Capitol Update – September 15, 2023
By Chris Wysocki
THE LEGISLATURE IS DONE FOR THE YEAR
Late last night, the Assembly and Senate concluded its business for the year and is in recess until January 3, 2024.
Over the past year, WMA saw its share of victories, which included stopping several harmful bills (at least for the year). Unlike previous legislative years, none of the measures WMA helped stop for the year were resurrected through a maneuver that allows stalled bills to be inserted at the last minute without thorough policy analysis.
Topics of bills WMA stopped this year included statewide rent control for mobilehome parks, granting rights of tenancy to recreational vehicles parked in mobilehome parks, and giving tenant groups a right of first refusal to secure their financing for parks up for sale – to name just a few.
WMA was also able to persuade the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to authorize an audit being conducted by the State Auditor on the performance of the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Program (MRLPP). Because of the audit already being underway (it is expected that the State Auditor will finish its review by December 2023), WMA was able to secure an amendment to a piece of legislation that would have made the program permanent. The amended language extends the sunset date of the MRLPP by three years, which gives us time to craft legislation that aligns with the State Auditor’s recommendations.
Some of the bills that ended up passing the Legislature which WMA opposed included Assembly Bill 604 limiting the administrative fee that can be charged for water submeter billing in areas under the jurisdiction of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This bill was essentially the same as Assembly Bill 1061, which was signed into law last year, but Assembly Bill 1061 did not apply to water systems under CPUC authority.
One of our most important legislative proposals next year will be to introduce a bill that allows mobilehome parks to turn over their water systems to the local water agency to effectively provide an exit ramp for parks that wish to leave the water business.
The above-listed measures represent a small sample of legislation that WMA engaged in over the past year. To learn more about bills affecting the manufactured housing industry, please visit the following link.
Additionally, please make sure to attend the New Laws Seminar at our upcoming Convention & Expo to be held in Reno from October 23 to October 26. To learn how to register and view the agenda for this annual meeting, please visit the following link.
LAWSUIT TO OVERTURN AB 2782 ENDING LONG-TERM LEASES MOVES FORWARD
In a major victory, the WMA-backed lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Assembly Bill 2782 -which would end the long-standing custom of allowing residents and mobilehome park management the ability to enter into long-term leases exempt from local rent control ordinances – was cleared for trial by the Sacramento Superior Court. The Attorney General requested that the case be thrown out without going to trial, but the Court disagreed and authorized the lawsuit to move forward.
WMA and our Committee to Save Property Rights (CSPR) have been working for several months on this lawsuit, and the Superior Court decision means the state will have to now prove how Assembly Bill 2782 is not an infringement of the rights of residents and parkowners to enter into contracts. The timeline for the trial has not been set, but it will likely take place next year.
BUSY FALL AHEAD WITH PARK TOURS
Many more park tours have been scheduled for the coming months, picking up from park tours in the spring. WMA, parkowners, and managers use park tours as an opportunity to educate policy makers about the benefits associated with the manufactured housing industry. If you are interested in attending a park tour with your state legislator or a legislator in your local area, please reach out to our legislative assistant Ray Perez at email@example.com.
To see a list of upcoming tours, please visit the following link:
CHANGES TO MOBILEHOME RESIDENCY LAW FOR 2024
Civil Code Section 798.15 requires management to either provide all homeowners with a copy of the new Civil Code by February 1 of each year or provide a written notice to all homeowners that there has been a change to the Civil Code, and that the homeowner may obtain a copy of that code from management at no charge. Management must also provide a copy of the Rights and Responsibilities notices by February 1 of each year.
While it’s at the discretion of each community to provide either a copy of the new law or a notice that there has been a change(s), we do recommend that all community owners and managers have sufficient 2024 Civil Codes ready for the coming year so they can be attached to, and made part of, all new rental agreements entered into in 2024.
We would, therefore, highly recommend you place your Civil Code order. Watch for your order form in the mail. To ensure availability, please return your completed order form with payment to WMA.
Over the coming months, the Legislature is likely to alter the current makeup of the 23 permanent committees in the Senate and the 33 permanent committees in the Assembly. These changes will be made due to the tremendous number of legislators who are either termed out of office in 2024 or have chosen to not run for re-election in their existing district. Candidate filing for the 2024 election opened yesterday and closes on December 8 with certain exceptions.
Because the Legislature has adjourned for the year, this will be the last Capitol Update of the year. I will make sure to keep our membership informed of any important issues that arise over the Fall, but the next Capitol Update will be sent out the first week of January 2024. In the meantime, I look forward to meeting many of you at our upcoming Convention & Expo, and please feel free to contact me on my direct line at the office at 916.288.4026. Have a safe rest of the year! It is a true honor serving WMA.