“Our park’s utilities used to be included in the rent. But now, our park is charging us for our utilities separately. Is this normal?”
— Darren B, 56, resident, Eureka, CA
For the most part, this is normal.
Although your rental agreement might state that utilities are included in the rent, the park may still choose to charge for these utilities separately from your standard lot rent. This is normal and permitted under California Mobilehome Residency Law. (Civil Code §798.41)
However, if a park chooses to bill for utilities separately, then the deduction of those utility charges must be reflected in your new rent statement. In other words, if your monthly rent used to be $400 per month, including $100 worth of utilities, then your new rent statement must be $300. If your new rent statement is still $400 per month, with utilities separately billed, then this would be illegal.
With that said, if your rental agreement does not indicate that utility charges are included in the rent, then the park is legally allowed to charge for them if they provide a 60-day written notice of the change. (Civil Code §798.32)
- If your rental agreement stipulates separate charges, then the resident must pay accordingly.
- If the park decides to bill utilities separately, then the difference must be reflected in your new rent statement.
- If not stated in the rental agreement, then the park must give a 60-day advance notice of the policy change.