Real Estate & Development

Increasing Rent? How House Bill 684 Has Changed Rent Increase Notifications in New Hampshire Manufactured Housing Parks

December 19, 2019

By Matthew Burrows*

As we prepare to enter a new year, many manufactured housing park owners and operators in New Hampshire are likely evaluating whether to increase rent. In making this evaluation, manufactured housing park owners and operators should be cognizant of legislation, effective as of July 1, 2019, that calls for new notice requirements for a manufactured housing park owner or operator that intends to increase rent.

House Bill 684 amended RSA 205-A:6 and now requires that manufactured housing park owners and operators provide notice of the opportunity for voluntary private mediation of the rent increase under the Manufactured Housing Consumer Action Program.

Importantly, the statute goes further to require that every notice of rent increase shall contain the following statement in 10 point bold face print:

“IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS RENT INCREASE AS ARBITRARY OR UNREASONABLE YOU MAY BE ABLE TO ENGAGE IN MEDIATION, WITH THE COST OF THE MEDIATOR TO BE FULLY PAID BY THE PARK OWNER, IF: AT LEAST ONE ADULT MEMBER OF NO LESS THAN 51 PERCENT OF THE HOME OWNERS IN THE PARK SIGNS A PETITION REQUESTING MEDIATION, and THE RENT INCREASE EXCEEDS $15 PER MONTH.”

The statute also now requires that the notice of rent increase provides the name, address, and telephone number of the person or entity that will arrange the mediation.

Because this is a recent amendment to the statute, it remains unclear how a court or the New Hampshire Board of Manufactured Housing would treat a manufactured housing park owner’s or operator’s failure to comply with the new statutory notice requirements. Manufactured housing park owners and operators should take care to comply with the above statutory requirements as well as the other statutory provisions of RSA 205-A. When in doubt, it is prudent to seek legal advice to address any concerns regarding compliance with the provisions of RSA 205-A.

* Matthew Burrows is admitted in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

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