Our friend and member Lucille Fried of Tradewinds, Rosamond, sent us another packet of information from her park (again without the kitchen sink). It seems as if management is again trying to evict residents there, freeing spaces for new mobilehomes. The following is the 7 day notice Lucy and other residents have received from their manager:
SEVEN DAY NOTICE TO COMPLY WITH PARK RULES AND REGULATIONS
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that (1) you may be required to move from the mobilehome premises; and (2) you may have to deliver possession of said premises to the undersigned, who is the authorized agent of TRADEWINDS MOBILE ESTATES, and/or an injunction may issue against you unless you:
Comply with Park Rules and Regulations as follows:……..(applies to parking in guest spaces without management’s approval)
You have violated this rule by (parking in a guest space). In order to comply with this rule, you must (stop parking in a guest space).
This is a statutory notice on our part to give you the opportunity to handle the above without the embarrassment of an eviction.
If you fail to comply with this notice within seven (7) days from your receipt hereof, we will be compelled to serve you with a Sixty-Day Notice Terminating your Tenancy in the mobilehome park, and/or seek an injunction as allowed by Civil Code Section 798.88.
Our Member Mary Hahn Writes about her Notice
I had a similar situation concerning TV cameras I had professionally installed because of a neighbor causing trouble. I received a 7-day eviction notice to immediately surrender my mobilehome to the management or take down the cameras. The neighbor claimed the cameras were invading his privacy by being aimed into his yard. I consulted a lawyer who said I could not aim the cameras into the yard, but I had a right to protect my property. So that’s how I replied to their notice. I never received an answer from the manager to my letter containing the lawyers advice. Incidentally, these cameras cut out a lot of the trouble the neighbor was causing, because if he did anything to the yard or the house, it was on a tape.
I have found that any notice from the park must be answered in writing. Sending management a letter advises them that you are aware of the situation, and are taking care of it, even if it is made up. My answer to these notices would be (1) I am aware of this situation, and am taking steps to see that it doesn’t occur again, or (2) if there was no violation, answer and say I am not aware of any infraction of this rule. In addition a homeowner who is having problems with the park manager should never discuss these without someone else being present.
Many homeowners do not respond to notices from the park, but they must! If the park receives enough of these replies, they will stop this harassment because it is taking up too much of their time. Further, Section 798.88 (b) states the “park owner” has to show reasonable proof of a continuing or recurring violation of a rule or regulation. Is this really the case of Lucille Fried of Tradewinds? If this is becoming a tactic of parks and is the practice in a particular park, then that information should be collected and presented to the court in case a forcible action is taken.
CoMO-LAC OBSERVATIONS & THE MOBILEHOME RESIDENCY LAW
CoMO-LAC suggests you do not ignore park newsletters, notices or other communication, especially those that are contrary to the Mobilehome Residency Law. Mary Hahn has some good advice and we concur with her. If you have further questions, please call us.
Although the NOTICE given to Lucille Fried does not violate the Mobilehome Residency Law, it is very intimidating, especially to someone not totally familiar with the law. That’s the intent of the notice—to frighten. Parks allow “violations” all the time. I’ll bet you can drive into any park and find all sorts of violations—weeds and other landscaping violations, more than 110 sq. ft. of storage, personal items stored outside, etc. One year a park may give notices for every little thing, the next year they may not give one notice. The bottom line is probably money and control. Often a park wants to focus on a group of residents that have been outspoken. The park would love to evict them, get their spaces to locate new mobilehomes, increase space rents, increase the value of the park, and make additional money, all at the same time.
Let’s look at what the MRL says about these seven day notices: Section 798.56 (d) “states the management is obligated to demonstrate that a rule or regulation has in fact been violated.” If you question them about the rule they cite, they must show that a rule was indeed violated. In the case of Tradewinds, their claim that a rule is violated, in some cases, is not correct. Sometimes the violation does not exist. Sometimes the rule they quote does not apply to that resident (as a driveway awning is a requirement—it is for new mobilehomes, not for the older ones).
The law is somewhat unclear, so let us try to spell it out. If you receive a seven day notice for a legitimate violation, you MUST correct it within the seven days; otherwise the park can serve you a 60 day notice to terminate. If you DO correct it, no further action can be taken by the park. However if you violate the same rule or regulation again, the park can give you a second seven day notice. You can not do this more than three times. If you receive three seven (7) day notices within a twelve month period, the park is not required to again give you a 7 day notice, the park can immediately give you a 60 day notice to terminate your tenancy.
For the record, we are not attorneys. Laws are often ambiguous and open to interpretation. In fact we initially felt it was a violation of the MRL to give only one 7 day notice followed by a 60 day notice. We were incorrect! So if you receive a notice, you would be wise to consult with an attorney. Do not believe everything you read from management! Get some advice. And if you are being intimidated or threatened and you believe the park is misstating the MRL, please call CoMO-LAC. We can direct you to an attorney who knows mobilehome law. If you don’t, you could be evicted from the park and/or lose your mobilehome. We will write about an injunction, Section 798.88, 60 day notices, and Rules and Regulations in our next newsletter. This issue is too big for just one issue of THE VOICE. (TO BE CONTINUED)