SENATE BILL NO. 237
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT AMENDING TITLE 31, DELAWARE CODE, BY ADDING A NEW CHAPTER TO BE DESIGNATED AS CHAPTER 46 OF TITLE 31, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO SAFETY STANDARDS FOR CONSTRUCTION AND SALE OF MOBILE HOMES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the members elected to each branch thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Title 31, Delaware Code, by adding a new Chapter to be designated as Chapter 46 to read as follows:
CHAPTER 46. MOBILE HOME SAFETY ACT
§4601. Short Title
This Act shall be known and may be cited as the:
DELAWARE MOBILE HOME SAFETY ACT
Unless expressly stated otherwise the following words and terms when used in this Act are to be defined as follows: "Mobile Home" means a moveable or portable unit, designed and constructed to be towed on its own chassis (comprised of frame and wheels), and designed to be connected to utilities for year-round occupancy. The term shall include: (1) units containing parts that may be folded, collapsed or telescoped when being towed and that may be expanded to provide additional cubic capacity, and (2) units composed of two or more separately towable components designed to be joined into one integral unit capable of being separated again into the components for repeated towing. The term shall include units designed to be used for residential, commercial, educational or industrial purposes, excluding, however, recreational vehicles, as defined in this Act; "Recreational Vehicle" means a vehicular portable structure built on a chassis designed to be used as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreational and vacation uses, permanently identified "travel trailer" by the manufacturer of the trailer and when factory equipped for the road, having a body width not exceeding 8 feet and a body length not exceeding 32 feet;
"Person" means a person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity engaged in the business of selling, offering for sale or renting mobile homes;
"Manufacturer" means any person who manufacturers mobile homes; "Department" means the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development;
"Dealer" means any person, other than a manufacturer, as defined in this Act, who sells 3 or more mobile homes in any consecutive 12 month period; "Code" means the safety code promulgated by the American National Standards Institute and identified as ANSI A119.1, including all revisions thereof in effect at the time of the effective date of this Act. A copy of said Safety Code, including said revisions thereof is on file with the Department;
"Seal" means a device or insignia issued by the Department to be displayed on the exterior of the mobile home to evidence compliance with the Safety Code.
§4603. Requirement for compliance with Safety Code
(a) No person, as defined in §101 of this Chapter, shall sell, offer for sale or rent within this State, any mobile home manufactured after the effective date of this Act, unless such mobile home complies with the Safety Code and any revision thereof that may be adopted hereafter, by the Department as hereinafter provided.
(b) After July 1, 1974, no person shall manufacture for delivery within this State or deliver in this State any mobile home which does not comply with the Safety Code.
§4604. Requirement for seal
No person, as defined in §101 of this Chapter, shall sell, offer for sale or rent within this State any mobile home manufactured after July 1, 1974, not bearing a seal issued by the Department and a certification by the manufacturer or dealer that the mobile home complies with the Safety Code.
§4605. Issuance of seal
The Department shall issue seals to any manufacturer or dealer upon application supported by affidavit or such other evidence which the Department shall deem necessary to satisfy itself that the seals shall be affixed only to mobile homes which comply with the Safety Code.
§4606. Prohibition against alteration
No person shall make any alteration of any mobile home to which a Seal has been affixed if such alteration creates non-compliance with the Safety Code.
If the Department finds that the standard for design, manufacture and inspection of mobile homes by statute and/or rules and regulations of another state or other government agency meets the objective and intent of this State's program and are enforced satisfactorily by such other states, government agencies or their agents, the Department may accept mobile homes which have been certified by such other states or governmental agencies if an appropriate state label is attached. The standard of other states shall not be deemed to be satisfactorily enforced unless such other state provides notification to the Department of approval, suspension and revocation of approval issued by the other states in a manner satisfactory to the Department. The Department shall void any agreement with another state if it is determined that the standards for the manufacture and inspection of such mobile homes of other states or other government agencies do not continue to meet the objectives and intents of this State's program and if the standards are not enforced to the satisfaction of the Department. Notice of such action by the Department shall be in writing with the reasons set forth therein. Voiding of an agreement between this State and another state shall be subject to review upon request of the other state. The Department will from time to time issue a list of states and/or government agencies with whom a reciprocal agreement is in effect.
In order to encourage reciprocity, the Department shall cooperate with similar authorities in other states, jurisdictions and with nationally recognized codes and standards organizations in developing acceptable uniform standards, methods and procedures for testing, evaluating, and inspecting mobile homes and otherwise encourage their production and acceptance.
Reciprocity shall be accomplished through bi-lateral agreements between this State and other states or governmental agendas.
44608. Compliance with other requirements
(a) Neither this State, nor any political subdivision or agency thereof shall require a mobile home complying with this Act to comply with any additional building, plumbing, heating, or electrical requirements, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(b) Nothing in this Chapter or in the rules and regulations adopted by the Department pursuant to this Chapter shall be construed to amend, repeal or supersede any local zoning ordinance, subdivision regulation or locally adopted land development code, regulation or ordinance.
The Department, by regulation, shall establish a schedule of fees sufficient to pay costs of the administration and enforcement of this Act.
§4610. Delegation of authority to department
(a) The Department is hereby charged with the administration and enforcement of this Act. The Department is authorized to: (1) promulgate such reasonable regulations as may be necessary to administer and enforce this Act, and (2) adopt any revisions of the Code as may be necessary to protect the health and safety of the public against dangers inherent in the use of substandard construction and unsafe plumbing, electrical and heating systems.
(b) At least 30 days before the adoption or promulgation of any regulations or any revision of the Code, pursuant to the authority vested in the Department by the preceding subsection (a) of this Section, the Department shall mail to all State licensed dealers and manufacturers of mobile homes a notice which shall contain: (1) A copy of the proposed regulations or revisions thereon, if any; (2) A copy of the proposed revision of the Code, if any; and (3) The time and place that the Department will consider any objections, comments or suggestions pertaining to the proposed action described in the notice.
(c) After giving the notice required by subsection (b) of this section, the Department shall provide a hearing for interested persons to express their views on the proposed action, either orally or in writing as may be prescribed by the Department and specified in the notice.
(d) The Department is authorized to perform necessary inspection of manufacturing facilities and products to implement the provisions of this Act. If the Department appoints non-governmental inspectors or inspection agencies, the Department shall at all times exercise supervisory control over such inspectors or agencies to insure effective and uniform enforcement of the Code consistent with rules, regulations and interpretations promulgated by the Department.
(e) The issuance of sales may be suspended as to any manufacturer who is convicted under Section 102 of this Act of manufacturing products that do not conform to the Code and issuance of seals shall not be resumed until such manufacturer submits proof satisfactory to the Department that the conditions which caused the violation of the Code have been remedied.
(f) No person may interfere with, obstruct or hinder an authorized representative of the Department in the performance of its duties under this Act.
§4611. Repossession of seal; limitation of liability
The seal shall remain the property of the Department, and may be repossessed by the Department, if placed upon a mobile home which is in violation of the Safety Code. Compliance with the Safety Code is the responsibility of the manufacturer and neither the State nor the Department, shall be civilly or criminally liable for the issuance of any seal which is thereafter placed upon a nonconforming home.
§4612. Violations; penalties
(a) Any person violating any provision of this Act shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 not more than $1,000.
Justice of the Peace Courts shall have original jurisdiction over all violations of this Chapter.
Approved March 25, 1974.