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Manufactured Home Residents Considering Lawsuit

October 19th, 2016 Comments off
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Rolling Acres residents discuss their options. Credit: Mindy Ragan Wood, Red Dirt Report.

A Shawnee, Oklahoma manufactured home community is in flux after a series of missteps.

According to Red Dirt Report, a number of residents of the Rolling Acres Mobile Home Park were outraged recently when they received a 60-day eviction notice. They are considering a lawsuit after Shawnee attorney Kent Massey invited them to discuss their legal options.

The story begins in March, when Red Dirt Report found that the community’s lagoon was overburdened with too many residents on the system. It was leaking less than a mile from the North Canadian River.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) received complaints and served the owner, Stephen H. Sanders, with a consent order requiring the lagoon system be fixed in order to continue operations of the community.

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Credit: Wikipedia.

According to records, 59 homes are connected to the lagoon system.

But under current standards, it is only designed to accommodate 15 homes.

Late last week, 34 of 59 homes were served eviction notices. Only those who owned their homes were served.

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Top of the Rolling Acres lagoon. Credit: Mindy Ragan Wood, Red Dirt Report.

According to the Red Dirt Report, homeowners were surprised to learn that people who were renting their homes from Sanders were allowed to stay. Many of those rental units were said to be in disrepair, but the rent collection on homes can be as high as $500.

Homeowners are only paying $165 in lot rent.

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Stephen H. Sanders. Credit: SBH Auditors.

I don’t like doing it. There doesn’t seem to be any way out of it so that’s why they have to move their trailer [sic], said Sanders.It’s one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make. In fact, I’m about to retire and I was counting on that trailer park [sic] as a significant part of my retirement.

Sanders contends that while he takes responsibility for the condition of the lagoon, the same number of residents on the system were the same number as when he bought it 11 years ago.

The View from Homeowners

Up until recently, manufactured home buyers have been allowed to move onto the property, unaware of the issues with the lagoon.

Whitney Kucera and her partner, Robert Vanzant moved onto the property in June.

We paid $20,000 to buy it and fix it up, cash,” said Vanzant.

We had a settlement from a DUI accident,” said Kucera who used the cash to pay for the residence.

Now we don’t have anything. And I’m trying to get my kids back from DHS. How am I going to do that without a house? We don’t have anything left,” said Vanzant.

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Rolling Acres. Credit: Google.

Other residents point to deteriorating water quality.

When you take a shower, it burns your eyes,” said Courtney Armstrong. “And the water smells like sewage.

Sherita Chaffin has MS, a heart condition, and COPD. “The water is so nasty. I got a bacterial infection and had to go to the ER. They told me, ‘Stay away from that well water,” Chaffin said.

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Residents at Rolling Acres. Credit: KOKH.

In addition to the challenges with sanitation, many residents face another issue. Most residents agree to a rent-to-own purchase of the home and therefore are responsible for all repairs. The local media didn’t address the question if the rent-to-own program is Dodd-Frank compliant.

Many don’t stay long enough to pay for the home, so their units,  go largely unrepaired and end up in worse condition for the next rent-to-own buyer.

With the hope of home ownership, residents often decide to pay it off and then fix it up. Others purchased their homes from Sanders outright or moved the homes onto property they may purchase.

What Happens Next

As for Sanders, who also owns Pine Ridge – another community in nearby Meeker that has also had issues with lagoon usage – he’s trying to figure out the next steps with Rolling Acres, including selling the property.

It’s not something he says he wants to do. He’s retiring this week.

I couldn’t borrow $500,000 from the bank because I’m retiring. The issue isn’t just looking out for my selfish self, but what am I going to do without that retirement? The last thing I wanted to do was reduce the number of users in that park because it affects me financially,” he said.

According to the DEQ, selling would not make the issue go away.

No change in the ownership or corporate status of respondents will affect respondent’s responsibilities under this order.

Sanders points to what, in his mind, are moving targets in dealing with the DEQ.

They regularly inspect it (lagoon),” said Sanders. “I thought everything was fine, everything’s going smooth, everybody’s happy. So, I didn’t ask any questions. Slowly over the last two years they’ve changed their regulations and unfortunately they’ve gotten a lot stricter.” ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Sunrise Manufactured Home Community will see Upgrades without RVs

October 23rd, 2014 Comments off

liberty_homes__creditAccording to sidneyherald,  Robert Emery’s application to update his Sunrise Mobile Home Park in Richland County, Montana has been approved by the Richland County Commissioners.

Recreational vehicles (RVs) will be banned from the community which will have 19 manufactured homes with 20 feet between each unit, a turnaround area for emergency vehicles, identification signs and sufficient lighting for public safety.

While Emery had some Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issues he needed to address, he also wanted to take advantage of new legislation dealing with owning buildings on his own property that he could then lease. Electrical outlets previously used by RVs would be for electric cars and semi trucks.

MHProNews  has learned the commissioners have given Emery two years to complete the updates. ##

(Photo credit: Liberty Homes)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com(Submitted by Matthew J. Silver to the Daily Business News-MHProNews)

“From Moscow, with Love?” Lawsuit advances against Manufactured Home Community Owner

August 22nd, 2014 Comments off

klewtv-moscow-pullman-idaho-smyrna-mhpark-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-Residents of Syringa Mobile Home Park near Moscow-Pullman, Idaho have been in a struggle that bubbled up over their need for drinkable water and other issues. This began last winter, and resident Doris Carlson told KREM News that “I have wept an awful lot because I am tired of living like this.”

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) had issued a warning to the park’s owner, Magar E. Magar, to address alleged violations regarding its drinking water and wastewater systems. Community residents were told in January not to drink the water there, even if it was boiled. So Carlson melted snow on her stove top to have drinkable water. A local church provided residents in the community with bottled water.

Carlson said then, “I have no way to flush my commode right now. The odor in the house is pungent. It’s disgusting.” When contacted by a local media outlet, Magar said the residents had water and reportedly hung up, perhaps due to concerns over the pending legal issues.

While DEQ lifted the ban on the water, they notified Magar that the system was still out of compliance with the state’s standards. Lawyers from the University of Idaho’s Legal Aid Clinic stepped in to file a civil action on behalf of the residents.

In July, the owner of the community was told not to contact the residents, On August 18, Latah County Second District Judge John Stegner denied a defense motion seeking additional time to prepare for a hearing scheduled Aug. 27. DNEWs tells MHProNews that Attorney Greg Rauch took on the case for Magar several weeks ago. Magar had been representing himself prior to Rauch’s appearance in the class action case. ##

(Editor’s Note: While we as a publisher are never providing legal advice nor asserting the applicability of the information linked below, MHProNews has published two articles on the topic of failure to maintain by attorneys. One is linked here, authored by attorney Bill Hart, JD, from the Hart-King law firm. Another was by penned by David E Eastman, JD, linked here.)

(Photo credit: KLEWTV)

Community Needs Infrastructure Repairs

July 19th, 2012 Comments off

The LansingStateJournal reports Moon Lake Estates MHC between Bath and Perry Michigan needs major water and sewer improvements following a power failure and two water main breaks that has led to a notice from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for residents to boil water. The community’s license was revoked in 2009 by the Manufactured Housing Commission for safety and signage violations, and is now facing water quality violations for failing to submit samples for testing. Moon Lake owner Steve Raleigh, who bought the property in 2010, says he inherited many problems when he purchased the community, which has only 30 tenants out of 105 home sites, and has been unable to obtain financing to make the needed repairs. He says he has demolished abandoned homes and made improvements. MHProNews has learned DEQ’s Stan Wurfel says the immediate goal is to restore quality water, and that grants may be available for infrastructure repairs.

(Photo credit: Mark Mayes/LansingStateJournal)

Oregon DEQ Taking Comments on Palm Harbor Air Permit

November 23rd, 2010 Comments off

The Democrat-Herald reports that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is inviting written comments from the public concerning the proposed renewal of an air quality permit for Palm Harbor Homes in Millersburg.  The company is requesting renewal of its air permit with no changes. DEQ has determined that Palm Harbor’s facility does not violate any air emission standards. Written comments are due December 10.

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