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Emergency Rule Clarifies Variance and Disclosure Process
An emergency rule addressing alterations to manufactured/mobile homes, and clarifying which require permits and inspections, was adopted March 22.

LNI"This changing information is critical to our association members who engage in the sale and listing of manufactured and mobile homes," said W.A.R. Executive Project Coordinator Bob Mitchell, who is carefully following the issue during the current legislative session. "I encourage all REALTORS® to read the emergency rule content on the L and I website, and to stay tuned to the W.A.R. website for updates on this topic."

The purpose of the emergency rule, cited in the rule-making order on the Department of Labor and Industries website (and available in full at is to:

"…clarify our current variance process to allow alternate materials, alternate design, and methods of construction to be approved provided a reasonable level of protection to life, safety and health has been achieved. Also, these rules will allow for the sale of a manufactured/mobile home by a homeowner that purchased a manufactured/mobile home without receiving all of the required insignia provided they identify it in the disclosure statement (similar to what is currently allowed for site-built homes), which is required prior to the sale of the home under these emergency rules."

The emergency rule amends rule WAC 296-150M-140. The amendatory section of this rule also is available online at .

The emergency rule includes a new section, pertinent to the sale of manufactured/mobile homes:

WAC 296-150M-0049 What must be done prior to the sale of a manufactured/mobile home by a homeowner?
Prior to the sale of any manufactured/mobile home the homeowner must deliver to the buyer a completed property transfer disclosure statement including all the criteria specified in RCW 64.06.020 and any variance(s) granted according WAC 296-150M-0140, and

a. Have all department insigna required by this chapter; or

b. Have all department insigna required by this chapter for alterations performed during ownership of the home and include in the property transfer disclosure statement all alterations that were known to have been performed by any previous owner of the home.

2. Nothing in this section shall have any effect on any written warranty(ies) required by RCW 46.70.135.

3. This section does not apply to unsafe manufactured/mobile homes that the use of which may constitute a hazard to life, safety, or health.

Currently the House Commerce and Labor Committee is reviewing ESSB 5703, calling for a directed study of mobile/manufactured home alteration and repair permit problems. This proposal, or an amended version, appears to be the "only likely survivor" as session cut-offs near.

L and I has acknowledged concerns of owners and other regarding manufactured/mobile homes and is responding by clarifying policies, training inspectors, scheduling community meetings, and increasing public outreach and communications. A brochure, "Your manufactured/Mobile Home: Things to Consider when Altering your Home," is available online at

Mitchell will brief members on this issue during the Legislative Steering Committee at the Spring Business Conference at Ocean Shores on Thursday, April 5.

Posted 3/28/01; 4/17/01.


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