MANAGEMENT ABUSE CONTINUES

Over the last year or so, we have been writing about “management abuse.”  In fact one of our first articles was about Senator Dunn’s hearing of October 2004.  Just ask yourself, “Are residents in your park subject to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, retaliation, or other abuses by management?  Are there issues such as interference of sales, removal of older mobile homes, closure of common areas, etc.” Unfortunately many would say “Yes!”   And this has been going on for years.  In fact Senator Dunn held a similar hearing on “management abuse” over 13 years ago.  So why hasn’t any organization taken a stand against such abuse?  Why hasn’t someone finally said:  “It’s time we did something about this serious issue.”

In fact the Action Coalition for Manufactured-Home Owners (ACMO) group has been working hard to make sure managers are educated.  The “education” bill has not faired well in Sacramento. Often, however, it is what managers know rather than what they don’t know that allows them to continue this abuse.  More than likely they are counseled regarding just how far they can push the envelope.

And it’s about time we all started holding management accountable for their actions.”   Why hasn’t anyone “drawn a line in the sand?”

Perhaps a partial solution to this serious problem is a “code of ethics for management.”  Why not write a Code of Ethics,  publish and display it in common areas of parks for all to see?  A Code that will protect our investments and ensure OUR RIGHTS to privacy, respect, courtesy and dignity.  We should not have to worry about arbitrary or unlawful termination of tenancy and park rules and regulations should be reasonable and enforced in an equitable and forthright manner.

Should CoMO-CAL write such a Code, or some other advocacy group?  We desperately need some guidelines to stop management abuses!  Let’s take the time to put down on paper what protections we want to protect us from abuses!  And then hold management accountable!

So what do you think, does this sound like something we should do?  And should we really hold management accountable?   We think your answers should be a YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!

There may be a better approach to this problem.  What if managers wrote the Code of Ethics instead of an advocacy group?  That should guarantee they follow it to the letter, right?  After all they wrote it!  Well look no farther than Page 11 of this issue—the Code of Ethics of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA).

(We have written about the WMA in several newsletters.  WMA is the “park owners” group that lobbies in Sacramento, opposing many proposed laws that would protect us.  We understand about 37% of park owners belong, which means about 1700 parks total.  What does this mean?  It means that the WMA is a very strong group.  They are most likely behind many efforts across the state of California – the fight to eliminate rent control, the removal of “active” mobile home owners from parks, efforts to curtail our first amendment right to distribute literature of interest to mobilehome   owners without management approval, interference of sales, etc.  So what do you think?  The WMA Code of Ethics is available for all to read, please take the time to read it carefully.  Highlights of their Code of Ethics are:

  • Residents can expect recognition of their rights to privacy, respect, courtesy and dignity.
  • A goal of management is to serve the needs of the community.
  • Management will provide for responsible relationships between resident and resident.
  • Management pledges to be available to residents, to be receptive to their constructive suggestions and to provide factual information.
  • Management pledges to enforce rules and regulations in an equitable and forthright manner.
  • Management pledges that residents shall be free of worry of arbitrary or unlawful termination of tenancy.
  • Management pledges full support of the laws.

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Surely the WMA and their managers have an obligation to live up to each point they make! Below are some issues that exist in many parks today.  Are they upholding their own Code? You be the judge.

  • The manager is abusive and threatening. The manager often uses the “E” word – I’ll evict you…
  • The manager goes around spying, making notes about us and our property. Sometimes they take photographs. They come on our property without our permission.
  • The manager confronts residents and is argumentative.
  • The manager does not manage. Reasonable rules and regulations are not enforced (such as yard maintenance).  If there is enforcement, it is usually not equitable.
  • The clubhouse is locked and residents only access is through the park process of “reservations” two weeks in advance.
  • The clubhouse is locked, but there is a sign stating that it is available from 8am to 9pm.
  • Complaints or suggestions are met with retaliation.
  • Management won’t intervene in resident/resident issues. Even though rules and regulations are being violated.

Help us with our list of abuses.  Send us any manager abuses you observe in your own park.           We welcome your comments and suggestions.