With AB 1472 in the rear-view mirror (for now), what lies ahead for the RV park industry?
We have had a nice run of laying low and falling back on the RV park residency law – (California Civil Codes Chapter 2.6) to assist with removals and evictions. But now that we have been in the limelight it might be time to clean up our act a bit and fly right rather than under the radar.
Many RV parks need long term tenants to stay afloat so it has become common practice to allow for a percentage of the park to become “residential”. The appearance of residential affordable housing is the very thing that will bury us in the legislature in the very near future.
If it walks like a duck and floats like a duck, then it must be a duck. If we look like and act like low-income housing, then that is how we will be perceived and regulated. As an industry, we must operate our parks as though they are 100% transient even though we may have long term guests, but how do we do that?
A good solid set of rules THAT YOU ACTUALLY FOLLOW. Rules are of no use if you allow everyone to break them, and our attorney partners will appreciate your adherence to your own rules when they must defend you in an unlawful detainer case.
Utilize the Special Occupancy Parks Act and RVP Law. Did you know that your guest CANNOT occupy more than 75% of their site? It is the law.
Do you know the civil code rules for accessory structures? If you don’t, you should.
What about modification of an RV (you know like those window AC units)? Yes, that means the RV has been modified and cannot be in your park.
What about an RVIA (or similar) seal of approval? The RVIA changed the wording on their seal to read “This recreational vehicle is designed for temporary recreational camping or seasonal use.” Manufacturers will no longer warranty a vehicle that is being “lived” in full time. An RV must have a seal, or the owner must self-declare for the vehicle to be in an RV park. Do you have a self-declare waiver?
The vehicle must be operable and registered with the DMV (not as a non-op). This means that all the systems must be operable. Toilet, shower, refrigerator, AC, and appliances must all be operable as well as the vehicle itself. The vehicle and tow vehicle (if applicable) must be registered with tags on. This is a basic state law. If they can’t follow this, they will not follow your park rules.
This might be difficult to hear, but parks that are operating as residential parks may want to consider reregistering as a mobile home park to avoid the inference on your counterparts who choose to be transient that all RV parks are low-income housing.
A great deal of thought was put into SOPA by the founders of this association. It set to separate RV parks and their transient occupancy from full time mobile home parks. Now we are at risk of losing the very code and law that make us unique.
See you on the road.
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