MHCO Legal Counsel

Phil Querin: COVID, HB 2314 and the CDC’s Recent Order

 

In the continuing fight to slow the spread of COVID, the White House has just announced an Order barring nonpayment of rent evictions against most tenants through December 31, 2020. 

It has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”). The text can be found here.  

 

This new moratorium is just one of many throughout the country. The federal government passed the CARES Act, which was intended to protect renters in apartments and single-family homes financed with a federally backed mortgage (e.g. Fannie and Freddie, etc.). It has since expired, which, in part, is why the CDC Order was enacted. 

 

However, the CDC order is much broader than the CARES Act, and applies to all renters of residential housing.[1] However, to obtain this protection, tenants will have to attest, under oath, to a substantial loss of household income; the inability to pay full rent; to having exercised their best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing; that eviction would require them to live in close quarters with others; and attesting that an eviction would likely leave them homeless or otherwise, etc.

 

 

Phil Querin Q&A: Landlord vs. Tenant Responsibility For Condition of Grounds (Ant Infestation In Resident Home)

 

Question:  A resident in our community has ants in her home. She says they are coming from the ground around the home and has had an exterminator out who confirms that the infestation is coming from the ground.  The resident demands that we pay for the exterminator and that the infestation be controlled at the expense of management. WE do not believe it is our responsibility.  What are your thoughts?

 

 

Phil Querin Q&A: Resident Requests Ramp to House (Reasonable Accommodation)

Question.  I have a tenant requesting a reasonable accommodation for a ramp. On the MHCO From 15 (Reasonable Accommodation Request), is says the tenant is responsible for the costs and removal for a modification unless required by law. Is it required by the law to install a ramp? This would mean the Park would pay for it, or is it not a law and a tenant would have to pay the costs to get one installed? We own the unit and space. It is a mobile home rental.

 

Phil Querin: Political & Religious Material in Club House (Reminder about political material and MHC)

Question: We have a resident who has expressed displeasure over finding political  & religious pamphlets, etc., left in the clubhouse.  Not wanting to cater to the complaining resident, but also not wanting to offend others or place the park in a bad position, what is the safest legal way to deal with this issue?

 

 

 

Phil Querin Q&A: Resident Behavior Prevents Landlord From Renting Neighboring Space

Question:  Our manager is having difficulties with troublesome residents who are interfering with his efforts to fill spaces. In one case it is a vacant mobile home the manager is showing, but the neighbor is mean/obnoxious and does not want the home purchased. In the other case we have an empty RV pad and another neighbor comes out scaring away the RV owner who wants to rent the space. What are our legal rights regarding these two neighbors?

 

 

Phil Querin Q&A: Three Questions on Temporary Occupants

Question 1 

The law and MHCO ocupancy agreement both state that a landlord can screen an occupant for conduct or criminal history but not for credit history or income level.  If after screening a temporary occupant, the findings reveal that they have civil case(s) and/or eviction matters relating to previous rental history where the derogatory rental reference is financial (not necessarily bad personal conduct). Can this be grounds for denial? 

 

Answer 1

Not in my opinion.  The temporary occupant agreement concept is that the person is notgoing to be a “co-renter”. They are being permitted to come onto the space as an accommodation by the landlord to the current resident who wants them there.  If they are to become a temporary occupant, but your background check inadvertently reveals derogatory references related to financial information, and that concerns you, then limit the amount of time they can remain there, and take things a month, or six months, at a time.  You might consider having tenants fill out a form in advanceexplaining exactly why they want the temporary occupant there. If a tenant wants them there to share the rental obligation then you should know that beforeoffering the temporary occupant status.  If that is the case, then have them apply as a tenant.  If they don’t pass the financial background check, then reject them on that basis.       


 

Phil Querin Q&A: Assistance Animals Vs. Comfort Animals

Question.I have a question about the Pet form. The term “assistance”  animal is used throughout. We are  in a disagreement with HUD over a comfort animal versus a “service” animal.  (one state document does use the term assistance and classes that as service in a footnote)  

 

Our defense is that the terms are very specific in the laws, or agency guidelines, both state and federal.   A landlord is specifically released from any responsibility to accept any animal that is not certified as “service.” HUD says they are not bound by another agency’s rules. Isn’t it important for our forms to be specific by using the term “service?”.

 

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