both the letter and spirit of 798.24.  Where such a closure exists, residents should request in writing: (1) the reason for the closure and (2) the estimated time for re-opening.  Park owners should not be allowed to claim “maintenance” as a ruse to keep common area facilities closed so as to reduce their costs of operation.  If no satisfactory response is received, residents should either file a service reduction claim under their local RSO, or file a complaint with the HCD MRLPP as noted above.

Question:  What if hours of an amenity have been changed, and what hours are “reasonable”?

Answer:  Depending upon the park’s location and the season of the year, it might be reasonable to limit hours of a clubhouse, pool or laundry room during months when darkness and/or inclement weather could pose a safety concern.  But any restricted hours which do not allow residents who work to use facilities during the week or on weekends is clearly NOT reasonable.  Hours might be reasonably reduced from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 during the winter.  But a reduction to 5:00 p.m. would not seem “reasonable”, since it excludes some residents from any ability to use the facilities.  And during summer months maximum daylight hours should be “reasonably” observed.  8:00 or 9:00 p.m. is typical. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Video of Ed Fund Virtual Townhall on April 10, 2021 featuring Bruce Stanton

 The first presentation on our new Ed Fund YouTube Channel is the Virtual Townhall held on April 10, 2021, featuring GSMOL General Counsel Bruce Stanton.  


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Ed Fund Virtual Townhall July 10 2021

 Golden State Manufactured-home Owners Education Fund

presents a

Virtual Mobilehome Townhall

General Summer Mobilehome Law Update and Q & A


Bruce Stanton, GSMOL General Counsel

Saturday, July 10, 2021

10:00 AM

Zoom Meeting ID: 843 9303 4511

Passcode: 864074

Join Zoom Meeting on the web:


Dial in on any kind of telephone:

(669) 900-6833

Participants on landline phones: 

mute/unmute with *6 (Star Six) 

raise/lower hand with *9 (Star Nine)

The meeting will be recorded, and we hope to post it on YouTube. 


You may send questions for Bruce Stanton to me in advance at

Anne Anderson

GSMOEF Townhall Coordinator

Friday, May 7, 2021

Q & A from Ed Fund Virtual Townhall April 10, 2021

Golden State Manufactured-home Owners Education Fund 

Notes from Q&A Session Following Ed Fund Virtual Townhall with GSMOL Attorney Bruce Stanton on April 10, 2021

Compiled by Carol Brinkman

1.      Is Park management required to clean after clubhouse use due to COVID? Our park manager says he is not cleaning. The answer is likely “Yes”, but check your city or county’s rules and guidelines for specific requirements.  Park management which does not follow County health guidelines or reasonable safety protocols is very unwise given virus conditions.  Any written COVID waiver the park owner might ask you to sign will not protect the park from its own negligence if it fails to take reasonable precautions to protect residents.

2.      Can we force the park to open their books? Our park is moving from sub-metered utilities to direct assessment, and we feel the reduction in rent he is offering is too little compared to other parks in our area. Civil Code 798.41 allows utilities to be billed separately according to usage, which encourages conservation. Rent reduction shall be equal to the average amount charged by park management for that space during the prior 12 months. The problem is park owners seldom calculate costs on a space-by-space basis as this section appears to require, but simply divide the utility usage by the number of park spaces. There is no known court decision which construes this requirement.  But the park has an obligation to show how their calculation is made. Utility companies seldom want to get involved, citing privacy issues. If the rent reduction is unreasonable, residents have the right to have a meeting and challenge it with management. Provide evidence of what comparable local parks are charging. You might have to go to court to prove that the 798.41 rent reduction is inadequate.

3.      Can I initiate a willful violation in small claims court without actual damages – as a test case? My park is slow to open facilities and refuses to heat our pool.  Small claims court is always an avenue of relief. Advantages are it is quick (6-8 weeks to get to trial), cost is minimal (less than $100 to file) and no lawyers are allowed. You can argue your case yourself. It is just you and the landlord. If you win, you can use that decision as a “sword” or precedent for other residents to bring the same case. The disadvantages are that your time is court is very short: you must argue your case efficiently.  And if you lose the case there is no right of appeal for the plaintiff, while the defendant can appeal the case to Superior Court for a brand new trial.  The court has a calendar and usually hears 10-25 matters daily. The difficulty will be calculating the value of a service reduction for facilities not re-opening when County guidelines allow for it.  Damages must be proven with certainty.  It is doubtful that a “willful violation” penalty would be awarded without actual damages being proven.

4.      How do I get a copy of a COVID Common Area Facility Waiver of Liability? Every park will likely have its own waiver form; there are templates available to park owners.  You would likely receive this as a mass mailing without needing to ask for it.

5.      Was the process to change our park rules legal? Park owner did not meet with residents as a group but met with 3-4 persons at a time over several weeks. Then he asked us to sign the new rules. Do we have to sign the new rules? NO, you are never required to sign the park rules and shouldn’t.  Pursuant to Civil Code 798.25 new rules  take effect 6 months later, except rules relating to common area facilities take effect 60 days later.  If you do sign them they take effect immediately instead of after the waiting period. Also, signing them could be construed as having signed a contract, which residents should avoid.  The unique pandemic conditions may prevent “in person” meetings. The question is whether the park owner reasonably accommodated the residents by meeting in small groups; more information is needed. The park owner might claim he met separately with residents for their safety during the pandemic.

6.      Our park association puts on events. Do we need to require masks, proof of vaccination, waivers etc. How protected is the Association and residents?  Your Association must comply with park rules, and the County health guidelines. If the park has no rules then what you do will be an added layer to park regulations.  You might make a list of safety “Protocols” for members to follow. If you require a waiver (which is a little heavy handed) make it simple, so as not to completely discourage attendance.

7.      Do we have to sign a new lease when this one expires? NO!  Once a lease term expires a mobilehome tenancy automatically becomes month-to-month. Furthermore, if you sign a long-term lease (longer than one year) you lose the protection of rent control now (and in the future) if your city/county has (or gets) a rent stabilization ordinance. You cannot be evicted for refusing to sign a lease. There are 7 specific reasons for eviction in California and failure to renew a lease is not one of them. Per MRL 798.56 the 7 reasons for eviction are: 1) Failure to pay rent 2) Conduct that constitutes a substantial annoyance to other residents 3) Failure to comply with a reasonable rule and regulation that is part of the rental agreement 4) Failure to comply with local or state laws relating to mobilehomes within a reasonable time after notification of non-compliance 5) Conviction of prostitution or certain felonies committed on the premises  6) Condemnation of the park and 7) Change of use of the park.

8.      We have a long-term lease in a rent-controlled jurisdiction and the park owner is bumping up the rent before the lease expires (and we are eligible for rent control protection). Can he do this? It depends on the terms of your lease. Does it have a “market catch up clause” which states that near the end of the lease the park can raise rent to market value”?  If it does, then increases dictated by your rent stabilization ordinance will be applied to the space rent that exists at the end of the lease. An RSO does not establish the amount space rent should be (high or low) but it does regulate the increases allowed each year. That increase is applied to the base rent at the time the RSO becomes effective. AB 2782 that GSMOL sponsored and helped pass in 2020 helps stem the tide of rapidly increasing MH space rent increases. It closes a state loophole that allows long term leases to be exempt from rent stabilization ordinances. It ends that exemption. All leases of any length signed on or after February 13, 2020 shall no longer be exempt from local RSO (Rent Stabilization Ordinance) which means the local RSO rent increase will apply to protect those residents regardless of what the lease provisions might say. The local RSO will effectively pre-empt the lease! All leases with a term of 12 months or longer signed before February 13, 2020 will remain exempt from rent control until they expire or until January 1, 2025, whichever comes first.

9.      In my park which has a rent stabilization ordinance, park owners are raising rents more than 10% at point of sale of a mobilehome. Is this legal? You must read your rent control ordinance to see what is allowed. If it has a “Vacancy Control” provision regulating resale rent increases, the park owner is restricted in the amount he can raise rent at point of sale.

10.  Can a park owner bill separately for utilities (garbage, sewer etc.) from rent? Yes, but he must adjust the space rent accordingly pursuant to Civil Code 798.41, and cannot charge more than the rate as if the resident was served directly by the utility.

11.  If park owners challenge AB 2782 (i.e., park conversion protection and long-term lease exemption from RSO), does this law stand or does it stop until it is adjudicated? To stop the law, one must get a court injunction which will enjoin the effect of the law pending trial, and then prove the new law is unenforceable.  Without an injunction it will remain enforceable.

12.  Does HCD keep a record of space rents in California to help determine what “market value” or average rents in my area are?  No, HCD does not. You can review a local real estate Multiple Listing Service which lists space rents for mobilehome homes for sale. There are also services such a “Mobilehome Village” which might provide you with information.  Or you can hire an appraiser.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Ed Fund Virtual Townhall February 19 2021

Golden State Manufactured-home Owners Education Fund (GSMOEF) presents a



BRUCE STANTON, GSMOL Corporate Counsel


1:30 PM

He will talk about the new State legislation related to MH parks, and COVID-19 issues impacting MH owners.


All Mobile/Manufactured Home Owners are invited - you do not have to be a GSMOL member.

This will be a Zoom meeting, but if you don't do Zoom, you can call in from any kind of telephone.

We are not requiring RSVPs, so no need to reply unless you have a question.  Just be there!  Feel free to share this announcement with other MH owners you know.  

We will have Q & A after Bruce's talk.     

Meeting ID: 898 3438 8157
Passcode: 370570

(669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 898 3438 8157
Passcode: 370570  


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Your Rights Bytes #18 - How to Respond to or Handle a 7-Day Notice

 By Bruce Stanton, GSMOL Corporate Counsel and GSMOEF Secretary                                                              

The Situation:

You live in a mobilehome park and have received a written 7-day Notice from park management to perform repairs to your home or alleging non-compliance with the park rules and regulations.  What is the relevant law, how should you respond and what are your available options as a homeowner?

7-Day Notices in General:

It is first important to know the applicable law concerning what the mobilehome industry calls “7-Day Notices”.  The Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) provides at Civil Code 798.56 (d) that a homeowner can be evicted for failure to “comply with a reasonable rule or regulation of the park that is part of the rental agreement or any amendment thereto.”  Civil Code 798.15 (b) provides that the rules and regulations are deemed to be a part of any rental agreement, and most parks have written rules.  But no such eviction can occur unless or until a written 7-day notice of any alleged violation is first served upon the homeowner.  This is not the eviction notice itself; a 60-day notice is required to evict.

But if you receive a 7-day Notice, it is thus important to take it seriously and respond within 7 days, since this could be a precursor to a subsequent 60-day termination of tenancy notice. 

If compliance is performed within 7 days of the date of service of the Notice, then it should be deemed satisfied.  It is the date of service, not the date on the Notice, which determines how to count the 7 days. It is important to note that if a 7-day notice has been given three or more times during a 12-month period for violation of the same rule or regulation, no new 7-day Notice is required, and the park owner could elect to proceed with a 60-day termination without providing any new 7-day notice period.

Common violations appearing in 7-Day Notices include:

-repairs to the home, including painting or remedy of dangerous conditions under Title 25;

-repairs to accessory structures, including stairs, awning supports, porches, or utility systems;

-landscaping violations on the mobilehome space;

-clean up of clutter or unapproved items;

-removal of unauthorized occupants from the home;

-cessation of unauthorized conduct or activity.

What a 7-Day Notice Should Contain

To be enforceable, a 7-Day Notice must:

-Recite the rule or regulation which is the basis for each alleged violation;

-Contain a clear description of how the rule or regulation is being violated;

-Contain a clear description of what performance is required, so that the homeowner knows how to comply with it.


How to Respond to a 7-Day Notice:

First it is important that the homeowner respond to the Notice, and that the response be in writing, so that you have a record of your response if needed.  The response should be delivered to management in person if possible, or mailed/emailed if there is enough time to do so.  The response should be made within the 7-day period, and could take one of the following forms:


  1.  The Notice is Vague, Ambiguous or Unclear

A homeowner cannot presume to adequately respond to of comply with a Notice if it is

unclear what it is asking or what rule is being violated.  If there are 10 trees on the space and the Notice merely says: “Trim your Tree”, the homeowner should ask for further guidance and clarification as to which tree is being referred to.  Thus, this kind of written response should say:  “I’ve received the 7-Day Notice and am willing to comply if needed, but cannot tell from the Notice where the violation is or what you are asking.  Please clarify which park rule is being violated (or please clarify what is being asked of me)”.


  1. I Will Comply or Have Complied with the Notice

If the Notice is clear and the homeowner confirms that there is a violation, it is

important to communicate that it will be or has been timely performed.  If a contractor or third party is hired for any purpose, be sure to provide a copy of any receipt or report which confirms the work done if available.  Offer to allow management to have a walk through or inspect for compliance.  It is vital that the work be done within 7 days if at all possible.  Remember that even if you comply with the notice, if you do not do so until after the 7 days expire the park can technically still proceed with a 60-day notice.  If you need more time to comply, such as to hire a contractor or landscaper, then request that ASAP in your response.


  1. The Notice is Inaccurate and there are No known Violations

If the homeowner is certain there is no violation as alleged and wishes to dispute

the Notice, you should do so in writing and clearly state the basis for your objection.  This kind of response should only be made if the facts or law supports the homeowner’s position.  Be very careful before you respond in this manner, and obtain qualified legal advice first if possible.  Choosing this option could begin a negotiation with management, or could result in the service of a 60-day Notice, or another 7-Day notice.  Often management will serve multiple Notices so as appear reasonable and to create a clear “paper trail” in case they later go to court. 

Final Thoughts:

While COVID-19 legislation allows homeowners to request rent payments be deferred or evictions postponed, it does NOT include or affect 7-day Notices.  Legislation is being considered in 2021 that will hopefully deal with the problem of a homeowner finding a contractor during the pandemic, or performing repairs during 7 days.  But for now, these notices are not affected by such legislation, and must be dealt with and responded to at once.  Finally, if the park does not have any written rules or regulations it is doubtful they could ever enforce a 7-day Notice.