Sunday, August 23, 2009

California Mobile Home Parks: What is a SHAM Conversion?

Want to know more about "Sham Conversions" of Mobile Home Parks? Research this site:

An online article caught my eye this morning, thought it was worth led me to find out more about "Sham Conversions". Sadly, there are some predatory Mobile Home Park Owners (many anonymous owners hide behind LLC's) who are trying to, literally, steal the equity right out from under seniors and others who have purchased their homes, so we are home owners, but the home resides on someone else's land. We are all willing to pay rent, we knew that when we purchased our homes. However, we did not know we might be subject to lawful bullying and the outright theft of our equity!

The article I refer to is "ESCONDIDO: Proposed rule changes anger mobile-home park residents, landlords. Could new policies jeopardize rent control?"

I read many responses to this article from people who do not understand that mobile home owners are a captive audience; we are at the mercy of park owners since they have a monopoly on us...we have NO CHOICE but to pay their rent increases, some mercilessly high, be protected by local "rent control", or leave our homes and give up our equity...who can we sell to if the rent is so high we cannot pay it. Park owners buy us out for a pittance of the home's value, then rent them out, fix them up for staggering resale profits, or have them hauled out to be replaced with brand new double or triple wides so they can "Maximize their ROI" (return on investment).

From what I can comprehend from the article I referred to here, if a single mobile home owner purchases the property under their home in a mobile home park that resides in a county or city in California that provides "rent control", the rent control protection is null and void for the rest of the residents of that mobile home park. Does that make sense? NO, but that is the way it is right now. This is what some park owners are trying to force on the residents who own their homes. Many, many, are owned by your grandparents,your aunts, uncles, other relatives who NEED affordable housing to survive.

Resident owned parks are a different matter. The residents purchase the ENTIRE park from the owners, split the costs and maintain upkeep, etc. There are several companies (some owned by attorneys) who will help residents through the purchase process. However, sham conversions do not help the residents in any way that I have been able to see...most seniors aren't too interested in purchasing their park unless they can see the advantage of doing so. The "Sham Scammers" are trying to sell a small patch of ground for a maximum profit and still own the park so they can continue to charge monthly tithings for maintenance of roads, utilities, clubhouse, pools, etc. and bust rent control. Research and see for yourself...comments invited!

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