The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 002 : Permits and Rules(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 6252)
§ 6252. Lot rent increase dispute; mediation
(a) If the percentage of a proposed lot rent increase is more than one percentage point above the U.S. Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, Housing Component, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in the periodical "Monthly Labor Review and Handbook of Labor Statistics" as established annually by the Department, and if, within 15 business days after receipt by the Commissioner of the notice required pursuant to subsection 6251(a) of this title, a majority of the affected leaseholders files with the Commissioner and the park owner a written petition that includes the name of the person who will act as the representative of the leaseholders, and a statement that they dispute the proposed lot rent increase, the Commissioner shall send a list of qualified professional mediators compiled by the Department in cooperation with park owners and leaseholders to the park owner and to the leaseholders' representative. Within five business days of receipt of the list, the park owner and the leaseholders' representative shall agree on a mediator from the list provided by the Commissioner and notify the Commissioner of the name, address, and telephone number of the mediator selected, accompanied by the mediator's agreement to conduct the mediation. If the Commissioner has not been notified of a mediator as required by this subsection, the Commissioner shall appoint a mediator from the Department's list. The mediator may not have any interest, direct or indirect, in the mobile home park at issue and shall disclose to the park owner, the leaseholders, and the Commissioner any experience as a mobile home park owner, resident, or leaseholder, or any other circumstance that may create a real or perceived conflict of interest. The Department shall pay the reasonable fees for professional mediation services based on a schedule established by rule of the Department.
(b) The mediator shall conduct one or more mediation sessions within the period that ends 10 days prior to the effective date of the proposed lot rent increase. The mediation shall include the mobile home park owner and the leaseholders, or their respective representatives, and shall attempt to resolve the dispute. No later than five days before the initial mediation session, the mobile home park owner shall provide to the mediator and the leaseholders' representative all documents and information that the park owner considers relevant to support the proposed lot rent increase. The mobile home park owner shall have the burden of providing information to show that the proposed lot rent increase is reasonable. The mediator may also request any additional documents or information for the purposes of the mediation process. Any resolution of the dispute shall include an agreement regarding the amount of lot rent increase and the effective date. If the dispute is resolved, the mobile home park owner shall not be required to provide any additional notice in order for the lot rent increase to take effect pursuant to the resolution.
(c) The mediator shall issue to the parties and the Commissioner a report signed by the mediator and the parties regarding the outcome of the mediation. The report shall not be admitted into evidence and the mediator shall not be competent to testify in any subsequent action regarding the proposed lot rent increase. (Added 1995, No. 33, § 2, eff. June 1, 1995; amended 1997, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 23, 1998; 2007, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 69.)