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Mobile Home Park threatens sick woman with eviction!


By Susan Luzzaro

Granada mobile estatesAn 83 year-old mother and her 60 year-old disabled son, who live in a mobile home park in south Chula Vista, have filed a civil lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court against Granada Mobile Estates, LLC and Dolly Newstrom the agent/park manager.

The complaint alleges breach of contract, housing discrimination, and civil rights violations.

The struggle between mobile home park owners and mobile home tenants has a long and bitter history in Chula Vista. In 2012 the city council voted to do away with rent control for mobile home residents, protection that had been in place since 1982. The council approved an amended ordinance which contained something called temporary vacancy decontrol; essentially, when a mobile home is sold, park owners can increase the space rent to market rate.

Mobile home owners have historically needed protection because as the city’s amended ordinance states, “The city council further finds that the unique nature of the ownership of a mobile home within a mobile home park makes mobile home owners particularly vulnerable to the threat of loss of their investment in their mobile home.” The ordinance elaborates on the difficulties of owning the home but not the land beneath it, and the expense to move the investment from one place to another.

The city also amended the ordinance to recognize “for the need of mobile home park owners to receive a just and reasonable return on their property.”

According to the complaint filed in February by Gladys Clark and Steven Clark, Chula Vista’s rent control ordinance “prohibits the increase in rent of the space when a resident owner of the mobile home passes away, provided there is another title owner still in residence.” As Gladys is elderly and her health is fragile—this part of the ordinance is key to her and her son’s future.

In 1988, the complaint states, Gladys and her late husband John entered into a rental agreement with Granada Mobile Homes, a park for seniors. In 2010, the couple’s son, Steven, moved in with them to act as caregiver. After a brief illness John passed away and Steven stayed on to give his mother “physical, emotional and financial support.”

In 2011 the complaint alleges, Gladys and Steven had a meeting with Dolly, the park manager, and they came to an agreement that Steven could remain in the park as a resident—not a guest—if his name was added to the mobile home title. The distinction is that guests must adhere to specific rules and pay additional fees.

In April 2011, the complaint continues–prior to the city ordinance change–Gladys and Steven went to the Department of Housing and Community Development and added Steven as a registered owner, and Stephen lived as a resident, without any of the strictures of a guest, from 2011 until January 2015.

Events, according to the complaint, took a new turn on January 15 when Gladys experienced a cardiac episode and paramedics were called to the park. Shortly after the incident, Gladys was served with a 7-day notice, which threatened terminating her tenancy if she did not register her son as a guest and sign a Permanent Guest Agreement.

The complaint alleges that defendants “realized during Gladys’ health scare in January that if Gladys were to pass away, the Defendants would have to honor Gladys’ rent under the pre-2012 rent control ordinance. The complaint alleges that the “defendants actions were motivated by greed and avarice.

Amy Lepine, attorney for the Clarks, said she sought to get this docketed sooner because normally in cases where the plaintiff is over 70 and has fragile health the complainant is given preference. However, she said the judge wanted additional information. Lepine is concerned because “living with the threat of eviction is driving Gladys Clark’s blood pressure through the roof.”

The Clarks still reside in Granada Mobile Home Park. Phone calls to park manager Newstrom were not returned.

5 comments on “Mobile Home Park threatens sick woman with eviction!

joepublic

I’ve read about the vulnerability of mobile home park tenants in our county. I wonder if this is an isolated incident in Chula Vista.

Jennifer Mavens

What a disgusting thing to do just after having a heart attack to threaten this poor woman with eviction. Their timing is indicative of extreme malice and I hope they get their butts handed to them by the judge. To brutalize an elderly woman in this way, and for what? For money? What can you possibly buy in this world that is worth causing another human being this kind of suffering? Whoever is responsible for this should be jailed for elder abuse and forced to register for life as an abuser. It makes me sick that people can get away with this. Name and shame!

Tom Rogers

Sounds like the mobile home park is trying to breach their own agreement which states the son is a resident after he added his name to the title. I don’t see what legal right the park has to require someone whose name is on title to register as a guest. The man lives there, has been living there, and shall continue to live there for the forseeable future. He’s not a guest, permanent or otherwise. Though the term ‘permanent guest’ is a contradicition in terms in and of itself. Let’s hope it all works out for this brave lady and her heroic son (caregivers get my utmost respect) during this difficult time, and that her health improves.

eastlaker

Sounds to me like this is a great opportunity to have the Ethics Committee of Chula Vista look into the situation.

Playing fast and loose with rules and regulations while someone is seriously ill is the mark of a very low operation. Kind of makes me feel sick myself to know there are people out there taking advantage of the elderly who are also ill.

I am no legal mind, but it looks like Elder Abuse to me!

Kay Kardian-Porter

After reading the above letter about the Granada Mobile Home Park it made me to write about my experience with this park. I submitted a bid for a mobile home at the Granada Park recently. I went to the office to get an application as required and was told that there was already an application submitted, well this is not what I am writing about I am just glad that I found out about the rules before going any further. I have a little 8 lb shi-shu and she is my companion. I asked the manager if I could put a little fence up for my little dog to protect her she said “oh no fences are not allowed” I said well how about a gate on the porch she said “oh no you have to keep your dog inside at all times. I asked he well where can she potty and she said you have to take her on Anita street for them to use the potty. I said you mean I have to put her in the car and park my car for my dog to potty on Anita street she said yes. I said how about walking my dog, she said no you are not allowed to walk your dog in the park either. I looked at her and shook my head and said no I will not live in this place with those kind of rules. I called my realistate person and told her to cancel my bid that I do not want to live there with such stupid rules. They allow dogs but the dog has to stay inside and can not go outside unless I take her in the car. Just thought I would let others know about this place.

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