Most mobile home tenants think of their homes in just that way—as mobile homes. The law, however, uses the term "manufactured home" when describing the rights of mobile home tenants. The purpose of using the more technical term is to extend the protection of the law to people who live in any pre-fabricated home built on a chassis at a factory and transported from there to a permanent site. Other homes covered by the mobile home laws are commonly known as pull-outs, double-wides, and pre-fabricated homes.2 In this chapter, we use the term "mobile home." Just remember that the law applies whenever a manufactured home is involved. Other important terms include:
Manufactured Housing Community:
A mobile home park; any piece of land on which there are three or more occupied mobile homes.
Mobile Home Site:
A mobile home lot or a mobile home space. Mobile home rent control laws often use the term mobile home park accommodation to describe a mobile home lot.
Mobile Home Park Owner:
The person, corporation, partnership or other business entity that owns your park.
The official definition of "manufactured home" can be found at G.L. c. 140, §32Q. It says that: “the words ‘manufactured home’ shall mean a structure, built in conformance to the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards which is transportable in one or more sections, which in the traveling mode, is eight body feet or more in width or forty body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is three hundred twenty or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling unit with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein.”
The size and space requirements of the law are intended to exclude from the definition of manufactured home such things as campers. The construction and safety standards mentioned by the law are embodied in rules adopted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Found at 24 C.F.R. §3280 (1992), HUD's rules concern such issues as fire safety, space, light and construction requirements, plumbing and heating systems, and energy conservation.