Columns

October 16, 2017
Phil Querin
​ Question. To assess a tenant for a utility or service charge for any billing period using the billing method described in ORS 90.532 (1)(b)(C)(ii) or (c) of this section, I understand that the landlord is to give the tenant a written notice stating the amount of the utility or service charge they are to pay and the due date for making the payment. According to the statute, the due date...
October 5, 2017
Phil Querin
  Question: In reviewing the new form 2A, the Retail Installment Contract, does it act as the security agreement on the home, or is there something else that must be filed?  Where is the security agreement filed?  
September 25, 2017
Phil Querin
Question:  When can a manager refuse payment by check? If the name on the check does not match the resident’s name can (or should) the check be refused?  Should there be a park rule to back this up? If the manager refuses payment because of the name on the check and asks for a money order or cash, does that have to be in the rules? All of this stems from the concern of unauthorized...
September 12, 2017
Mark Busch
  Question:  Most of the tenants in our RV park are good folks and good tenants.  However, inevitably there are always a few “bad apples” who make everyone miserable.  What are the laws on “no cause” evictions?  
September 6, 2017
Phil Querin
    Question.  In certain Oregon counties, dogs are required to be licensed and vaccinated, etc. Are we allowed to enforce these same requirements/restrictions in our park with the residents?    
August 29, 2017
Phil Querin
  Payments to Residents Upon Park Closure. This bill amends ORS 90.645 (Closure of Manufactured Dwelling Park) by increasing the required amount payable to residents as follows:   From $5,000 to $6000 if the manufactured  dwelling  is  a  single-wide; From $7,000 to $8,000 if the manufactured dwelling is a double-wide; and From $9,000 to $10,000 if...
August 22, 2017
Phil Querin
    Introduction. This bill is an attempt to deal with issues that had arisen between residents in some Oregon communities and their landlord regarding the physical condition of their homes. The result is a change to ORS 90.632 (disrepair and deterioration) which contains more detail than previously, but is nevertheless manageable.   By way of refresher, ORS 90.630...
August 16, 2017
Phil Querin
Question:  A resident living alone passed away.  It took some time for the estate to get underway because they had to search for heirs.  An heir was located and was appointed as Administrator to act on behalf of the estate.    Shortly after the resident’s passing, we began requesting that a Storage Agreement be signed but the estate was hesitant to do so until the...
August 9, 2017
Phil Querin
  In communities with elderly tenants, landlords are frequently confronted with the question “How do I deal with their home and their care providers when they leave, and with their estates?”   Most of the answers can be found in the abandonment statute, ORS 90.675.  The underlying premise to remember in addressing all of these issues, is that if the resident leaves the...
August 7, 2017
Mark Busch
  Question: We own an RV park that has bathroom facilities, but no showers.  One of our new tenants insists that we must provide showers as part of the bathroom facilities.  Is that true?  
August 1, 2017
Robert G. Williamson Jr.
  “Pets” are not service or comfort animals under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA). Community residents or prospective residents claiming a disability and desiring to keep a certain “pet” in contravention of a community’s “no pet” or “pet restrictive” policy or rules will generally assert, however, that under either or both ADA or FHAA the...
July 25, 2017
Phil Querin
Question.  Our community is updating our rules and regulations. Should we include anything about the use of drones flying over people’s backyards?  Can this be controlled for privacy's sake?   Civil Law. On the civil side (as opposed to the criminal side) of the law, the common law tort concepts of negligence, assault, invasion of privacy (applying the “reasonable...
July 25, 2017
Phil Querin
Question.  Our community is updating our rules and regulations. Should we include anything about the use of drones flying over people’s backyards?  Can this be controlled for privacy's sake?   Civil Law. On the civil side (as opposed to the criminal side) of the law, the common law tort concepts of negligence, assault, invasion of privacy (applying the “reasonable...
July 19, 2017
Phil Querin
  The eviction process can be daunting to those landlords and managers who rarely, if ever, have been involved in the unpleasant task of trying to remove a tenant from a community.  An eviction (formally known as a “forcible entry and detainer” or “FED”) is an expedited legal procedure designed to allow landlords to obtain possession of their property through the court system....
July 12, 2017
Phil Querin
Questions. My question is in regards to sewer and water pass throughs:  1. Is it still true, that you can pass through utilities? 2.  If so, what is a reasonable time for notice?  3.  The newer MHCO space rental agreements do have a provision for pass through, however what if a tenant has been in the park for years & there is no provision for pass through on a...
June 28, 2017
Phil Querin
Question: A landlord currently charges a $25 late fee.  She wants to increase it to $50. Can she do that and if so, what kind of notice should she give?  Also, can she change the late fee from a flat amount to a percentage (e.g. 10%) of rent?    
June 21, 2017
Phil Querin
  Question. A tenant is being forced to move his home because of a landslide. The home is currently in ABC Park and the tenant wants to move it to XYZ Park. However, there are a couple of trees blocking the home from being moved out. Management of ABC Park claims the trees aren't dead so they can't cut them down.  Is the home forced to stay in ABC Park because of the trees blocking...
June 13, 2017
Phil Querin
  Question. I have a question about the MHCO Temporary Occupant Agreement (MHCO Form 25).  I have a friend who is a tenant in a park. He allowed a woman to move into his home with him. The landlord, the woman and he then signed a MHCO Temporary Occupant Agreement.  I do not know what the duration was, i.e. month-to-month or for a fixed term.   After a while the...
June 6, 2017
Phil Querin
  The following items are a compilation of “lessons learned” from some of the cases I have been involved with over the years.  Many of you have attended MHCO seminars where I’ve discussed them. But it never hurts to be reminded….      
June 1, 2017
Phil Querin
Question. A couple of posts ago, I addressed a questions regarding the roots of a non-hazard tree located on the resident’s space interfering with their sewer line.    There were some follow-up questions I will address below. However, here’s the caveat: This is not legal advice, and community owners and managers should confer with their own legal counsel. Also, my answers are...
May 25, 2017
Phil Querin
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...
May 17, 2017
Phil Querin
Question -   A tenant’s son has a conviction for sex abuse and is still on parole. He was living with his father in the community until neighbors found out about his conviction and began complaining about his presence because this is a family park with many children.  We informed the son’s father that he would have to leave due to his conviction.  He did leave but now he is...
May 17, 2017
Phil Querin
Question -   A tenant’s son has a conviction for sex abuse and is still on parole. He was living with his father in the community until neighbors found out about his conviction and began complaining about his presence because this is a family park with many children.  We informed the son’s father that he would have to leave due to his conviction.  He did leave but now he is...
May 16, 2017
Mark Busch
Question:  Most of our RV guests are long-term tenants with month-to-month rental agreements.  Many have been here for some time.  What are the rules for raising rent?  
May 10, 2017
Phil Querin
Question: My question is about which notice for my situation, a 30-day for cause or a deterioration & repair notices.  A long term resident has constructed a few different makeshift structures including a shed carport/garage and an add-on room attached to his home.  All of these have been in place more than 12 months but past park ownership didn't mind.  All...
May 4, 2017
Phil Querin
Question. We have a grandmother in the park who takes care of an 8 month old grandchild while the mother works full time during the day. The mother of baby does not live in the park.  The grandmother also takes care of an 11-year old girl during summer break while the mother works.  The grandmother states the children do not stay overnight at her house and that the daughter picks them...
April 27, 2017
Phil Querin
Question. Recently I learned that a resident/homeowner in our community had entered the military and was in basic training.  The serviceman's partner is living in their home in our manufactured home community.  The partner came to speak with me about selling their house as the partner will be moving to whatever base the serviceman is assigned, when basic training is completed. ...
April 19, 2017
MHCO
What is Marketing?   Let’s first look at what Webster has to say about the meaning of “marketing” – (1) the act or process of buying and selling in a market; and (2) the commercial functions involved in transferring goods from producer to consumer.  A more commercial definition of marketing that might be found in a high school or college text could read something like this: “...
April 17, 2017
Phil Querin
Question.  We would like to institute a policy allowing us to do a background check on all guests who stay at a property for 14 days or more.  Is there something in ORS Chapter 90 that gives the landlord this right?  Would this have to be in the rental agreement or rules?  Is it enforceable?  
April 6, 2017
Phil Querin
Question. I read some articles that MHCO published about trees, but am still seeking a little clarification about tree roots. Our situation is this: A long term resident has a very large tree on their space.  I don't believe the tree was planted by them or their family. It is not a hazardous tree but does have a DBH of more than 8". The tenant recently reported a...
March 30, 2017
Phil Querin
Question.  I am getting push back from a resident in our Park who says that I cannot enforce Section 8 in MHCO Form No 11 (Ten Day Notice of Intent to Sell Manufactured Home) relating to the requirement that the selling resident must provide us with a “….copy of a current written inspection report from an Oregon-certified and licensed home inspector, verifying that as of the date of the...
March 28, 2017
J. Vance DiMaria
  “Management is the responsibility for and control of a company.” What can park owners do to be better management leaders?   Don’t you agree that our business has become more complicated by economics, government regulation, and the need to stay profit-able?  Whether you are the direct park owner/manager or use a management company, the ultimate responsibility lies with...
March 24, 2017
Phil Querin
    Pet Issues.    There is almost no greater issue that can create problems for landlords, than whether tenants can retain a pet they have brought into the community.  How can owners and managers take control of the issue?   First, landlords should check their current rules and rental agreement. Although landlords who have previously permitted...
March 15, 2017
Phil Querin
  Question: In reviewing the new form 2A, the Retail Installment Contract, does it act as the security agreement on the home, or is there something else that must be filed?  Where is the security agreement filed?  
February 27, 2017
Phil Querin
Question.  How should we deal with non-residential structures locate on residents’ spaces – such as park-owned carports, or structures built by residents themselves, such as sheds? MHCO has Form 52 which addresses liability from contractors, but I cannot find anything that deals with indemnifying management against resident claims occurring from use of these structures.  
February 20, 2017
Phil Querin
  Question.  Our park is on a well water. A few weeks ago, several homes had their pipes underneath their homes burst, leaving no pressure for water to deliver to the other homes in the community. The park was out of water for 6 days. A tenant in the park has told my onsite manager that he will deduct $15 a day from the rent. I told my manager not to accept his rent fearing that I...
February 13, 2017
Phil Querin
  Question:  When residents want to place their home on the market, we tell them we have a preferred real estate agent we want them to use.  Some residents oppose this and want to use their own agent they’ve already been working with.  How can we resolve this?  Also, is it permissible for us to insist that if they use their agent, we receive a portion of the commission...
February 2, 2017
Phil Querin
Question.  What are a landlord’s rights when it comes to residents’ displaying signs on their spaces or homes that might be regarded as provocative or inflammatory by others, e.g. the display of confederate flags, gay flags, pro- or anti-Trump signs?  Can management prohibit them? What are the residents’ rights?    
January 25, 2017
Phil Querin
Question. What needs to be posted on the walls of our manager’s office? Do fair housing posters need to be posted - screening criteria, etc.?     
January 23, 2017
Mark Busch
  Question:  I own a decent-sized RV park with quite a few long-term tenants living there, but with also a few seasonal guests and overnighters.  I have one tenant in particular who is constantly abrasive towards other tenants and guests (for example, walking thru the park and telling people that they need to fix their awnings, stack their firewood in a certain way, etc.)....
January 19, 2017
Phil Querin
Question:  We have had to file two consecutive FED Complaints against a resident.  The day before the first appearance for each case, the resident tender the rent that was due, although he did not pay the court fees of $115.00.  After two months of this, he owes us $230.00.  He promises to repay this amount but does not.  Now rent is due for January, 2017.  We...
January 11, 2017
Phil Querin
  Question. We are a 55+ community. One of our residents has a lot of family coming in and leaving from early morning until late at night. This resident also has two Temporary Occupants living with her, one of her daughters and her husband. The resident also has a granddaughter with three children that are brought to the house on a daily basis by her and one of the Temporary Occupants. It...
January 9, 2017
Phil Querin
  Waiver of Termination of Tenancy. A landlord waives the right to terminate a rental agreement for a particular violation of the rental agreement or of law if the landlord: During three or more separate rental periods, accepts rent with knowledge of the violation by the tenant; or Accepts performance by a tenant that varies from the terms of the rental agreement. A landlord has...
December 21, 2016
Phil Querin
Question: A home was purchased by a local dealer from a resident who had not paid rent for several months.  The dealer then sold the home to another person who applied for tenancy and passed the screening criteria.  The landlord wants the past due rent ($900) paid before permitting applicant to move into the home.  Can the landlord go after the dealer to pay the past due rent?...
December 21, 2016
Phil Querin
Question: A home was purchased by a local dealer from a resident who had not paid rent for several months.  The dealer then sold the home to another person who applied for tenancy and passed the screening criteria.  The landlord wants the past due rent ($900) paid before permitting applicant to move into the home.  Can the landlord go after the dealer to pay the past due rent?...
December 20, 2016
Phil Querin
  Under Oregon law, anyone, who for compensation, arranges or undertakes or offers to undertake or submit a bid to construct, alter, repair…for another, any building…structure, project…or improvement attached to real estate, is a “contractor.”  See, ORS 701.055(3)  Although there are several exceptions to this law, the ramifications of this broad definition can have a...
December 20, 2016
Phil Querin
  Under Oregon law, anyone, who for compensation, arranges or undertakes or offers to undertake or submit a bid to construct, alter, repair…for another, any building…structure, project…or improvement attached to real estate, is a “contractor.”  See, ORS 701.055(3)  Although there are several exceptions to this law, the ramifications of this broad definition can have a...
December 15, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question:  We have resident leaving the community. His wife left the park six months earlier due to divorce. How does the manager handle the deposit? Does the ex-wife get the entire check? What else should the manager be concerned with in this situation?    
December 14, 2016
Phil Querin
  The eviction process can be daunting to those landlords and managers who rarely, if ever, have been involved in the unpleasant task of trying to remove a tenant from a community.  An eviction (formally known as a “forcible entry and detainer” or “FED”) is an expedited legal procedure designed to allow landlords to obtain possession of their property through the court system. ...
December 7, 2016
Phil Querin
Question: A resident stops by the manager’s office on the 5th of the month and offers to pay $150 of the $350 of rent that is due, and promising to pay the remaining $200 by the 15th of the month.  The tenant claims that the landlord must accept the partial payment.  What are the landlord's options?  Can the landlord refuse the partial payment?  Where do you draw the line -...
December 7, 2016
Phil Querin
Question: A resident stops by the manager’s office on the 5th of the month and offers to pay $150 of the $350 of rent that is due, and promising to pay the remaining $200 by the 15th of the month.  The tenant claims that the landlord must accept the partial payment.  What are the landlord's options?  Can the landlord refuse the partial payment?  Where do you draw the line -...
December 6, 2016
Williams and Zinman & Parham P.C.
                    The Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against people on account of disability.  Title III governs places of “public accommodation” and affects certain areas of mobile home and RV parks.  In a nutshell, a “public accommodation” is any place to which...
December 6, 2016
Williams and Zinman & Parham P.C.
            The Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against people on account of disability.  Title III governs places of “public accommodation” and affects certain areas of mobile home and RV parks.  In a nutshell, a “public accommodation” is any place to which the public is invited.  For a typical mobile home park,...
December 6, 2016
Melissa A. Parham
                    The Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against people on account of disability.  Title III governs places of “public accommodation” and affects certain areas of mobile home and RV parks.  In a nutshell, a “public accommodation” is any place to which...
December 6, 2016
Melissa A. Parham
                    The Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against people on account of disability.  Title III governs places of “public accommodation” and affects certain areas of mobile home and RV parks.  In a nutshell, a “public accommodation” is any place to which...
December 6, 2016
Melissa A. Parham
              The Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against people on account of disability.  Title III governs places of “public accommodation” and affects certain areas of mobile home and RV parks.  In a nutshell, a “public accommodation” is any place to which the public is invited.  For...
December 6, 2016
Williams and Zinman & Parham P.C.
                    The Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against people on account of disability.  Title III governs places of “public accommodation” and affects certain areas of mobile home and RV parks.  In a nutshell, a “public accommodation” is any place to which...
November 28, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question: We recently had an applicant (with a criminal history) that management rejected for an RV spot we had available. The criminal background check disclosed that the applicant had a prior burglary and criminal mischief conviction in 2008. He pled guilty and was given a 20-day jail sentence, with 18 months’ probation. He accepted our rejection without argument, but upon reflection...
November 22, 2016
Phil Querin
When understanding tenant responsibilities in manufactured housing communities, it is important to remember those statutes found in Oregon’s landlord-tenant law.  One such statute, ORS 90.740, bears closer examination.  Under this statute, there are several obligations that frequently are not contained even in the community’s own rules.  This means that even though the...
November 16, 2016
Phil Querin
Oregon landlord-tenant law is complicated.  And mistakes in understanding the law frequently work against landlords.  The basic rule-of-thumb to remember is that the written document which defines the landlord-tenant relationship must be complete and must be followed.  While Oregon law does contain some restrictions upon what landlords can put into their rental...
November 16, 2016
Phil Querin
Oregon landlord-tenant law is complicated.  And mistakes in understanding the law frequently work against landlords.  The basic rule-of-thumb to remember is that the written document which defines the landlord-tenant relationship must be complete and must be followed.  While Oregon law does contain some restrictions upon what landlords can put into their rental...
October 19, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question: A park we manage has a tree on one of the lots whose roots are damaging the home owner’s driveway, and the neighbor’s driveway.  In addition, it is also damaging the skirt of the home owner’s residence. Our park rules say that all plants, including trees on a lot, are the responsibility of the home owner who is leasing the lot.  The home owners are also responsible...
October 19, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question: A park we manage has a tree on one of the lots whose roots are damaging the home owner’s driveway, and the neighbor’s driveway.  In addition, it is also damaging the skirt of the home owner’s residence. Our park rules say that all plants, including trees on a lot, are the responsibility of the home owner who is leasing the lot.  The home owners are also responsible...
October 19, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question: A park we manage has a tree on one of the lots whose roots are damaging the home owner’s driveway, and the neighbor’s driveway.  In addition, it is also damaging the skirt of the home owner’s residence. Our park rules say that all plants, including trees on a lot, are the responsibility of the home owner who is leasing the lot.  The home owners are also responsible...
October 10, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question:  We have a 91 year old tenant who is bedridden, and his daughter who is 66 years old, is his caretaker. He is not coherent. Meanwhile, she continually lets people stay at the residence past the 14 day limit in our rules. The space is not maintained.  We sent a 30 day notice in August for unauthorized residents. Unfortunately, the caretaker continues to let in more...
October 6, 2016
Mark Busch
Question:  We are wondering whether to use monthly or weekly rental agreements with RV tenants?  We prefer the stability of longer-term tenants, but sometimes get a few bad apples who don’t work out and then find ourselves stuck with them until we can give a no-cause eviction notice.  Any recommendations?  
October 4, 2016
Phil Querin
Question. What do you do when you discover a resident has filed for bankruptcy after you have given them a 72 hour notice for nonpayment of rent?  Is the process different if you give them a 30-day notice for cleaning up their space and you discover that they have filed bankruptcy?    
October 4, 2016
Phil Querin
Question. What do you do when you discover a resident has filed for bankruptcy after you have given them a 72 hour notice for nonpayment of rent?  Is the process different if you give them a 30-day notice for cleaning up their space and you discover that they have filed bankruptcy?    
September 28, 2016
Phil Querin
Question One:   If a community is a legal 55+ park, is it still subject to the federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination against children?   Question Two:  If the current rules in a family community appear to be discriminatory towards children – e.g. they place restrictions that have a discriminatory impact on children or persons with children (e.g. curfew on...
September 27, 2016
Chrissy Jackson
Today’s professional community managers are required to create and implement a positive resident relations program, increase resident retention, concentrate on marketing and sales, resolve resident disputes, enhance the value of the community, maintain the physical asset, stay current with training and certification, and adhere to a budget.  And that is only for starters....
September 20, 2016
Phil Querin
  Questions. We want to add street lighting to a section of our community that has none. The light poles will need to be placed on several of the spaces. Can we install these on the space without resident permission? Is a 24 hour notice sufficient notice?  What do you suggest? Secondly, we also want to repair broken street lights that are on a number of resident spaces. Can we go on...
September 19, 2016
J. Kent Pearson and Jr.
  How are you sleeping? Health professionals are increasingly touting the benefits of a good night’s sleep for optimal health. Are you sleeping like a baby, secure in the knowledge that your company has carefully analyzed the overtime status of its employees under Oregon law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)?  Or are you tossing and turning, concerned that with every...
September 14, 2016
Phil Querin
Question No. 1. We are currently in the process of submetering our community and we have been asked a question by the residents that we run into frequently. This scenario refers to the first month of billing, i.e. January 2017: Tenants ask “If we are being billed for utility usage from November 15 – December 15 and then we pay for usage on our January rent invoice, haven’t we already paid...
September 6, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question. What is the difference between a “Maintenance/Clean-Up Notice” (MHCO Form 47) and the other two termination notices (MHCO Form 43 – “30 Day Notice For Cause Eviction” and  MHCO 55 “30 Day Notice to Terminate and Remove Home”)?  I get confused on which one to use and when. Why do we need difference forms for these violations?  
August 29, 2016
Ty Downing
  The Manufactured Home industry is growing at a healthy pace…finally So far this year, shipments of new manufactured homes in the US is 16% higher than the same time period in 2015.  According to the US Census Bureau, 70,500 new units were shipped in 2015.  If the current trend continues (as industry forecasts suggest), 2016 could see total shipments of over 80,000 units....
August 23, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question. We have a 55 and older Park with 164 homes.  The residents own their homes but lease the land.  We have an individual that is growing marijuana in her back yard.  She says she has a medical card which makes it legal to grow and also has a handicap which makes it perfectly lawful.  The neighbors are complaining about the smell.  We have nothing in...
August 10, 2016
MHCO
This is the third in a series of articles on disaster preparedness and how to safeguard your community, save lives and minimize damage. Some disasters, like hurricanes and floods, allow you to take action ahead of time to save lives and property.  Others, like tornadoes, earthquakes, and flash floods, need more immediate action.  You should have plans for both.  ...
August 7, 2016
Phil Querin
Question.  What is the difference between the enforceability of our rules vs our rental agreement? What if they conflict?
July 27, 2016
Phil Querin
Question.  We have a resale compliance form that we give to residents planning to sell their home on site. We recently had a resident tell us we could not dictate what they had to do in order to prepare their home for resale. Is that correct?  
July 21, 2016
Terry R. Dowdall
  Summer is here again! And the kids have started their seasonal pilgrim- age to the coolest place in the all- age park, the swimming pool. Each year, there is accidental loss of life in private residential pools. Management is not required to provide lifeguards or medical services. As a mandate of federal law (mirrored in the Fair Employment and Housing Act as well), when it comes to...
July 19, 2016
Phil Querin
Question. A resident living alone is in a coma in the hospital.  Family and friends have arrived and insist in staying at the resident’s home.  What should the manager do?  How does the manager even know if these people should be allowed in the house?  What are the park’s rights and what notice would you use to resolve the issue?  
July 13, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question.  Our manager gave a 30-day notice to a resident for continued bad behavior (e.g. disturbing the peaceful enjoyment of other residents). After the 30-day notice was served the bad behavior continued.  Does the manager have to wait the full 30 days before going to court and filing the eviction?            ...
July 12, 2016
Ty Downing
  Did you know Oregon law requires you as a park owner to give notice to residents when you intend to sell your park?   Did you know that many owners are not completing this legal obligation properly…and some are being sued for it?   In 2015, the Oregon legislature changed the law in a few very important ways, but notification of our increased legal responsibility...
June 28, 2016
Phil Querin
Question.  One of our residents is in the hospital after a stroke. Her sister arrived from California at the park and is staying at the stricken resident’s house. The sister has a 5-year old daughter. The park is a 55+ community. The resident is completely incapacitated. Some residents are upset that a 5-year old is staying in the community. What is management’s responsibility regarding the...
June 23, 2016
Phil Querin
Question:  What are a landlord’s rights against a lender holding a lien on the tenant’s home following the tenant’s abandonment?  We have a lender who signed the storage agreement, but has failed to maintain the space. What notice should the landlord give?  Do we have to start the abandonment notification all over again?    
June 23, 2016
Phil Querin
Question:  What are a landlord’s rights against a lender holding a lien on the tenant’s home following the tenant’s abandonment?  We have a lender who signed the storage agreement, but has failed to maintain the space. What notice should the landlord give?  Do we have to start the abandonment notification all over again?    
June 21, 2016
Mark Busch
  Question:  We have a couple of situations with unauthorized RV occupants in our park.  The first is an RV tenant who has moved in a person who we consider to be a nuisance – she has been yelling at other residents.  The second situation is a nice lady who has moved in a boyfriend – he seems okay but still hasn’t been approved.  In both cases, they have ignored...
June 13, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question. I am always concerned about what my rights are as a manager when I go upon a resident’s space. Can you clarify for me?  
June 8, 2016
Phil Querin
One of the most troubling dilemmas of park owners and managers is whether to accept rent when the resident is already in default. This can be a trap for the unwary, and can result in a  waiver of the  landlord’s right to  demand that the resident vacate  the mobile home park/community.   Here are some rules which may be helpful:  
June 6, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question. What type of fees and deposits am I allowed to require of new residents when they move into the community?    
May 26, 2016
Phil Querin
Question:  A few years ago, a married couple originally applied together for residency in our community.  Based on their combined credit scores, they were both approved for residency.  They have since divorced and one of them has moved out.  How do we deal with this?  We have several questions listed below.    
May 23, 2016
MHCO
(This is the second in a series of articles on disaster preparedness in manufactured home communities) For manufactured home communities, emergency management experts recommend putting together a committee of residents, with the following minimum responsibilities:   Working with management to develop an evacuation or shelter plan Setting up an emergency notification system for...
May 19, 2016
Phil Querin
Question.  Following your article on screening for criminal history, I’m needing some help digesting all the Do’s and Don’ts.  Are there any recent visual aids that might help?
May 12, 2016
Zach Koucos
              The financial markets thus far in 2016 have proven unpredictable, yet have simultaneously offered very attractive opportunities for income property owners looking for capital. While the stock market and oil prices have continued to plunge over the past several weeks, very few experts predicted that major interest rate...
May 12, 2016
Zach Koucos
              The financial markets thus far in 2016 have proven unpredictable, yet have simultaneously offered very attractive opportunities for income property owners looking for capital. While the stock market and oil prices have continued to plunge over the past several weeks, very few experts predicted that major interest rate...
May 5, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question: An occupant lives in a home that is sub leased from her father. The father, who is the official tenant on the lease, does not live in the home.  The occupant (sub lease tenant)  has been in the house since the beginning of January.  The occupant was asked at the time to complete and submit a criminal background check, but refused. So the occupant is living...
May 3, 2016
MHCO
This is the first in a series of articles on disaster preparedness and how to safeguard your community, save lives and minimize damage There are three steps in a good disaster plan: planning, prevention and recovery.  Knowing what to do in each step can help you reduce injuries and damage to your community.  This article discusses the planning segment of disaster preparedness...
May 2, 2016
Mark Busch
  (CAVEAT:  The information below is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice for any particular situation.  This is a complicated area of the law and you should consult with an attorney with regard to a specific case.) What is Section 8 housing? Section 8 housing is a government assistance program that awards housing vouchers to certain low-income families to...
April 27, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question.  As a manager, do I have the ability to terminate the tenancy of a current resident who committed a crime outside of the community?
April 19, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question.  I understand that there are certain regulations dealing with our ability to sell formerly abandoned homes.  How will this affect me?  
April 14, 2016
Phil Querin
    Background. On April 4, 2016, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) issued its “Office of General Counsel Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions” (hereinafter, the “Memo”). The full text of the 10-page Memo can be found...
April 13, 2016
Phil Querin
  Oregon landlord-tenant law is complicated.  And mistakes in understanding the law frequently work against landlords.  The basic rule-of-thumb to remember is that the written document which defines the landlord-tenant relationship must be complete and must be followed.  While Oregon law does contain some restrictions upon what landlords can put into their rental agreements...
April 6, 2016
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
    The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission has unanimously approved rules that beef up asbestos surveying requirements for owners of residential buildings or other persons proposing to demolish a residence in Oregon. The rules went  into effect Jan. 1, 2016.    
March 31, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question:  I understand that Oregon law governs late fees. Can you summarize it for us?
March 28, 2016
Phil Querin
The Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) went into effect on March 12, 1989.  That Act amended Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin in the sale, rental, or financing of residential housing.  The FHAA added two additional protected classes; (1) persons with disabilities and (2) families with...
March 22, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question - A rent increase notice of $20 was sent out last year and became effective October 1, 2015.  A resident has refused to pay this increase, and has tendered rent for the pre-increase amount.  Can I give her a 72 Hour Notice (MHCO Form 42) for the past six months for not paying the additional $20?
March 16, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question - A resident moves out of their house but the daughter continues to pay a storage fee and signed a MHCO Storage Agreement.  The home is not being occupied by anyone.  All storage fees are current. However, no one is maintaining the yard or outside of the home.  This is required under the Storage Agreement, and work needs to be performed immediately. The MHCO...
March 15, 2016
Joanne Stevens
  Over the years, in selling a lot of parks and reviewing a lot of profit and loss statements, there are several common mistakes owners make that are easy to correct.
March 8, 2016
Jack Kerin
It is assumed that manufactured housing communities are property, and of course they are real property, but they are more than that.
March 1, 2016
Phil Querin
Question: I understand that today I may sell a home our park acquired back in an abandonment without having to hire a mortgage broker. Can you explain the new law?
February 23, 2016
Phil Querin
Question:  We have a situation at our park that we have never encountered.  We have been dealing with a resident who has certain complaints against management, and finally withheld his rent.  We just issued a 72-hour notice to him, and after expiration of the 72 hours (plus three days, since we’d mailed the notice to him), we filed an eviction against him in court.  He got an...
February 18, 2016
Mark Busch
Question: A mobile home park has a separate RV section.  One long-time RV resident recently moved out because of illness, but left behind his RV, which is old and in poor condition.  Does the park need to file an eviction action to clear out the space for a new tenant?  What can the park do with the RV itself?
February 16, 2016
Phil Querin
Question:  We have a member who has three months’ of checks from a resident that the manager has not deposited. The checks are for November, December, 2015 and January, 2016. The manager did not return the checks. So, are the checks considered accepted by the landlord even though they have not been cashed?
February 11, 2016
Phil Querin
Question:  As a community owner, is it best to start selling the carport/sheds to the new residents moving into the community or keep the carport/shed as the responsibility of the community? If I do sell the carport/shed to the new resident what’s the downside?   Also, what about the carport/sheds that 2 spaces share where one side is owned by the resident and the other side is...
February 3, 2016
Phil Querin
Question: Can you provide us with a “Check-List” of issues we need to be aware of when we learn that a resident living alone in the community dies. 
January 27, 2016
Phil Querin
  Question:  Our rental agreement provides that rent is due on the first of the month, and late on the fifth. Rent may either be mailed to, or dropped off at, the manager’s office. Occasionally, we have residents mailing their rent checks on or before the fourth (based upon the postmark), but they are not received until the fifth or later.  In those where we receive the rent...
December 23, 2015
Mark Busch
Question:  We have an RV park with quite a few long-term tenants.  Our problem tenant (“Kris”) has been here for for what seems like ages.  This time every year around the holidays, Kris has a whole group of elves stay with him for a couple of months and they never register as guests.  He claims he needs a “reasonable accommodation” for them because he has a bad back and...
December 17, 2015
Phil Querin
Question:  What are a landlord’s rights against a lienholder who, following a tenant abandonment, signs the storage agreement, but fails to maintain the space? What notice should the landlord give?  Do we have to start the abandonment notification all over again?    
December 8, 2015
Phil Querin
  Editor's Note:  Earlier this year MHCO passed significant changes to Oregon's abandonment law in the Oregon Legislature.  To assist MHCO Members with these changes, MHCO has developed three new forms as a result of the new abandonment law:  The new forms are: MHCO Form 31A "Declaration of Intent"; MHCO Form 31B "Declaration of...
December 3, 2015
Christy Mays
  Gen Y.  Millennials.  Internet Generation.  Boomerang Generation.   Echo Boomers.  Trophy Kids.  Whatever you call them, they are making a profound statement on both the marketplace and workforce in the US.  Coming in at 83 million strong, they rival the Baby Boomers of 63 million and we should pay attention to this group!  
November 18, 2015
Phil Querin
  Question:  Can landlords ask just for social security numbers and deny applicants if they do not have one? Or does that start to go down the slippery slope of disparate impact? If the landlord does not require social security numbers, does that open them up liability to the rest of the community?  
November 16, 2015
Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services
Do I need a license to sell manufactured homes? Yes. Individuals or entities that sell a manufactured home on behalf of another person have always required a license.  
November 11, 2015
Phil Querin
Question:  When can a manager refuse payment by check? If the name on the check does not match the resident’s name can (or should) the check be refused?  Should there be a park rule to back this up? If the manager refuses payment because of the name on the check and asks for money order or cash does that have to be in the rules? All of this stems from the concern of unauthorized...
November 4, 2015
Phil Querin
Question:  A pedophile is released from prison and moves in with his mother in a manufactured home community. He is not an authorized occupant or tenant. Residents are upset. What are the landlord’s options? Is it limited to just serving a 30 day notice for unauthorized resident?    
October 20, 2015
Phil Querin
Question:  A resident passed away in our community. There was a person living in the home at the time under a Temporary Occupant Agreement. However, it does not expire for several more months. Rent is paid up until the end of the month. What should the landlord do? Can he/she give a notice longer than the 24 hour notice of eviction which seems cruel given the circumstances? Should he/she use...
October 14, 2015
Phil Querin
  Background. The Fair Housing Act (“FHA” or “Act”) was passed in 1968, and has been an important fixture in the law ever since. Essentially, its purpose was to prohibit discrimination in the sale and rental of residential housing. At the time, there were five main protected classes, i.e. groups of persons entitled to the protection of the Act. Those classifications were race, color,...
October 12, 2015
Mark Busch
Abandoned RVs Question:  A mobile home park has a separate RV section.  One long-time RV resident recently moved out because of illness, but left behind his RV, which is old and in poor condition.  Does the park need to file an eviction action to clear out the space for a new tenant?  What can the park do with the RV itself?  
October 8, 2015
Phil Querin
Question.  We have just begun managing a 55+ community.  However, we are confused about the 80/20 rules and the possibility of losing our 55+ status. What is a safe margin for the occupancy limits?  And if our community percentage is 85%, are we required to rent the 15% remainder to families with children?      
October 5, 2015
Tom Petitt
A manufactured home community manager’s job today is much more than collecting rents and maintaining a community.  Working to maintain the good will of the residents is equally important.  This is not so much an extra task as it is a matter of style dependent upon how you conduct yourself as you manage the business of the community.  You are the leader in the community....
September 28, 2015
Phil Querin
  Question:  We have a resident who was recently arrested for meth possession in the park and for a variety of other offenses (identity theft, etc.). We want evict the tenant for the meth possession. The 30-day notice of termination under ORS 90.630 is curable, and MHCO’s Form #43 for a violation asks us to describe the remedy. But we want the resident out for good. Is there a remedy...
September 22, 2015
Phil Querin
Tenant Video Cameras   Question: In my community, there are two neighbors living next door to each other that don’t get along. One of the tenants has accused the other of having late night outside visitors and possible distribution of drugs, and vandalism to his property.  He has recently installed a security system to his home that includes cameras. One of those cameras is...
September 17, 2015
Phil Querin
Question:  A resident living alone passed away.  It took some time for the estate to get underway because they had to search for heirs.  An heir was located and was appointed as Administrator to act on behalf of the estate.    Shortly after the resident’s passing, we began requesting that a Storage Agreement be signed but the estate was hesitant to do so until the...
September 16, 2015
Mark Busch
  Question:  Our RV park is attractive and in a great location for long-term residents (i.e., for retirees on smaller budgets).  While we already have a number of long-time residents in regular RVs, but we want to expand into the “park model” business to become a more attractive option for that segment of the market.  Can we treat regular RVs and park models the same under...
September 14, 2015
Joel Erlitz & Sally Harrington
  With the summer soon to become a distant memory, it is time to prepare our communities for fall and winter here in the Northwest!  It is EASY to take a breather after summer, the busiest landscape time of the year, but there is a legion of tasks ahead that need our attention:
September 9, 2015
Phil Querin
Question. We have a resident who has a legal medical marijuana card and is growing plants in a greenhouse in his backyard.  The manager contacted the police who have been very helpful in resolving other drug issues in the community.  The police did talk with the resident, inspected his medical marijuana card and his grow operation.  Essentially the police said that the resident is...
August 24, 2015
Phil Querin
  Question. We have a problem and I'm looking for guidance as to the proper way to handle it.  Our well is going dry.  Upon inspection, our well expert said we had only four feet of water. Although the system recovers overnight, there have been numerous occasions when the holding tank (2600 gallon capacity) is below 500 gallons.  Fortunately, our pump has a system that...
August 18, 2015
By Elizabeth Gray
  Hoarding is distinct from simply building a collection, which is usually displayed with pride, or letting a few days of dishes and laundry pile up when life gets busy. A person who has been diagnosed with hoarding has a disability under the Fair Housing Act1.   Hoarding has been added to the DSM-5, the latest version of the American Psychiatric Association’s classification...
August 10, 2015
Phil Querin
Question. Our city garbage company is going to increase my per space rate by six dollars per month per can, which is a drastic increase. I'm wondering if I have the legal right to back out of my base rent the current garbage costs, and then require our residents to pay directly. Our current rental agreements include the garbage in base rent, which means currently I will have to absorb the...
August 10, 2015
Phil Querin
Question. Our city garbage company is going to increase my per space rate by six dollars per month per can, which is a drastic increase. I'm wondering if I have the legal right to back out of my base rent the current garbage costs, and then require our residents to pay directly. Our current rental agreements include the garbage in base rent, which means currently I will have to absorb the...
August 6, 2015
Ty Downing
  Thinking of selling your manufactured home community?  This is the market you want to be in!  Oregon mobile home park sellers are seeing high demand for their product, and a park with good fundamentals in strong locations -- priced correctly -- will sell quickly.
August 3, 2015
Phil Querin
  Question. We are sub-metering a property and have given all the appropriate notices including the 24 hour notice for right of entry to their space. About 20 residents have denied our access to the site and are asking us to provide them with exact dates on when we can enter their space.  We could do that however as with all of these projects delays may happen and it would...
July 29, 2015
Mark Busch
  Question:  We have a younger gentleman who has lived in the RV section of our park now for around six months.  He checked out well in our application process, but now has not paid rent for two months.  He says that he was laid off from his job, but is starting a new one and that his mother has agreed to help him catch up.  But that was several weeks ago and...
July 27, 2015
Phil Querin
  Question. We have residents whose son just turned 18, and will continued to live at home for the time being.  So far, he has not caused any problems, and we have no reason to believe he will.  But now that he is an adult, should we require that the he go through a criminal background check and formally apply to become a tenant?
July 15, 2015
Scott Mullens
  Stating the obvious:  Rules and Regulations (aka Guidelines For Living) set forth living and maintenance behavior which a MHC Resident must follow while living in your community.  These R&Rs can include items like maintaining yards, limiting on-street parking, allowing or prohibiting fences, cleaning up after pets, deck sizes, night time quite hours and a whole host...
July 14, 2015
Phil Querin
  Question. We have a tenant that rents one of our Studio Apartments, recently she requested to rent one of our mobile homes that just became vacant. She informed us that she was approved for Section 8 and also that there would be an inspection of the Unit.  We would like to know if we would be required to pay for any changes or upgrades due to the result of the...
July 9, 2015
Bill Miner
  Q:           What happens after I give them the financial information?   A:            The tenants committee must (1) form a corporate entity that is legally capable of purchasing property or associate with a  nonprofit corporation or housing authority that...
July 1, 2015
Kim Berry
  Just imagine, roaming the Western United States in your RV, not a care in the world, cheap living, and finally, settling in a MHP in Beautiful Oregon!  A dream come true for a lot of senior citizens.  Filling vacant spaces can be the most important improvement made to any Mobile Home Park and because there is a growing trend for people, especially seniors, to live in RV’s full...
June 29, 2015
Phil Querin
Question. Our park has Ash trees on most of the spaces, planted by the owners when the spaces were first occupied.  Most of the trees are between thirty and forty years old. We routinely maintain the above-ground parts of the trees.  We prune and repair the trees as needed, and occasionally remove trees when necessary.  In some cases the roots have damaged walkways or...
June 10, 2015
Phil Querin
Question: What can a landlord do about resident’s who deliberately leave water running in the summer to get back at the landlord?  
June 4, 2015
Phil Querin
Question: A home burned down over the weekend in my community.  What are my rights and responsibilities?  How does the scenario change depending if the resident has or does NOT have insurance?
May 28, 2015
Bill Miner
  Over the past several months I have received many requests from clients who are thinking of selling their community. Here are a few questions that have been asked and my answers (First of Two Parts):   Q:           If I am thinking of selling my park, when do I have to send notice to my tenants?    
May 27, 2015
Mark Busch
Question:  Our RV park allows pets, but we have a specific rule that prohibits dangerous breeds, including pit bulls.  One of our tenants just brought us a doctor’s note saying that she needs her pit bull as an “emotional support” animal.  Do we have to let her keep a pit bull in the park?  
May 19, 2015
Phil Querin
Question: Over the years Oregon rental laws change. When should I update my rental agreement to reflect those changes? Can I change my “Statement of Policy”? What about the community rules and regulations?  
May 14, 2015
Phil Querin
Question:  A former tenant who signed over his mobile but left the Park with almost $4,000 in back rent, unpaid property taxes and attorney fees is now applying to be a Temporary Occupant in a neighbor’s home.  Is there any way I can prevent him from living in the Park? If I deny him temporary occupancy, I’m afraid he will say he will be serving as a care giver for the current tenant....
May 12, 2015
Adam Cook
Take a look at the signage in your community. Are there signs clearly posted to indicate that your community is private property, has a no soliciting policy, a speed limit, pets must be on a leash or that unregistered/unauthorized vehicles may be towed? These are just some examples, but they are quite common in many manufactured home communities. In order to effectively enforce a policy or rule,...
May 4, 2015
Phil Querin
Question:  A resident paid partial rent in April and now has not paid the full May rent.  On the 72 hour notice does the manager include ALL the rent due, i.e. the balance of the unpaid rent for April plus all of May’s rent?
April 29, 2015
Tony Petosa and Nick Bertino
A comment made frequently by lenders at a recent national banker’s conference was, “It is a good time to be a borrower.” Correction, it is a great time to be a borrower! Treasury yields have been hovering at or near all time lows, loan spreads are at favorable levels, and lender underwriting guidelines have moderated – some believe too quickly – as a result of an expanding...
April 28, 2015
Mark Busch
Question: We have a parking problem in our RV park.  Some of the long-term residents often have guests who park in places that they shouldn’t.  In addition, some tenants own more than one vehicle, which adds to the parking congestion.  Can we tow unlawfully parked vehicles?  What else can we do to cut down on parking problems?
April 21, 2015
Phil Querin
Question:  I am still unclear on the issue of whether we may insist that all applicants for tenancy produce a valid social security number. Is it legal that we do so?
April 13, 2015
Phil Querin
Question.   My manager said he heard somewhere that by law a conviction older than three or four years cannot be used as a part of the decision to deny a prospective tenant’s rental application.  I don’t know if that pertains to screening in a rental situation or if it was related to something else, such as employment or the like. Can you shed some light on this? 
April 8, 2015
Tom Petitt
Customer service can be defined as a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction. It’s the feeling that a product or service has met the customer’s expectation.
April 7, 2015
Phil Querin
The following is a summary of my conversation with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon on the issue of whether landlords can put caregivers on Temporary Occupancy Agreements, rather than putting them on a Rental Agreement, or not putting them on any written agreement (which leaves in doubt their legal status if the Landlord wants them removed from the Community).
March 31, 2015
Phil Querin
Question.   What if a portion of the community previously had ground instability issues and it was determined to be in a geologically hazardous zone?  One or more homes were relocated from their spaces due to this condition, and some were deemed uninhabitable.  But then the community owner placed other homes on the vacated spaces in the same unstable area. No disclosures were...
March 25, 2015
Phil Querin
Question. Are there any instances when a [housing] provider can deny a request for a reasonable accommodation without violating the Act?  
March 25, 2015
Phil Querin
Question. Are there any instances when a [housing] provider can deny a request for a reasonable accommodation without violating the Act?  
March 23, 2015
By Paola Iuspa
  Buying a mobile home, also known as a manufactured home, can be one of the most affordable ways to own.
March 19, 2015
Mark Busch
Question: We’re concerned that with the passage of Oregon’s new marijuana laws, we’ll have some tenants using marijuana in the RV park and maybe even growing it.  We want to maintain our family-friendly RV park and don’t want it here.  What can we do?
March 10, 2015
Phil Querin
Question.  I understand that there are different methods to serve notices on residents.  Which do you believe is the best method?  
March 4, 2015
Phil Querin
Question. I understand that MHCO has developed a new Assistance Animal Agreement.  What was wrong with the old one?
February 24, 2015
Phil Querin
Question. As a follow-up to your prior Q&A about assistance animals, I’m confused as to the distinction between them, “service animals” and “companion animals.” Are we, as landlords, required to make a “reasonable accommodation,” by allowing all of them?  My understanding is that such animals cannot be counted as “pets” in regard to number, size, breed, or anything...
February 17, 2015
Robert S. Coldren
If you are reading this, chances are you are one of the millions of baby boomers at or near retirement. Although you might not care for the moniker, the government has officially designated you as an “older person.” If you own property designated as housing for “seniors,” you should periodically refresh yourself on the state of the law protecting “older persons” and to avoid the mistakes of other...
February 10, 2015
Phil Querin
Question:  A landlord recently purchased a manufactured home in his community.  He wants to fix the home up and then resell it.  Does the landlord have to be a licensed plumber or electrician to do the respective work on the home?
February 4, 2015
Phil Querin
Question: It has recently come to our attention that a tenant is in violation of our two-pet policy, as she has admitted that she has 4 small dogs living in her home.  When we speak with her through her door, the smell of dog urine is overwhelming. We have mailed her a letter explaining that this is rules violation and asked that she remove two of the pets by a certain date.  Our...
February 2, 2015
Robert G. Williamson, Jr. and Linda J. Lester
“In 1988, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (“FHA”) was overhauled [by the] Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988…. Prior to the amendments, the Fair Housing Act prohibited various forms of housing-related discrimination based on ‘race, color, religion, or national origin.’ … In 1974, discrimination based on sex was added. … In 1988, prohibitions against housing discrimination based on ‘familial status...
January 28, 2015
Mark Busch
Question:  One of our long-time RV residents recently passed away.  He didn’t have any next of kin or friends who might want to claim his property.  What can we do with his RV, pickup truck, and other personal property items on the space?
January 26, 2015
Phil Querin
  Question: We have a tenant whose son (age 65) is her caregiver.  They spend winters in Southern California.  The son/caregiver used to work for us a few years ago, but was fired due to his terrible attitude and disrespect for management.  The situation has continued to worsen, and he has filed false complaints against the park with the DEQ over our wastewater....
January 22, 2015
Phil Querin
Question: An occupant lives in a home that is sub leased from her father. The father, who is the official tenant on the lease, does not live in the home.  The occupant has been in the house since the beginning of January.  The occupant was asked at the time to complete and submit a criminal background check, but refused. So the occupant is living there as an unauthorized person....
January 20, 2015
Erik Twenge
  As a Manufactured Home Park owner, there are many things to consider in regards to water submeter conversion in Oregon. “To Submeter or Not to Submeter?” 
January 15, 2015
Phil Querin
Question. In 2011 we passed through sewer directly to our residents.  It was previously included in the base rent.  The total monthly sewer bill is $2,174.00.  We have 62 spaces and we divided the $2,174 by that number to get $35.00 per month per resident.   We gave a 30-day notice stating the gross monthly amount of the sewer bill and the amount we were passing...
December 23, 2014
MHCO
One of the simple demographic facts facing America is that America is getting older. Approximately 55 million people in the U.S. are over 55 years of age. By the year 2014, the youngest baby boomer (born January 2011, more than 10,000 baby boomers began reaching the age of 65 every single day, and this trend will continue for the next 18 years. Currently, 34 million Americans are over 65 and that...
December 23, 2014
MHCO
One of the simple demographic facts facing America is that America is getting older. Approximately 55 million people in the U.S. are over 55 years of age. By the year 2014, the youngest baby boomer (born January 2011, more than 10,000 baby boomers began reaching the age of 65 every single day, and this trend will continue for the next 18 years. Currently, 34 million Americans are over 65 and that...
December 17, 2014
Phil Querin
Question: A resident whose business is a medical marijuana store in town has informed the manager that she plans on growing marijuana plants on the space. She has not indicated if this is for sale, medical, or her own use. The community has not updated their rules to implement a No Marijuana policy, but they do say that there are to be no businesses in the park. The rental agreement is...
December 11, 2014
Phil Querin
Question: A community owner entered into a Storage Agreement on a home in early January 2014.  The agreement provides that the home must be removed by November 30th if it does not sell.  We are now approaching the end of November, and the community owner does not believe the home will be sold by the end of this month.  What’s next?  Does the community owner take...
December 8, 2014
Manufactured Housing Communities of Oregon
Community Rules and Regulations along with your rental agreement are critical for the successful operation and management of your manufactured home community.  Here are some provisions that should be part of your community rules.  Remember, good rules are the first step in maintaining an orderly relationship with your residents.  You must also apply and enforce the rules...
December 3, 2014
Phil Querin
Question: We have a resident who has about 40 cottonwood trees in her yard.  She planted them some time ago. The trees are all about 50 feet in height and very overgrown.  I’m pretty sure they’ve never been trimmed or maintained.  We have had complaints recently from a neighbor that they are concerned with the safety of those trees in a storm.  We had an arborist...
November 26, 2014
Mark Busch
Question:  We have been a little lax in keeping some of our RV tenants on track with their rent and late charges.  It has to stop.  How do we collect the money these tenants owe the park?
November 19, 2014
Phil Querin
Oregon’s Joint Venture (Legalization of Marijuana)  – How Will It Affect Community Owners?  What you need to know about POT Legalization and Your Community
November 13, 2014
Phil Querin
  Question:  Our community is having more and more residents who purchase pets as puppies, sign the MHCO Pet Agreement that CLEARLY STATES our maximum 25 pound weight limit, and then over time, and the animal becomes too large, they refuse to remove it from the community, and claim their pet is really a “service animal,” “assistance animal,” “emotional support animal” or some...
November 5, 2014
Phil Querin
Question: One of my tenants has approached me asking if I would pay relocate their home, as a portion of her space is falling away due to erosion from a nearby stream. As a park owner, what is my responsibility for undertaking this expense?
October 30, 2014
Phil Querin
Question.  A park resident passed away unexpectedly last year. Shortly, thereafter, his widow contacted the park owner and asked if her sister could move in with her. She was approved commencing on October 1.  However, when we asked them to come to the office and sign a new rental agreement, they balked at the provision in the MHCO form regarding trees, which provides that, with the...
October 13, 2014
Chuck Carpenter
A well management community is essential to making life easier and more pleasant for management and residents.  Here are 10 mistakes to avoid in the management of your community.  Remember - a well managed community - good property management - results in happier residents, pride in the community, encourages resident referrals and discourages the need or desire for additional landlord...
October 10, 2014
April Quast and Ashley Carroll
Elder Abuse in our society is hidden.  For every one case that is reported, 24 cases go unreported (National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Late Life).  There are several factors that contribute to this.  An older adult is reluctant to admit that abuse is happening.  Guilt and shame are silencers in Elder Abuse.  Some folks do not have the capacity to report that abuse is...
October 7, 2014
Mark Busch
Question:  Are there any new laws affecting RV rental spaces that we need to know about?
October 6, 2014
Phil Querin
Question: In reviewing the new form 2A, the Retail Installment Contract, does it act as the security agreement on the home, or is there something else that must be filed?  Where is the security agreement filed?
October 3, 2014
Adam Cook
For better than two decades, one of the most significant and unpredictable factors influencing the bottom line of multifamily housing properties has been rising utility costs. This doesn't cause quite as much heartburn for property owners who have wisely passed such utilities through to the residents to pay in addition to their rent. However, for the overwhelming majority of properties,...
October 2, 2014
Phil Querin
A tenant’s son has a conviction for sex abuse and is still on parole. He was living with his father in the community until neighbors found out about his conviction and began complaining about his presence because this is a family park with many children.  We informed the son’s father that he would have to leave due to his conviction.  He did leave but now he is doing odd jobs here...
October 1, 2014
Phil Querin
Question:  I understand that Oregon law governs late fees. Can you summarize it for us?
September 16, 2014
Question:  We have RV spaces at the front of our  mobile home park on a well-traveled highway near the coast.  We have been renting only to long-term RV’ers, but want to expand our business opportunities to include overnighters.  Is that permissible and how do we do that?  
September 15, 2014
Question: We have various screening criteria, but they change from time to time – usually after we run up against a problem we haven’t seen before.  Is it OK to change our criteria, and if so, how do we do it?    
August 26, 2014
Anthony Ducharme
The Direct Team has always been a consumer-focused service platform. Historically we viewed our business partners as one of the conduits to the end consumer and customer.   It became clear when we at Mountainside Financial started soliciting feedback from our business partners - specifically about ways that we could improve the communication we delivered to the business partner - about...
August 25, 2014
Question: I have two questions regarding submetering.  When a community completes the submetering and the tenant is paying back the community for the meter and cost of installation, who owns and maintains the meters from that point on?  The second question is that we have a community that was metered when it was built but the community is on a master meter and paying for water and...
August 21, 2014
Our RV park has had problems with theft and the occasional physical confrontation between tenants and/or tenant’s guests.  Under Oregon law, what minimum level of security do we owe to our RV tenants?  Do we need to hire a security guard?
August 11, 2014
Like all business decisions these days, business owners must make informed decisions. Reinvesting in your manufactured home community is no different. MHCs are considered one of the best forms of affordable housing, which are in short supply. Today building a new MHC is usually economically unfeasible in areas due to the restrictions being placed on them by local and state government. Therefore,...
August 11, 2014
We have been on a quest to improve the appearance of our mobile home park.  We’ve done a good job on the mobile homes, but now we’re going to focus on the RVs.  One of our long-time RV tenants has a dilapidated old travel trailer that is getting worse every year.  Another newer RV resident has a decent 5th wheel, but leaves his work tools, wood scraps and other debris all over his...
August 11, 2014
Question:  A resident has a yard maintenance person come to their space once a week to cut the grass and maintain the yard. He is on a sexual predator list and some residents do not want him working in the park. What can the landlord do?
August 5, 2014
Question: When residents want to place their home on the market, we tell them we have a preferred real estate agent we want them to use. Some residents oppose this and want to use their own agent they’ve already been working with. How can we resolve this? Also, is it permissible for us to insist that if they use their agent, we receive a portion of the commission at closing? We have a similar...
August 1, 2014
Jo Becker
In 1994 the following article by Rob Selleck, RE/MAX Times Associate Editor, was published by the National Fair Housing Advocate Online (http://www.fairhousing.com/index.cfm?method=page.display&pagename=March-...). How many potential violations of the U.S. Fair Housing Act can you spot in this advertisement? "Two bedroom executive home in exclusive neighborhood. Walking distance to country...
July 30, 2014
Phil Querin
Question - A resident moves out of their house but the daughter continues to pay a storage fee and signed a MHCO Storage Agreement. The home is not being occupied by anyone. All storage fees are current. However, no one is maintaining the yard or outside of the home. This is required under the Storage Agreement, and work needs to be performed immediately. The MHCO storage agreement refers to a...
July 16, 2014
Question - A resident moves out of their house but the daughter continues to pay a storage fee and signed a MHCO Storage Agreement. The home is not being occupied by anyone. All storage fees are current. However, no one is maintaining the yard or outside of the home. This is required under the Storage Agreement, and work needs to be performed immediately. The MHCO storage agreement refers to a...
July 14, 2014
Question: There is a public restroom in the middle of our mobile home park’s RV section that is used primarily by RV tenants. Some use it and some don’t. The problem is that it is vandalized on a regular basis and has become more trouble than it is worth. Can we close it? What about the adjacent laundry room? It’s not as much of a problem, but we’d still like to just get rid of the whole facility...
July 9, 2014
Todd Montgomery
There are many considerations taken into account by Insurance companies when looking into insuring a Mobile Home Park.
July 7, 2014
Question: When I am asked to fill out a credit application for my park, whether it be for services or garbage, electricity, etc., or if I fill out an application for financing for equipment at my park, is it necessary that I include my Social Security Number as part of that information?
July 1, 2014
Question: We have various screening criteria, but they change from time to time – usually after we run up against a problem we haven’t seen before. Is it OK to change our criteria, and if so, how do we do it?
June 26, 2014
Question: Please tell me what I must do when I reject a prospective tenant’s application to move into our community.
June 20, 2014
Question: We have a number of forms that we use for sending notices to our mobile home park tenants. Can we use the same forms for our RV tenants?
June 17, 2014
Question. I understand that Oregon law has recently changed and there are certain regulations dealing with our ability to sell formerly abandoned homes. How will this affect me?
June 10, 2014
“One toke over the line sweet Jesus One toke over the line Sittin' downtown in a railway station One toke over the line” ~ Brewer & Shipley, 1971. Background. Landlords in Oregon are understandably flummoxed by the new prescription drug du jour, medical marijuana. Why?
June 5, 2014
Question: A manufactured home community has an RV section. Community management is aware that the Federal Fair Housing laws apply to manufactured home community tenants and that the community cannot discriminate against protected groups when renting manufactured home spaces. Do the same laws apply to RV tenants? Does it matter if they are short-term vacation occupancy RVs as opposed to longer...
June 3, 2014
Question: I understand that the Oregon statutes now permit landlords to levy fines against tenants who violate the rules. Where is the statute and what does it say?
May 20, 2014
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...
May 16, 2014
Question: I have a resident who was given permission to build a permanent carport. Most all of the carports in our park are free standing and permanent which is my preference. However, he constructed the permanent carport by boring holes in the ground and filling them with concrete and inserting metal mounts to which he fastened 4x4 uprights for the carport. Building it this way, in my opinion,...
May 5, 2014
Question: How does the eviction process work when evicting an RV tenant? Is it different than evicting a manufactured home community resident?
April 29, 2014
Question: A few years ago, a married couple originally applied together for residency in our community. They have since divorced and one of them has moved out. They qualified for occupancy based upon their joint income. The party retaining possession would clearly not qualify today. How do we deal with this?
April 23, 2014
Question: Our late fees have remained the same for several years, and we want to increase them. What are the current rules about doing so?
April 22, 2014
Jo Becker
In our last article, we looked at the work of Tim Iglesias and the legal implications of, as well as the disparate impact of overly restrictive occupancy standards, including two-people-per-bedroom policies. In this article, the last in the two-part series, the work of Ellen Pader, an anthropologist and Associate Director of the Housing Research Center at the University of Massachusetts...
April 17, 2014
Question: I have a tenant that I issued a 72 Hour Non-Payment of Rent notice to last month. When I served it she told me that she is a victim of domestic violence and would provide me a copy of the restraining order, she also told me that she would have her attorney contact me. Neither occurred. She paid her rent by the final date on the notice. She hasn't paid rent yet this month. I still have...
April 9, 2014
Question: Our park does not have individual meters and at this point both the water and sewer on included in the monthly rent charge. Is there a method for billing back the sewer charges (no water) to the residents?
April 7, 2014
Robert S. Coldren and James S. Morse
If you are reading this, chances are you are one of the millions of baby boomers at or near retirement. Although you might not care for the moniker, the government has officially designated you as an “older person”. If you own property designated as housing for “seniors” you should periodically refresh yourself on the state of the law protecting “older persons” and to avoid the mistakes of other...
April 3, 2014
Question: A mobile home park has a number of spaces reserved for RVs. Many of the RV tenants are seasonal workers and usually rent a space for 3-6 months before moving on. Is it necessary to do background checks for such short-term tenants? How should the rental agreement be structured? Month to month, weekly, or fixed term?
April 1, 2014
Question: The owner of a manufactured home community discovers that a temporary occupant in his community is stealing electrical power. PGE and the Portland Police have been out to the community and investigated the theft. He is also growing marijuana in the home but has a medical marijuana card. What notices does the landlord serve this household keeping in mind that he is the temporary occupant...
March 24, 2014
Question. As a park, we would like to purchase new manufactured homes to fill vacant lots. We would purchase them from the manufacturer, set them up, and probably list them through a real estate agent for the marketing. We would not handle the financing, especially under the complicated Dodd-Frank stuff, which would require the prospective purchaser to seek their own means of coming up with the...
March 13, 2014
Question: Can our park use the regular MHCO manufactured home rental agreement for RV tenants who are allowed in certain spaces throughout our manufactured home park?
March 13, 2014
Mark Busch
Question: Can our park use the regular MHCO manufactured home rental agreement for RV tenants who are allowed in certain spaces throughout our manufactured home park?
March 7, 2014
Question: The Clackamas County tax assessor just called seeking a list of the tenants and their mailing addresses in my park. The purpose is to track down people who might be late on taxes as they are getting returned mail. Apparently they have called 15 park owners so far seeking this information. I do not know if I am violating any confidentiality or privacy rights of my tenants by providing...
March 6, 2014
David M. Weber and M. Christine Weber
We all know it is far easier to maintain a resident than find one who will fill a vacant space within a community. This is particularly true in 55+ communities. To be great at resident retention, managers need to believe strongly in the lifestyle that has led many seniors to a manufactured housing way of life. Managers must be helpful, respectful, enthusiastic and work relentlessly to...
February 25, 2014
Question: A mobile home park has a separate RV section. One long-time RV resident recently moved out because of illness, but left behind his RV, which is old and in poor condition. Does the park need to file an eviction action to clear out the space for a new tenant? What can the park do with the RV itself?
February 20, 2014
Question: I have been investigating the process and costs involved with installing submeters at my 180-space community and converting to a 'submeter billing method'. At the same time as the submeter conversion, I want begin billing for common area fees and utility bills under a 'pro rata billing method'. As far as I understand, that scenario is covered in the statutes. Here is my dilemma: The...
February 11, 2014
Jo Becker
I recently read an article on screening by a representative of a NW property management firm. In it was included the company’s screening requirements, as well as what was apparently their stock occupancy standard for all units: “Maximum occupancy of no more than two (2) persons per bedroom.”
February 6, 2014
Question: We have some questions regarding common area billing for the water sub-meters that we’re installing. I understand that under certain circumstances, there is an “offset” we can take against the total rent reductions we are required to give residents for the common areas. How does all that work?
January 21, 2014
Question: At my park we would like to offer the park-owned carports for sale to the residents for $1. I am under the impression that if we require this of all residents that we would have to give a rent reduction equivalent to the value of the carports. Is this true? And if this is a voluntary program (i.e. the residents can buy them if they want and then turn them into enclosed garages), would a...
January 16, 2014
Question: I just read the information regarding House Bill 2639, which addresses source of income and states that a person may not, because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, familial status, or source of income, refuse to sell, lease or rent any real property to a prospective renter/lessee. The bill states that "Source of Income" now includes...
December 13, 2013
Jo Becker
In May 2013, Connecticut complainants were awarded over $76K (before attorneys’ fees) by the courts in The U.S.A v. Hylton. This is a rental case but the ruling holds several important legal lessons for any housing provider. The complaint alleged that the Hyltons, a Black married couple, violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by refusing to allow a mixed-race couple, the Bilbos, to sublet their...
December 12, 2013
Question: I understand that today I may sell a home our park acquired back in an abandonment without having to hire a mortgage broker. Can you explain the new law?
November 20, 2013
Troy Brost
The title of this Community Update should have caught your attention. It is not a gimmick, I have done it myself. Adam Cook's MHCO Community Update article, "Can You Afford to Keep Utilities Included in Your Rent?" from last week is spot on! My answer is no, I cannot and no longer do".
November 19, 2013
Adam Cook
For better than two decades, one of the most significant and unpredictable factors influencing the bottom line of multifamily housing properties has been rising utility costs. This doesn't cause quite as much heartburn for property owners who have wisely passed such utilities through to the residents to pay in addition to their rent. However, for the overwhelming majority of properties,...
November 12, 2013
Jo Becker
Following is an article from by King County Office of Civil Rights. While written with rental properties in mind, it is none-the-less relevant and instructive for housing providers of all kinds, such as Realtors®, homeowners associations, etc.
October 30, 2013
Question: An occupant lives in a home that is sub-leased from his parents who have moved to Arizona. The occupant has been in the house since the beginning of January, and pays his rent on time. Although he was asked to complete and submit a criminal background check, he still has not done so. Accordingly, we have not given him a written rental agreement to sign. What are our rights at this point...
October 15, 2013
Following last week’s article on the issue of marijuana cultivation in a manufactured housing community, I received, compliments of John VanLandingham, some good resource materials that I’d like to pass along.
October 13, 2013
Rachelle Menaker
I. INTRODUCTION: OVERVIEW OF CURRENT LENDING CLIMATE FOR MHP’S Everyone knows that interest rates in re- cent years – in the wake of the financial melt- down that occurred in the mid-2008 to mid-2009 timeframe – have been at historic lows. While in the past few quarters of 2013 rates have crept up slightly, interest rates are still favorable from a historical perspective. Clearly, none of us...
October 8, 2013
Question: While working on another house in the community the manager discovered that the neighbor had a large garden of marijuana plants. The resident claims to have a medical marijuana card. What are my rights as a community owner? Can I ask to see the card? Does the card have to be current? If he has a medical marijuana card what are my rights? If he DOES NOT have a medical marijuana card what...
September 30, 2013
Question: What records are we obligated to share with state government officials? Recently representatives of Oregon Housing and Community Services (“OHCS”) were at the community and stopped by the office. They started asking for documents, copies of forms, etc. What are my rights as a manager or community owner when it comes to these types of situations?
September 25, 2013
Question: I am confused about all the rules regarding applicants for tenancy. For example, after an applicant is charged an application fee, has been accepted and is about to move in to the home, does the landlord have the right to charge the new resident a "move-in" fee?
September 18, 2013
Question: Earlier this summer an applicant applied for residency. He met our screening criteria and we sent a letter indicating that he had been accepted. The applicant lives out of town and started sending rent checks but did not sign the rental agreement. There were also repairs that we indicated to him that he needed to make before he could move in. At this point he has title to the home,...
September 10, 2013
Question: I recently received a rental application from a prospective tenant who is purchasing another tenant's home. I know the applicant to have several judgments against him. He says they have all been taken care of but I don't believe him. I really don't want to spend time processing the application. Do I have to accept and process the application?
September 3, 2013
Question: A tenant was convicted of a sex crime - molesting his granddaughters. He will be released from jail shortly. His wife is living in our community, but her name is not on the rental agreement, just her husband's. His intentions are to resume living with his wife in our 55+ Park. What can we do to prevent his return?
August 26, 2013
Question: One of my tenants has approached me asking if I would pay to have her mobile leveled. It appears the ground underneath her mobile is settling and the concrete pad has cracked. She indicated that she is worried about the water lines to her home. She has lived in the park for 30 years, and is a former manager approaching 80 years of age. What is my responsibility for leveling mobile homes...
August 15, 2013
Kathleen Landau
So before I give you another accounting rule we are enforcing, let me say the goal is to protect your investment! We live in a very litigious society and need to be aware of potential risks and ways to protect our assets. Commonwealth employees are insured through workers' compensation policies and also provided regular training regarding workplace safety. Another area we are striving to improve...
August 12, 2013
Question: Is it legal for a manufactured home reseller to pay referral fees to employees of another company who are not working under the reseller’s specific dealers license?
August 9, 2013
John Pentecost
On July 26, 1990, President Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (the “1991 Regulations") were shortly thereafter developed to guide new construction and alterations undertaken by covered entities and established the minimum requirements for "accessibility" for disabled persons in buildings and facilities...
July 27, 2013
Question: Community owner owns a home and discovers that the home is infested with roaches. The community owner blames the resident and hires an exterminator. Can the exterminator enter the house? What kind of notice would be required? Can the landlord force the resident to pay for the extermination?
July 26, 2013
Bill Miner
Question: My RV tenant doesn’t receive mail, how do I serve him with notices?
July 11, 2013
Question: I have a resident who was given permission to build a permanent carport. Most all of the carports in my park are free standing and permanent which is my preference. However, he constructed the permanent carport by boring holes in the ground and filling them with concrete and inserting metal mounts to which he fastened 4x4 uprights for the carport. Building it this way, in my opinion,...
June 4, 2013
Question: A tenant has her boyfriend living in her home under a MHCO Occupancy Agreement. We put him under the Occupancy Agreement instead of permitting to become a tenant because his background check was sketchy. They both work and they alternate paying the monthly rent. Generally they do not create problems in the community and stay mostly by themselves. However, recently the tenant and...
May 14, 2013
Question: Our community has been on well water forever. There is a new water system available to hook up to. Under that system each space would have its own meter and a flat rate would be charged for the first fixed number of gallons per space. After the fixed number of gallons/space is used, the homeowner would be charged a price per gallon. Can we charge exactly what the water system charges on...
May 2, 2013
Question: I am confused on the use of rules violation notices. Do I use a 20-day notice or 30-day notice? Does the “three strikes law” apply?
April 16, 2013
Question: A family moves into a manufactured housing community with a thirteen year old boy. Five years later the parents vacate the home but leave the boy who is now eighteen. Even though the eighteen year old was never subject to a background check, never signed a rental agreement etc., is he now a considered a resident?
March 28, 2013
Question. The City of Gresham is now charging a “Public Safety Fee” on every mobile home space in the city. It starts at $2.40/month/space and escalates to $7.19/month/space in June. Park owners have to pay the fee for all residents and then try to collect it back from them. If the residents have their own utility accounts with the City, they pay their fee directly, but most parks pay water and...
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?
February 28, 2013
Question: A tree limb fell through a resident’s roof. I told him what I believed the recently enacted state law was, but don’t know if I was thorough enough. Under the old law, tree maintenance was the tenants’ responsibility – period; regardless of whether the landlord or tenant planted and regardless of size. The resident says I should make the space safe. I told him to take it up with the City...
February 6, 2013
Question: We are currently dealing with an abandoned home where the tenant has passed away and he was in a "Senior Tax Deferral" program through the Oregon Dept. of Revenue (“DOR”). According to our county tax collector the deceased tenant’s account is current, since the DOR has paid them ever since the tenant entered the program in 1999. A title search on the home has the DOR listed as a lien...
January 21, 2013
Question: While doing an inspection with my manager, she showed me a large tree branch that had fallen onto a resident’s home in our park. The issue here is that the tree is located on neighboring land and not in our community. The resident whose home was damaged had an arborist out to view the tree and said that the tree was a hazard. What rights and responsibilities do we have in a situation...
January 10, 2013
Question. We had a situation come up recently that we would like your opinion on. With this particular lease, rent is due on the 1st and a late fee is assessed if not received by midnight of the 5th. We send 72-hour notices on the 8th of the month at the earliest. In this situation, a tenant has purposely over-paid rent on a number of payments in order to build up a credit balance with us. He has...
December 3, 2012
Question. A resident of our community has asked for a list of all the other residents’ names and addresses, so that she can contact them to set up a homeowners association. While I don’t have an objection to the formation of a tenant association, I am concerned that giving out residents’ names and addresses might violate some tenant rights on our part. Can you help?
November 19, 2012
Question. Our community is relatively small and the spaces are oversized. Large trees are located on many of them. Occasionally, a resident asks us to thin or top some of the trees on their space, because of fear that during high winds they could break, damaging homes and injuring people. I have been under the impression that tree maintenance is a tenant responsibility under Oregon law. If so,...
November 12, 2012
Question. As new managers, we are concerned about being able to spot problem issues before they get out of control. What are some of the major management mistakes we should watch out for?
October 21, 2012
Question. We have just begun managing a 55+ community. However, we are confused about the 80/20 rules and the possibility of losing our 55+ status. What is a safe margin for occupancy limits? And if our community percentage is 85%, are we required to rent the 15% remainder to families with children?
October 11, 2012
Question: Increasingly some of our residents are bringing only partial rent payments. So how does a partial payment get allocated when some of the payment includes utilities? For example, if the rent is $650 including a certain amount allocated to utilities, how does the landlord handle this? Pay the rent portion and then go after the utility payments via a 30 day notice?
September 24, 2012
Question. A resident recently moved out of state. The landlord wants to mail a non-payment of rent notice, and would like proof that the notice was received by the resident. Can the landlord mail the notice as a "Certificate of Mailing"?
August 30, 2012
Question: A landlord recently issued a fine to a resident for not cleaning up his yard. The resident claimed that the landlord could not do this. What does Oregon law say regarding the types of fines a landlord may and may not levy?
August 28, 2012
Question: A resident wants her son to be her caregiver but lives in a 55 & Older community. The community’s minimum second person age is 45, and the son is 38. Can the landlord ask the resident to complete a "Reasonable Accommodation Form"? Does the son have to fill out a resident application?
August 15, 2012
Question: We have a resident in the park who recently got into a verbal shouting match with another neighbor. The resident was extremely intoxicated at the time and made threats and gestures that were very inappropriate and provocative. There are some residents who want us to immediately issue a 24-hour notice. However, until this incident, the resident has been a good tenant and never caused a...
July 31, 2012
Helen Jung
When the Sazykin family's 14-year-old son rode his scooter on pathways around the Wah Mai Terrace Apartments complex in Southeast Portland, the apartment manager fined his parents $20.
July 31, 2012
Tiffany Mittal
Submetering is the process of installing a water, gas or electric meter on each mobile home after the master utility meters for the mobile home park. The term “submeter” is used for any meter installed after the master meter. With submeters installed at every mobile home the association is able to utilize a third party meter reading and billing company to read the meters and produce monthly bills...
July 16, 2012
Question – Three abandonment questions: (a) Can a landlord acquire a home that is in abandonment? (b) Can he bid during the sealed bid process? (c) If no one bids on the house can the landlord purchase the house and at what price?
May 9, 2012
Question: A resident stops by the manager’s office on the 5th of the month and offers to pay $150 of the $350 of rent that is due, and promising to pay the remaining $200 by the 15th of the month. The tenant claims that the landlord must accept the partial payment. What are the landlord's options? Can the landlord refuse the partial payment? Where do you draw the line - say a 72 hour notice has...
April 24, 2012
Question: We have a resident who has expressed displeasure over finding tracts, Bibles, 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?
March 27, 2012
Question: 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...
March 13, 2012
Kris Monte
The SAFE Act has received a lot of attention lately by park owners, but did you know that it’s really only one law of many state and federal lending regulations you are required to comply with when selling homes on contract?
February 13, 2012
Question: A few years ago, a married couple originally applied together for residency in our community. Based on their combined credit scores, they were both approved for residency. They have since divorced and one of them has moved out. How do we deal with this? We have several questions listed below.
December 19, 2011
Question*: If a community owner sells one or more homes (e.g. those received via abandonment or pre-abandonment) with the help of a Mortgage Loan Originator (“MLO”) working for a third party mortgage banker or mortgage broker, after the buyer’s installment contract is completed and signed, can the community owner then collect the payments himself? In other words, now that MLO has complied with...
October 31, 2011
Question: A community owner entered into a Storage Agreement on a home in early January 2011. The agreement provides that the home must be removed by November 30th if it does not sell. We are now approaching the end of November, and the community owner does not believe the home will be sold by the end of this month. What’s next? Does the community owner take the homeowner to court? Doesn't the...
February 28, 2011
Terry R. Dowdall
The federal Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) of 1988 created a new protected class of "familial status." In California, the federal courts have addressed these requirements by ruling that "all age" communities may not discriminate against children, no more than management can discriminate against any other protected class. This article is addressed to the need for continuing concerns over rule...