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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsSeptember 2013

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1. That the "Rent Increase Dispute Resolution Procedures" (the "Regulations") attached hereto as Exhibit A are adopted pursuant to 25 Del.C. §7011 and §7043 and 29 Del.C. §10119. The Regulations adopted herein shall become effective ten (10) days after their publication in the Delaware Register of Regulations and shall remain in effect for 120 days, unless extended as authorized by 29 Del.C. §10119 and until final regulations may be adopted.
2. That pursuant to 29 Del.C. §1134, the Authority shall transmit a copy of this Order and the Regulations to the Delaware Register of Regulations for publication in the next issue of the Delaware Register of Regulations.
The Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority (“Authority”) is authorized to establish rules and regulations under the provisions of 25 Del.C. §7011, et. seq. (the "Act"). The emergency regulations set forth below establish policies and procedures relating to the administration by the Authority of the Rent Increase Dispute Resolution procedures set forth in 25 Del.C. §7043. Because of the need to have policies and procedures in place when the Authority begins receiving rent increase notices and petitions to arbitrate, the Authority is adopting these emergency regulations without prior notice or public hearing pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10119.
An Act to Amend Title 25, Chapter 70 of the Delaware Code relating to Manufactured Homes and Manufactured Communities signed into law on June 30, 2013 established procedures that a manufactured home community owner must follow in order to raise a manufactured home owner’s lot rent. Community owners must provide at least 90 days notice to each affected home owner, any Home Owners Association, and the Authority prior to any increase in rent. If the proposed increase exceeds the CPI-U (as defined in the Act) the Authority is charged with the responsibility of administrating and overseeing the Rent Increase Dispute Resolution process set forth in the Act, including scheduling a meeting between the affected parties to allow them the opportunity to resolve any dispute regarding the proposed rent increase and designating a qualified arbitrator to conduct arbitration proceedings if one or more of the parties files a petition to arbitrate. The Rent Justification Dispute Resolution Procedures, by statute, apply to all manufactured home community leases expiring on or after November 30, 2013. Accordingly, the Authority anticipates receiving rent increase notices that may trigger the dispute resolution procedures set forth in the Act within the next thirty (30) days. Accordingly, due to time restraints, it is necessary to establish these emergency regulations for a period of up to 120 days (subject to renewal as provided in 29 Del.C. §10119). The Authority will receive, consider, and respond to petitions by any interested person for the reconsideration, or revision of the emergency regulations set forth herein. Copies of any such petitions shall be mailed and or delivered to the Authority at the Authority’s address set forth herein.
It is hereby ordered this 15th day of August, 2013, that the above referenced Regulation is adopted pursuant to 25 Del.C. §§7011, 7043, and 29 Del.C. §10119.
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 is proposed to be increased by the community owner of the community within which the leaseholder’s manufactured home is located.
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.
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 the leaseholders. 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. 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 at the end of each meeting.
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 five (5) copies 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. 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 the proposed rent increase, only one payment of $250.00 shall be required on behalf of all such leaseholders. 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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