Many homeowners have heard their manager make such a statement, especially those residents who are not willing to accept the “status quo” and have questioned management’s actions and authority. But just what are the connotations of such a statement?
Moving is Expensive
Moving costs can run as high as $15,000 to $20,000 depending on the size of your unit and how far it is being moved. That’s a considerable chunk of money to anyone.
Where Do You Move It To?
Another important aspect of moving is where will you move your home? Most parks will only take new and newer homes. They will not accept older homes. And most parks are full, i.e. they have no empty spaces. How much is your home worth if it is not located in a park on a space? Try ZERO! Your home has no value if not on a park space.
What About Selling?
About the only option left, if you move out of the park, is to sell your home; however that option is fraught with hurdles. Hurdle #1: Parks love to give a laundry list of items that “must be upgraded” if the home is to remain in the park. Often times more than one laundry list and near the closing of your escrow. Hurdle #2: Parks must approve buyers. This, in our opinion, gives way too much power to park owners and managers. We often hear of all cash buyers, with good credit, being rejected. Remember the story (MHMag November 2013) about the park that required a 850 credit score!
Of course we are not saying all parks do this. But there are a significant number that do. Why do managers harass, and intimidate? Why do they make it difficult to sell your home? Why do they have all these conditions? It is simple. The answer is MONEY! They want you to walk away from your home and give the keys to your manager, i.e. just give your home to the park. And in fact hundreds of residents have actually walked away. Either they couldn’t take the harassment, abuse and intimidation, or they couldn’t pay the rent. The latter is termed “economic eviction.” It is happening more and more as rents go higher and higher.
Loss of Rent Control
Did you know, if you live in an area having a Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), the control is on the home. That means if you move the home, the control is lost on that space, i.e. the park can increase the next resident’s rent without limit. The park makes out several ways: profits on the sale of the new home, and a higher rent means greater profits which means the value of the park increases, as it is based on the profit margin.
So What Can You Do?
First of all, be aware. We have often written you are most vulnerable when selling your home. Be aware what the park can do and can’t do.
The park can’t use the situation of selling to dump a “to do” list on you. If your home isn’t up to code, the park should make you aware of that situation “as it happens.” Otherwise it is obvious they are trying to interfere with your sale.
The buyer approval process should be done quickly and efficiently. If it results in a denial, that must be in writing with a reason. It can’t be done to stall the process.
What Recourse Do You Have?
Of course the usual approach is hiring an attorney; however that can be a long, expensive undertaking with no guarantee that you will win.
Another approach is shining a light on these practices. Contact MHMag and put an article in MHMag. You need not give your name.
We are continue to work on solutions. If you have something that has worked, please let us know. After all, MHMag is about homeowners helping homeowners. Stay tuned!