Chapter 59.21 RCW

MOBILE HOME RELOCATION ASSISTANCE

Sections
DeclarationPurpose.
DeclarationIntentPurpose1995 c 122.
Definitions.
Relocation assistanceEligibility after December 31, 1995Amounts of assistancePriority for distribution of assistance.
Relocation assistanceSources other than fundReductions.
NoticeRequirements.
Relocation assistanceExemptions.
Relocation fundAdministrationTenant's applicationForm.
Rental agreementCovenants.
TenantsWaiver of rightsAttorney approval.
Existing older mobile homesForced relocationCode waiver.
ViolationsPenalty.
Effective date1995 c 122.
ConstructionChapter applicable to state registered domestic partnerships2009 c 521.


59.21.005
Declaration—Purpose.

The legislature recognizes that it is quite costly to move a mobile home. Many mobile home tenants need financial assistance in order to move their mobile homes from a mobile home park. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a mechanism for assisting mobile home tenants to relocate to suitable alternative sites when the mobile home park in which they reside is closed or converted to another use.



59.21.006
Declaration—Intent—Purpose—1995 c 122.

The legislature recognizes that, in the decision of Guimont et al. v. Clarke, 121 Wn.2d (1993), the Washington supreme court held the mobile home relocation assistance program of chapter 59.21 RCW invalid for its monetary burden on mobile home park-owners. However, during the program's operation, substantial funds were validly collected from mobile home owners and accumulated in the mobile home park relocation fund, created under the program. The legislature intends to utilize those funds for the purposes for which they were collected. The legislature also recognizes that, for a period of almost three years since this state's courts invalidated the program, no such assistance was available. The most needy tenants may have been forced to sell or abandon rather than relocate their homes in the face of park closures. Because the purpose of the program was to assist relocation, those persons should be compensated in a like manner to those who could afford to pay for relocation without assistance. To that end, the legislature has: (1) Repealed RCW 59.21.020, 59.21.035, 59.21.080, 59.21.085, 59.21.095, 59.21.900, 59.21.901, 59.21.902, and 59.21.903; (2) amended RCW 59.21.010, 59.21.030, 59.21.040, 59.21.050, 59.21.070, * 59.21.100, 59.21.110, and 43.84.092; (3) reenacted without amendment RCW 59.21.005 and ** 59.21.105; and (4) added new sections to chapter 59.21 RCW.
NOTES:
Reviser's note: *(1) RCW 59.21.100 and 59.21.110 were not amended by 1995 c 122.
**(2) RCW 59.21.105 was reenacted and amended by 1995 c 122.



59.21.010
Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Department" means the department of commerce.
(2) "Director" means the director of the department of commerce.
(3) "Fund" means the mobile home park relocation fund established under RCW 59.21.050.
(4) "Landlord" or "park-owner" means the owner of the mobile home park that is being closed at the time relocation assistance is provided.
(5) "Mobile home park" or "park" means real property that is rented or held out for rent to others for the placement of two or more mobile homes for the primary purpose of production of income, except where the real property is rented or held out for rent for seasonal recreational purpose only and is not intended for year-round occupancy.
(6) "Relocate" means to remove the mobile home from the mobile home park being closed and to either reinstall it in another location or to demolish it and purchase another mobile/manufactured home constructed to the standards set by the department of housing and urban development.
(7) "Relocation assistance" means the monetary assistance provided under this chapter.
NOTES:
Reviser's note: The definitions in this section have been alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k).
Effective date2002 c 257: "This act takes effect January 1, 2003." [ 2002 c 257 § 5.]



59.21.021
Relocation assistance—Eligibility after December 31, 1995—Amounts of assistance—Priority for distribution of assistance.

(1) If a mobile home park is closed or converted to another use after December 31, 1995, eligible tenants shall be entitled to assistance on a first-come, first-serve basis. The department shall give priority for distribution of relocation assistance to tenants residing in parks that are closed as a result of park-owner fraud or as a result of health and safety concerns as determined by the local board of health. Payments shall be made upon the department's verification of eligibility, subject to the availability of remaining funds. Eligibility for relocation assistance funds is limited to low-income households. As used in this section, "low-income household" means a single person, family, or unrelated persons living together whose adjusted income is less than eighty percent of the median family income, adjusted for household size, for the county where the mobile or manufactured home is located.
(2) Assistance for closures occurring after December 31, 1995, is limited to persons who maintain ownership of and relocate their mobile home or who dispose of a home not relocatable to a new site.
(3) Persons who removed and disposed of their mobile home or maintained ownership of and relocated their mobile homes are entitled to reimbursement of actual relocation expenses up to twelve thousand dollars for a double-wide home and up to seven thousand five hundred dollars for a single-wide home.
(4) Any individual or organization may apply to receive funds from the mobile home park relocation fund, for use in combination with funds from public or private sources, toward relocation of tenants eligible under this section. Funds received from the mobile home park relocation fund shall only be used for relocation assistance expenses or other mobile/manufactured home ownership expenses, that include down payment assistance, if the owners are not planning to relocate their mobile home as long as their original home is removed from the park.
NOTES:
Effective date2002 c 257: See note following RCW 59.21.010.



59.21.025
Relocation assistance—Sources other than fund—Reductions.

(1) If financial assistance for relocation is obtained from sources other than the mobile home park relocation fund established under this chapter, then the relocation assistance provided to any person under this chapter shall be reduced as necessary to ensure that no person receives from all sources combined more than: (a) That person's actual cost of relocation; or (b) seven thousand dollars for a double-wide mobile home and three thousand five hundred dollars for a single-wide mobile home.
(2) When a person receives financial assistance for relocation from a source other than the mobile home park relocation assistance fund, then the assistance received from the fund will be the difference between the maximum amount to which a person is entitled under RCW 59.21.021(3) and the amount of assistance received from the outside source.
(3) If the amount of assistance received from an outside source exceeds the maximum amounts of assistance to which a person is entitled under RCW 59.21.021(3), then that person will not receive any assistance from the mobile home park relocation assistance fund.



59.21.030
Notice—Requirements.

(1) Notice required by RCW 59.20.080 before park closure or conversion of the park, whether twelve months or longer, shall be given to the director and all tenants in writing, and posted at all park entrances. The notice required by RCW 59.20.080 must also meet the following requirements:
(a) A copy of the closure notice must be provided with all month-to-month rental agreements signed after the original park closure notice date;
(b) Notice to the director must include: (i) A good faith estimate of the timetable for removal of the mobile homes; (ii) the reason for closure; and (iii) a list of the names and mailing addresses of the current registered park tenants. Notice required under this subsection must be sent to the director within ten business days of the date notice was given to all tenants as required by RCW 59.20.080; and
(c) Notice must be recorded in the office of the county auditor for the county where the mobile home park is located.
(2) The department must mail every tenant an application and information on relocation assistance within ten business days of receipt of the notice required in subsection (1) of this section.



59.21.040
Relocation assistance—Exemptions.

A tenant is not entitled to relocation assistance under this chapter if: (1) The tenant has given notice to the landlord of his or her intent to vacate the park and terminate the tenancy before any written notice of closure pursuant to RCW 59.20.080(1)(e) has been given; (2) the tenant purchased a mobile home already situated in the park or moved a mobile home into the park after a written notice of closure pursuant to RCW 59.20.090 has been given and the person received actual prior notice of the change or closure; or (3) the tenant receives assistance from an outside source that exceeds the maximum amounts of assistance to which a person is entitled under RCW 59.21.021(3). However, no tenant may be denied relocation assistance under subsection (1) of this section if the tenant has remained on the premises and continued paying rent for a period of at least six months after giving notice of intent to vacate and before receiving formal notice of a closure or change of use.



59.21.050
Relocation fund—Administration—Tenant's application—Form.

(1) The existence of the mobile home park relocation fund in the custody of the state treasurer is affirmed. Expenditures from the fund may be used only for relocation assistance awarded under this chapter. Only the director or the director's designee may authorize expenditures from the fund. All relocation payments to tenants shall be made from the fund. The fund is subject to allotment procedures under chapter 43.88 RCW, but no appropriation is required for expenditures.
(2) A park tenant is eligible for assistance under this chapter only after an application is submitted by that tenant or an organization acting on the tenant's account under RCW 59.21.021(4) on a form approved by the director which shall include:
(a) For those persons who maintained ownership of and relocated their homes or removed their homes from the park: (i) A copy of the notice from the park-owner, or other adequate proof, that the tenancy is terminated due to closure of the park or its conversion to another use; (ii) a copy of the rental agreement then in force, or other proof that the applicant was a tenant at the time of notice of closure; (iii) a copy of the contract for relocating the home which includes the date of relocation, or other proof of actual relocation expenses incurred on a date certain; and (iv) a statement of any other available assistance;
(b) For those persons who sold their homes and incurred no relocation expenses: (i) A copy of the notice from the park-owner, or other adequate proof, that the tenancy is terminated due to closure of the park or its conversion to another use; (ii) a copy of the rental agreement then in force, or other proof that the applicant was a tenant at the time of notice of closure; and (iii) a copy of the record of title transfer issued by the department of licensing when the tenant sold the home rather than relocate it due to park closure or conversion.
(3) The department may deduct a percentage amount of the fee collected under RCW 46.17.155 for administration expenses incurred by the department.
NOTES:
Transfer of residual funds to manufactured home installation training account2011 c 158: See note following RCW 43.22A.100.
Effective dateIntentLegislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.
Effective date2002 c 257: See note following RCW 59.21.010.
Effective datesSeverability1991 sp.s. c 13: See notes following RCW 18.08.240.



59.21.070
Rental agreement—Covenants.

If the rental agreement includes a covenant by the landlord as described in RCW 59.20.060(1)(g)(i), the covenant runs with the land and is binding upon the purchasers, successors, and assigns of the landlord.



59.21.100
Tenants—Waiver of rights—Attorney approval.

A tenant may, with the written approval of his or her attorney-at-law, waive or compromise their right to relocation assistance under this chapter.



59.21.105
Existing older mobile homes—Forced relocation—Code waiver.

(1) The legislature finds that existing older mobile homes provide affordable housing to many persons, and that requiring these homes that are legally located in mobile home parks to meet new fire, safety, and construction codes because they are relocating due to the closure or conversion of the mobile home park, compounds the economic burden facing these tenants.
(2) Mobile homes that are relocated due to either the closure or conversion of a mobile home park, may not be required by any city or county to comply with the requirements of any applicable fire, safety, or construction code for the sole reason of its relocation. This section shall only apply if the original occupancy classification of the building is not changed as a result of the move.
(3) This section shall not apply to mobile homes that are substantially remodeled or rehabilitated, nor to any work performed in compliance with installation requirements. For the purpose of determining whether a moved mobile home has been substantially remodeled or rebuilt, any cost relating to preparation for relocation or installation shall not be considered.



59.21.110
Violations—Penalty.

Any person who intentionally violates, intentionally attempts to evade, or intentionally evades the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor.



59.21.905
Effective date—1995 c 122.

This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [April 20, 1995].



59.21.906
Construction—Chapter applicable to state registered domestic partnerships—2009 c 521.

For the purposes of this chapter, the terms spouse, marriage, marital, husband, wife, widow, widower, next of kin, and family shall be interpreted as applying equally to state registered domestic partnerships or individuals in state registered domestic partnerships as well as to marital relationships and married persons, and references to dissolution of marriage shall apply equally to state registered domestic partnerships that have been terminated, dissolved, or invalidated, to the extent that such interpretation does not conflict with federal law. Where necessary to implement chapter 521, Laws of 2009, gender-specific terms such as husband and wife used in any statute, rule, or other law shall be construed to be gender neutral, and applicable to individuals in state registered domestic partnerships.
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