It has been one and a half years since we first wrote about advocate Paul Masminster (photo) and his group Save Our Souls (SOS)(Mobilehome Magazine Volume 2 Number 6 November / December 2012). In that issue we wrote:
Paul Masminster, a resident of Royal Western Mobile Home Park and former COMO-CAL Vice President, has been fighting his park’s management company, Sierra Management & Kort and Scott, for over 10 years. He organized a resident’s group called Save Our Soles (SOS)and has been documenting park issues for several years- taking over 3,000 photos, keeping a time log, and having a paper trail of years of correspondence with his park management and owner.
Now he has recruited the attorney group Endemen, Lincoln, Turek and Heater of San Diego and they have filed a lawsuit to be heard in a Los Angeles Superior Court. They are in the interrogatory phase today.
Among the issues contained in the lawsuit are: a) management not following park rules and regulations b) failure to maintain affecting park appearance c) inability to sell homes d) electrical problems e) sewer problems f) fear tactics and intimidation and several more.
So what does SOS want? They want control of the settle ment, they want Sierra Management out, they want 50% of their rent over the last 4-5 years returned to them, they want rents rolled back to $800/month, they want all items mentioned in the lawsuit repaired, no more RV’s, and a management company that complies to all state and federal laws. You can contact Mr. Masminster through MHMag
Going To Court
Finally SOS has a court date of June 11, 2014 in Torrance. Sierra Management has made an offer to settle, but residents didn’t accept it so the dispute will be decided in court.
This is not the first time residents have sued Kort and Scott. In the first lawsuit in 2006, again led by Masminster, residents won a $1.4 million award.
Royal Western MHP Gets One Star
The following was recently posted on YELP. We have edited it slightly to make it more understandable.
The park is nice as far as quiet and near a nice residential area. The pool area is decent. What is outrageous is the SPACE RENT! If you purchase a mobile home directly from the park, the space rent begins low. If you purchase from an individual seller then you take over their space rent and the park goes up, up, and up.
The owners of mobile homes cannot sell their homes because no one in their right mind would take over such a huge space rent. In effect, the park tries to squeeze the owners of the home out. When the owners can no longer afford space rent, they move out and give the home to the park. I smell a rat here, don’t you?
My kids are currently paying $1600 per month after living here two years! They live in a single wide 1960 mobile home that they gutted and remodeled inside. They own it free and clear but now the park is choking them rent-wise. The park has increased their rents almost $300 in two years. Their friend bought a double wide mobile home directly from the park and pays $800 per month space rent! Doesn’t a double-wide take more space than a single-wide? These owners need to be sued until they have no room to squirm!!!! Karla A., TORRANCE
Kort & Scott / Sierra Management
We do not know exactly, but Sierra Management is involved with many Mobilehome parks here in California. And we believe several are experiencing similar problems as found at Royal Western.
One option for residents is to network all Sierra Management parks. This shouldn’t be that difficult. Here is a list of parks we believe are managed by Sierra: Continental MHP, Santa Ana, Granada Villa, Canyon Country, Royal Oak in Davis, Olympia Glade in Grass Valley, Tustin Village in Tustin, Rio Vista in Anaheim, Hollydale in Brea, Corona West in Corona, Thunderbird in Garden Grove, Vista Diablo in Antioch, Mobileaire in Corona, Arrowhead in Glendora, Glenair in Glendora, Emerald Meadows in Antelope, and Bayshore Villa in Redwood City.
If you are in one of these Sierra Management parks, contact Mobilehome Magazine and we will connect you with others interested in organizing.
We wish Paul Masminster and his group good luck in their lawsuit. Hopefully the win in San Jose will help also. We will update this situation in future issues of Mobilehome Magazine. Stay tuned. GOOD LUCK SOS