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General Laws

Section 32R. (a) A manufactured housing community owner shall give notice to each resident of the manufactured housing community of any intention to sell or lease all or part of the land on which the community is located for any purpose. Such notice shall be mailed by certified mail, with a simultaneous copy to the attorney general, the director of housing and community development, and the local board of health, within fourteen days after the date on which any advertisement, listing, or public notice is first made that the community is for sale or lease and, in any event, at least forty-five days before the sale or lease occurs; provided, that such notice shall also include notice of tenants rights under this section.

(b) Before a manufactured housing community may be sold or leased for any purpose that would result in a change of use or discontinuance, the owner shall notify each resident of the community, with a simultaneous copy to the attorney general, the director of housing and community development, and the local board of health, by certified mail of any bona fide offer for such a sale or lease that the owner intends to accept. Before any other sale or lease other than leases of single lots to individual residents, the owner shall give each resident such a notice of the offer only if more than fifty percent of the tenants residing in such community or an incorporated home owners’ association or group of tenants representing more than fifty percent of the tenants residing in such community notifies the manufactured housing community owner or operator, in writing, that such persons desire to receive information relating to the proposed sale or lease. Any notice of the offer required to be given under this subsection shall include the price, calculated as a single lump sum amount which reflects the present value of any installment payments offered and of any promissory notes offered in lieu of cash payment or, in the case of an offer to rent, the capitalized value of the annual rent and the terms and conditions of the offer.

(c) A group or association of residents representing at least fifty-one percent of the manufactured home owners residing in the community which are entitled to notice under paragraph (b) shall have the right to purchase, in the case of a third party bona fide offer to purchase that the owner intends to accept, or to lease in the case of a third party bona fide offer to lease that the owner intends to accept, the said community for purposes of continuing such use thereof, provided it (1) submits to the owner reasonable evidence that the residents of at least fifty-one percent of the occupied homes in the community have approved the purchase of the community by such group or association, (2) submits to the owner a proposed purchase and sale agreement or lease agreement on substantially equivalent terms and conditions within forty-five days of receipt of notice of the offer made under subsection (b) of this section, (3) obtains a binding commitment for any necessary financing or guarantees within an additional ninety days after execution of the purchase and sale agreement or lease, and (4) closes on such purchase or lease within an additional ninety days after the end of the ninety-day period under clause (3).

No owner shall unreasonably refuse to enter into, or unreasonably delay the execution or closing on a purchase and sale or lease agreement with residents who have made a bona fide offer to meet the price and substantially equivalent terms and conditions of an offer for which notice is required to be given pursuant to paragraph (b). Failure of the residents to submit such a purchase and sale agreement or lease within the first forty-five day period, to obtain a binding commitment for financing within the additional ninety day period or to close on the purchase or lease within the second ninety-day period, shall serve to terminate the rights of such residents to purchase or lease the manufactured housing community. The time periods herein provided may be extended by agreement. Nothing herein shall be construed to require an owner to provide financing to such residents except to the extent such financing would be provided to the third party offeror in the case of a sale or lease for a use which would result in a change of use or discontinuance or to prohibit an owner from requiring such residents who are offering to lease a community to provide a security deposit, not to exceed the lesser of one-year’s rent or the amount which would have been required to be provided by the third party offeror, to be kept in escrow for such purposes during the term of the lease. A group or association of residents which has the right to purchase hereunder, at its election, may assign its purchase right hereunder to the city, town, housing authority, or agency of the commonwealth for the purpose of continuing the use of the manufactured housing community.

(d) The right of first refusal created herein shall inure to the residents for the time periods hereinbefore provided, beginning on the date of notice to the residents under paragraph (b). The effective period for such right of first refusal shall obtain separately for each substantially different bona fide offer to purchase or lease the community, and for each offer substantially equivalent to an offer made more than three months prior to the later offer; provided however, that in the case of a substantially equivalent offer made by a prospective buyer who has previously made an offer for which notice to residents was required by said paragraph (b), the right of first refusal shall obtain only if such subsequent offer is made more than six months after the earlier offer. The right of first refusal shall not apply with respect to any offer received by the owner for which a notice is not required pursuant to said paragraph (b). No right of first refusal shall apply to a government taking by eminent domain or negotiated purchase, a forced sale pursuant to a foreclosure by an unrelated third party, transfer by gift, devise or operation of law, or a sale to a person who would be an heir at law if there were to be a death intestate of a manufactured housing community owner.

(e) In any instance where the residents of the manufactured housing community are not the successful purchaser or lessee of such manufactured housing community, the seller or lessor of such community shall provide evidence of compliance with this section by filing an affidavit of compliance with the attorney general, the director of housing and community development, the local board of health, and the official records of the county where the property is located within seven days of the sale or lease of the community. Any lease of five years or less shall specifically require that such lessee shall not discontinue or change the use of the manufactured housing community during the term of such lease.

(f) In any instance of a sale or lease for which a notice from the owner of the manufactured housing community is not required to be, and is not, given under paragraph (b) and within one year of such sale or lease the new owner or lessee delivers a notice of change of use or discontinuance under paragraph (8) of section thirty-two L, such notice shall provide each tenant in the manufactured housing community with at least four years prior notice of the effective date of the proposed change of use or discontinuance.

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