“There is speculation in my community that our park is going to close down. Am I entitled to compensation? What are my rights?”
-Will S. (60), resident, Novato, CA
Most states have regulations in place to protect residents in the event that a mobile home park attempts to close down.
In California, park residents are entitled to one of two types of written notices before a mobile home park may legally close down or be converted for other uses:
- In most cases, residents must receive a 60-day written notice that park management will appear before a local board or planning commission to request local government permits required for closure. If the permits are approved, then residents must receive a 6-month written notice of the termination of their residency. (Civil Code §798.56(g), (1)(2)(A))
- In rare cases where local government permits are not required, the park must provide residents with no less than a 12-month written notice of termination. (Civil Code §798.56(g), (2) (B))
In both cases, the park is required to produce a Closure Impact Report (CIR). A CIR is an official report demonstrating the impact of a park’s closure on its residents and the community at large. ((Civil Code §798.56(h)), (Govt. Code §65863.7))
The CIR must include a replacement and relocation plan for its displaced residents. If the park is unable to find equitable, alternative housing for its residents, then they will be required to pay residents the market value of their mobile homes as determined by a state-certified appraiser.
This process can take many months and multiple public hearings. Nonetheless, local authorities are prohibited from approving any closure unless they can thoroughly prove that the closure will not contribute to a shortage of affordable housing.
In summary, the process required for a park to close down is long and multifaceted, with procedures and ordinances in place to protect and accommodate its residents. Under state law, the impact of a park’s closure on its residents must be a top priority throughout the entirety of the legal process.
- Residents must receive written notice of the park’s intent to cease its operations.
- The park owner must prepare, serve and file a written Closure Impact Report, which is publicly reviewed and approved by the local government agency.
- The CIR evaluates the economic impact of a park’s closure on its residents and the community.
- The park must provide residents with equal and adequate alternative housing or financial compensation, as specified by the state.
- Local authorities are prohibited from approving a closure unless they can prove that the park’s residents will be accounted for.