Let’s Make All Rental Parks Illegal

Editor’s Note: Actually the following is not a letter to the editor, rather a post on a message board called Mobile Home Owners Forum (MHOF), a Yahoo Group formed in 2002. It was written by Jerry Lenhard, a long time advocate for MH owners, who lives in Escondido. I made a similar suggestion in page 6, Mobilehome Magazine – May/June 2012:
“So what is the ultimate solution? In my opinion, it is simple. All “rental” parks should be outlawed. Cities and counties should help residents PURCHASE these rental parks and eliminate this power struggle. Only attorneys are getting rich. Sure, pay the park owner fair compensation. But come on, mobilehome owners live in AMERICA. We are property owners too. Allow us the same rights as other AMERICANS!”
Any mobilehome owner can join this Yahoo group. There are about 100 members today and they are usually discussing current topics of interest to the mobilehome community.
The following is Jerry’s Post:
How about a bill that would make ALL rental parks illegal? The park owners would have a 5 year period to sell the park to residents, or the city,town, county where the park is located. The sale would be at the appraised value of the land ONLY, ala the “Midkiff v Honolulu” settlement over 20 years ago. The U.S. Supreme Court approved this settlement & Hawaii eliminated all their landowner/resident problems, as I understand it.
It’s been estimated that park owner lawsuits (against every locality that ‘’DARES” to pass rent-control protection) cost California taxpayers an estimated $20,000,000 annually & allows residents to be harassed/intimidated on a daily basis. Present laws, lobbied heavily by park owner groups, favor park owners; as corrupt legislators seem to abound. The lawsuits, paid for by park owner groups, cause any locality protecting residents,to defend themselves in court, at great local taxpayer expense. After several lawsuits, the “losing” park owners use this “legal cost”( to help residents) against incumbents running for local elections & encourages voters to vote for park owner candidates who then repeal or water down the local rent control ordinance. Since most localities/states are facing serious budget problems, eliminating these ongoing legal costs would save local taxpayers/residents untold millions & should be welcomed by all localities, residents etc.
We’ve had ongoing legislation for over 30 years & what’s been accomplished? I read here every day where the ongoing, DAILY, harassment/intimidation by park owners/managers just continues, day after day, year after year. Most laws passed that SEEM to help solve a resident problem, usually end up full of loopholes; in the park owner favor.
Prop 13 created this park owner monopoly, which even courts have found. No rental park has been built in over 30 years & NONE will be built again. How much proof do we need? Monopolies ARE illegal & have been, under Federal Law, for as long as we can remember.
Residents “seem” to win a battle here & there, but park owners undoubtedly are winning the war, in the end. It’s ironic that the parks are allowed to clutter up our courts with phony lawsuits & then are allowed to deduct their legal fees on their taxes. I discussed this with Senator Bill Craven before he passed & he thought it was “very interesting”. My argument was that these parks are “public nuisances”, in that they are a burden on taxpayers & cause harm,often irreparable, on seniors/elderly/low-income/disabled/ veterans etc. Taxpayers would NEVER support such damnable actions; if they only knew about it. Just think how many tens of millions of dollars taxpayers could save by eliminating mobilehome legislation, statewide traveling/meetings by legislators (many crooked) etc, etc. Many parks are little more than “legal” concentration camps” anyway.
Just my opinion. Jerry Lenhard, Escondido.

Are Mobile Home Parks Profitable?

Mobile Home Park Owners are continually scheming and campaigning to raise space rents, and not by just $5 or $10 more per space per month.
They claim that they are not making as much profit as they should and that their private property rights are being denied. It is, however, the resident/homeowner’s property rights that systematically being denied. After all, aren’t we all trailer trash and second class citizens?
My personal experience, which dates back to the late 90’s at Rancho Carlsbad, a 504 space park in Carlsbad, tells me otherwise. As a rental park, space rents were in the $800 per month range. While it’s true that the park owners were in bankruptcy, it had more to do with a recent 26 million dollar loan that was in default. No one knows where that money went, but it did not go into the park for operating expenses or for capital improvements as we were told.
After a struggle, the resident/homeowners succeeded in buying the park out of bankruptcy. The newly formed Homeowners Association established a fee of $200 per space per month. This fee provided for operational costs and a portion for establishing a Reserve Fund to meet future major infrastructure costs. Something we suspect Park Owners never do.
The math on this fairly simple. The rents previously brought in about $400,000 per month (504 x $800). Yet the new HOA monthly fees brought in $100,000 per month (504 x $ 200). The homeowners were able to operate the park for $100,000 per month versus the rental income of $400,000, that left $300,000 per month for profit. That is $3,600,000 a year. Sounds like a fair (?) amount of profit doesn’t it?
Recently, gathering some statistics for parks in San Marcos, we found that the seven resident/land owned parks with 1,280 homeowners were collecting about $962 per month in HOA fees. That is an average of $137.43 per space per month.
The ten rental/land lease parks with 2,277 spaces were paying approximately $5,085 in rent for an average of $508.50 per space. So, if we deduct the average HOA fee of $137.43 as representative of the cost of operation from the average rental of $508.50 per space, we come up with about $371.07 profit per space per month. Multiply the $371.07 by the 2,277 rental spaces and you have a profit of $844,926.39 collective profits each month. Extend that for a year and you have $10,139,116 annual profits or $1,013,912 profit per park. The best we can tell is that all 10 parks are owned by businesses or individuals in Los Angeles or Orange County, so these profits leave San Diego County.
As far as the information used in these calculations, we have used the only information available because the Park Owners do not divulge the amount of rent they are charging for each space. It is most likely under estimating the actual rental income, and therefore their profits. San Marcos with their seven resident/land owned parks and ten rental/land leased parks is only a microcosm of North San Diego County and the rest of the state. This treatise is not based on scientific research, but on logic and common sense. If the actual facts and figures were available, you would no doubt find that the Park Owners profits are far greater than San Marcos’s, which has rent control to help protect the mobile home owners.
Lloyd L. Rochambeau, President, Lakeview Mobile Estates Homeowners Association

We Are All Family

Dear Ms. Mary Jo Baretich, President of GMSOL
I’m a resident of Terry’s Mobile Home Park in Chula Vista and also President of our HOA. I know, as a reader of Mobile home Magazine ( MHMag), that GSMOL and MHMag, seem to be at odds for some reason? This is really unfortunate! As you are the two major supporters of home owners in mobile home parks in California, you must realize how important both organizations are to us in your respective and distinct roles! Frankly, we would like you to work together, solely focused on protecting, informing, and helping us home owners maintain a decent way of life in the parks!
Case in point, I serve on the Board of the CMHRA (Chula Vista Mobile Home Residents’ Association) and received GSMOL post cards from them to distribute, dealing with seeking the Governor’s signing on to SB510. It was short notice, and so I took the liberty of inserting them into our park’s copies of the MHMag! ( I am happy that the Governor did sign on!)
Then it hit me! If the post cards could have been delivered via Mobile Home Magazine with its large statewide distribution…wow, how many cards would have been on the Governor’s desk! (Also, using this venue would be a great place to solicit and increase GSMOL membership!
In Chula Vista we have 31 mobile/manufactured home parks and that adds up to around 3500 spaces. They are a combination of family and senior split about 50/50. I have noticed in the last several issues of the Californian, the representatives for South San Diego County have been omitted. Not sure WHY? The only ones listed are north and east. As in all areas, we are constantly bombarded with major and minor issues in our parks. Home owners are still fortunate here, just to have the CVMHRA,. But, we need to have our GSMOL Associate Managers back and listed! We want to be in your loop!
One more thought: Do what you do best, i.e continue to be our ever alert and hardworking force in Sacramento! In the meantime, we’ll continue supporting, and recommend supporting you, even though we are not a GSMOL chapter. We’ll build are own community associations, here! We’ll push to establish and strengthen our South San Diego County HOA’S. We’ll certainly promise to “keep you in our loop”. We are, after all is said and done, “family”!
Please, for the sake us continually embattled home owners, and, in the words of a now famous Californian, “can’t we just get along?”
Bill Schlegel, 677 G #64, Chula Vista, Ca. 91910