Tenancy and Manufactured Homes (Formerly "Mobile Homes") (19:XV)

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This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on July 1, 2022.

A. General

In 2004, the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, (MHPTA) was given effect in order to meet the unique needs of landlords of manufactured home parks and owners of manufactured homes who rent the site on which their homes sit. If one rents both the manufactured home and the pad it sits on, the tenant is covered by the RTA, and therefore has the same legal rights as other tenants in British Columbia.

A landlord may authorize assignment or sublease of a manufactured home park site in a tenancy agreement. The agreement should also include information about the proportionate amount of increases to regulated utilities and local government levies. The inflation rate for each calendar year is available on the RTB website. See the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Regulations.

B. Definitions

1. Common Area

A Common Area is defined as any part of a manufactured home park the use of which is shared by tenants or by a landlord and one or more tenants.

2. Landlord

Includes the owner of the manufactured home site; the owner’s agent or another person who permits occupation of the manufactured home site under a tenancy agreement on the landlord’s behalf; the owner’s heirs, assignees, personal representatives and successors in title; a person, other than a tenant whose manufactured home occupies the manufactured home site, who is entitled to possession of the manufactured home site and exercises any of a landlord’s rights under a tenancy agreement or the MHPTA in relation to the manufactured home site.

3. Manufactured Home

Means a structure, whether or not ordinarily equipped with wheels, that is designed, constructed or manufactured to be moved from one place to another by being towed or carried, and used or intended to be used as living accommodation.

4. Manufactured Home Site

This is a site in a manufactured home park, rented or intended to be rented to a tenant for the purpose of being occupied by a manufactured home.

5. Cannabis

With the legalization of cannabis in BC, changes to the MHPTA were implemented around growing and smoking cannabis.

  • If a tenancy agreement included a “no smoking” clause and did not explicitly allow for smoking cannabis, then the “no smoking” clause is deemed to apply to smoking cannabis. This also applies to any clauses that restrict or regulate smoking. (MHPTA s 18.1 (2))
    • For the purpose of MHPTA s 18.1 (2), vaporizing a substance containing cannabis is not “smoking cannabis.”
  • All existing tenancy agreements entered into prior to October 17, 2018, are implied to have terms prohibiting growing cannabis on the outdoor areas or common areas of the home park or home site unless:
      1. the tenant is growing, in an outdoor area of the manufactured home park, one or more cannabis plants that are medical cannabis,
      2. growing the plants is not contrary to a term of the tenancy agreement, and
      3. the tenant is authorized under applicable federal law to grow the plants at the manufactured home park and the tenant is in compliance with the requirements under that law with respect to the medical cannabis.

C. Moving In and Moving Out

Landlords may require a tenant to provide proof of third party liability insurance held by the mover as security against damages caused by the move of a home into a park or out of a park (MHPTA, s 29).

Prior to a person’s entering into a tenancy agreement with a landlord, the landlord must disclose in writing to that person all rules in effect at the time of their entering into the tenancy agreement.

According to MHPTA s 30, when moving out the tenant must leave the manufactured home site reasonably clean and give the landlord all the keys or other means of access to or within the manufactured home park that are in the tenant’s possession.

NOTE: “To and within the manufactured home park” means that keys or other such items that unlock, for example, a bathroom within the home park are also included in the category controlled by MHPTA s 30.

D. Deposits

1. Security Deposits

A landlord cannot require or accept a security deposit in respect of a manufactured home site tenancy. If a landlord accepts a security deposit from a tenant, the tenant may deduct the amount of the security deposit from rent or otherwise recover the amount (MHPTA, s 17). If a security deposit was collected before the MHPTA became effective in November 2002, it may be retained until the end of tenancy.

A landlord who does not return or file a claim against the deposit at the end of tenancy could be required to pay the tenant double the amount of the deposit.

2. Pets

Landlords may not charge pet damage deposits but may include terms in the tenancy agreement that prohibits pets or restricting the size, kind, and number of pets. Landlords may also add terms that govern the tenant’s obligation regarding keeping their pets on the manufactured home site.

3. Fees

a) Prohibited Fees (MHPTA, s 89(2)(k); MHPTR, s 3)

A landlord must not charge:

  • a guest fee, whether or not the guest stays overnight; or
  • a fee for replacement keys or other access devices if the replacement is required because the landlord changed the locks or other means of access.

b) Refundable Fees

So long as an access device is not a tenant’s sole means of access to the manufactured home park, a landlord may charge a refundable fee for that device. The fee cannot be greater than the direct cost of replacing the access device.

Some non-refundable fees are permissible (e.g. a $25 charge for late payment of rent or NSF cheques) as long as the fees are identified in the tenancy agreement. A list of permissible non-refundable fees are listed in the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Regulations (MHPTR) s 5.

E. During the Tenancy

1. Rent Increases

a) Amount

Landlords are able to increase rent annually by a percentage equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus the proportionate increase in local government levies and regulated utilities (MHPTA, s 36(1)(a) and see MHPTR Part 5). A landlord may apply to an Arbitrator for approval of a rent increase in an amount that is greater than the amount calculated under the regulations.

NOTE: s. 12 of Bill 7 (Tenancy Statutes Amendment Act, 2021) came into effect March 25th, 2021, and added s. 36.1 to the MHPTR. Under this provision, all notices of rent increase which are received before September 30, 2021, and have an effective date after March 30, 2020 and before January 1, 2022, have no effect. Previously, section 6 of Ministerial Order 89 of 2020 and section 5 of Ministerial Order 195 of 2020 had implemented a freeze on rent increases beginning March 30th, 2020, and extending as long as the BC Provincial State of Emergency lasted.
NOTE: A landlord may apply under s 36 of the MHPTA for an additional rent increase above the rent increase formula but can only do so under certain circumstances: see MHPTR, s 33(1) for a list of requirements for when the landlord is allowed to do so.

b) Notice

A landlord must give a tenant notice of a rent increase at least three months before the effective date of the increase, the notice of increase must also be in the approved form. If the increase does not meet these two requirements, the notice takes effect on the earliest date that it does comply (MHPTA, s 35(2)).

c) Timing

A rent increase cannot be imposed for at least 12 months after whichever of the following applies (MHPTA, s 35(1)):

  • if the tenant’s rent increase has not previously been increased, the date on which the tenant’s rent was first established; or
  • if the tenant’s rent has previously been increased, the effective date of the last rent increase made in accordance with this MHPTA.

F. Manufactured Home Park Rules and Committee

In accordance with s 31 - 33 of the MHPTA and the associated regulations, the landlord and tenants of a manufactured home park may establish and select the members of a park committee. A park committee must make all of its decisions by unanimous agreement of all members of the committee (MHPTR s 22), except resolutions regarding secret ballots made under MHPTR, s 23(8), which must be decided by majority vote.

A park committee, or if none exist, the landlord, may establish, change or repeal a rule if it is reasonable in the circumstances and if the rule has one of the following effects (MHPTR, s 30):

  • it promotes the convenience or safety of the tenants;
  • it protects and preserves the condition of the manufactured home park or the landlord’s property;
  • it regulates access to or fairly distributes a service or facility; or
  • it regulates pets in common areas.

The rule must not be inconsistent with the MHPTA or the regulations. A rule established, or changed is enforceable against a tenant only if (MHPTR s 30(3)):

  • the rule applies to all tenants in a fair manner;
  • the rule is clear enough that a reasonable tenant can understand how to comply with the rule;
  • notice of the rule is given to the tenant in accordance with s 29 (disclosure); and
  • the rule does not change a material term of the tenancy.

G. Tenancy Agreements

Landlords and tenants may agree to any term so long as the term is not an attempt to avoid or contract out of the MHPTA or the regulations. Any attempt to avoid or contract out of the MHPTA or regulations is of no effect (MHPTA, s 5). Furthermore, a term will not be enforced if it is found to be unconscionable, or the term is not expressed in a manner that clearly communicates the rights and obligations under it. The rights and obligations established by or under the MHPTA are enforceable between a landlord and tenant under a tenancy agreement.

1. Liability for Non-compliance

If a landlord or tenant does not comply with the MHPTA, the regulations, or their tenancy agreement, the non-complying landlord or tenant must compensate the other for damage or loss that results (s 7(1)).

NOTE: The innocent party always has a duty to mitigate their losses.

2. Tenant’s Right to Quiet Enjoyment

A tenant is entitled to quiet enjoyment including but not limited to the following (MHPTA, s 22):

  • reasonable privacy;
  • freedom from unreasonable disturbance;
  • exclusive possession of the manufactured home site subject only to the landlord's right to enter the manufactured home site in accordance with MHPTA section 23; and
  • use of common areas for reasonable and lawful purposes, free from significant interference.

H. Ending a Tenancy

A tenancy ends only if one or more of the following applies (MHPTA, s 37(1)):

  • the tenant or landlord gives a notice to end the tenancy in accordance with one of the following:
    • s 38 (tenant’s notice);
    • s 39 (landlord’s notice: non-payment of rent);
    • s 40 (landlord’s notice: cause); s 41 (landlord’s notice: end of employment);
    • s 42 (landlord’s notice: landlord’s use of property); or,
    • s 43 (tenant may end tenancy early).
NOTE: Each of these sections sets out notice requirements. It is important that any notice given meets the form and content requirements set out in MHPTA, s 45.
  • the tenancy agreement is a fixed term tenancy agreement that provides that the tenant will vacate the manufactured home site on the date specified as the end of the tenancy;
  • the landlord and tenant agree in writing to end the tenancy;
  • the tenancy agreement is frustrated; or
  • an Arbitrator orders that the tenancy is ended.
  • the tenancy agreement is a sublease agreement.

1. Tenant’s Notice

a) Periodic

A tenant may end a periodic tenancy by giving the landlord notice to end the tenancy effective on a date that is:

  • not earlier than one month after the date the landlord receives the notice; and
  • is the day before the day in the month, or in the other period on which the tenancy is based, that rent is payable under the tenancy agreement.

b) Fixed Term

A tenant may end a fixed term tenancy by giving the landlord notice to end the tenancy effective on a date that is:

  • not earlier than one month after the date the landlord receives the notice,
  • is not earlier than the date specified in the tenancy agreement as the end of the tenancy; and
  • is the day before the day in the month, or in the other period on which the tenancy is based, that rent is payable under the tenancy agreement.

Exception for Family Violence or Long-Term Care

Section 45.1 of the RTA allows tenants who have been assessed as requiring long-term care, have moved into a long-term care facility, or have been confirmed as being at risk of family violence if they remain in the rental unit, may end a fixed-term tenancy by giving one month’s notice to the landlord. See Section Forced End of Tenancy (Termination/Eviction), above.

NOTE: For clarity, “family violence” is defined under the Family Law Act, SBC 2011 c. 25 to include
(a) physical abuse of a family member, including forced confinement or deprivation of the necessities of life, but not including the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or others from harm,
(b) sexual abuse of a family member,
(c) attempts to physically or sexually abuse a family member,
(d) psychological or emotional abuse of a family member, including
(i)intimidation, harassment, coercion or threats, including threats respecting other persons, pets or property,
(ii)unreasonable restrictions on, or prevention of, a family member's financial or personal autonomy,
(iii)stalking or following of the family member, and
(iv)intentional damage to property, and
(e) in the case of a child, direct or indirect exposure to family violence.

c) Material Term Breach

If the landlord breaches a material term, the tenant may end the tenancy by giving the landlord a notice to end the tenancy effective on a date that is after the date the landlord receives the notice.

2. Failure to Pay Rent

NOTE: A landlord cannot end a tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities that came due during the specified period of March 18, 2020 to August 17, 2020 without giving the tenant a repayment plan for the unpaid amount. If the tenant defaults on the repayment plan, the landlord may give a Notice to End Tenancy. See https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/covid-19 for more information

A landlord may end a tenancy if rent is unpaid on any day after the day it is due, by giving a notice to end the tenancy effective on a date that is not earlier than 10 days after the date the tenant receives notice (MHPTA, s 39(1)). Notice given under this section must comply with the form and content requirements found in s 45. A notice under this section has no effect if the amount of rent that is unpaid is an amount the tenant is permitted under the MHPTA to deduct from rent, or if rent is paid within five days of receiving the notice to end tenancy, or if the tenant disputes the notice by applying for dispute resolution.

However, if the tenant does not dispute the notice and does not pay the amount owed the landlord can go to the Residential Tenancy Branch and apply for an Order of Possession without a hearing.

NOTE: After the allocated 5 days to pay overdue rent, the landlord is no longer legally obligated to accept any late rent to continue to tenancy.

3. Landlord’s Use

A landlord may end a tenancy agreement by giving notice to end the tenancy agreement if the landlord has all the necessary permits and approvals required by law, and intends in good faith, to convert all or a significant part of the manufactured home park to a non-residential use or a residential use other than a manufactured home park (MHPTA, s 42(1)). A notice to end a tenancy under this section must end the tenancy effective on a date that is:

  • not earlier than 12 months after the date the notice is received; and
  • is the day before the day in the month, or in the other period on which the tenancy is based, that rent is payable under the tenancy agreement.

Once a tenant receives a 12-month notice, the tenancy will end 12 months after the notice is received, regardless if it is a periodic tenancy or a fixed term tenancy with a remaining term longer than 12 months, and the tenant must vacate the manufactured home park before that date.

A tenant who is given a 12-month notice may end their tenancy early if they give the landlord 10 days’ written notice in accordance with MHPTA s 43.

A landlord that makes a 12-month notice must compensate the tenant $20000 on or before the effective date of the notice. The tenant can apply for dispute resolution for additional compensation between the assessed value of the home and $20000 if:

  • They are not able to obtain the necessary permits, licenses, approvals or certificates required by law to move the manufactured home OR they are not able to move the manufactured home to another manufactured home site within a reasonable distance of the current manufactured home site; AND
  • The tenant does not owe any tax in relation to the manufactured home.

If the above situation happens and the home cannot be moved out of the park, the landlord cannot claim reimbursement from the tenant for any cost incurred for removing, storing, advertising, or disposing of the manufactured home.

  • If the landlord closes a manufactured home park to be converted for residential or non-residential use (s. 42(1)) but have not taken any steps to accomplish the stated purpose in a reasonable time after the effective date of the notice, the landlord would have to compensate the tenant $5000- or 12-months’ rent, whichever is higher. However, if an Arbitrator determines there are extenuating circumstances that prevented the Landlord from accomplishing the stated purpose for ending the tenancy, they can excuse the landlord from paying this compensation.

4. Landlord’s Notice: Cause

Refer to s 40(1) of the MHPTA; it is similar to the RTA section regarding Landlord’s Cause.

NOTE: Notice to end tenancy must take effect on a date that is:
  • not earlier than one month after the date the notice is received, and
  • the day before the day in the month, or in the other period on which the tenancy is based, that rent is payable under the tenancy agreement.

5. Disputing Notice

Notices of termination or eviction can be disputed by applying for dispute resolution, but must be done so within the following set time limits that start running after the date the tenant receives the notice:

  • non-payment of rent: five days;
  • landlord’s cause: 10 days;
  • landlord’s use of property: 15 days; and
  • landlord's use of property, demolition or conversion: 30 days.

6. Required Form

In order to be effective, a notice to end tenancy must be in writing and must be signed and dated by the landlord or tenant giving the notice, give the address of the manufactured home site, state the effective date of the notice, except for a notice under s 38(1) or (2) (tenant’s notice), state the grounds for ending the tenancy, and when given by a landlord be in the approved form (RTB Form) (MHPTA, s 45).

I. Dispute Resolution

Disputes between landlords and tenants may be resolved by applying to dispute resolution at the Residential Tenancy Branch in the same manner as for an ordinary residential tenancy. The following are typical examples of issues that may lead to a need for dispute resolution:

  • rights and prohibitions under the MHPTA;
  • rights and obligations under the terms of a tenancy agreement that are required or prohibited under this MHPTA;
  • tenant’s use, occupation or maintenance of the manufactured home site; and
  • the use of the common areas or services.

A dispute between landlord and tenant generally has to be dealt with in dispute resolution unless the claim is for more than the monetary limit under the Small Claims Act ($35000 as of June 2019), the application was not filed within the application period before the Supreme Court, or the dispute is linked substantially to a matter that is before the Supreme Court.

See MHPTA s 52(1) on starting dispute resolution proceedings. Proceedings can be started by either the landlord or the tenant filing an application for dispute resolution with the director. The application must be in the approved form and include full particulars of the dispute and be accompanied by the fee; it is possible for this fee to be waived.

NOTE: If the MHPTA does not state a time by which an application for dispute resolution must be filed, it must be filed within two years of the date that the tenancy to which the matters relates ends or is assigned (MHPTA, s 53(1)).

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