Phil Querin Q&A - Insurance Company Threatens to Cancel Coverage Over Resident Owned Trampoline

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May 25, 2017
Phil Querin
MHCO Legal Counsel
Querin Law

Question. Recently the insurance company for our manufactured home community inspected the community.  Afterwards I received a notice in the mail from the insurer that they would terminate the insurance on the park unless a trampoline owned by one of the home owners was removed.  The trampoline is located within the resident’s fenced-in space.  The park rules do not mention trampolines or playground items like swings.  Since there are no rules addressing this how do I go forward trying to remove the trampoline if the home owner is not cooperative?

 

 

Answer.  This is a tough one, because there is really nothing in Oregon’s landlord-tenant law addressing the situation, and if you don’t have anything in your rules (and presumably rental/lease agreement) there is very little leverage you have to force the resident to remove the trampoline. It’s on their space legally, and they are not in violation of any laws, rules, or the rental agreement. Some communities do have rules prohibiting trampolines because of their inherently dangerous nature.

 

This may be cautionary tale for including such a provision in your rules saying something about having recreational or playground equipment that can be inherently dangerous. Here is a sample provision:

 

Resident shall not construct or place devices, equipment, including playground or recreational equipment or structures on Resident’s space that could cause or result in an increase in Landlord’s liability insurance or a termination of Landlord’s insurance coverage.

 

Example of such items include but are not limited to above-ground pools, trampolines; climbing structures or facilities higher than ____ feet from the ground, lawn darts, etc. In the event that Resident intends to construct, place, or use any such items on Resident’s space, regardless of whether they are visible from the street, Resident shall first contact Landlord, and provide a description of the item. Before issuing approval:

(a) Landlord shall first secure confirmation from its insurance carrier that the item will not cause any increase in Landlord’s insurance premiums;

(b) Resident shall sign a written release of liability to Landlord, and agree to indemnify and defend Landlord should any claims arise as a result of an injury to persons caused by the item; and

(c) Resident shall provide Landlord with proof of a current policy of liability insurance for not less than $______________________, naming Landlord as a co-insured (or otherwise agreeing to defend Landlord in the event of claims under such policy). 

In the event of any claims, losses, liabilities, or threats thereof, or should Landlord’s insurance carrier thereafter determine that use of the item could cause an increase in Landlord’s insurance premiums, or a loss of Landlord’s insurance coverage, Resident shall, within three days written notice from Landlord, remove said item from the Community.