TITLE 25

Property

Manufactured Home Communities

CHAPTER 70. Manufactured Homes and Manufactured Home Communities Act

Subchapter I. Purpose, Definitions, Enforceability


(a) Subchapters I through V of this chapter must be liberally construed and applied to promote the following underlying purposes and policies:

(1) To clarify and establish the law governing the rental of lots for manufactured homes as well as the rights and obligations of manufactured home community owners (landlords), manufactured homeowners (tenants), and residents of manufactured home communities.

(2) To encourage manufactured home community owners and manufactured homeowners, and residents to maintain and improve the quality of life in manufactured home communities.

(b) Subchapters I through V of this chapter apply to all rental agreements for manufactured home lots and regulates and determines the legal rights, remedies, and obligations of all parties to a rental agreement, wherever executed, for a lot for a manufactured home in a manufactured home community within this State. A provision of a rental agreement which conflicts with a provision of subchapters I through V of this chapter and is not expressly authorized herein is unenforceable. The unenforceability of a provision does not affect the enforceability of other provisions of a rental agreement which can be given effect without the unenforceable provision.

25 Del. C. 1953, § 7001; 58 Del. Laws, c. 286; 58 Del. Laws, c. 472, § 4; 65 Del. Laws, c. 446, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 268, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 35, § 2; 82 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 2.;

75 Del. Laws, c. 382, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; repealed by 80 Del. Laws, c. 53 § 1, eff. June 26, 2015.;

(a) Any person, whether or not a citizen or resident of this State, who owns, holds an ownership or beneficial interest in, uses, manages, or possesses real estate situated in this State submits to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State as to any action or proceeding for the enforcement of an obligation or right arising under subchapters I through V of this chapter.

(b) A summary proceeding to recover the possession of a rented lot, pursuant to Chapter 57 of this title, may be maintained in the Justice of the Peace Court in the county where the property is located.

(c) In the absence of a provision in subchapters I through V of this chapter governing the relationship between a manufactured homeowner (tenant) and a manufactured home community owner (landlord), the Residential Landlord-Tenant Code, under Part III of this title, governs the relationship. The Residential Landlord-Tenant Code also governs the rental of manufactured homes. In the event of conflict between the provisions of subchapters I through V of this chapter and the Residential Landlord-Tenant Code, subchapters I through V of this chapter govern issues pertaining to the rental of lots in manufactured home communities.

25 Del. C. 1953, § 7002; 58 Del. Laws, c. 286; 58 Del. Laws, c. 472, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 95, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 446, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 268, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 35, § 2; 82 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 4.;

Unless otherwise expressly stated, if a word or term is not defined under this section, it has its ordinarily accepted meaning or means what the context implies. For purposes of this chapter:

(1) “Agreement” means a written rental agreement.

(2) “Authority” means the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority.

(3) “Common area” means shared land or facilities within a manufactured home community over which the landlord retains control.

(4) “Community owner” or “landlord” means the owner of 2 or more manufactured home lots offered for rent. It includes a lessor, sublessor, park owner, or receiver of 2 or more manufactured home lots offered for rent, as well as any person, other than a lender not in possession, who directly or indirectly receives rents for 2 or more manufactured home lots offered for rent and who has no obligation to deliver such rents to another person.

(5) “Guest” or “visitor” means a person who is not a tenant or resident of a manufactured home community and who is on the premises of the manufactured home community with the express or implied permission of a tenant or resident of the community.

(6) [Repealed.]

(7) “Holdover” means a tenant who retains possession of a rented lot in a manufactured home community after the termination, nonrenewal, or expiration of a rental agreement governing the rented lot.

(8) “Homeowner” or “tenant” means an owner of a manufactured home who has a tenancy of a lot in a manufactured home community; a lessee.

(9) “Landlord” or “community owner” means the owner of 2 or more manufactured home lots offered for rent. It includes a lessor, sublessor, park owner, or receiver of 2 or more manufactured home lots offered for rent, as well as any person, other than a lender not in possession, who directly or indirectly receives rents for 2 or more manufactured home lots offered for rent and who has no obligation to deliver such rents to another person.

(10) “Lease” or “rental agreement” means a written contract between a landlord and a tenant establishing the terms and conditions whereby a manufactured home is placed upon or is allowed to remain upon a rented or leased lot in a manufactured home community.

(11) “Manufactured home” means a factory-built, single-family dwelling:

a. Transportable in 1 or more sections, which is either 8 body feet or more in width and 40 body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, has more than 400 square feet in living area; and

b. With or without a permanent foundation and designed to be used as a year-round dwelling when connected to the required utilities; and

c. If manufactured since June 15, 1976, built in accordance with manufactured home construction requirements promulgated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by other applicable codes. “Manufactured home” is synonymous with “mobile home”, “trailer”, and similar terms used elsewhere in this title.

(12) “Manufactured home community” means a parcel of land where 2 or more lots are rented or offered for rent for the placement of manufactured homes. Manufactured home community is synonymous with “mobile home park”, “trailer park”, and “trailer court”.

(13) “Notice” means a written announcement, warning or other communication delivered to or served upon a person, as designated in statute.

(14) “Premises” means the rented lots in a manufactured home community, the structures upon them, and the facilities and appurtenances thereon, as well as the grounds, common areas, and facilities held out for the use of the tenants and residents generally or whose use is contracted for between landlord and tenant.

(15) “Quiet enjoyment” includes the peaceful possession of the premises in a manufactured home community without unwarranted disturbance.

(16) “Recreational vehicle” means a travel trailer, camping trailer, park trailer, camper, camper motor home or similar accommodation which is primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational camping or for seasonal or travel use and which either has its own motor power or is mounted on or drawn by another vehicle.

(17) “Related party’' means any of a person’s parents, spouse, children, and siblings of the whole and half-blood.

(18) “Rent” means money paid by a tenant to a landlord for the possession, use and enjoyment of a rented lot and other parts of the premises in a manufactured home community pursuant to a rental agreement. For purposes of summary possession, rent includes late fees for rent, other fees and charges, including utility charges, and the tenant’s share of the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund assessment.

(19) “Rental agreement” or “lease” means a written contract between a landlord and a tenant establishing the terms and conditions whereby a manufactured home is placed upon or is allowed to remain upon a rented or leased lot in a manufactured home community.

(20) “Resident” means a person who resides in a manufactured home located in a manufactured home community. A resident may or may not be a tenant.

(21) “Seasonal property” means a parcel of land operated as a vacation resort on which 2 or more lots are rented or offered for rent for the placement of manufactured homes or other dwellings used less than 8 months of the year. A seasonal property is characterized by a lack of availability of year-round utilities and by the fact that its tenants have primary residences elsewhere.

(22) “Standing water” means motionless water, not flowing in a stream, tide, or current, that has not dissipated within 48 hours after cessation of precipitation.

(23) “Tenant” or “homeowner” means an owner of a manufactured home who has a tenancy of a lot in a manufactured home community; a lessee.

(24) “Tree” for the purpose of this chapter means a woody, perennial plant at least 25 feet in height or with a main stem a minimum of 6 inches in diameter.

(25) “Trust Fund” means the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund.

(26) “Utility charge” means a charge by a landlord or others to a tenant for a service, such as water, sewer, electricity, fuel, propane, cable television, or trash.

(27) “Utility service” means a service provided by a landlord or others to a tenant for a service, such as water, sewer, electricity, fuel, propane, cable television, or trash.

25 Del. C. 1953, § 7003; 58 Del. Laws, c. 286; 58 Del. Laws, c. 472, § 4; 65 Del. Laws, c. 446, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 268, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 35, § 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 147, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 258, § 1; 82 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 5.;

(a) The rental of ground upon which a recreational vehicle is placed, including any facilities or utilities thereon, is exempt from the requirements of subchapters I through V of this chapter and nothing in subchapters I through V of this chapter may be construed as determining, regulating, or governing the legal rights of parties to any lease or rental agreement for the ground on which a recreational vehicle is situated.

(b) The rental of ground within the category of seasonal property is exempt from the requirements of subchapters I through V of this chapter and nothing in subchapters I through V of this chapter may be construed as determining, regulating, or governing the legal rights of parties to any lease or rental agreement for the rental of ground within the category of seasonal property.

25 Del. C. 1953, § 7005; 58 Del. Laws, c. 286; 58 Del. Laws, c. 472, § 4; 65 Del. Laws, c. 446, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 268, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 35, § 2; 74 Del. Laws, c. 147, § 2; 82 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 6.;

(a) It is the duty and obligation of the Consumer Protection Unit, or its successor, of the Department of Justice to enforce the provisions of subchapters I through V of this chapter. A violation of any provision of subchapters I through V of this chapter by a landlord is within the scope of enforcement duties and powers of the Consumer Protection Unit, or its successor, of the Department of Justice.

(b) Whenever the Consumer Protection Unit, or its successor, of the Department of Justice has reasonable cause to believe that any landlord is engaged in a pattern or practice of violating or failing to comply with the terms of any provision of a rental agreement covered by this chapter, the Attorney General may commence a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction and seek such relief as the Department of Justice deems necessary to enforce and to ensure the compliance with the terms of such agreement.

65 Del. Laws, c. 446, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 268, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 291, §§ 98(b), (c); 74 Del. Laws, c. 35, § 2; 75 Del. Laws, c. 382, § 6; 82 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 7.;