All park rules, regulations,
and conditions of renting must be in writing. The park owner
must give each tenant a copy of these rules and regulations.
A specific summary of your rights, printed in large type, must be posted at the beginning of any list of park
rules. Park rules must be reasonable to be legal and
There are many rules and practices which are specifically
made unlawful under RSA 205-A 2. These include (but are not
limited to) the following prohibitions:
1) charging extra rent based on the number of
children living in the manufactured home.
2) charging extra for pets, unless the owner provides
a service and has additional expenses due to the pets.
3) charging for maintenance or repairs to septic
systems, electrical lines, water lines, or any
underground system, unless the damage is due to misuse
by the tenant.
4) Requiring permission for guests unless the guests
stay for more than thirty (30) days.
5) Requiring disposal of personal property or pets
for which the tenant had prior permission, unless
necessary to protect the health and safety of other
The park owner cannot change any fees, including rent,
without providing the tenant with sixty (60) days advance
written notice. This notice must provide an explanation of the
reasons for the increase and specify the date on which it goes
into effect. No rules may be changed without ninety (90) days
prior written notice. The park owner must notify each tenant
in writing when planning to change the park rules.
A violation of the state law regarding park rules can
be treated as a violation of the Consumer Protection Act for
which a tenant may be awarded actual damages or statutory
damages of $1,000. A court also has the authority to double or
triple these damages if the park owners’ behavior is deemed
to be willful.
In 1994, the State Legislature established the
Board of Manufactured Housing which creates a more informal
way for a manufactured housing owner to challenge a park
owners unlawful or unreasonable rules. There is a $25 fee for
filing a complaint with the Board of Manufactured Housing,
which can be waived if such fee will cause an unfair financial
burden on the tenant. It should be noted that the Board of
Manufactured Housing does not have the power to deal
with rent increases or evictions. Tenants in manufactured
housing parks who wish to file a complaint should write the
Board of Manufactured Housing at:
Board of Manufactured Housing
117 Pleasant Street
Dolloff Building, Room 418
Concord, NH 03301
Or call: (603) 271-1468
A park owner cannot require tenants to buy
goods and services from any particular company, or stop
tenants from buying goods and services from the dealer of
their choice. These goods and services include, but are not
limited to: fuel oil, paving, snow plowing, laundry service,
and delivery of bakery, dairy and other food. Tenants may have
to use a central fuel or gas metering system, if the cost does
not exceed the average price in the area.
If skirting is required, the park owner must
allow a reasonable choice of types and materials. If a tenant
wishes to put up a shed or outbuilding, the park owner cannot
specify any one type.
Tenants in manufactured housing parks can be
evicted only for one of the following reasons:
Nonpayment of rent or other fees, including
utility costs or reasonable incidental service charges. If,
however, you pay the amount owed, plus a $15 fee known as
"liquidated damages" within thirty (30) days of
receiving the written notice to quit for nonpayment, you
cannot be evicted. (In certain nonpayment evictions, the
park owner has further responsibilities. If previously
notified in writing of a lien or mortgage on the
manufactured home, the park owner must notify the lien
holder, for example the bank or town, in writing, that the
tenant is in default and the lien holder has sixty (60) days
to determine whether it will assume responsibility for
payment of rent and other charges. The park owners’
failure to give such notice is a valid defense for eviction
based on nonpayment of rent.)
Tenants must be given sixty (60) days written
notice and the reason for any proposed eviction. In cases of
nonpayment of rent or other fees, only thirty (30) days notice
is required. If the reason for eviction is the condemnation or
change of use of the park, an eighteen (18) month notice must
IMPROPER REASON FOR EVICTIONS: Legally, a
tenant cannot be evicted by the park owner for failure to pay
property taxes on his/her home. Park tenants are also free to
organize or join a tenant organization and may not be evicted
for such activity.
THE EVICTION PROCESS
The law sets out a special process which park
owners must follow to lawfully evict park tenants. The steps
include written notice to the tenant and the legal opportunity
for a court hearing. For an eviction to be legal, it must be
ordered by a court. A court will not allow an eviction unless
the park owner can prove the existence of one of the lawful
reasons for the eviction set forth above.
Manufactured housing park tenants have a right
to fight the eviction by going to court. If a tenant does not
show up in court on the appointed court date, the court will
issue a default judgement in favor of the park owner. You owe
it to yourself and your family to make the court date by
"filing an appearance" on or before the "return
day" set forth on the Landlord Tenant writ (the summons
from district court)If you have any doubts or questions about
your legal rights, consult a lawyer.
It is illegal for a park owner to try to make
you leave by interfering with or interrupting your
electricity, heat, gas, or other utility service. A park owner
cannot legally remove your home or take your property without
first getting a court order.
Park owners can be penalized if they do any of
these unlawful acts. A court may award the tenant the amount
damages suffered or $1,000 for violation,
whichever is greater, plus court costs and attorneys fees.
Each day that the violation continues is a separate violation.
SALE OF YOUR PARK
State law helps tenants protect themselves
from displacement due to the sale of their park by giving then
the chance to buy the park. Before a park can be sold, the
owner must notify each household by certified mail:
1. that he/she intends to sell the park, and
2. the price, terms, and conditions for which
she/he intends to sell the park and a copy of the agreement
(signed document) between the park owner and prospective buyer
if an offer has been received and conditionally accepted, by
the park owner.
The owner must wait sixty (60) days before
making a final acceptance of an offer to sell the park to
someone other than the tenants. During that time, he/she must
negotiate in good faith with the tenants if they wish to
purchase the park. An owner can be charged the higher of
$10,000 or 10% of the park’s sale price in damages for
violating this notice requirement.
If you receive such a notice from your park
owner, you have a right to meet with your neighbors to discuss
trying to buy your park.
• New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
79 South State Street
P.O. Box 0800
Concord, NH 03302-0800
Telephone: (603) 224-6669
• MOTA of New Hampshire
P.O. Box 978
Concord, NH 03302-0978
Telephone: (603) 224-0408
MANUFACTURED HOUSING IS REAL ESTATE
Under state law manufactured housing is
considered real estate. Ownership is transferred by deed
rather than a bill of sale. Owners of manufactured housing
also have "homestead rights" which protect $30,000
worth of equity ($60,000 for a married couple) from the claims
of most creditors. The homestead exemption does not protect
the homeowner from the claims of municipalities for unpaid
taxes or from the claims of banks or other creditors who hold
mortgages on the manufactured home.
Some park tenants have problems with services
provided by the park, including trouble with water or septic
systems, which may create health or safety hazards. For help,
1. the town health officer; or
2. the state Division of Public Health (603
3. the New Hampshire Division of Environmental
Services in Concord (603 271-3503)
When park conditions threaten your health or
safety, you can also take the park owner to court. If your
landlord refuses to fix health or safety hazards within
fourteen (14) days after receiving notice of the problems, you
may file a petition in Superior Court seeking: (1) an order
directing the landlord to make repairs; or (2) permission to
withhold rent. The hearing on your petition must be held
within thirty (30) days.
The court may appoint somebody else to run the
park (known as a receiver) and to repair the problem if: (1)
the health and safety problems are very serious; (2) more than
10% of the park tenants are threatened; and (3) the owner has
failed to make or arrange for repairs within thirty (30) days
after notice of such hazards by a public official.
It is against the law for the park owner to
attempt to evict you in retaliation for undertaking a good
faith effort to have unsafe conditions repaired.
SELLING YOUR HOME
If you live in a park, you are free to sell
your manufactured home in place at a price of your own
choosing. The park owner cannot require either you or the
buyer to move the home out of the park solely because of the
sale. The park owner can require that the home be brought up
to minimal safety and sanitary standards, but it is up to the
park owner to establish that the home is not safe or sanitary.
The park owner may also require that the home conform with
standards set forth in the park rules relating to the
appearance of the home provided, however, that no such
standards are to be applied against a home if it relates to
physical characteristics such as size, construction materials,
or color which cannot be changed without undue financial
hardship to the tenant.
The park owner cannot charge you any fees because of the
sale, unless he/she has, at your request and through a written
contract, acted as your sales agent. The park owner may charge
$35 for signing your manufactured housing deed.
New tenants in a manufactured housing park will be expected
to meet the rules of the park. The owner cannot unreasonable
withhold approval of any person to whom you wish to sell your
manufactured home. He or she can, however, require that the
prospective buyer be able to comply with all park rules
including payment of rent, and may reject a prospective buyer
who has a poor credit history or poor references from prior
landlords. To keep the valuable right to freely sell your
home, you must notify the park owner of your plan to sell.
Special rules apply when your park is being changed to a
retirement park. Within three (3) years of notice of a rule
changing the park from "general or family" to
"senior retirement" you can still sell your home to
a buyer of your choice, including a non-elderly family. In
order to be a lawful retirement park-from which families with
children may be lawfully excluded – the park must meet one
of the following two requirements:
1. 80% of the households in the park must be occupied
by at least one person who is 55 years or older, and the
park owner must provide special facilities and services to
meet the needs of older persons, or
2. the residency in the park must be totally restricted
to persons who are 62 years of age or older.
If families with children are excluded by a park owner, and
neither of these conditions are met, the park
owner is probably breaking federal or state
laws against discrimination. Both laws call for substantial
civil monetary penalties and damages.
Many manufactured housing parks have rules
which limit the number the people who can occupy a home. Such
policies often exclude most of the families with children.
This too can be found to be illegal discrimination against
families with children.
For more information about housing
discrimination, contact: The NH Human Rights Commission,
Telephone: (603) 271-2767, or Fair Housing Project, New
Hampshire Legal Assistance, Telephone: (603) 669-4960 or toll
free at (800) 921-1115, or US Department of Housing and Urban
Development, Telephone: (800) 669-9777.