Kentucky Mobile Home Law Questions and Answers

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The new mobile home I bought is a "lemon". What are my rights?

Kentucky Mobile Home law. Kentucky law gives you the right to a refund or replacement mobile home IF, within the first 12 months after you got the home, repairs cost you 4% or more of the purchase price, and you have had to have repairs done on 3 separate occasions. You, the original buyer, have a right to refund of the purchase price or, if the manufacturer so chooses, replacement of the home with one of the same model, year, and warranty.

YOUR DUTIES

However, you MUST take these steps:

  1. Write to the manufacturer, with a copy to the dealer, a letter stating:
    • the defect(s) in the home which make it unfit for sale;
    • your name and address; and
    • the fact that you are claiming rights under the Kentucky Mobile Home Sales law;
  2. Send the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, within 10 days of deciding that the home was not fit for sale;
  3. Allow the manufacturer or its agent at least 10 days after they receive the notice to examine the home, and another 10 days to let the owner know what action the manufacturer will take; and
  4. Make the home available to the manufacturer if they want to make repairs

THE SELLERS' DUTIES

Once you have sent notice, the manufacturer must notify you in writing whether it finds a defect, will take the blame, and agree to make repairs. In that case the manufacturer must extend your rights for another 4 months beyond the first year. Or, instead of making repairs, the manufacturer can accept your position that the home should never have been sold. In that case, the manufacturer must replace the home. If you have to vacate the home for the company to make repairs, then the company must provide you and your family a place to live during the repairs.

If the dealer or manufacturer does not do what they are supposed to under this law, you can complain to the Attorney General's office, 502-696-5300, and/or sue to recover your money.

OTHER LAWS

Even if you have not met the deadlines in the law outlined above, you still might have the right to send the mobile home back to the dealer, depending on what type of problem the home has and when you discover it. Under Kentucky's Uniform Commercial Code, a buyer has four years from the date of discovering a defect to bring an action against the dealer or manufacturer. Of course, the longer you have had the home, the less convincing your case for repair or replacement may seem.

There are other laws which might be helpful, too. If the dealer did not give you complete and accurate information about the condition of the home, or in the loan papers, you may have grounds for canceling the contract, or reducing the loan.

The used mobile home I bought is a "lemon". Is there anything I can do?
If the condition of a used manufactured home is not acceptable to you after installation, you may be able to:

REJECT IT, if at the time it is installed it does not meet the standards set out in the contract; or

REVOKE ACCEPTANCE OF IT, if you first accepted the home but then discovered problems that the seller can't or won't fix. The problems must be big enough that they reduce the value of your home.

The most important thing to remember is that you must ACT PROMPTLY AFTER DISCOVERING DEFECT(S). As soon as possible you must notify the seller of the problem, clearly describe the defect(s), and allow the seller a reasonable chance to correct the problem. If the seller does not correct the problem in a reasonable time, you may cancel the contract. In a case like this, you can hold onto the home until any money you have paid under the contract is refunded. You will need the help of a lawyer, because the manufacturer, dealer and set-up firm may all blame you or one another for the problems.

In addition, as mentioned above ('Other Laws"), there may be other defenses you can bring up against the seller in order to cancel the contract.

The people who set up my mobile home did a bad job, and it is hurting the home. What can I do?
Every mobile home sold for use as a dwelling must be installed by a certified installer according to national standards. Set-up is almost always included in the purchase price of a new or used home. Therefore the dealer as well as the installer are liable for faulty set-up. If you took out a loan when you bought the home, the person or company now holding the note is just as liable as the original seller for the defect under federal law.

What if the mobile home was sold "as is"? Can a buyer still cancel the contract?
Yes. "As Is" language has to do with the seller's willingness to make repairs if needed (the "warranty"). The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that "as is" language does not affect the buyer's right to reject or revoke acceptance. Capital Cadillac Olds, Inc. v. Roberts, 813 S.W. 2d 287 (Ky. 1991).

Also, if there was ANY written warranty of any kind, the seller does not have the right to sell "as is", because of a federal law called the Magnuson-Moss Act. You can argue that the "B" seal, which must be attached to any used manufactured home before resale, is enough of a written warranty for Magnuson-Moss to apply.

What is a "B" seal?
Kentucky law requires all used mobile homes to have a seal of approval from the state fire marshall's office. This "B" seal shows that the home has been inspected and its heating, electrical and plumbing systems meet certain standards. Homes that are being re-sold by a lender or a real estate agent "middle-man" who doesn't sell more than three such homes a year don't require a B-seal.

A repair made to a new manufactured home before it is originally sold to a consumer must be revealed in writing to the buyer.

KRS 367.710 - 775, KRS 367.725, 735., KRS 367.730; KRS 367.740; KRS 367.760; 15 U.S.C. 1635-1666j, 12 CFR 226; KRS 355.2-725; KRS 355.2-601; KRS 355.2-608. KRS 355.2-711(1); KRS 355.711(3); 15 U.S.C. 1635-1666j, 12 CFR 226; KRS 371.210-330; KRS 227.555; KRS 227.600; KRS 227.630; Per 815 KAR 25:30 Sec. 4, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 2301; as required by KRS 227.600



Reviewed August 2009