2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B; Insurance
By: Representative Moore
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 75-49-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF "RELOCATABLE HOME," AND TO DEFINE THE TERM "DEVELOPER"; TO DEFINE THE TERM "RETAILER"; TO REMOVE THE TERM "RELOCATABLE HOME" THROUGHOUT THE UNIFORM STANDARDS CODE FOR FACTORY-BUILT HOME LAW; TO AMEND SECTIONS 75-49-9 AND 75-49-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 75-49-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-49-3. Unless clearly indicated otherwise by the context, the following words when used in this chapter, for the purpose of this chapter, shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:
(a) "Manufactured home" means a structure defined by, and constructed in accordance with, the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended (42 USCS 5401, et seq.), and manufactured after June 14, 1976.
(b) "Mobile home" means a structure manufactured before June 15, 1976, that is not constructed in accordance with the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended (42 USCS 5401 et seq.). It is a structure that is transportable in one or more sections, that, in the traveling mode, is eight (8) body feet or more in width and thirty-two (32) body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is two hundred fifty-six (256) or more square feet, and that is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes any plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems contained therein; except that such term shall include any structure which meets all the requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer voluntarily files a certification required by the commissioner and complies with the standards established under this chapter.
(c) "Modular home" means a structure which is: (i) transportable in one or more sections; (ii) designed to be used as a dwelling when connected to the required utilities, and includes plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems with the home; and (iii) certified by its manufacturers as being constructed in accordance with a nationally recognized building code.
(d) "Factory-built home" means a mobile home, a manufactured home, and a modular home as those terms are defined herein.
(e) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of Mississippi.
(f) "Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal" means the individual appointed by the Commissioner of Insurance, who, along with his employees, is designated by the commissioner to implement and enforce this chapter and to maintain, among other duties, the Factory Built Division of the Insurance Department.
(g) "Division" means the Factory Built Division of the State Fire Marshal's Office.
(h) "Person" means any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association or other type of business entity.
(i) "Retailer" means any person engaged in the retail sale of new or used manufactured mobile or modular homes to the general public.
(j) "Developer" means any person who buys factory-built homes and real estate and then offers to sell or lease to the general public land-home "package deals" consisting of a home with real estate. Upon renewal of a license, a developer must provide documentation to the Department of Insurance that he or she has at least five (5) available manufactured or modular home sites. A developer shall be responsible for installation requirements for manufactured or modular housing as set forth in Section IV of the rules and regulations for the Uniform Standards Code for Factory-Built Homes Law.
(k) "Independent contractor installer or transporter" means any person who is engaged for hire in the movement or transportation, or both, or the installation, blocking, anchoring and tie-down of a factory-built home. An "independent contractor installer or transporter" shall not include persons who do not hold themselves out for hire to the general public for the purposes described in this definition.
(l) "Manufacturer" means any person engaged in the production (construction) of manufactured homes or modular homes.
SECTION 2. Section 75-49-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-49-9. (1) After July 1, 1992, every manufacturer, every transporter or installer, developer and every retailer who sells, manufactures, transports or installs new or used factory-built homes within the State of Mississippi shall apply for and obtain a license from the commissioner.
(2) If a factory-built home is new, the applicant shall certify in the application to the commissioner that the applicant will comply with the construction standards set forth under rules and regulations provided in Section 75-49-5 herein, and that the applicant has obtained a current and valid tax identification number.
(3) Applications shall be obtained from and submitted to the commissioner on forms prescribed by the commissioner.
(4) The original license fee and all annual renewals thereof shall be Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for manufacturing plants that build manufactured homes and Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for manufacturing plants that manufacture * * * modular homes located within or without the State of Mississippi manufacturing or delivering homes for sale within the State of Mississippi and One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) per manufactured home and/or * * * modular home retailer location and developer location within the State of Mississippi. The licensing fee for a manufactured home and/or * * * modular home independent contractor transporter or installer is One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for each company. The fee for * * * modular home plan review shall be Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00) per floor plan; however, this fee shall not apply to any * * * modular home plan reviews completed before July 1, 1998. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (10) of this section, the license shall be valid for a period of one (1) year from the date of issuance, or until revoked as provided herein.
(5) After the effective date of this chapter, every manufacturer, transporter or installer or seller who first sells, manufactures, transports or installs a new or used factory-built home in this state, before such first construction, sale, transportation or installation shall apply for and obtain a license from the commissioner. The fee shall be paid to the commissioner in such manner as the commissioner may by rule require. All funds received by the commissioner shall be deposited in a special fund account in the State Treasury to the credit of the Department of Insurance.
(6) Every manufacturer of manufactured homes in the state shall pay a monitoring inspection fee to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or the secretary's agent, for each manufactured home produced in the state by the manufacturer. The fee shall be in an amount established by the secretary pursuant to the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, 42 USCS 5401 et seq. and as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. The portion of the fee which is returned to the state shall be deposited by the commissioner in a special fund account in the State Treasury to the credit of the Department of Insurance.
(7) The commissioner shall investigate and examine all applicants for all licenses by holding such hearings as he shall deem necessary or conducting investigations or examinations, or any combination thereof, as to the fitness or expertise of the applicant for the type of license for which the applicant applied. A license shall be granted only to a person who bears a good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness, integrity and competency to transact the business in such a manner as to safeguard the interest of the public and only after satisfactory proof of such qualifications has been presented to the commissioner.
(8) The commissioner shall take all applicants under consideration after having examined them through oral or written examinations, or both, before granting any license. If the applicant is an individual, examination may be taken by his personal appearance for examination or by the appearance for examination of one or more of his responsible, full-time managing employees; and if a partnership or corporation or any other type of business or organization, by the examination of one or more of the responsible, full-time managing officers or members of the executive staff of the applicant's firm. Every application by an individual for a license to sell, transport or install new or used mobile, manufactured and modular homes shall be verified by the oath or affirmation of the applicant, and every such application by a partnership or corporation shall be verified by the oath or affirmation of a partner or an officer thereof. The applications for licenses shall be in such form and detail as the commissioner shall prescribe.
(9) The holder of any valid license issued by the commissioner at the time this section becomes effective shall be automatically issued an equivalent license in the same category for which his previous license was issued if the licensee is in compliance with this chapter.
(10) Beginning July 1, 1988, every license issued under this chapter shall be issued annually and shall expire on June 30 following the date upon which it was issued. License fees shall not be prorated for the remainder of the year in which the application was made but shall be paid for the entire year regardless of the date of the application. The commissioner shall, on or before April 30, 1989, and on or before April 30 of each succeeding year thereafter, forward a "Notice of Renewal," by regular United States mail, to each licensee at his or its last known post office address. After depositing the "Notice of Renewal" in the United States mail, the commissioner shall have no other duty or obligation to notify the licensee of the expiration of his or its annual license. The failure of the licensee to obtain a renewal license on or before June 30 of the ensuing license period shall act as an automatic suspension of the license unless the commissioner, for good cause shown in writing and the payment of an amount equal to double the renewal fee for said delinquency, lifts the suspension and issues the renewal license. During the period of suspension any practice by the licensee under the color of such license shall be deemed a violation of this chapter. Annual renewals of a retailer's license shall require, as a condition precedent, that the retailer verify by oath or affirmation that he maintains a retail sales lot in accordance with all rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner and that the lot has three (3) or more new or used factory-built homes located thereon for retail sale as a residential dwelling or for any other use at the time of application.
SECTION 3. Section 75-49-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
75-49-11. The commissioner, acting through the Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal and the Factory Built Division of the Insurance Department, is hereby charged with the administration of this chapter. He may make and amend, alter or repeal, general rules and regulations of procedure for carrying into effect all provisions of this chapter, for obtaining statistical data respecting manufactured mobile and modular homes, and to prescribe means, methods and practices to make effective such provisions and he may make such investigations and inspection as in his judgment are necessary to enforce and administer this chapter.
The commissioner is authorized and empowered to require each manufacturer, distributor, retailer and transporter or installer of factory-built homes to establish and maintain such records, make such reports and provide such information as he may reasonably require to determine whether the manufacturer, distributor, retailer, transporter or installer has acted or is acting in compliance with this chapter and the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended (42 USCS 5401 et seq.) and as amended by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, and other rules and regulations prescribed according to this chapter. The commissioner, or a person duly designated by the commissioner, is authorized to inspect appropriate books, papers, records and documents of any manufacturer, distributor, retailer, transporter or installer of factory-built homes which are relevant to determining if the licensee has acted or is acting in compliance with this chapter and the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (24 CFR Section 3280) and other rules and regulations prescribed according to this chapter.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.