April 10, 2013 | Blog
| Mark Alpert
The California State Senate is once again considering a bill to amend the state mobilehome park subdivision conversion law, Government Code Section 66427.5. Senate Bill 510 would give local governments the ability to deny conversions which are not supported by a majority of tenants and to allow local governments to adopt their own “conversion ordinances.” If SB 510 passes, it could put an end or dramatically slow down the conversion of mobilehome parks to resident ownership. SB 510 is an affront to the property rights of park owners and will ultimately result in the dramatic loss of affordable housing.
Click Here to view the Hart, King & Coldren letter prepared in opposition to SB 510.
Click Here to view a sample letter to send to California State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, chair of the Housing and Transportation Committee in opposition to SB 510.
March 27, 2013 | Blog
| Mark Alpert
The Huntington Beach City Council avoided the embarrassment of going to trial on contempt of court charges over their processing of Pacific Mobile Home Park’s subdivision conversion application by entering into a settlement which ended the dispute.
You might recall the City fought the subdivision “conversion” application of Pacific for years. Pacific had to file a lawsuit, which the City not only aggressively defended, even utilizing “strong arm” tactics, such as bringing a cross-complaint seeking immediate physical removal of homes owned by park tenants who were claimed to be “trespassing” in an unused City right of way. The City initially lost its battle over the subdivision in July 2012, when an Orange County Superior Court judge reversed the City’s denial of the application and ordered the City to reconsider the application. That prompted the City Council to approve the Application in November 2012.
In December 2012, a newly elected City Council, voted to reconsider the Application, purporting to rescind the prior approval, with no notice to the Park Owner. We succeeded in getting an emergency order not only invalidating the City Council’s vote, but also barring the City Council from reconsidering the Application. Later in the month the City Council voted to “re-affirm” the prior vote they had taken to reconsider the application, with only one City Council Member voting no. It was after that vote that Superior Court Judge Luis Rodriguez granted an order setting a contempt trial ― the City Council members would have to stand trial for criminal contempt of court for violating a court order.
The City Council abandoned reconsideration of the subdivision application rather than deal with a potential criminal trial. The effect of the vote was to finalize the approval of the subdivision. The City also entered into an agreement with Pacific to dismiss the cross-complaint.
The California State Senate is currently considering revisions to Government Code § 66427.5 in the form of SB 510, which would enhance the ability of local government to block mobilehome park conversions Judging by the actions of many local governments even without this authority, this change would be very bad news for park owners. The actions of the City of Huntington Beach are a prime example. While local governments have continued to fight the limitations of Government Code § 66427.5, this case illustrates that courts have enforced those limitations. Park owners should support the efforts of WMA, MHET and similar organizations to fight changes to the subdivision law.
September 16, 2011 | Blog
| C. William Dahlin
Mobilehome park owners naturally want to have their parks fully insured when outside parties are performing services. Many parks also require residents to name the park as an additional named insured in the individual tenant’s homeowner insurance policy.
However, many park owners are under the mistaken belief that simply being provided a certificate of insurance by a contractor or a resident is sufficient. Beware! A certificate of insurance is NOT identical with being provided documentation that the park is, in fact, an additional named insured. Frequently a certificate of insurance is nothing more than confirmation that the contractor or resident has insurance. When asking for proof of insurance, please review the documentation provided carefully to be sure it actually sets forth that the park is an additional named insured.
August 26, 2011 | Blog
| Mark Alpert
It is hard to say what is more surprising, that the Yucaipa Rent Review Commission approved a large rent increase for Yucaipa Village – a total increase of about $93.00 per month – or that the residents did not appeal. The residents of Yucaipa Village were represented by YMRA (the Yucaipa Village Mobilehome Residents Association), which has been led for years by Len Tyler. Len Tyler actually lives in Yucaipa Village, which makes it even more surprising YMRA did not appeal. Then again, Mr. Tyler was keenly aware of the results of prior appeals he has pursued on behalf of other parks. The appeals were denied or, if approved, reversed by the Courts, ultimately resulting in a larger rent increase to compensate the park owners for the cost of the appeal.
YMRA once again hired an attorney and accounting expert to represent the residents at the hearing, no doubt at substantial expense. It was to no avail. In fact, we convinced the Rent Review Commission to make rulings excluding from any consideration much of their expert’s opinions, as well as Mr. Tyler’s “expert” testimony. Some of the residents of Yucaipa may be wondering whether the contribution to YMRA is serving them well. In difficult economic times, it may be that the citizens of Yucaipa will start to wonder whether rent control serves them well.
The increase of $93.00 for 82 spaces translates to an increased annual net operating income for the Park of about $91,500, which equates to over 1.3 million added park value, assuming a 7 percent capitalization. Not a bad cost-benefit decision particularly since the park owner was allowed to recover the costs of the application. Yucaipa Village was represented throughout the hearing process by Mark Alpert of Hart, King & Coldren.
August 10, 2011 | Blog
Hart, King & Coldren is proud to announce they have created a new group on LinkedIn called “California Mobile Home Park Industry Members.” Our group is committed to furthering beneficial discussions for California mobile home park owners, managers and industry members with relevant information regarding legal issues, new laws, rent control, residency documents, subdivisions, failure to maintain and other issues facing the industry.
If you are a current LinkedIn member, please join us and discuss hot topics with fellow industry members.
Thought you may find this article interesting. You should be proud of what you have accomplished. There is a referendum pending in Oceanside that pertains to its new full vacancy decontrol ordinance.
WMA Convention & Expo – Las Vegas, Nevada
October 11-13, 2011
“Evictions, Injunctions and Beyond” will be presented by noted mobilehome community lawyer, Rob Coldren of Hart, King & Coldren at the Annual WMA Convention & Expo on
Tuesday, October 11th from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rob’s seminar will demonstrate a step-by-step, hands-on, results oriented use of forms and techniques to get your rent, get rid of or stop the “bad apple” tenants, and protect your rights against mobilehome lien holders that abandon their mobilehomes after the tenant leaves. Learn how to do it the right way, the easy way and with minimal use of lawyers. A must attend seminar for managers, hands-on park owners and management companies. Rob Coldren has been an Industry “go to” lawyer for 30 years. His firm represents community owners throughout the western states. Try to find a community legal issue Rob has not dealt with! For more information, please visit www.wma.org.
July 12, 2011 | Blog
| Robert Coldren
Don’t shoot the messenger! The Feds are at it again with new requirements for our industry. An operator of a master meter gas or small propane system, such as those used at mobilehome parks, must develop and implement a written plan that addresses the integrity of gas and propane pipeline systems by August 2, 2011. Inspectors from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will review begin to review said plans during routine inspections of your gas pipeline system.
The plan must include several elements:
A. Knowledge of System Infrastructure
B. Identify Threats to Pipeline
C. Evaluate and Prioritize Risks to Pipelines
D. Identify and Implement Corrective Actions to Minimize Risks
E. Measure Performance, Monitor Results and Evaluate Effectiveness of Plan
F. Periodic Evaluation and Improvement
G. Report of Results
Park owners may want to contact your utility service provider for assistance in developing this written plan. Park owners can also call the CPUC at 213-576-7020 for more information how this program impacts your park or feel free to give Rob Coldren of HKC a call at 714-432-8700.