PROPERTY IN GENERAL
FLOATING HOMES RESIDENCY ACT
55-2708. Adjustments to rent, services, utilities or rules — Fees. (1) A landlord may increase or decrease rents only after ninety (90) days’ written notice to the tenants.
(2) Rental rates shall at all times be reasonable. Factors to be considered in determining whether a change in rent is reasonable are as follows:
(a) The rent provided in previous and current rental agreements between the landlord and tenant;
(b) The rent charged by comparable marinas, taking into account such factors as location, facilities, condition, services and other relevant factors;
(c) The landlord’s costs associated with owning, controlling and maintaining the marina, including the uplands, to the extent reasonably necessary to support the marina facilities which serve the floating home, moorage area and the landlord’s need for realizing a reasonable rate of return over such costs;
(d) The availability and costs of alternative long-term float home moorage sites;
(e) The need to maintain price stability in a market restricted by state regulation of navigable waters and limited availability of float home moorage sites;
(f) The opportunity costs, if any, borne by the landlord by not converting the floating home marina, including uplands, to other uses; and
(g) Any other circumstances justifying a rental rate.
(3) If twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the tenants within a marina, or the [the] marina owner, assert that a moorage rental increase is unreasonable under any circumstances, the dispute shall be resolved by arbitration. The tenants must appoint a single party to act as their agent in the arbitration proceeding.
(a) The tenants’ agent and the marina owner shall mutually agree upon one (1) or more arbitrators. If the parties cannot mutually agree upon one (1) or more arbitrators, the parties may petition the district court in the judicial district in which the marina in question is situated, which shall appoint an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators for the parties.
(b) In determining what constitutes a reasonable increase in a moorage rental rate the arbitrator shall consider and make written findings on each of the factors set forth in subsection (2) of this section.
(c) The arbitrator shall afford any party to the arbitration an opportunity to be heard, if requested, as provided herein.
(i) A hearing may be requested by a party requesting arbitration by including the request for hearing in the request for arbitration;
(ii) Other parties to the arbitration may request a hearing within five (5) business days after service upon them of the request for arbitration;
(iii) The hearing may be informal in nature provided the arbitrator adopts a hearing procedure that reasonably affords each party to the arbitration an opportunity to be heard;
(iv) The arbitrator shall issue written findings and conclusions within sixty (60) days of the appointment of the arbitrator, unless such time is extended by the written stipulation of the parties or upon a finding by the arbitrator that additional time is reasonably required;
(v) The costs of arbitration and the fees of the arbitrator shall be paid one-half (1/2) by the tenants and one-half (1/2) by the marina owner.
(4) Except as provided herein, rental increases shall be uniform throughout the floating home marina. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision:
(a) When rents within a floating home marina are structured by reason of slip or floating home size, amenities, slip location or otherwise, rental increases shall be uniform among all floating homes in the same rent tier; and
(b) A rental agreement may include an escalation clause for a pro rata share of any increase or decrease in the floating home marina’s property taxes, utility assessments or other services as included in the monthly rental charge, after the effective date of such a change.
(5) No fees may be charged except for rent, services and utilities actually provided.
(6) No fees can be charged for services unless the services are listed in the rental agreement or unless ninety (90) days’ notice is given.
(7) A tenant shall not be charged a fee for the enforcement of any of the rules and regulations of the floating home marina, except as provided in the rental agreement or rules and regulations of the floating home marina.
(8) Unless the tenant specifically requests the service from the landlord in writing, a tenant shall not be charged a fee for entry, installation, hookup or improvements as a condition of tenancy except for an actual fee or cost imposed by a local governmental ordinance or requirement directly related to the occupancy of the specific moorage site where the floating home is located and incurred as a portion of the development of the floating home marina as a whole. However, reasonable improvements and maintenance requirements may be included in the floating home marina rules and regulations. The landlord shall not require a tenant or prospective tenant to purchase, rent or lease goods or services for improvements from any person, company or corporation.
(9) Where the landlord provides master meter utilities to a tenant, the cost of the utilities must be separately stated each billing period along with the opening and closing meter readings. The landlord must also post the current rates charged by the utility in at least one (1) conspicuous place in the floating home marina.
(10) The landlord shall maintain year round facilities for garbage and trash disposal from the floating home marina.
(11) The landlord shall maintain entry lights and common area lighting, if any, in good working order.
(12) The landlord shall not prevent the ingress or egress to watercraft moorage contained within a floating home.
[55-2708, added 1998, ch. 194, sec. 1, p. 700; am. 2008, ch. 303, sec. 1, p. 842.]