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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 13. Housing
Agency 6. Virginia Manufactured Housing Board
Chapter 20. Manufactured Housing Licensing and Transaction Recovery Fund Regulations

13VAC6-20-270. Prohibited practices.

For the purposes of this part and this chapter, the following regulated advertising practices by manufacturers, dealers, brokers, or salespersons are prohibited and shall be considered by the board to be unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive commercial acts or practices:

1. Advertising a manufactured home as a "new manufactured home" when the home does not meet all of the requirements for the definition of a new manufactured home in 13VAC6-20-10.

2. Advertising a used manufactured home by misleading or confusing terms rather than "used" or such other term that is clearly understood to mean that the home is used. Once a title has been issued to a purchaser by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the home is considered as a used home and must be advertised as such.

3. Advertising finance charges or other interest rates when there are costs to buy down the charges or rates which are passed on to the buyer, in whole or in part.

4. Advertising terms, conditions and disclosures which are not stated clearly and conspicuously. An asterisk or other reference symbol may be used to point to a disclaimer or other information, but the disclaimer shall not contradict or change the meaning of the advertised statement.

5. Advertising a "sale" when the expiration date is not clearly and conspicuously stated.

6. Advertising which uses terms such as "at cost," "below cost," or "dollars off cost." Terms such as "invoice price" or "dollars over invoice" may be used, provided the invoice referred to is the manufacturer's original factory invoice which is available for customer inspection upon request.

7. Advertising a policy to match or better a competitor's price when the terms of the offer are not specific and verifiable. Any such advertisement shall fully disclose, as a part of the ad, any material or significant conditions which must be met or the evidence the buyer must present to take advantage of the offer.

8. Advertising which includes "dealer rebates" or "manufacturer's rebate."

9. Advertising any "free" or "at no cost" (or other words to that effect) offers of equipment or accessories in a negotiated sale. No equipment or accessory shall be described as "free" or "at cost" if its cost or any part of its cost is included in the price of the home, or if the home can be purchased for a lesser price without accepting the free offer, or if a purchase is required in order to receive the free offer.

10. Advertising which is determined to be "bait advertising" such as advertising homes, equipment, accessories or prices which are not available at the dealer's business location, or advertising homes of a specific price but having available for sale only homes equipped with dealer added cost options which increase the selling price above the advertised price. If any home is available only by order, then that shall be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the advertisement.

11. Advertising as "repossessed" any manufactured home which has not been previously sold, titled and then taken back from the buyer. Proof of repossession shall be provided by the advertiser upon request.

12. Advertising special dealer arrangements such as "manufacturer's outlet," "factory authorized outlet," and "factory wholesale outlet." Any term that gives the buyer the impression the dealer has a special arrangement with the manufacturer compared to similarly situated dealers is misleading and shall be prohibited. The term "factory authorized dealer" shall be an acceptable term for advertising purposes.

13. Advertising the length of a manufactured home as including the towing assembly or hitch.

14. Advertising in any newspaper, periodical or sign which omits the name of the firm from the advertisement.

Statutory Authority

§ 36-85.18 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR449-01-02 § 4.1, eff. April 1, 1994; amended, Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 3, eff. January 1, 1996.

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