Q: My son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He has been in a locked mental facility for the last two and a half years, but now he is ready to “move down.” I was planning on my son living with me but I live in a privately owned senior mobile home park. Can the owners of the park not allow him to live with me? The by-laws of the park says he has to register to live with me and the park managers (owners) have to give permission in a written notice. What recourse, if any, do I have if they say he can’t live with me?

Thanks, Bill

A: California’s Mobilehome Residency Law (Civil Code sections 798 et. seq.) governs mobilehome park rental agreements, park management, sales of mobilehomes, evictions, and a variety of mobilehome resident rights. These laws override any clauses in your rental agreement.

Both Civil Code section 798.34(d) (for mobilehome parks) and section 799.9(b) (for mobilehome subdivisions and resident-owned parks) state that a senior homeowner living in a seniors-only mobilehome park may share his or her mobilehome with “any person 18 years of age or older if this person is a parent, sibling, child, or grandchild of the senior homeowner and requires live-in health care, live-in supportive care, or supervision pursuant to a written treatment plan prepared by a physician and surgeon.” No fees may be charged for this relative to stay in the park. Unless otherwise agreed upon, management assumes no responsibility for managing, supervising, or otherwise providing for this person’s care during his stay in the park. This person does not have any tenancy rights, and must comply with all park rules and regulations. If this person does violate any of these rules, it shall be deemed a violation by you, the homeowner.

Under these laws, it sounds like you may have your son live with you, if his doctors include this type of in-home care or supervision as part of his written treatment plan. However, you will be responsible for his care and supervision, and will be liable for his violations of park rules.

You would need to pursue violations of the Mobilehome Residency Act in the civil court. However, you may want to file a complaint with the Mobilehome Ombudsman first. Although this office will answer questions and take complaints regarding the Mobilehome Residency Law, they are not authorized to enforce its provisions, or to arbitrate, mediate, or negotiate these types of disputes. If you submit a complaint about a violation of the Mobilehome Residency Act, the Ombudsman will refer your complaint to the park operator for voluntary compliance. In some situations, having your complaint forwarded from a state agency encourages the park owner to comply. If there is no response from the park operator within 30 days, the Ombudsman will close your complaint, and you will need to pursue the matter in the civil court.

Do you have a question for the County Law Librarian? Just email sacpress@saclaw.org. If your question is selected your answer will appear in next Thursday’s column. Even if your question isn’t selected, though, I will still respond within two weeks.

Coral Henning, Director
@coralh & @saclawlibrarian