SENATE BILL 298
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
Siah Correa Hemphill and Bill B. O'Neill
RELATING TO PROPERTY; AMENDING THE MOBILE HOME PARK ACT; REQUIRING A REGIMENTED APPLICATION OF TENANT PAYMENTS; PROVIDING NOTICE BEFORE THE SALE OF MOBILE HOME PARK PROPERTY; LIMITING RENT INCREASES BASED ON COST OF LIVING; INCREASING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS; PROVIDING FOR PRIVATE REMEDIES; REPEALING SECTIONS 47-10-6 AND 47-10-14 NMSA 1978 (BEING LAWS 1983, CHAPTER 122, SECTIONS 6 AND 14, AS AMENDED).
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 47-10-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1983, Chapter 122, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:
"47-10-3. TENANCY--REQUIREMENTS [NOTICE TO QUIT]--RENTAL AGREEMENT.--
[A. No tenancy or other lease or rental occupancy of space in a mobile home park shall commence without a written lease or rental agreement, and no tenancy in a mobile home park shall be terminated until a notice to quit has been served upon the mobile home resident. The notice to quit shall be in writing directed to the resident and in the form specified in this section. The form of notice shall be deemed legally sufficient if it states:]
A. A landlord shall disclose the terms and conditions of tenancy to a prospective resident in a written rental agreement prior to the rental or occupancy of space in a mobile home park. The disclosures shall include:
(1) the name [of the landlord or] and mailing address of the owner of the mobile home park;
(2) the [mailing address of the property] name and mailing address where a manager's decision may be appealed;
(3) the [location or space number upon which the mobile home is situated] term of the tenancy;
(4) the [county in which the mobile home is situate] amount of rent; [and]
(5) the [reason for the termination of the tenancy and the date, place and circumstances of any acts allegedly justifying the termination;
B. The notice to quit shall be served by delivering the notice to the mobile home tenant personally or by posting the notice at the main entrance of the mobile home. If service is made by posting the notice, a copy of the notice shall also be sent by certified mail to the mobile home tenant, return receipt requested. The date of a posting shall be included on the posted notice and on the copy mailed to the mobile home tenant and shall constitute the effective date of the notice.
C. The tenant shall be given a period of not less than thirty days from the end of the rental period during which the termination notice was served to remove any mobile home from the premises, but which is automatically extended to sixty days where the tenant must remove a multisection mobile home. In those situations where a multisection mobile home is being leased to or occupied by a person other than its owner and in a manner contrary to the rules and regulations of the landlord, then, in that event the tenancy may be terminated by the landlord upon giving a thirty-day notice instead of a sixty-day notice] dollar amount of any rent increases for each of the preceding two years;
(6) the day rental payment is due;
(7) the day when unpaid rent is considered in default;
(8) the rules and regulations of the mobile home park;
(9) the zoning applicable to the mobile home park;
(10) all charges to the prospective resident other than rent; and
(11) a statement explaining the prospective resident's right to request alternative dispute resolution of disputes with a landlord, except for disputes over nonpayment of rent or utility charges or in the case of public safety emergencies.
B. Upon agreement, the landlord and the resident shall sign the rental agreement and each party shall receive a copy of the rental agreement.
C. A landlord and the resident may include terms and conditions in a rental agreement that are not prohibited by the Mobile Home Park Act.
D. [No lease] A rental agreement shall not contain [any] a provision by which the [tenant] resident waives [his] the resident's rights under the Mobile Home Park Act, and any such waiver shall be deemed to be contrary to public policy and shall be unenforceable and void. [Any lease, however, may provide for the termination of the tenancy in accordance with the provisions of Subsection C of this section.
E. No tenancy shall be terminated by a mobile home park owner solely because of the size or age of the mobile home.]
E. If a landlord uses a rental agreement that contains a provision that the landlord knows is prohibited by law, an affected resident may recover damages that result from the application of the illegal provision and reasonable attorney fees."
SECTION 2. Section 47-10-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1983, Chapter 122, Section 5) is amended to read:
"47-10-5. [REASONS FOR TERMINATION] GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION OF RENTAL AGREEMENT--NOTICE TO QUIT.--[A tenancy shall be terminated pursuant to the Mobile Home Park Act]
A. A landlord may terminate a rental agreement only for one or more of the following reasons:
[A. failure of the tenant to comply with local ordinances and state laws and regulations concerning mobile homes]
(1) a resident's conviction of a crime; provided that the commission of that crime threatened the health, safety or welfare of the other residents, the landlord or employees of the mobile home park or caused substantial damage to the premises of the mobile home park;
[B.] (2) disorderly conduct [of the tenant on the premises which constitutes an annoyance to other tenants or interference with park management;
C. failure of the tenant to comply with written rules and regulations of the mobile home park either established by the management in the rental agreement at the inception of the tenancy, amended subsequently thereto with the consent of the tenant, or amended subsequently thereto without the consent of the tenant on thirty days' written notice if the amended rules and regulations are reasonable, except when local ordinances and state laws and regulations or emergency situations require immediate compliance. However, regulations applicable to recreational facilities may be amended at the discretion of the management;
D. condemnation or change of use of the mobile home park] that results in a disruption to the rights of other residents to the peaceful enjoyment and use of the premises, endangers other residents or employees of the mobile home park or causes substantial damage to the mobile home park premises;
(3) nonpayment of rent as specified in Subsection B of this section;
(4) a violation of a mobile home park's rules and regulations as specified in Subsections C and D of this section; or
(5) changes in the use of the land as specified in Subsection G of this section.
B. A landlord may not terminate a rental agreement for nonpayment of rent until forty-five days have elapsed from the date the resident receives a notice that rent is delinquent; provided that the resident has not tendered that delinquent payment during that forty-five-day period. The notice that rent is delinquent shall contain the total amount of rent due and a statement that the landlord intends to commence an eviction process unless the resident makes the delinquent payment within forty-five days. Nonpayment of any fees, late charges, utility charges or charges that violate the provisions of the Mobile Home Park Act is not grounds for the termination of a rental agreement. The abatement of rent pursuant to the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act is not nonpayment of rent and is not grounds for the termination of a rental agreement.
C. A violation of a mobile home park's rules and regulations is grounds for the termination of a rental agreement only if:
(1) the resident has at least sixty days notice of the rule before the violation took place;
(2) the rule violation is likely to continue or recur; and
(3) the continuing or recurring violation of the rule would have a significant adverse impact on the mobile home park or its residents.
D. A rule violation may not be determined likely to recur unless the landlord gives the resident a written notice of the violation that specifies the persons involved, the date, the approximate time and the nature of the violation and the resident fails to correct the violation; or, in the case of a periodic violation, the violations occurred with such frequency as to indicate that it is likely to have a significant adverse impact on the mobile home park or its residents. The violation of a rule is not grounds for the termination of a rental agreement if the resident shows that the rule was not enforced uniformly within the mobile home park.
E. Disorderly conduct or the commission of a crime is grounds for the termination of a rental agreement if the landlord has provided written warning to the resident and the landlord establishes that there is a likelihood of future conduct that would also be grounds for the termination of a rental agreement. There is no such likelihood if the conduct or conviction was committed by a member of the resident's household other than the resident or a former member of the resident's household who is no longer living in the household and is not likely to return to the household.
F. When the owner of a mobile home park is formally notified by an appropriate governmental agency that [his] the owner's mobile home park is the subject of a condemnation proceeding, the landlord shall, within seventeen days, notify [his tenants] the residents in writing of the terms of the condemnation notice [which he] that the landlord receives. [or
E. in those cases where the]
G. When zoning law allows the landlord to change the use of [his] the land without obtaining the consent of the zoning authority and where [such] the change of use would result in eviction of inhabited mobile homes, the landlord shall first give the owner of each mobile home subject to [such] eviction a written notice of [his] the landlord's intent to evict not less than six months prior to [such] the change of use of the land, notice to be mailed to each tenant.
H. A landlord shall not terminate tenancy in a mobile home park until a written notice to quit has been served on the resident. The notice to quit is legally sufficient if the notice states the:
(1) name of the landlord or mobile home park;
(2) mailing address of the property;
(3) location or space number where the mobile home is situated;
(4) county where the mobile home is located; and
(5) reason for the termination of the tenancy and the date, place and circumstances of any acts allegedly justifying the termination.
I. A landlord shall serve the notice to quit by delivering the notice to the resident personally or by posting the notice at the main entrance of the mobile home. If the landlord serves the notice by posting the notice, a copy of the notice shall also be sent by certified mail to the resident, return receipt requested. The landlord shall include the date of the posting on the posted notice, and the copy mailed to the resident and the date of posting shall constitute the effective date of the notice.
J. A resident shall have no less than thirty days from service of the notice to quit to remove a mobile home from the premises and sixty days to remove a multisection mobile home.
K. A landlord shall not terminate a rental agreement solely because of the size or age of the mobile home."
SECTION 3. A new section of the Mobile Home Park Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] APPLICATION OF TENANT PAYMENTS.--
A. A payment made by a resident to a landlord shall be attributed:
(1) first to delinquent rent payments;
(2) subsequently to current rent payments; and
(3) lastly to fees and charges.
B. A landlord's refusal to accept rent from a resident is not nonpayment of rent and is not grounds for eviction of the resident."
SECTION 4. Section 47-10-9 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1983, Chapter 122, Section 9, as amended) is amended to read:
[A. Upon granting judgment for possession by the landlord in a forcible entry and detainer action, the court shall issue the writ of restitution as provided in Section 47-8-46 NMSA 1978.
B. The notice of judgment shall state that at a specified time, not less than forty-eight hours from the entry of judgment, the sheriff will return to serve a writ of restitution and superintend the peaceful and orderly removal of the mobile home under that order of court.]
A. If judgment is rendered against the defendant for restitution of the premises in a petition for restitution filed by a landlord, the court shall declare the forfeiture of the rental agreement and shall, at the request of the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, issue an order directing the resident to vacate the premises not less than fifteen days and no more than twenty days after the entry of the order; provided that the court may direct the resident to vacate the premises not less than seven days after the entry of the order when the case involves a resident's dangerous or disruptive conduct. If the resident does not vacate the premises within the time set forth in the order, the court shall issue a writ of restitution directing the sheriff to restore possession of the premises to the plaintiff.
B. If judgment is rendered against the defendant for restitution of the premises in a petition for restitution filed by the resident, the court shall, at the request of the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, issue a writ of restitution directing the sheriff to restore possession of the premises to the plaintiff within twenty-four hours after entry of judgment.
C. In a case filed based on nonpayment of rent, if a resident or a party in interest tenders payment of all rent, costs, fees and any interest accrued as of that date or as ordered by the court prior to the entry of judgment or the expiration of the period of time set by the court to vacate a judgment, the court shall quash the writ of restitution, vacate any judgment and dismiss the petition for restitution, and tenancy shall continue under the rental agreement in place prior to the action by the owner. The resident may tender amounts due to the owner or to the court to be held in escrow for distribution to the owner upon dismissal of the petition or judgment.
D. The notice of judgment shall [also] advise the mobile home owner to prepare the mobile home for removal from the premises by removing the skirting, disconnecting utilities, attaching tires and otherwise making the mobile home safe and ready for highway travel.
[C.] E. Should the mobile home owner fail to have the mobile home safe and ready for physical removal from the premises or should inclement weather or other unforeseen problems occur at the time specified in the notice of judgment, the landlord and the sheriff may by written agreement extend the time for the execution of the writ of restitution to allow time for the landlord to arrange to have the necessary work done or to permit the sheriff's execution of the writ of restitution at a time when weather or other conditions will make removal less hazardous to the mobile home.
[D.] F. If the mobile home is not removed from the landlord's land on behalf of the mobile home owner within the time permitted by the writ of restitution, the landlord and the sheriff shall have the right to take possession of the mobile home for the purposes of removal and storage. The liability of the landlord and the sheriff in that event shall be limited to gross negligence or willful and wanton disregard of the property rights of the mobile home owner. The responsibility to prevent freezing and to prevent wind and weather damage to the mobile home lies exclusively with those persons who have a property interest in the mobile home.
[E.] G. Utility charges, other charges incurred by the landlord for which the resident is liable to the landlord pursuant to the provisions of a rental agreement, including amounts awarded to the landlord in an action brought pursuant to this section, rents and reasonable removal and storage charges may be paid by any party in interest. Those charges constitute a lien that will run with the mobile home. The lien may be foreclosed in the same manner as a landlord's lien created pursuant to Section 48-3-5 [NSMA] NMSA 1978.
[F.] H. Prior to the issuance of the writ of restitution, the court shall make a finding of fact that the mobile home is or is not subject to the security interest of a first lienholder. A written statement on the mobile home resident's owner's application for tenancy identifying a lienholder by name and address shall be prima facie evidence of the existence of the interest of the lienholder. If the application for tenancy contains no information or states that no liens exist, the landlord shall obtain a written title search statement from the motor vehicle division of the taxation and revenue department and the matter contained in that document shall be conclusive evidence of the existence or nonexistence of security interests in the mobile home.
[G.] I. If the court finds there is a security interest in favor of a first lienholder on the mobile home subject to the writ of restitution or if the mobile home has been abandoned by the resident or possession of the mobile home has been surrendered to the landlord by the resident, then, upon receipt of the writ of restitution, the landlord shall notify the first lienholder in writing that the landlord has obtained a writ of restitution for the mobile home park space where the mobile home is located or that the mobile home has been abandoned or surrendered by the resident. The notice shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of Subsection [J] L of this section and shall:
(1) state that an action for restitution has been filed against the resident and the effective date of a writ of restitution, if issued, or the date the mobile home was abandoned or voluntarily surrendered by the resident;
(2) disclose the amount of the utility charges, other charges incurred by the landlord as provided in the rental agreement, rents and reasonable removal and storage charges, accruing daily rent calculated pursuant to this section and the date upon which the resident is required to make regular payments to the landlord; and
(3) attach a copy of the lease and the landlord's rules and regulations that apply to the resident.
[H.] J. Notwithstanding the provisions of [the] Subsection [E] G of this section, the landlord shall be entitled to collect from the first lienholder only the utility charges, other charges incurred by the landlord as provided in the rental agreement and rents and reasonable removal and storage charges accruing from [and after] the date the landlord provides the first lienholder the written notice prescribed under Subsection [G] I of this section. The first lienholder shall notify the landlord within thirty days of receipt of the notice whether it intends to pay the rents and charges collectible under this subsection or remove the mobile home. The rents and charges due under this subsection shall be prorated to the date the mobile home is removed or the date a new lease with a new resident becomes effective, and the first lienholder shall not be liable for any rents and charges thereafter. The maximum rent payable to the landlord under this subsection is a daily rate equal to one-thirtieth of the then-current lot rental amount that would have been payable by the resident under the lease. The maximum daily rent may be increased over time in accordance with the notice requirements under the applicable provisions of the Mobile Home Park Act. The first lienholder shall have thirty days from the date notice is provided by the landlord to pay the rent and charges accruing to the notice date. Thereafter, the first lienholder shall pay the rent and charges in accordance with the resident's lease. If the first lienholder desires to remove the mobile home prior to a payment due date, the first lienholder shall pay the rent and charges accrued to the date of removal prior to removing the mobile home.
[I.] K. If the first lienholder fails to pay the rent and charges due as provided in Subsection [H] J of this section, the landlord may give the first lienholder notice of the nonpayment in accordance with Section [47-10-6] 47-10-5 NMSA 1978. If the first lienholder fails to make payment within the time period specified in the notice, the landlord may proceed against the first lienholder by exercising the remedies granted it under the Mobile Home Park Act. The landlord may also seek any other remedies to which it is entitled by law. The prevailing party in any action brought in an event to seek relief under this section, including an action for damages, is entitled to an award for reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred in the suit. Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, the judgment obtained in such an action, if in favor of the landlord, constitutes a lien against the mobile home having priority over the lien of the first lienholder. The lien may be foreclosed pursuant to the procedures pertaining to a landlord's lien created in Section 48-3-5 NMSA 1978.
[J.] L. Any notice required by this section between the first lienholder and landlord shall be in writing and either hand delivered or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall be effective the date of delivery or mailing. If hand delivered, the notice shall be delivered at the principal office or place of business of the addressee during regular business hours to the person in charge of the office or place of business.
[K.] M. If the mobile home is sold to third parties who intend to remain in the park, they will not be allowed to reside in the mobile home unless the parties have been qualified by the landlord as residents. Until the purchasers and the landlord enter into a written lease agreement, the landlord may refuse to recognize the sale and treat any persons living in the mobile home as trespassers.
[L.] N. If the first lienholder has paid in full all money due under Subsection [H] J of this section, it [shall be] is unlawful for the landlord to refuse to allow the first lienholder to remove the mobile home. If the landlord refuses to allow the first lienholder to remove the mobile home, the landlord is liable to the first lienholder for each day the landlord unlawfully maintains possession of the mobile home, at a daily rate equal to one-thirtieth of the monthly payment required by a contract between the first lienholder and resident. In all disputes between the landlord and the first lienholder, the court shall award reasonable attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party. In the event the mobile home has not been resold within six months of the landlord providing notice pursuant to Subsection [G] I of this section, the landlord may request the first lienholder to remove the mobile home within thirty days of the request. Notice of the request shall be given to the first lienholder in accordance with Subsection [J] L of this section."
SECTION 5. Section 47-10-10 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1983, Chapter 122, Section 10) is amended to read:
"47-10-10. ENTRY FEES PROHIBITED--ENTRY FEE DEFINED--SECURITY DEPOSIT [COURT COSTS].--
A. The owner of a mobile home park or the agent of [such] the owner shall neither pay to nor receive from an owner or a seller of a mobile home an entry fee of any type as a condition of tenancy in a mobile home park.
B. As used in this section, "entry fee" means any fee paid to or received by an owner of a mobile home park or [his] the owner's agent, except for:
(2) a security deposit against actual damages to the premises, including any damages that result from moving the mobile home, or to secure rental payments, which deposit shall not be greater than the amount allowed under Section [9 of the Mobile Home Park Act] 47-10-8 NMSA 1978. Security deposits shall remain the property of the tenant, and they shall be deposited into a separate trust account by the landlord to be administered by the landlord as a private trustee. For the purpose of preserving the corpus, the landlord shall not commingle the trust funds with other money, but [he] the landlord is permitted to keep the interest and profits [thereon] from the funds as [his] compensation for administering the trust;
(3) a fee charged by [any] a state, municipal or county governmental agency;
(4) utilities; or
(5) incidental charges for services actually performed by the mobile home park owner or [his] the owner's agent or agreed to in writing by the tenant.
[C. The trial judge may award court costs and reasonable attorney fees in any court action brought pursuant to the Mobile Home Park Act to the prevailing party upon a finding that the prevailing party undertook the court action and legal representation for a legally sufficient reason and not for a dilatory or unfounded cause.
D. The management or the resident may bring a civil action for violation of the rental agreement or any violation of the Mobile Home Park Act in the appropriate court of the county in which the mobile home park is located. Either party may recover actual damages, or the court may, in its discretion, award such equitable relief as it deems necessary, including the enjoining of either party from further violations.]"
SECTION 6. A new section of the Mobile Home Park Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] NOTICE REQUIRED BEFORE SALE.--
A. An owner of a mobile home park shall not make a final unconditional acceptance of an offer for the sale of a mobile home park without giving sixty days notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each resident and the municipality or, if not situated in a municipality, the county where the mobile home park is situated that includes:
(1) a statement that the owner intends to sell the mobile home park;
(2) a signed copy of the written offer the owner intends to accept that includes the price, terms and conditions of the offer;
(3) the terms of any seller financing, including the amount, the interest rate and the amortization rate of financing;
(4) the terms of any seller assumable financing, including the amount, the interest rate and the amortization rate of financing;
(5) a legal description and a statement of the appraised or assessed value of the property included in the sale;
(6) any proposed improvements or economic concessions to be made in connection with the sale; and
(7) a statement that a group or association of homeowners may offer to purchase the mobile home park and the deadline to submit the offer.
B. If an owner receives an offer within sixty days after providing notice pursuant to Subsection A of this section from a group or association of homeowners that is contingent on securing financing, the owner shall not accept an offer for the sale of a mobile home park for sixty days after receiving that offer.
C. A group or association of homeowners or their assignees have sixty days after receiving notice pursuant to Subsection A of this section to submit a proposed purchase and sale agreement; provided that if the proposed purchase and sale agreement is contingent on securing financing, the group or association of homeowners or their assignees shall have sixty days from when the owner received the offer to secure a binding commitment for the financing of the proposed purchase and sale agreement and submit that offer to the owner. The group or association of homeowners or their assignees shall submit to the owner, along with an offer, a petition or other document signed by the residents of over fifty percent of the occupied homes in the mobile home park, indicating their approval of the proposed purchase and sale agreement, or other reasonable evidence that the residents of over fifty percent of the owner-occupied homes in the mobile home park have approved the petition or other document.
D. An owner of a mobile home park who receives an offer pursuant to this section shall not unreasonably refuse to:
(1) provide documents, data and other information in response to a reasonable request for information from a group or association of homeowners or their assignees; provided that the group or association of homeowners or their assignees keep the information confidential except for the purposes of evaluating or obtaining financing for the transaction;
(2) negotiate in good faith; or
(3) schedule a closing date for a purchase and sale agreement.
E. A group or association of homeowners may assign the right to make an offer to purchase a mobile home park pursuant to this section to a local, state or tribal government, housing authority, nonprofit or state agency.
F. A group or association of homeowners or their assignees may submit an offer to purchase a mobile home park at any time. The owner of the mobile home park shall consider an offer made and negotiate with the homeowners and their assignees in good faith.
G. The requirements of this section apply separately to each substantially different offer to sell or purchase a mobile home park."
SECTION 7. Section 47-10-19 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1993, Chapter 147, Section 5) is amended to read:
"47-10-19. RENT INCREASE--DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT.--
A. A landlord shall fully and accurately disclose in writing to a resident an increase in rent. The disclosure shall be provided to a resident at least [sixty days] six months prior to implementation of an increase in rent.
B. A landlord may not increase a resident's rent more than once during any twenty-four-month period, regardless of the term of the tenancy or the term of the rental agreement.
C. A rent increase shall not exceed an increase of three percent plus any percentage increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers, United States city average for all items, published by the United States department of labor as calculated from the most recent available twenty-four-month period preceding the date of the disclosure to increase rent, unless the landlord petitions a court of appropriate subject matter jurisdiction where the real property is located and obtains an order for declaratory judgment that such increase is justified by:
(1) increases in the landlord's operating expenses;
(2) increases in the landlord's property taxes on the park; and
(3) increases in costs directly relating to capital improvements in the park.
D. An action filed pursuant to Subsection C of this section is subject to the Rules of Civil Procedure for the district courts in which the action is filed, and there shall be an irrebuttable presumption that a rent increase is justifiable when the amount of such increase does not exceed the resident's pro rata share of operating costs and property taxes for the mobile home park in which the resident resides.
E. A court may condition approval of a landlord's petition for a rent increase upon the redress of conditions in the mobile home park that threaten the health and safety of the resident.
F. While a petition for a rent increase is pending before the court, the mobile home park residents shall pay the amount of the rent increase to the landlord, who shall hold such amounts in escrow pending a mediated agreement between the parties or a final decision from the court; provided that a resident shall not be evicted for nonpayment of the rent increase prior to the final disposition of the matter by the court in the county where the mobile home park is located. Failure by the landlord to place such rent increase in escrow is punishable by a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000). If the court enters a final judgment declaring the rent increase or any part thereof unjustifiable or impermissible, the landlord shall refund the amount of the unjustifiable or impermissible increase to each resident.
[B.] G. Upon receiving a written request from a resident or prospective resident, a landlord shall fully and accurately disclose in writing a current schedule of the range of rental rates in the mobile home park. The landlord shall include the date of preparation on the face of the schedule of rental rates."
SECTION 8. Section 47-10-21 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1993, Chapter 147, Section 7) is amended to read:
"47-10-21. PROVISION OF UTILITY SERVICES--ADMINISTRATIVE FEE--DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT.--
A. A landlord may charge residents a reasonable fee to offset the cost of administration incurred by a landlord when [he] the landlord provides utility services to residents.
B. The amount of the administrative fee for utility services shall be fully and accurately disclosed in writing in a rental agreement, pursuant to the provisions of Paragraph [(6)] (10) of Subsection A of Section [47-10-14] 47-10-3 NMSA 1978.
C. A landlord shall fully and accurately disclose in writing to a resident any increase in the administrative fee. The disclosure shall be provided to a resident at least sixty days prior to implementation of an increase in the administrative fee."
SECTION 9. Section 47-10-23 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1993, Chapter 147, Section 9) is amended to read:
"47-10-23. CIVIL PENALTIES--ENFORCEMENT.--
[A. For each violation by a landlord of the provisions of Sections 47-10-19 through 47-10-22 NMSA 1978, a landlord may be charged a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).
B. The remedies provided in this section are not exclusive and do not limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a resident under any other law.]
A. The attorney general or district attorney may seek a temporary or permanent injunction, civil penalties not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation and compensation on behalf of a resident or resident association for a violation of the Mobile Home Park Act. The court shall award court costs and attorney fees for a successful action brought pursuant to this section.
B. The court may award civil penalties in an amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation of an injunction ordered pursuant to this section.
C. The court may order a receiver to operate a mobile home park when the court determines that the landlord does not have the financial capacity to operate the mobile home park or a receivership is the most effective means of ensuring compliance with a court order."
SECTION 10. A new section of the Mobile Home Park Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] PRIVATE REMEDIES.--
A. A landlord who has violated a provision of the Mobile Home Park Act is liable to a resident or resident association for the sum of:
(1) actual damage, including any emotional distress sustained by a resident;
(2) in the case of an individual action, twice the monthly rental amount per violation, and in the case of an action by a resident association, two thousand dollars ($2,000) per violation; and
(3) the resident's or resident association's reasonable attorney fees and court costs.
B. The court may order temporary or permanent injunctive relief and other equitable relief as the court deems necessary, including the appointment of a receiver to operate the mobile home park.
C. When the court finds that a landlord's violation is willful or reckless, or when the court finds that the landlord has not attempted to resolve the dispute in good faith, the court shall award at least treble actual damages and may, at the court's discretion, award punitive damages greater than the treble actual damages. An attempt to unlawfully evict a resident, terminate utility service or prevent the resident from entering the resident's home is presumptively a willful or reckless violation.
D. When the court finds that a resident or resident association brought a groundless action in bad faith for the purposes of harassment, the court shall award the landlord reasonable attorney fees as necessary to defend the action.
E. A resident or resident association may petition the court for the establishment of a receivership when, at least five days after receiving written notice, a landlord fails to remedy:
(1) a lack of heat, running water, electricity or adequate sewage facilities that the landlord has a duty to provide pursuant to a rental agreement or law; or
(2) a condition that is imminently dangerous to the life, health or safety of the residents."
SECTION 11. REPEAL.--Sections 47-10-6 and 47-10-14 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1983, Chapter 122, Sections 6 and 14, as amended) are repealed.
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