§ 7023 Change of use; conversion.
This subchapter governs a change in use of a manufactured home community, under § 7024(b) of this title, to any use other than a conversion of the community to a manufactured home cooperative or condominium community, which is governed by Chapter 71 of this title.
§ 7024 Termination or nonrenewal of rental agreement by landlord; due cause; change in land use.
(a) A landlord may terminate a rental agreement for a lot in a manufactured home community before it expires or may refuse to renew an agreement only for due cause. “Due cause” means any of the following:
(1) An intended change in the use of the land of a manufactured home community under subsection (b) of this section.
(2) The grounds for termination under § 7016 of this title.
(b) If a change is intended in good faith in the use of land on which a manufactured home community or a portion of a manufactured home community is located and the landlord intends to terminate or not renew a rental agreement, the landlord shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide all tenants affected with at least a 1-year termination or nonrenewal notice, which informs the tenants of the intended change of use and of their need to secure another location for their manufactured homes. The landlord may not increase the lot rental amount of an affected tenant after giving notice of a change in use.
(2) Give all notice required by this section in writing. All notice must be posted on the affected tenant’s manufactured home and sent to the affected tenant by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the tenant at an address specified in the rental agreement or at the tenant’s last known address if an address is not specified in the rental agreement.
(3) Provide, along with the 1-year notice required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a relocation plan (Plan) to each affected tenant of the manufactured home community. The Plan must be written in a straightforward and easily comprehendible manner and include all of the following:
a. The location, telephone number, and contact person of other manufactured home communities, known to the landlord after reasonable effort, within a 25-mile radius of the manufactured home community where the change of land use is intended.
b. The location, telephone number, and contact person of housing for tenants with disabilities and for older tenants, known to the landlord after reasonable effort, within a 25-mile radius of the manufactured home community where the change of land use is intended.
c. A listing, known to the landlord after reasonable effort, of government and community agencies available to assist tenants with disabilities and older tenants.
d. A basic description of relocation and abandonment procedures and requirements.
e. A preliminary indication of whether a tenant’s manufactured home can or cannot be relocated.
f. A copy of this section of the Code.
(4) Submit the Plan to the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority at the same time that the Plan is submitted to the affected tenants.
(5) Update the Plan and distribute the updated Plan every 3 months. If the landlord fails to provide a quarterly update to each affected tenant and to the Authority, the date of termination of the tenant’s rental agreement will be extended by 1 month for each omitted quarterly update.
(6) During the relocation process observe and comply with all federal, state, and local laws relating to older tenants and tenants with disabilities.
(c) If a manufactured home community owner does not in good faith intend to change the land use of the community, yet provides a homeowner or tenant with a termination or nonrenewal notice pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the community owner has committed the act of misrepresentation with intent to deceive the homeowner or tenant.
(1) A violation of this subsection is subject to all of the following civil penalties:
a. A cease and desist order.
b. Payment of a monetary penalty of not more than $250 for each violation.
d. Such other relief as is reasonable and appropriate.
e. Double the monetary penalty if the homeowner or tenant is over 65 years old.
(2) Prima facie evidence that a community owner did not intend in good faith to change land use includes evidence that the community owner reused the land for lot rentals for manufactured homes within 7 years of providing a tenant with a termination or nonrenewal notice, and did not make a material and bonafide effort to change the subdivision plan or zoning designation, or both.
(3) A court may award attorneys’ fees and costs to a homeowner if it determines that the community owner violated this section.
(d) If a landlord has given the required notice to a tenant and has fulfilled all other requirements of this subchapter, the failure of the Authority to perform its duties or authorize payments does not prevent the landlord from completing the change in use of land.
25 Del. C. 1953, § 7011; 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; 75 Del. Laws, c. 375, §§ 2, 3; 82 Del. Laws, c. 38, § 30.;