Unfortunately, some park owners are pushing mobilehome owners to the limit! At least two homeowners here in Chatsworth, one in Indian Hills and another in Chatsworth Imperial, were forced to retain an attorney in order to sell their mobilehome as the Mobilehome Residency Law allows. And this is just the tip of the iceberg and has probably been happening for years.Both mobilehome owners have come to CoMO-LAC. We advised them to retain an attorney. They both are using attorney David Pillemer in Sherman Oaks. As we have written before, the MRL states a mobilehome does not have to be moved from the park if it complies with Health and Safety codes. And this applies to the exterior portion of the home, not the interior. In one case, the Park backed down after a letter or two, but then the owner received a long list of “repairs” that the park required before the owner could sell. In fact lists of repairs at time of sale are a common occurrence. One real estate agent and CoMO-LAC member has told us that sometimes an owner gets 2-3 lists before the Park is satisfied—a technique that puts much stress on a sale and could result in no sale at all.In the other case, the one in Chatsworth Imperial, the manager told a senior in her 70’s that she had three choices: 1) move her mobilehome out of the park, 2) buy a new mobilehome (at the cost of perhaps $100,000) from the park and sell it, or 3) sell it and have the buyer move it. The manager further stated “If you buy a new mobilehome from us, you could sell it and get as much as you would if you sold your old mobilehome.” When she asked why she had to comply, the manager replied “Don’t you know how to read the MRL?” Please note this ladies mobilehome is a double wide in good condition, not a single wide most parks are trying to remove from their parks. THIS PRACTICE MUST STOP! Most of us have no clue what might happen when we go to sell. Life in our parks is made difficult enough by management. If a park wants to interfere with your sale there are several ways the park can make your life miserable. The park can decide not to let you sell and want you to remove your mobilehome, or the park may allow you to sell but make your buyer move your mobilehome. Here, locally, a manager pressured three owners by calling HCD to inspect their homes, and later sent these three residents letters. One stated “An inspection was requested by the owners of the Park on several homes recently. Yours was one of them and a copy of the findings (HCD health and safety violations) is attached.
There is an urgency regarding these Violations so as soon as possible please arrange to have them taken care of within 45 days of this date. We understand your home is for sale so we have to advise prospective buyers of the report from the HCD. These violations need to be taken into consideration by yourselves, your agent and any prospective buyer looking for approval to become a resident in our Park. The owners of the Park are upgrading the older homes as they become available for sale with new ones so if you wish to contact us regarding a possible sale for you on an ‘as is’ basis I can put them in touch with you.”So why do parks want us to remove our older mobilehomes? CoMO-LAC believes the bottom line is money. If the park can get you to remove your mobilehome and leave, they make out at least two different ways. First, if there was rent control, it goes with the mobilehome and the park owner can now charge anything he wants for the space rent. Secondly, they have a valuable space. In most areas there are no spaces for new mobilehomes. Supply and demand comes into play. If they put $100,000. into new mobilehome, they can make $30,000-$40,000 extra when they sell it. Easy, huh! This can happen to anyone who owns a single-wide mobilehome—even a double wide as was the case above. You need to know that the law DOES NOT GIVE THE PARKS THE RIGHT TO HAVE YOU MOVE YOUR MOBILEHOME! They must prove first that it does not meet Health and Safety codes, then give you a chance to bring it up to code. (We continue to research for inspectors who are honest and responsible – we will try to have links to them on the website and in the newsletter soon.) In another case, homeowners in Lancaster have retained an attorney because of excessive trash costs and lack of 90 day notice.