On February 15, 2017, The Salt Lake Tribune highlighted a bill crafted by Professor Linda Smith, S.J. Quinney College of Law students and others as part of the College of Law’s Mobile Home Park Helpline, an ongoing project of the Clinical program.
HB236 was endorsed on an 8-1 vote Wednesday by the House Business and Labor Committee, and was sent to the full House for consideration.
Among its provisions is requiring a written lease between homeowners and park owners. “That way everyone knows what is expected,” Cutler said. Recent court decisions ruled existing law did not mandate written leases.
Failure of a homeowner to negotiate and sign lease could be grounds for eviction. If a park owner fails to live up to promised terms, homeowners could sue for damages and attorney fees.
Hill said being able to collect attorney fees is important because most mobile-home owners do not have much money and have been unable to pursue such legal action.
It also outlaws “unconscionable” actions and rules by park owners. As possible examples, Cutler said some tenants report that their park owners blocked sale of their homes to new owners by refusing to rent to them, because they wanted to buy and rent the trailers themselves at lower prices.