The Manufactured Housing Act of 1980 and later amendments (Law) provide buyers of manufactured homes, mobilehomes, multifamily manufactured homes (collectively referred to as “MH-units”) and commercial modulars (CMs) protection by ensuring that license applicants are qualified to transact business by overseeing dealers' and salespersons' business practices, and by correcting unlawful business practices in a fair manner.
The Law restricts persons from participating in MH-unit or CM manufacturing and sales if they have been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude; had their occupational license(s) previously revoked; submitted a false application; have outstanding civil judgments rendered against them in connection with manufactured housing activities; are on a delinquent taxpayer list; or have not met statutory prerequisites for licensing, including preliminary education and/or experience if applicable. HCD may refuse to issue a license based on any of the above criteria or may issue a probationary license on a case-by-case basis, depending on the specifics of the reason(s) to refuse.
The Occupational Licensing (OL) Program ensures compliance with the laws and regulations governing licensing, escrows, and sales through required education, investigating complaints and illegal practices, and taking appropriate disciplinary action against those who violate the laws and regulations, including referrals to prosecutorial agencies.
The OL program consists of four elements:
- Preliminary and Continuing Education
- Manufactured Home Recovery Fund (MHRF)
The law establishing the Department's Occupational Licensing Program and related enforcement activities is contained in the California Health and Safety Code, starting with section 18045.
Regulations created and enforced by the Department to implement, interpret, and clarify the law are contained in the California Code of Regulations, title 25, starting with section 5000.
Application and Scope
The occupational licensing requirements of the Health and Safety Code and Department regulations apply to all manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and salespersons who manufacture and sell or lease new or used manufactured homes, mobilehomes, or commercial coaches within California. The Department is solely responsible for these duties and carries them out exclusively. Local governments become involved only when a district attorney prosecutes a violator of the Health and Safety Code or California Code of Regulations, and these cases are generally based on information provided by the Department.
The Mobilehome Assistance Center receives and processes complaints regarding failure to honor warranty, improper installation, false advertising, illegal sales, escrow violations, non-receipt of title, contract disputes, fraud or misrepresentation, unlicensed sales activity, and other illegal activities by HCD licensees and non-HCD licensees.
Consumer complaints filed against licensees alleging violations are investigated by OL staff. HCD conducts complaint investigations for alleged violations related to licensee activities. When an investigation of a complaint or business audit reveals violations of state laws or regulations governing MH-unit or CM sales, HCD issues an order to comply (if the situation can be corrected); and/or issues a civil monetary citation to licensees or an unlicensed person acting illegally as a licensee; or files an accusation against the licensee. HCD’s accusations generally ask an Administrative Law Judge to revoke or suspend a license, but often also require licensees to pay restitution to consumers harmed by the licensee's acts and to pay the Department's investigative costs. In more serious cases, HCD may request the local district attorney or Attorney General to file criminal charges.
If you would like to file a mobilehome sales and warranty complaint, visit HCD’s How to Submit a Complaint page.