“Thousands of Californians living in mobilehomes cannot properly register and title their home, due to unpaid back taxes that were incurred by a prior owner and not the new owner,”
WEST SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) recently joined Director Ben Metcalf, from the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), and others, to announce the commencement of the Register Your Mobilehome California program.
“Thousands of Californians living in mobilehomes cannot properly register and title their home, due to unpaid back taxes that were incurred by a prior owner and not the new owner,” said Assemblymember Chau. “In effect, this leaves the new owner in a situation where they paid for the home, but have no meaningful proof of ownership, which not only exposes them to potentially thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties, but makes it impossible to transfer or sell the home, prohibits them from legally making repairs, prevents them from obtaining fire or flood insurance, and even subjects them to eviction.”
California has an estimated 500,000 mobilehomes and more mobilehome parks than any other state in the country. According to HCD, approximately one-third of those mobilehomes are not properly titled and registered. Mobilehomes are often sold on a somewhat informal basis which can involve cash transactions. Problems arise when the buyer subsequently tries to transfer the title into his or her name and discovers that the previous owner fell behind on their tax bill. If the buyer is unable to pay the previous owner’s back taxes, then the title cannot transfer. As a result, buyers are in a situation where they paid for their home, but don’t have the title to show proof of ownership.
To address this issue Assemblymember Chau authored AB 587. The bill was signed into law in 2016 and created the program now known as, Register Your Mobilehome California. AB 587 created, until January 1, 2020, a temporary tax abatement program that gives mobilehome owners an opportunity to bring title into their names without having to pay certain outstanding amounts owed, including delinquencies incurred, by previous owners. The bill also required sellers to obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate from HCD (indicating that HCD may legally amend the title) prior to any sale. Finally, it required information about registration, titling and taxes to be included in the annual notice that park owners provide to homeowners regarding the rights and responsibilities of both parties, under the Mobilehome Residency Law.
“I am proud to announce the launch of this new program and hope that anyone who does not have a proper title will take advantage of this opportunity to potentially waive thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes and fees, and properly title and register their home,” concluded Assemblymember Chau.
For more information on the Register Your Mobilehome California program, please visit www.RegisterYourMobilehome.org or call (800)952-8356.
Assemblymember Ed Chau represents the 49th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Alhambra, Arcadia, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City, and portions of El Monte, Montebello, and South El Monte.