Tenants' Right to Notification Prior to Park Sale? (NH)

Hello all,

Below I have copied and pasted a section of the state statute of New Hampshire. I was hoping for some guidance specific to NH. If I am reading this correctly the tenants in the park that I want to tie up can band together and block me. I think that it is saying that the buyer (me) cannot tie the park up until ALL residents have all the particulars of the deal, and if the residents can somehow find the funding as a group they can buy the park themselves.

Has anyone ever faced similar challenges in other states(Or NH)?

Thanks all in advance for any feedback.

Michael

Source: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XVII/205-A/205-A-mrg.htm

Tenants’ Right to Notification Prior to Park Sale

Section 205-A:21

205-A:21 Notice Required Before Sale. – 

I. No manufactured housing park owner shall make a final unconditional acceptance of any offer for the sale or transfer of a manufactured housing park without first giving 60 days' notice: 

   (a) To each tenant: 

      (1) That the owner intends to sell the manufactured housing park; and 

      (2) Of the price, terms and conditions of an acceptable offer the park owner has received to sell the park or the price, terms and conditions for which the park owner intends to sell the park. This notice shall include a copy of the signed written offer which sets forth a description of the property to be purchased and the price, terms and conditions of the acceptable offer. 

   (b) To the New Hampshire housing finance authority that the owner intends to sell the manufactured housing park. 

II. During the notice period required under paragraph I, the manufactured housing park owner shall consider any offer received from the tenants or a tenants' association, if any, and the owner shall negotiate in good faith with the tenants concerning a potential purchase. If during the notice period, the tenants decide to make an offer to purchase the manufactured housing park, such offer shall be evidenced by a purchase and sale agreement; however, the tenants shall have a reasonable time beyond the 60-day period, if necessary, to obtain financing for the purchase. 

III. The notice required by paragraph I shall be served by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each tenant at such tenant's abode and to the New Hampshire housing finance authority at its main office. A receipt from the United States Postal Service that is signed by any adult member of the household to which it was mailed, or a notation on the letter that the letter was refused by any adult member of the tenant household, or that the addressee no longer resides there, or that the letter was returned to the post office unclaimed, shall constitute a conclusive presumption that service was made in any court action in this state. A receipt from the United States Postal Service that is signed by an employee of the New Hampshire housing finance authority shall constitute a conclusive presumption that service was made on the authority in any court action in this state.

Source. 1987, 383:2. 1989, 104:1. 1993, 34:1. 1996, 127:10, 11. 2001, 148:1, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Section 205-A:22

205-A:22 Penalty. – 

I. The owner of a manufactured housing park who sells or transfers a park and willfully fails to comply with RSA 205-A:21 shall be liable to the tenants in the amount of $10,000 or 10 percent of the total sales price. The total of damages to all tenants, in the aggregate, shall not exceed $10,000 or 10 percent, whichever is greater, of the total sales price. This civil penalty shall constitute the sole and exclusive remedy for violation of RSA 205-A:21 and the failure by a park owner to comply with said section shall not affect the validity of any sale or transfer of title nor shall such noncompliance constitute grounds to set aside a sale or transfer in any court proceedings. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to permit a tenant to attach the real estate for the penalty established by this section. 

II. Lack of knowledge of this section by a park owner shall not be deemed to be a defense to an action for damages based on failure to comply with RSA 205-A:21, I.

Source. 1987, 383:2. 1989, 104:2, eff. June 30, 1989.

Section 205-A:23

205-A:23 Exceptions. – Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 205-A:21, the owner of a manufactured housing park shall not be required to give notice to the tenants if: 

I. A bank, mortgage company, or any other mortgagee has foreclosed on the park and said mortgagee: 

   (a) Is selling the park at a foreclosure sale; or 

   (b) Is selling the park after having purchased the park at a foreclosure sale. 

II. The sale or transfer is to a family member of the owner or to a trust, the beneficiaries of which are family members of the owner. 

III. The sale or transfer is by a partnership to one or more of its partners. 

IV. The conveyance of an interest in the park is incidental to the financing of such park. 

V. The sale or transfer is between joint tenants or tenants in common. 

VI. The sale is pursuant to eminent domain.

Source. 1987, 383:2, eff. May 26, 1987.

Section 205-A:24

205-A:24 Affidavit of Compliance. – 

I. A park owner may, as shall be appropriate under the circumstances, record in the registry of deeds of the county in which the park is located an affidavit in which the park owner certifies that: 

   (a) The park owner has complied with the requirements of RSA 205-A:21. 

   (b) The sale or transfer of the park is exempted from this chapter pursuant to RSA 205-A:23. 

II. Any party acquiring an interest in a manufactured housing park, and any and all title insurance companies and attorneys preparing, furnishing, or examining any evidence of title, shall have the absolute right to rely on the truth and accuracy of all statements appearing in such affidavit, and shall be under no obligation to inquire further as to any matter or fact relating to the park owner's compliance with the provisions of this section. It is the purpose and intention of this paragraph to preserve the marketability of title to manufactured housing parks, and, accordingly, the provisions hereof shall be liberally construed in order that all persons may rely on the record title to manufactured housing parks.

Source. 1987, 383:2. 1996, 127:12, eff. July 20, 1996.

Good Lord! And I thought California was a bad state to do business in.

Call your local Manufactured Housing Association. Get their input. Also, get an attorney to give you a quick ‘pro bono’ opinion on what the law says. The NH MHA can refer you to an attorney, and/or ask other MHP owners who they use.

Good luck,

-jl-