Posts Tagged ‘Moscow ID’

NPR’s Syringa Mobile Home Park Story, Revisited by Community Owner

January 23rd, 2017 No comments

In the NPR story, the blame is on the community owner, tenants, county, and state.  This failure is across-the-board and does not represent the industry as whole, but is a growing problem that needs to be addressed when communities are used for investment purposes by those who don’t know what they are doing.

  • There is no excuse for the manufactured home community owners’ absence in managing his property.
    • Public utilities and infrastructure needs to be addressed.
    • It should be noted that with old infrastructure, you are going to have water line breaks and rare system failures. Many can be avoided, but some can be unknowable in advance.  Redundancy and daily inspections help prevent system failures.
    • The owner may not have the revenue to repair systems, and may need to tap utilities into local public water and wastewater systems.
  • Where is the tenant accountability?  Homes are personal property (unless units are rentals), and there is trash and debris everywhere in the photos from Syringa Mobile Home Park, in Moscow, ID.
  • Judging by the state of a many of the homes in the photos; they should be repaired, demoed, and/or replaced.  By allowing the living conditions to exist, the owner becomes part of the problem.

Image credit, MHProNews. The headline and image are provided by the editor.

  • If homes are being left and are personal property, the county should be responsible with the community owner/tenant to remove homes. ##

Tom Fath, co-owner, New Durham Estates.

Tom Fath | Operations Manager
New Durham Estates and Home Sales

Kelley Reacts, NPR’s “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream”

January 2nd, 2017 No comments

There are bad operators in every industry that disgrace themselves and their fellow industry members.  Presuming Syringa Mobile Home Park is as bad as these reports suggest, Mobile Home Park owners across the country will fully support government and tenant actions against the owner.  By all means, prosecute your actions against the owner.  Jail him.  The situation is bad for the tenants, the community, the park industry, government officials, and even the crappy owner/operator himself.  His park is probably now worth a fraction of what it would have been if maintained properly.   This is a lose-lose scenario.  And that’s why there are so few of these situations.

As a landlord, I pay money for maintenance, cleaning, upkeep, property beautification, water, sewer, waste management, property taxes…  All of these expenses are good for my tenants and my community.  Even presuming I’m a cold hearted, self-centered, evil capitalist, these expenditures are smart for me too.  My property investment is preserved, and maybe even enhanced.  My lender doesn’t call my loan and may even encourage me to borrow more money.  My insurance company will charge me lower premiums.  My tenants will be happy and pay rent.  And if I lose a tenant, I’ll have a new tenant eager to move in.  This is a win-win scenario.  And that’s why there are more like mine than like Syringa Mobile Home Park.


Regarding tenant owned parks, some like those put in place by ROC are indeed nice places that afford the owners a decent place to live.  However, it’s also a fact that housing projects that offer affordable housing like some manufactured home subdivisions (where the home owners also own the land) are generally worse kept, worse managed, and overall worse places to live compared to a Mobile Home Park (where a landlord owns the land).  In parks, a Lease requires that all tenants behave and keep their home site and home up to minimum standards.  The Park owner has an incentive to keep it nice.  In affordable home subdivisions, less stringent property management and behavior rules couple with less ability and fewer incentives to enforce them.  This results in less desirable places to live.  There’s no one with the time, money and incentives to manage all the residents in a manner that enhances the subdivision for all.

The NPR article is an interesting story about a bad landlord and unnecessary suffering by our fellow man.  However, it’s not an accurate depiction of typical Mobile Home Parks and owners across the country.   And its premise that land ownership by the Mobile Home Owner would universally solve issues like those in Syringa Mobile Home Park is simply wrong.

kurtkelleyjdpresidentmobileinsurance-postedindustryvoicesmanufacturedhousingindustrycommentarymhpronewsKurt Kelley
Typical Landlord

(Editor’s Note: the headline, photo and graphics above and to the left are provided by the publisher, the rest of the content are just as Kelley sent it to us for publication.  That said, Kelley is being a bit modest and perhaps tongue-in-cheek. Kelley is an attorney who operates an insurance agency that works with hundreds of manufactured home communities across the country.  So his observations as a landlord and as a highly informed professional are a pointed refutation of what NPR’s Daniel Zwerdling claims is typical. NPR responded to questions by MHProNews by saying that they stand by Zwerling’s report.  An update with link and additional information will be coming, so please check back to this post.)