This issue focuses primarily on Enforcement of the law and the need for you to be involved. Also the June 3rd election is fast approaching, tell all voters – NO on 98, YES on 99.
We hope you share this issue with your friends and neighbors. They need to be involved also.
The Threats. The threats are real. You know this if you’ve been reading THE VOICE. Threats to rent control—AB1309 and Proposition 98 (the Jarvis Initiative).
Other threats occur daily in many parks—interference of sales, out of control managers, failure to maintain, unfair business practices, harassment, intimidation, etc. Too numerous to count!
Is New Legislation “The Solution”?
We think not! GSMOL’s focus has been and continues to be on new legislation; however legislation is at best a partial solution. New legislation usually focuses on new issues—like condo conversions. It is a reaction to an action by the park owners. It is defensive.
A new law becomes part of the civil code (MRL, Title 25). Laws must be ENFORCED to be effective, i.e. if a law is not enforced, it is NOT AN EFFECTIVE LAW.
A simple test: are you happier in your park today, than you were 5 years ago? Or 10, or 20? We think not. In fact, we believe there are more problems today than ever before. Stop and think about it. Has this focus on legislation really helped us?
Enforcement of civil code laws, like the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL), requires an attorney who understands the MRL, a pot full of money, and time. And parks have attorneys who are very well paid and good at what they do. This is what every mobilehome owner is up against. When mobilehome owners are not willing to step up and enforce the law, park may be more motivated to disregard the law because there is “no downside.” For example, when a park interferes with sales of our homes, they stand to make lots of money and lose very little if they are sued.
From a residents point of view, often the last resort is to retain an attorney and go to Superior court. The cost could be thousands of dollars, and the outcome is not guaranteed to favor resident. If the resident loses, he could also have to pay the costs of the park attorney! This simple fact often stops mobilehome owners from suing their park owner.
Some mobilehome owners tell us about their experiences with attorneys: “I’ve called the attorney and he is not interested.” The attorney wouldn’t return my call.” “The attorney wanted $10,000 as a retainer.” “I feel the attorney did not offer me a reasonable response, considering I had asked for nothing for free, but had offered to send him some material evidence and pay him for his time to go over it and just tell me my options.”
Although we do have a list of qualified attorneys, often times it is extremely difficult to find one you can afford, and one who is both qualified and willing to take your case. If you have had good experiences with an attorney, please let us know!