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ACT NO. 103


Mobile Home Parks; Lot Rent Increase;

Tax Credit: Joint Housing Committee; Rental Housing Quality Study

This act provides a mediation procedure for leaseholders of lots in mobile home parks to dispute the amount of an annual mobile home lot rental increase. If the rent increase is more than one percentage point above the specified Consumer Price Index, and a majority of the leaseholders file a petition with the Commissioner of Housing and Community Affairs disputing the amount of the increase, the parties will proceed to choose a mediator from a list compiled by the Commissioner with input from both mobile home park owners and leaseholders. The resulting mediation report may not be introduced into evidence in any subsequent court action regarding the lot rent increase.

The act also requires mobile home park owners to provide written notification to the Department of Housing and Community Affairs and all affected leaseholders of any proposed rental surcharges attributable to capital improvements of the park. The notice must include specific details of the surcharge. The surcharge must be implemented in a manner that has the least financial burden on the leaseholders and it must terminate when the park owner has recovered the cost of the capital improvement.

The act also provides a capital gains tax credit for a mobile home park owner who sells the park to a group composed of a majority of the mobile home park leaseholders. This tax credit is effective for any sale that concluded after January 1, 1998.

The act also creates a Joint Legislative Housing Committee consisting of three Representatives and three Senators to review housing issues within the state, to advise the General Assembly, the Executive Branch and the public on housing issues and to issue an annual report to the General Assembly on their work. The committee terminates on July 1, 2001.

Lastly, the act requires the Departments of Housing and Community Affairs and Labor and Industry to undertake a study of the health and safety quality of rental housing stock within Vermont and to report their findings and recommendations to the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs and the Senate Committee on General Affairs and Housing before January 16, 1999.

Effective Date: On passage, April 23, 1998