[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Belchertown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Rent Control
[Adopted 5-13-1985 ATM by Art. 17 as Ch. III, Art. 9 of the 1985 Compendium of Bylaws]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Mobile Home Park Rent Control Bylaw."
For the purposes of this article, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein, unless the context in which they are used clearly requires a different meaning:
- MOBILE HOME
- A dwelling unit built on a chassis and containing complete electrical, plumbing and sanitary facilities and designed to be installed on a temporary or permanent foundation for permanent living quarters.
- MOBILE HOME PARK
- A park licensed by the Board of Health pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 32B.
- RENT BOARD and BOARD
- The Mobile Home Park Rent Control Board as established herein.
"Shall" is mandatory; "may" is permissive.
There is hereby established a Mobile Home Park Rent Control Board consisting of five members, none of whom shall be a mobile home park owner or mobile home park tenant, appointed by the Board of Selectmen. The members in the first instance shall be appointed for terms of one, two, three, four and five years. Upon expiration of a term of office, the subsequent term shall be for a period of five years.
The Board shall regulate rents and set minimum standards for use or occupancy of mobile home park accommodations and evictions of tenants therefrom; may require registration by owners of mobile home parks; and may require information of said owners relating to their parks under penalties of perjury.
The Board may make rules and regulations, sue and be sued, compel attendance of persons and the production of papers and information and issue appropriate orders which shall be binding on both the owner and tenant of such mobile home park accommodations.
The Board may make individual or general adjustments, either upward or downward, as may be necessary to assure that rents for mobile home park accommodations are established on levels which yield to owners a fair net operating income for such units.
Fair net operating income shall be that income which will yield a return, after all reasonable operating expenses, on the fair market value of the property equal to the debt service rate generally available from institutional first mortgage lenders or such other rates of return as the Board, on the basis of evidence presented before it, deems more appropriate to the circumstances of the case.
Fair market value shall be assessed valuation of the property or such other valuation as the Board, on the basis of evidence presented before it, deems more appropriate to the circumstances of the case.
The Board may establish further standards and rules consistent with the foregoing.
The Board may regulate evictions of tenants at mobile home parks and may issue orders which shall be a defense to an action of summary process for possession.
The Board and its actions shall be subject to the provisions of MGL c. 30A (Administrative Procedures Act) as if the Board were an agency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Pursuant to Chapter 238 of the Acts of 1983, the District Court of Hampshire shall have original jurisdiction, concurrently with the Superior Court, Hampshire Division, of all petitions for review brought pursuant to MGL c. 30A, § 14.
The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this article and may restrain violations thereof.
Violations of this article or any order of the Board shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 for any one offense.
If any provision of this article shall be held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this article shall not be affected thereby.