Wednesday, February 01, 2012
FEMA UNITS REQUIRE DISCLAIMER
RV dealerships have recently been investigated for failing to pass along a required federal disclosure certificate when they resell FEMA units, according to RVDA, which reminds members that they are legally required to pass along the “Useable Travel Trailer Certificate” notice. The disclosure informs buyers that the FEMA units aren't intended to be permanent housing.
The RVs FEMA bought after Hurricane Katrina and auctioned off by the General Services Administration (GSA) require the special disclosure at the time of sale and must be passed to all subsequent buyers.
Dealers should be particularly cautious with trailer trade-ins from 2005 and 2006 and confirm the vehicles' histories, according to RVDA. The best way to research vehicle history is to run the VIN against the GSA's database of Katrina trailers or to ask the trailer manufacturer for a vehicle's history.
Not all of the affected FEMA units are white boxy models, according to RVDA. Some of the trailers were purchased directly from RV dealer inventory. Relying on the vehicle’s title may not be reliable, since Katrina trailers weren't titled until after their first sale at auction.
A similar issue is developing with oversized park model trailers that FEMA recently purchased and are now being auctioned through the GSA. Park models larger than 400-square-feet must comply with HUD code, but the oversized park models are not built to HUD codes, according to RVDA. Customers may be unable to title the park models, and they may run afoul of local building codes. Specifically, they may be unable to place these units in a zoned park model RV park.
All oversized compliant and non-compliant park models sold at GSA auctions come with a “Usable Park Model Trailer Certification” that the buyer must sign and pass along to all subsequent purchasers. The certificate disclaims government liability for any future issues arising from the vehicles, according to RVDA. Dealers face liability if they fail to pass along the certificate.