NEWS | The Towne Law Firm, P.C. | November 2020
‘Making Sure Long-Term Guests Aren’t A Long-Term Problem’
ALBANY, N.Y. (November 18, 2020) – On Tuesday, November 17, TLF Associate Christine E. Taylor appeared as a featured speaker at the 2020 Virtual Kampgrounds of America Convention & Expo. Speaking on topics from seasonal agreements to best practices that campgrounds and RV parks, alike, should follow, Christine’s expertise was showcased in her hour-long presentation.
While the law varies greatly from state to state, regarding whether or not there is clear delineation between landlord tenant law and RV parks and campgrounds, Christine advises to always ‘start with the paperwork.’ When drafting an agreement with your potential licensee, it’s important to remember what you call things – words matter and it needs to be clear as to what they are agreeing to. It’s also important for campground and RV park owners to understand that you are NOT leasing anything, you are merely giving someone a license to use a particular site for a particular license term.
Why is that? Licenses, in the United States, are generally revocable at ANY time and for any reason, but you have to make sure it is actually a license. Be careful of the words listed in the agreement. For example, no evictions, instead use ejection, revocation, or removal. Seasonal agreements should always contain your refund policy (or your policy regarding nonrefundable payments), specific rules or requirements, anything that makes the license revocable, and anything else required by specific state law.
Limit stays and license term; if possible, no year-round guests. Always be sure to make it clear what utilities are unavailable, i.e. no winter water. The less like an apartment you are, the better!
Your guests should never use your campground or RV park address as their address. Don’t accept mail and make sure they fill out where their resident address is.
Lastly, form relationships with local law enforcement and explain to them that your guests are merely licensees and if you are to revoke their license, they then become trespassers. They are not tenants, so therefore it is NOT a civil matter.
Having grown up within the campground industry and armed with two decades of experience, Ms. Taylor is quick to point out the legal issues that apply to campground owners. She has provided a wide variety of services to campgrounds including seasonal licenses, waivers, employment contracts, real estate services and even litigation services as needed.
If you need seasonal licenses specifically tailored to your campground or RV Park, contact TLF’s leading Hospitality Law Attorney Christine E. Taylor today to take care of your legal matters, so can get back to taking care of your guests!