VALLE  VERDE COURTYARD, CHATSWORTH                                                                                                A Perfect Example How We Can Work Together

On September 1st, we started receiving calls from CoMO-CAL members in Valle Verde who had received seven-day notices.  Although some “violations” listed were reasonable, others were not.  In less than 24 hours we had found a whopping 174 out of 184 spaces had received notices 122 notices required residents to paint their homes, in seven days, using a color scheme recommended by the park, at a cost of $1500 or more. As we have seen in the past, the park delivered notices late on a Friday afternoon, prior to a three day holiday weekend, so residents had NO CHANCE to discuss their notice with management until the following Tuesday (4 days later and 4 days closer to eviction).  And ALL notices contained the following threat to take their spaces: “Failing to comply with this notice, legal proceedings will be commenced against you to recover the premises and possibly TREBLE RENTS AND DAMAGES.  You are required to adhere to the VALLE VERDE COURTYARD rules and regulations.  You are required to conform within seven days.”

Not unexpectedly, Valle Verde is a WMA (Western Manufactured Communities Association) park, which means the park owner belongs to WMA, as do approximately 1700 parks across the state of California.  WMA has a strong network and advises their member parks.  Although the park could have accomplished their goal in a much more friendly, “let’s do it together” way, they chose this legal, but very threatening approach. Perhaps their goal was not as much park cleanup as mass evictions!  Of course the manager denied  that this had anything to do with evictions.  Don’t be fooled, seven day notices can lead to eviction.

Richard Ramirez, Mobile Home Park Task Force Member and CoMO-CAL representative, immediately distributed fliers calling for a general meeting of all residents. Over 50% of the park attended. During the meeting,
we did give information about the consequences of seven day notices, and suggested that residents organize a “residents committee” before trying to deal with any issues. Seven brave residents stepped forward.  The next day CoMO-CAL and the residents committee met.  Assignments were made, priorities established, and the next general meeting was scheduled three days later. One priority was to get more than 50% membership in the park, After 10 short days, the association has a membership of over 45%!  CONGRATULATIONS! A second priority was to work to see that not one resident was evicted.  Their UNITY seems to be working.  Management says all but four residents are complying and as of September 12th  no one has received a second notice.

Our attorney, Mr. Stuart Parker, was consulted on several occasions.  He suggested residents take “before and after” photos, and work on the easier, less expensive violations first, showing the park that they are cooperating.  He also advised us that “painting” should not be a park violation, unless required by a local ordinance or state statute.  We believe there is no such ordinance or statute.  If the park continues to force residents to paint, and threatens evictions, Mr. Parker may step in.

One final note.  It is extremely stressful when anyone receives a notice threatening eviction.   And seven day notices can  result in the loss of  your home!  Where else in America does this happen?  Some parks continue to demonstrate they want to evict us and take our homes.  Valle Verde residents are stepping up to the challenge and CoMO-CAL is there to support.  And they intend to picket to make their community aware of this serious issue. Let’s unite and fight this together.  YOU ARE making a difference.

You can do this in your park also! Read the article on the next page.  You need to stand up for your rights.  You need to demand respect. Although Mobile Home Parks are private property, YOU ARE AN AMERICAN.  You DO have rights!  And CoMO-CAL will support your fight