Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. The town of Easton may, by its by-laws, regulate rents for the use or occupancy of mobile home park accommodations in the town, establish a rent board for the purpose of regulating rents, minimum standards for use or occupancy of mobile home park accommodations and eviction of tenants therefrom and may, by its by-laws, require the registration, by owners of mobile home parks under penalty of perjury, of information relating to the mobile home park accommodations. The rent board shall have all powers necessary or convenient to perform its functions, may make rules and regulations, require the registration, by owners of mobile home parks under penalty of perjury, of information relating to the mobile home park accommodations, sue and be sued, compel the attendance of persons and the production of papers and information and issue appropriate orders which shall be binding on both the owner and tenants of such mobile home park accommodations. Violations of any by-law adopted pursuant to this act or any order of the rent board shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.
SECTION 2. (a) The rent board, established pursuant to section 1, may make individual or general adjustments, either upward or downward, as may be necessary to assure that rents for mobile home park accommodations in the town are established at levels which yield owners a fair net operating income for the accommodations.
(b) The following factors, among other relevant factors, which the board may define by regulation, shall be considered in determining whether controlled mobile home park accommodations yield a fair net operating income: (1) increases or decreases in property taxes; (2) unavoidable increases or any decreases in operating and maintenance expenses; (3) capital improvements of the mobile home park as distinguished from ordinary repair, replacement and maintenance; (4) increases or decreases in space, services, equipment or other similar factors; (5) substantial deterioration of the mobile home park other than as a result or ordinary wear and tear; and (6) failure to perform ordinary repair, replacement and maintenance.
SECTION 3. Chapter 30A of the General Laws shall apply to the rent board, established pursuant to section 1, as if the rent board were an agency of the commonwealth, including provisions relating to judicial review of an agency order.
SECTION 4. (a) The district court shall have original jurisdiction, concurrently with the superior court, of all petitions for review brought pursuant to section 14 of chapter 30A of the General Laws.
(b) The superior court shall have original jurisdiction to enforce this act and any by-laws adopted thereunder and may restrain violations thereof.
SECTION 5. The town of Easton may, by its by-laws, regulate the eviction of tenants. The rent board, established pursuant to section 1, may issue orders which shall be a defense to actions of summary process for possession and such orders shall be reviewable pursuant to sections 3 and 4.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved, September 26, 2013.