Senate Bill No. 737
(By Senators Bailey and Sharpe)
[Introduced February 23, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections two and twelve, article
nine, chapter twenty-one of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating
to the regulation of manufactured housing construction and
safety standards; adding definition for installation;
changing the civil penalty authority from the courts to the
board; and increasing the maximum criminal penalty from
fifty dollars to two hundred fifty dollars.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections two and twelve, article nine, chapter twenty-
one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as
ARTICLE 9. MANUFACTURED HOUSING CONSTRUCTION AND SAFETY STANDARDS.
(a) "Board" means the West Virginia manufactured housing
construction and safety board created in this article.
(b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the
Virginia state department division of labor.
(c) "Contractor" means any person who performs operations in
this state at the occupancy site which render a manufactured home
fit for habitation. This definition does not include persons who
do work on a manufactured home which is owned or leased by such
person doing the work. Such operations include, without
limitation, installation or construction of the foundation,
positioning, blocking, leveling, supporting, tying down,
connecting utility systems, making minor adjustments or
assembling multiple or expandable units. Such operations also
include transporting the unit to the occupancy site by other than
a motor carrier regulated by the
West Virginia public service
(d) "Dealer" means any person engaged in this state in the
sale, leasing or distribution of new or used manufactured homes,
primarily to persons who in good faith purchase or lease a
manufactured home for purposes other than resale.
(e) "Defect" includes any defect in the performance,
construction, components or material of a manufactured home that renders the home or any part thereof not fit for the ordinary use
for which it was intended.
(f) "Distributor" means any person engaged in this state in
the sale and distribution of manufactured homes for resale.
(g) "Federal standards" means the National Manufactured
Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C.
§5401, et seq.), and federal manufactured home construction and
safety standards and regulations promulgated by the secretary of
HUD to implement such act.
(h) "HUD" means the United States department of housing and
(i) "Installation" means and includes: Home placement
evaluation; site preparation; installing footings; level and trim
the manufactured home; utility connections; installation of
optional accessory items; and final grade and water control. For
the purposes of this subsection: "Home placement evaluation"
includes conducting a soil evaluation, designing footings and
physically inspecting the site for ability to comply; "site
preparation" includes clearing, providing access to and rough
grading the site; "installing footings" includes digging footings
and pouring concrete; "level and trim the manufactured home"
includes positioning and leveling the manufactured home on its
support system, anchoring the home, close-in, trim and
adjustment, and cross-over connects (non-electrical); "utility connections" includes the connecting of utility services,
including electric, gas, water, sewer, cable TV connects,
satellite dishes, DSS systems, telephone connects, and well and
septic systems; "installation of optional accessory items"
includes installing facia and ventilation, HVAC, decks, porches
and awnings, carports, garages, pools, and outbuildings; "final
grade and water control" includes footing backfill, installation
of a vapor barrier, final grading of the lot, landscaping,
driveways and sidewalks.
(i)(j) "Manufacturer" means any person engaged in
manufacturing or assembling manufactured homes, including any
person engaged in importing manufactured homes for resale.
(j) (k) "Manufactured home" means a structure, 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 with or without a permanent foundation when
connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing,
heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems contained
therein; except that such term shall include any structure which
meets all the requirements of this definition except the size
requirements and with respect to which the manufacturer
voluntarily files a certificate which complies with the applicable federal standards. Calculations used to determine the
number of square feet in a structure will be based on the
structure's exterior dimensions measured at the largest
horizontal projections when erected on site.
(k) (l) "Purchaser" means the first person purchasing a
manufactured home in good faith for purposes other than resale.
§21-9-12. Civil penalties; criminal penalties.
(a) Any person who violates any of the following provisions
relating to manufactured homes or any rule promulgated by the
board pursuant to the provisions of this article is liable to the
state for a penalty, as determined by the
court board, not to
exceed one thousand dollars for each violation. Each violation
constitutes a separate violation with respect to each
manufactured home, except that the maximum penalty may not exceed
one million dollars for any related series of violations
occurring within one year from the date of the first violation.
No person may:
(1) Manufacture for sale, lease, sell, offer for sale or
lease, install, or introduce or deliver, or import into this
state any manufactured home which is manufactured on or after the
effective date of any applicable standard established by a rule
promulgated by the board pursuant to the provisions of this
article, or any applicable federal standard, which does not
comply with that standard.
(2) Fail or refuse to permit access to or copying of
records, or fail to make reports or provide information or fail
or refuse to permit entry or inspection as required by the
provisions of this article.
(3) Fail to furnish notification of any defect as required
by the provisions of 42 U.S.C. §5414.
(4) Fail to issue a certification required by the provisions
of 42 U.S.C. §5415 or issue a certification to the effect that a
manufactured home conforms to all applicable federal standards,
when the person knows or in the exercise of due care would have
reason to know that the certification is false or misleading in
a material respect.
(5) Fail to establish and maintain records, make reports,
and provide information as the board may reasonably require to
enable the board to determine whether there is compliance with
the federal standards; or fail to permit, upon request of a
person duly authorized by the board, the inspection of
appropriate books, papers, records and documents relative to
determining whether a manufacturer, dealer, distributor or
contractor has acted or is acting in compliance with the
provisions of this article or applicable federal standards.
(6) Issue a certification pursuant to the provisions of 42
U.S.C. §5403(a), when the person knows or in the exercise of due
care would have reason to know that the certification is false or misleading in a material respect.
(b) Subdivision (1), subsection (a) of this section does not
apply to: (i) The sale or the offer for sale of any manufactured
home after the first purchase of it in good faith for purposes
other than resale; (ii) any person who establishes that he or she
did not have reason to know in the exercise of due care that such
manufactured home is not in conformity with applicable federal
standards; or (iii) any person who, prior to the first purchase,
holds a certificate by the manufacturer or importer of the
manufactured home to the effect that such manufactured home
conforms to all applicable federal standards, unless that person
knows that the manufactured home does not conform to those
(c) Any manufacturer, dealer, distributor or contractor who
engages in business in this state without a current license as
required by the provisions of this article or without furnishing
a bond or other form of assurance as required by the provisions
of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not more than
fifty two hundred fifty
dollars for each day the violation continues.
(d) Any person or officer, director, partner or agent of a
corporation, partnership or other entity who willfully or
knowingly violates any of the provisions listed in subsection (a)
of this section, in any manner which threatens the health or safety of any purchaser, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand
dollars or confined in the county or regional jail for a period
of not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned:
Provided, That nothing in this article may apply to any bank or
financial institution engaged in the disposal of foreclosed or
repossessed manufactured home(s).