An Open Letter To Our Mobile Home Park Clients

by Archer Norris PLC

Archer Norris lawyers Mike McGuire and Lisa Estabrook recently completed a lengthy jury trial in defense of a mobile home park (MHP) owner sued for Failure to Maintain. From the trial, we learned several important lessons you may want to consider in the ongoing operation of your parks. We share this information with you as a client service of Archer Norris and invite you to speak with us about this issue, or other MHP matters.

CASE STORY: This particular park defense was assigned to us by three insurance carriers who provided insurance coverage for the park. The property, a 155-space park, is well maintained and fairly new, having opened for business in 1986. The homes are mostly double wides with a wood siding exterior theme with pitched roofs—all-in-all, a very beautiful park.

WATER AND MOLD PROBLEMS: The plaintiffs/tenants claimed improper drainage resulted in water flowing onto the spaces and residing under their homes. To read more about our recent experience and the legal issues involved, please click here.

HOW TO HANDLE STANDING WATER REPORTS: We know based on our recent trial experience the park owner must investigate and document an investigation of standing water. In the course of the defense it became clear to us that HCD, if called out by the tenant or the park, will cite the park for standing water either under or around the home, even if the cause of the water is tenant-related.

Archer Norris can help you in preparing and pursuing your appeal at HCD. We have assembled a very well qualified group of MHP engineering and operations experts who are ready and willing to assist you. We would be happy to share their contact information with you should the need arise.

CAUSES OF STANDING WATER: All causes of standing water must be investigated and documented. It is not sufficient under California law to be informed of standing water and refuse or ignore the need to investigate the cause. To learn about common causes of standing water under or around mobile homes please click here.

WE CAN HELP WITH TITLE 25 COMPLIANCE: Archer Norris can provide Title 25 (the park drainage statute) experts to assist you in evaluating your park’s compliance with any aspect of Title 25, including drainage, electrical or sewer issues. Should the need arise, we suggest you retain Archer Norris because expert investigative reports issued at the request of the attorney are, arguably, privileged under the attorney work-product privilege and may not be subject to disclosure at a later date should litigation arise. If you as the park owner retain the expert to conduct the investigation, any aspect of his report is subject to discovery in the future.

Please contact Mike McGuire or Lisa Estabrook at 916.646.2480 with any questions you may have about these issues or any of the other legal challenges faced by California mobile home park owners.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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