“I received a letter and invoice from my mobile home park manager stating that I needed to pay a monthly maintenance fee – described by him as a “pass-thru” fee for costs associated with the monthly maintenance of park grounds, playgrounds, roads, etc”, “Is that correct?”
– Michael Gustafson, 34, mobile home park resident, Indio, CA
Yes, that is correct if the resident’s signed lease or rental agreement provides for assessments or fees for maintenance, among other services. If not mentioned in the lease, a new fee would have to be for a service actually rendered, such as trash pick-up, and would require a 60-day advance written notice. (Civil Code §798.32(a)) If the resident signs a new lease or rental agreement that includes these fees, they are agreeing to pay the fees. CA State law does not require a notice requirement for an increase in an already existing fee. Local jurisdictions with mobile home park rent control ordinances may regulate fees or pass-through costs which parks charge their residents. Some ordinances, for example, distinguish capital improvements from maintenance, allowing a pass-through fee of certain capital improvements (not including maintenance) amortized over a period of time.
- State law does not regulate the amount of a rent increase. It is a local control issue.
- A 90-day advance written notice of rent increase is required.
- If a resident is on a long-term lease, check the language in the lease for frequency (not less than every 90 days) and percentage of increases.