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When a Landlord Doesn't Follow Sales Laws

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There are several things that could happen if a seller does not provide the:

  • Required sale notices
  • Required details in a notice
  • 120-day opportunity to purchase to home owners

Section 38-12-217(15), C.R.S., describes some of the enforcement actions and/or penalties  mobile home owners, the Division of Housing, and the attorney general may take or impose.

One or more home owners or their agents may file a civil action against the seller. See sections 38-12-217(15)(d) and 38-12-220, C.R.S. Home owners may also file a complaint with the division.

Tolling and Investigation Phases

A group or association of home owners or their assignees may file a complaint about the sale process with the Division of Housing. If the Division of Housing determines that it is a non-frivolous complaint, then the waiting period may be “tolled.”

Additionally, there are steps that the Division of Housing will take in order to investigate complaints.

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Tolling

In the context of the sale of a mobile home park, “tolling” refers to the temporary suspension or pause of the 120-day period. This suspension remains in effect until any non-frivolous complaints filed by home owners have been resolved through the Division of Housing.  Therefore, the 120-day period for completing the sale is effectively put on hold.

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Steps After a Non-Frivolous Complaint is Filed

Filing a Complaint

A group or association of home owners or their assignees who believe there has been a violation of the sale process as outlined under section 38-17-217, C.R.S., may file a complaint with the Mobile Home Park Oversight Program. This must be deemed non-frivolous by the Division of Housing to trigger tolling.

Tolling Starts

After the division accepts a non-frivolous complaint, the tolling period begins. This means that any further actions regarding completing the sale of the park are suspended. The park sale cannot proceed until the complaint is resolved, ensuring that home owner concerns are addressed before moving forward.

Investigation by the Division

The Division of Housing begins an investigation into the complaint. This involves gathering evidence, interviewing relevant parties, and reviewing documentation related to the sale process to determine if any violations of the statute occurred.

Written Determination

After the investigation, the division issues a written determination. This document outlines the findings of the investigation and whether any action will be taken against the park owner or if changes to the sale process are required.

Appeal Period

If either party (the park owner or the home owner(s)) disagrees with the division’s determination, they have 15 business days to file an appeal. The appeal period allows for a review of the determination before any final actions are taken.

Final Agency Order

After the appeal period concludes and any appeals have been resolved, the written determination and notice of violation or notice of non-violation become a final agency order.  This document finalizes the division’s decision regarding the complaint. This period lasts 7 days.

End of Tolling and Proceeding With Sale

The tolling period ends after the final agency order.  If the order resolves the complaint without requiring the sale to restart, and if all the conditions outlined by the division or required from the appeal process are satisfied, the park owner may proceed with the sale as planned.

Possible Enforcement Actions

The division may:

  • Issue a cease and desist order or written determination and notice of violation requiring the seller to:
    • Provide a new, corrected sale notice
    • Restart the 120-day home owner opportunity to purchase period
  • Impose a fine not to exceed 30% of the sale or listing price of the park, whichever is greater
  • File a civil action for injunctive or other relief in the district court for the district in which the park is located. See sections 38-12-217(15)(b) and 38-12-1105, C.R.S.

If a seller substantially fails to comply with section 38-12-217, C.R.S., the attorney general may:

  • Inform the registrar of titles that the home owners with property interests under this section have an adverse claim on the property, which must be recorded on the certificate of title
  • Issue an order providing temporary injunctive relief to preserve or revert the ownership 
  • File a civil action to secure and enforce the rights of home owners under section 38-12-217, C.R.S.  See section 38-12-217(15)(c), C.R.S.

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