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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsApril 2014

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3. The Proposed Rules were published in the Delaware Register of Regulations on February 1, 2014, and were also placed on the Authority's web site. Written comments from the public were invited. Several written comments were submitted.
8. One commentator objected to the rule that would allow parties to designate a specific arbitrator. See Rule 7.4. The Authority does not accept this recommendation. If all of the parties have agreed in writing to the appointment of a specific Delaware attorney to act as arbitrator, the Authority should respect that decision and appoint that person as the arbitrator. Once appointed, the arbitrator would still be required to make an initial determination as to whether there exist any facts that would prevent the appointed arbitrator from making an impartial decision.
13. One commentator raised the issue of how non-members of a Home Owners Association are to be notified of any meeting. The intent of the rent dispute process is for all affected homeowners to have an opportunity to meet and confer with a community owner in an effort to resolve rent increase disputes. The Proposed Rules contemplate that the initial meeting will be at the time, date, and place set forth in the community owner's initial notice, "unless the Authority determines, based on input from the parties, that said time, date or place should be changed ..." Rule 5.0. Accordingly, all affected homeowners, whether or not a member of a Home Owners Association will receive the initial notice of the time, date, and place of the meeting. It is only when that time, date, or place (based on "input from the parties") is changed, will there be a need to send out an additional notice. The Authority, and perhaps the community owner, may or may not know whether or not all affected homeowners are members of a Home Owners Association. The Authority will revise Rule 5.0 by deleting the last two sentences of Rule 5.0 and substituting in lieu thereof the following: "Notice of the time, date and place of the meeting shall be provided to the parties by the community owner". The community owner is in a better position to notify the "affected homeowners" and any Home Owners Association of any change in the meeting time, date or place. The Authority does not consider this change to be substantive in nature and is consistent with the intent of the rent dispute process. Accordingly, no re-proposing of this change will be required.
1. That the "Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund Rent Increase Dispute Resolution Procedures" attached hereto as Exhibit A are adopted as final regulations pursuant to 25 Del.C. §7011, et. seq. The Proposed Procedures adopted herein shall become effective ten (10) days after their publication in the Delaware Register of Regulations.
2. That pursuant to 29 Del.C. §1134, the Authority shall transmit a copy of this Order and the Procedures to the Delaware Registrar of Regulations for publication in the next issue of the Delaware Register of Regulations.
Act” means the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners and Community Owners Act set forth in 25 Del.C. Chapter 70.
Affected home owner” means a leaseholder of a manufactured home community whose rent increase is subject to the provisions of 25 Del.C. §7043.
Authority” means the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority.
Community owner” means the owner of a manufactured home community, as defined in the Act.
CPI-U” means the average annual increase of the Consumer Price Index For All Urban Customers in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area for the most recently available preceding thirty-six (36) month period at the time the notice of a rent increase is mailed to the leaseholders.
Designated representative” means an individual authorized to act on behalf of any party, provided said authorization is in writing and signed by the party on whose behalf the individual is authorized to act.
Direct arbitration costs” means the following out of pocket costs paid in connection with an arbitration hearing held pursuant to the provisions of 25 Del.C. §7043(c): (a) fees payable to the arbitrator; (b) the reasonable cost of any meeting rooms or facilities used for the arbitration hearing; (c) the cost of the court reporter for attendance at the arbitration hearing; (d) the reasonable out of pocket expenses paid by the arbitrator in connection with the scheduling and holding of the arbitration hearing; and (e) any other costs approved in advance by the Authority and determined by the Authority to constitute a “direct arbitration cost”. Direct arbitration costs shall not include the cost of preparing a verbatim transcript of the hearing unless the arbitrator determines that a verbatim transcript is necessary in order for the arbitrator to render a decision.
HOA” means a home owners association registered with the Authority pursuant to 25 Del.C. §7026(b).
Leaseholder” means a person who is a party to a lease subject to the provisions of 25 Del.C. §7040 through 7055.
Notice to the Authority” or words to that effect shall mean the delivery of notice to the following address: Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority, 1675 S. State Street, Suite E, Dover, DE 19901.
Party” shall include a community owner, an HOA, and any leaseholder affected by a proposed rent increase.
Each year, the Authority provides community owners with notice of the right of first offer provisions set forth in 25 Del.C. §7026. Simultaneously with the sending of that notice, the Authority shall also provide each manufactured home community owner with a copy of the Rent Increase Dispute Resolution provisions set forth in 25 Del.C. §7040 through 7055 and a copy of any applicable regulations adopted by the Authority.
4.1 A community owner is required to give written notice to each affected home owner, to the Home Owners Association, if one exists, and to the Authority, at least 90 days prior to any increase in lot rent. When more than one tenant is affected by the rent increase, in lieu of providing the HOA or the Authority with copies of each letter sent to each affected tenant, the community owner shall provide the HOA and the Authority with a summary letter (“Summary Letter”) certifying that written notice has been sent to each affected home owner together with a copy of the form of notice provided, which form must contain the information required hereunder. The Summary Letter shall identify all affected home owners by lot number, name, group or phase. If the affected home owners are not identified by name, the community owner shall make the names and addresses available to any affected home owner or HOA upon request. In any such notice, in addition to the information required to be provided under 25 Del.C. §7043(a), the community owner shall (with respect to each affected home owner) state whether or not the proposed rent increase exceeds the CPI-U and provide the following information:
6.1 At any meeting held pursuant to 25 Del.C. §7043(b), the community’s HOA, if any, shall be the designated representative of those leaseholders who are members of the HOA. Any leaseholders that are not members of the HOA may designate the HOA to represent his or her interest at the meeting and any subsequent arbitration proceeding. Any such designation shall be in writing, shall be signed by the applicable leaseholder, and, if applicable, shall be provided to any arbitrator appointed pursuant to Section 7.0 below. In all other cases, where the number of affected leaseholders exceed five (5), the leaseholders shall designate in writing at least one representative to act on behalf of the affected leaseholders. Any tenant affected by the proposed increase in rent shall have the right to attend the meeting. In all cases the community owner shall designate a representative to act on behalf of the community owner. At each meeting, a “sign-in” sheet shall be available and any person attending the meeting shall be required to sign the sign-in sheet confirming said person’s attendance at the meeting. The community owner shall maintain a copy of the sign-in sheet for each meeting and provide the Authority with a copy of the sign-in sheet upon request.
6.2 At the meeting, the community owner shall, upon request of any affected home owner or his or her representative, disclose all of the material factors resulting in the decision to increase the rent, including the financial and other pertinent documents and information supporting the reasons for the rent increase.
7.1 Upon receipt of a petition to appoint a qualified arbitrator pursuant to 25 Del.C. §7043(c) and the initial $250.00 arbitration fee from the party filing the petition, the Authority shall prepare a caption setting forth the names of the parties and shall select an arbitrator to serve as the arbitrator and to conduct the non-binding arbitration proceeding. Each arbitration petition shall be assigned a docket number by the Authority. Thereafter, any paper filed with the Authority or appointed arbitrator shall include on the first page the caption and docket number assigned to the case. The initial petition shall include the name, mail and email addresses, telephone and fax numbers of the person filing the petition and the name, address, telephone and fax numbers of the person representing the person filing the petition. The initial $250.00 arbitration fee shall be paid by the party filing the petition at the time the petition is filed. An original and one copy of the petition shall be provided to the Authority. If the petition is filed by the community owner, a copy of the petition shall be mailed to each affected home owner, and if applicable, to the Home Owners Association (or their respective designated representative) on the same day that the petition is filed. If the petition is filed by an affected home owner, or if applicable, the Home Owners Association, a copy of the petition shall be mailed to the community owner (or the community owner’s designated representative) on the same day the petition is filed. In the arbitration petition, the party filing the petition should provide a concise statement of the issues to be determined by the arbitrator and certify that a copy of the petition has been delivered to the opposing party or parties or their respective representative(s). The party filing the petition shall also include the names of all home owners affected by the proposed rent increase. Any document required to be mailed shall be mailed by United States mail, first class, with postage prepaid.
7.6 Where a community owner has proposed rent increases in excess of the CPI-U that would affect leaseholders at different time periods, with the consent of all the parties, the Arbitrator is authorized to consolidate the cases for purposes of the arbitration hearing. Under such circumstances, only one payment of $250.00 each shall be required from the community owner and leaseholders.
7.7 Simultaneously with the filing of a petition to arbitrate, the party filing the petition shall pay to the Authority the $250.00 arbitration fee set forth in 25 Del.C. §7043(c). The other party or parties shall pay their $250.00 arbitration fee within fifteen (15) calendar days after the filing of the petition. Where multiple leaseholders are affected by a proposed rent increase, only one payment of $250.00 shall be required on behalf of all such leaseholders whose rent increase has the same effective date. All such fees collected by the Authority shall be deposited into the Authority’s general operating account and shall not be considered a part of the Trust Fund administered by the Authority pursuant to 25 Del.C. §7012. If any party or parties fail to timely pay the required $250.00 arbitration fee, the arbitrator is authorized to enter judgment against the party or parties failing to pay the arbitration fee.
7.19 Arbitration hearings conducted pursuant to 25 Del.C. §7043 are deemed private proceedings. Unless otherwise authorized by the arbitrator for good cause shown, attendance at any hearing shall be limited to the following:
7.21 The decision of the arbitrator shall be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and based on the standards set forth in 25 Del.C. §7042. The arbitrator shall render his or her decision within fifteen (15) days of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing. Decisions by the arbitrator shall be in writing, shall clearly set forth the date of the issuance of the decision, and shall inform the parties of the right to appeal the decision to the Superior Court by filing, within thirty (30) days of the date of the issuance of the arbitrator’s decision, a notice of appeal with the office of the Prothonotary of the county within which the affected manufactured home community is located. A copy of the decision shall be provided to the Authority.
8.1 As provided for in 25 Del.C. §7044, in any arbitration proceeding, the community owner, home owners association, or any affected home owner may appeal the decision of the arbitrator within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the arbitrator’s decision. Any such appeal shall be to the Superior Court in the county of the affected community. If a community is located in more than one county, the appeal may be filed in the Superior Court of either county.
9.0 Computing Time
In computing any time period under these rules, the first day of the designated period of time shall commence on the next day after the event requiring the computation of the time period. The last day of the time period shall be included.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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