Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia

Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Law

§ 36-85.2. Short title

The short title of the law embraced in this chapter is the Virginia Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Law.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.3. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless a different meaning or construction is clearly required by the context:

"Administrator" means the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development or his designee.

"Any person" shall, in addition to referring to a natural person, include any partnership, corporation, joint stock company or any association whether incorporated or unincorporated.

"Board" means the Board of Housing and Community Development.

"Dealer" means any person engaged in the sale, leasing, or distribution of new manufactured homes primarily to persons who in good faith purchase or lease a manufactured home for purposes other than resale.

"Defect" means a failure to comply with an applicable federal manufactured home construction and safety standard that renders the manufactured home or any part of the home unfit for the ordinary use for which it was intended, but does not result in an imminent risk of death or severe personal injury to occupants of the affected home.

"Department" means the Department of Housing and Community Development.

"Distributor" means any person engaged in the sale and distribution of manufactured homes for resale.

"Federal Act" means the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 as amended (42 U.S.C. § 5401 et seq.).

"Federal Regulations" means the Federal Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations.

"Federal Standards" means the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.

"HUD" means the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"Imminent safety hazard" means a hazard that presents an imminent risk of death or severe personal injury.

"Manufactured home" means a structure subject to federal regulation, which is transportable in one or more sections; is eight body feet or more in width and forty body feet or more in length in the traveling mode, or is 320 or more square feet when erected on site; is built on a permanent chassis; is designed to be used as a single-family dwelling, with or without a permanent foundation, when connected to the required utilities; and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained in the structure.

"Manufactured home construction" means all activities relating to the assembly and manufacture of a manufactured home including but not limited to those relating to durability, quality, and safety.

"Manufactured home safety" means the performance of a manufactured home in such a manner that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of the occurrence of accidents due to the design or construction of the home, or any unreasonable risk of death or injury to the user if such accidents do occur.

"Manufacturer" means any person engaged in manufacturing or assembling manufactured homes, including any person engaged in importing manufactured homes.

"Purchaser" means the first person purchasing a manufactured home in good faith for purposes other than resale.

"Secretary" means the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"Skirting" means a weather-resistant material used to enclose the space from the bottom of the manufactured home to grade.

"State Administrative Agency" or "SAA" means the Department of Housing and Community Development which is responsible for the administration and enforcement of this law throughout Virginia and of the plan authorized by § 36-85.5.

"The law" or "this law" means the Virginia Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Law as embraced in this chapter.

1986, c. 37; 1990, c. 593.

§ 36-85.4. Applicability of chapter

This chapter shall apply to any manufactured home constructed on or after July 1, 1986, or constructed on or after June 15, 1976, and formerly subject to the Federal Act or the Industrialized Building Unit and Mobile Home Safety Law (§ 36-70 et seq.).

1986, c. 37; 2020, c. 29.

§ 36-85.5. Enforcement

The Department of Housing and Community Development is designated as the agency of this State Administrative Agency plan approved by HUD. The Administrator is authorized to perform the following functions:

1. Enforce the Federal Standards with respect to all manufactured homes manufactured in Virginia;

2. Assure that no state or local standard conflicts with those Federal Standards governing manufactured housing construction and performance;

3. Enter and inspect factories, warehouses, or establishments in which manufactured homes are manufactured, stored, or offered for sale as may be required;

4. Seek enforcement of the civil and criminal penalties established by § 36-85.12 of this law;

5. Carry out the notification and correction procedures specified in the Federal Regulations, including holding such hearings and making such determinations as may be necessary and requiring manufacturers in the Commonwealth to provide such notifications and corrections as may be required by the Federal Regulations;

6. Employ such qualified personnel as may be necessary to carry out the approved plan for enforcement and otherwise administer this law;

7. Require manufacturers, distributors, and dealers in the Commonwealth to make reports to the Secretary in the same manner and to the same extent as if such plan were not in effect;

8. Participate, advise, assist, and cooperate with other state, federal, public, and private agencies in carrying out the approved plan for enforcement;

9. Provide for participation by the SAA in any interstate monitoring activities which may be carried out on behalf of HUD;

10. Receive consumer complaints and take such actions on the complaints as may be required by the Federal Regulations;

11. Give satisfactory assurance to HUD that the SAA has and will have the legal authority necessary for enforcement of the Federal Standards;

12. Take such other actions as may be necessary to comply with Federal Regulations and Standards referenced in this law.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.6. Federal Standards and Regulations

The Federal Standards shall be the sole standard applicable regarding design, construction, or safety of any manufactured home as defined by this law. The Administrator shall accept manufactured home plan approvals from state or private agencies authorized by HUD to conduct plan reviews and approvals. The Administrator shall accept certifications of compliance with the Federal Standards for homes manufactured in other states when such certifications are made according to Federal Regulations.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.7. Authority of Board to adopt rules and regulations

The Board shall from time to time adopt, amend, or repeal such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement this law in compliance with the Federal Act and the Federal Standards and Regulations enacted by HUD.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.8. Notice and hearing on rules and regulations

The Board shall comply with all applicable requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) when adopting, amending, or repealing any rules and regulations under this law.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.9. Printing and distribution of rules and regulations

The Administrator shall have printed and keep in pamphlet form all rules and regulations prescribing the implementation and enforcement of this law. Such pamphlets shall be furnished to members of the public upon request.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.10. Rules and regulations to be kept in office of Department

A true copy of all rules and regulations adopted and in force shall be kept in the office of the Department, accessible to the public.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.11. Application of local ordinances; enforcement of chapter by local authorities

Manufactured homes displaying the certification label as prescribed by the Federal Standards shall be accepted in all localities as meeting the requirements of this law, which shall supersede the building codes of the counties, municipalities and state agencies. Local zoning ordinances and other land use controls that do not affect the manner of construction or installation of manufactured homes shall remain in full force and effect. Site preparation, utility connections, skirting installation, and maintenance of the manufactured home shall meet the requirements of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.).

Notwithstanding the above, structures meeting the definition of "manufactured home" set forth in § 36-85.3 shall be defined in local zoning ordinances as "manufactured homes." The term "manufactured home" shall be defined in local zoning ordinances solely as it is defined in § 36-85.3.

All local building officials are authorized to and shall enforce the regulations adopted by the Board in accordance with this law.

1986, c. 37; 1988, c. 410; 1990, c. 593.

§ 36-85.12. Violation; civil and criminal penalties

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, to violate any provisions of this law, the rules and regulations enacted under authority of this law, or the Federal Law and Regulations. Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of said laws, rules and regulations, or any final order issued thereunder, shall be liable for civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each violation. Each violation shall constitute a separate violation with respect to each manufactured home or with respect to each failure or refusal to allow or to perform an act required by the legislation or regulations. The maximum civil penalty may not exceed one million dollars for any related series of violations occurring within one year from the date of the first violation.

An individual or a director, officer, or agent of a corporation who knowingly and willfully violates Section 610 of the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act in a manner which threatens the health or safety of any purchaser shall be deemed guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and upon conviction fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.13. Staff, equipment or supplies

The Administrator may employ permanent or temporary technical, clerical and other assistants as is necessary or advisable for the proper administration of this law. The Administrator may purchase equipment and supplies deemed necessary for the staff.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.14. Fees

The Board may establish inspection fees to be paid by manufacturers to cover the costs of monitoring inspections. Such fees shall be in the amount and manner as set out in the Federal Regulations. The SAA shall participate in the fee distribution program established by HUD and is authorized to enter into and execute a Cooperative Agreement with HUD for such participation.

1986, c. 37.

§ 36-85.15. Repealed

Repealed by Acts 2015, c. 709, cl. 2.