Phil Querin Q&A: Renting Home & Documentation

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March 13, 2013

Question: We have several park-owned homes that we rent out. Can we continue to use the regular MHCO forms that we use for our park residents who own their own homes?

Answer: This is a good – and important – question. Here are some points to always remember: 1. A resident who is renting the home is not under the manufactured housing section of Oregon’s residential landlord-tenant law (“ORLTA”) which is contained in ORS Chapter 90. This means that you do not treat non-owner residents the same way you would as if they were renting an apartment or home. Landlord and tenant rights, duties and remedies are different, depending upon whether the person renting the space also owns the home. 2. A landlord’s remedies [e.g. for-cause termination, etc.] against a non-owner resident are found in ORS 90.392, 90.394, 90.396, 90.398, 90.403 and 90.405; they are not found in the manufactured housing section of ORLTA, which commences at ORS 90.505. 3. Similarly, you do not want to use a standard manufactured dwelling space rental agreement for a non-owner resident. However, due to the number of park-owned homes, MHCO has developed a space rental agreement for tenants who do not own the home. You should use it. If you use MHCO’s standard manufactured home space rental agreement for persons owning their home, you will be contractually giving the non-owner resident greater rights than you would otherwise need to do. For example, the “cure period” for violations is much shorter for non-owner tenants – because they only need to vacate with their personal property. They do not need to move a home. If they owned the home, they would have a 30-day right to cure under ORS 90.630. This means that you will have to use a different, non-MHCO form for rules violations by non-owner tenants. 4. However, the eviction process, i.e. the filing and service of an FED Complaint under ORS 105.105, et. seq, is the same. That is, the process of the “first appearance,” trial settings, etc. is exactly the same. 5. Importantly, since the park owns the home, the park is the “landlord.” This means that it must provide inside the home certain safety measures that ORLTA requires of landlords, such as smoke detectors and [if there is a carbon monoxide source] a carbon monoxide detector. Some counties require a carbon monoxide detector in all cases, even if there is no carbon monoxide source, e.g. a gas fireplace. Go to the State Fire Marshall’s site for more information on these important issues.

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