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In this issue:

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Rent Control Under Siege People Power Published by the Coalition of Mobilehome Owners of California (COMO-CAL) Exclusively for Owners of Mobile/Manufactured Homes in California We Advocate to protect your rights, your lifestyle and your investment

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TABLE OF CONTENTS From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What is COMO-CAL & Why a Magazine? . . . Mobilehomes in Rental Parks - A Brief History Your Community - The San Fernando Valley . Local News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tips & Suggestions - L.A. R.S.O.. . . . . . . . Around California: Rent Control Under Siege Legal Corner - Nothing To Fear . . . . . . . . Advertising in Mobilehome Magazine . . . . You Can Help Us Get Advertising for MHMag People Power: September Meetings in SFV. . FAQ Handbook - You Must Have a Copy! . . . Getting Organized . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fund Raiser - Entertainment Book 2012 . . . . COMO-CAL - Services/ How to Join . . . . . .

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Mobilehome Magazine

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FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to

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W

elcome to Mobilehome Magazine (MHMag). This issue is the ďŹ rst of its kind published in California. In fact we know of no other magazine published for owners of mobilehomes anywhere in the entire country. We hope you enjoy and learn from it. We publish it for YOU! MHMag is a product of many hours of brainstorming and about nine months of hard work. It is published by COMO-CAL (the Coalition of Mobilehome Owners - California), a state wide non-proďŹ t advocate for owners of mobile/manufactured homes. MHMag is supported by local merchants and service professionals who advertise. Please support them! We hope you will keep the magazine for reference and use it often. The goal of MHMag is to provide important informtion to owners of mobile/manufactured homes in California who reside in rental parks, i.e. you own your home and rent the space from a park owner. COMO-CALâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s logo is â&#x20AC;&#x153;COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION, UNITY. Our moto is: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Strength in Numbers & Power in Knowledge.â&#x20AC;? This ďŹ rst issue provides a â&#x20AC;&#x153;History of Living in Rental Parksâ&#x20AC;? and why information is so important to protecting your way of life and the investment in your home. We will also explain about COMO-CAL, what we do, and where we are going. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;departmentâ&#x20AC;? theme will continue in future editions: Local News / Community, Around California, Legal Corner, Tips and Suggestions, Schedule of Events and more. Our efforts are not limited to just mailing MHMag to you, we will also meet every other month. We invite everyone who wants to make a difference to attend our ďŹ rst San Fernando Valley meeting at the Chatsworth Chamber of Commerce at the Chatsworth Metro Link Train Station. See page for information. Our goal is to form a COMO-SFV lead you those of you who want to help and protect their friends and neighbors. Please RSVP to Frank at 818-886-66479. Thank you for reading and supporting MHMag.

0RELOHKRPH0DJD]LQH Serving the Mobile/Manufactured Home Community in California P.O. BOX 4821 CHATSWORTH, CALIFORNIA 91313 800-929-6061 / 818-886-6479 advertising@mobilehomemagazine.org http://www.mobilehomemagazine.org/

Mobilehome Magazine is published every other month by COMO-CAL (The Coalition of Mobilehome Owners - California) exclusively for owners of mobile/manufactured homes in California. MHMag is not responsible for content contained in advertising

PUBLISHER AND EDITOR Frank A. Wodley

ADVERTISING SALES Rose Rosales Frank Wodley

RESEARCHER Cathy Alvarez

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DESIGN Greg Frazier

Editor

CONTRIBUTORS Sally Studer Chandra Spencer

Mobilehome Magazine

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What is COMO-CAL & Why a Magazine? (Coalition of Mobilehome Owners- California) COMO-CAL is a trusted and respected group of mobilehome owners who advocate for all owners of mobile/manufactured homes in California. Our goal is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Communication, Unity and Education.â&#x20AC;? Established in November 2004 as a non-proďŹ t, 501(c)3 Public BeneďŹ t Corporation, we are all volunteers. We do not receive grants, but rely on membership dues and tax deductible donations to continue our mission.

OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS Our newsletter, THE VOICE, has been published for seven years (over 60 issues and 1000 total pages) and is endorsed by many around the state as the most informative newsletter in California (we say the whole country). We think outside the box and have provided information no other organization has. Two examples are Donald Devoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s articles about the â&#x20AC;&#x153;foundation of our lawsâ&#x20AC;? and Gary Solomonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HOA Syndrome. We, along with many other organizations, were successful in defeating Proposition 90 and

98. Because each would have eliminated rent control across California, they potentially would have cost mobilehome owners hundreds of millions dollars in higher rents and lost equity. We have identiďŹ ed and stopped illegal rent increases. For example in Los Angeles we saved residents in seven rent controlled parks about $70,000 per year, for 2008 and future years, now roughly $300,000. We have been a steadfast advocate for seven years. We answer our phones and provide advice and direction when possible. We sponsored two â&#x20AC;&#x153;brainstorm daysâ&#x20AC;? (Carpenteria & San Rafael), providing a forum to formulate solutions to issues we commonly fact in rental parks.

OUR LATEST PROJECT Our latest project, the Mobilehome Magazine(MHMag), is being launched into over 25 mobilehome parks in the San Fernando Valley and neighboring communities. We believe it will revolutionize our advocacy in California.

COMO-CAL Board 2005 (Frank Wodley, Kathy Mattes, Ray Chavira, Jim Rowe) Page 4

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WHATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SO TERRIFIC? To say we are excited about â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Magazineâ&#x20AC;? would be an understatement. Why? Because now COMO-CAL can reach not only our members, but potentially all mobile/manufactured home owners. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huge!

UP HILL BATTLE Mobilehome Magazine has taken a huge effort to get off the ground. The launch has been delayed more than four months and we are not â&#x20AC;&#x153;out of the woodsâ&#x20AC;? yet. And it costs us nothing! It is free to all who receive it, and it costs COMO-CAL members nothing. It is totally supported by advertising.

WHO DO WE REACH? Today, COMO-CAL has members in over 600 parks across California, unfortunately only about 10% of all parks. However potentially we can reach thousands more with this new project.

THE â&#x20AC;&#x153;PARKâ&#x20AC;? MAGAZINE The idea of a magazine for mobilehome residents is not new. In fact, a company in Mountain View (Mobile Home Park Magazine) has been publishing their â&#x20AC;&#x153;park magazineâ&#x20AC;? now for over 35 years. They distribute 100,000 magazines per month to about 650 parks. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot! However, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;park magazineâ&#x20AC;? has little useful information. It is more about entertainment with content including crossword puzzles, poems, recipes, and other â&#x20AC;&#x153;just for funâ&#x20AC;? information. Occassionally content is supplied by an HOA

Mobilehome Magazine

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which does give residents useful information. And they will not take advertising from COMO-CAL or other advocates because they do not want management to get upset, and not allow delivery of the magazine into their park. By the way, they do not deliver today into the West San Fernando Valley.

MOBILEHOME MAGAZINE So you might ask, why is COMO-CALâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s MHMag so inovative? It is all about content. COMO-CALâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Magazine will have three basic sections: a) Information from COMO-CAL similar to what we now publish in THE VOICE. b) Information from parks in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;communityâ&#x20AC;? - anything

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that is happening, i.e. meetings, notices, issues, etc. and c) Advertising from local service professionals.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MOBILEHOME MAGAZINE? Number one, we will reach every mobilehome in an area. No longer will be preaching only to the choir., i.e. our membership. We will be providing important information to all home owners! Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s huge. No longer do we have to do ďŹ&#x201A;yers alerting folks about meetings, we can communicate through the Magazine. Secondly, the Magazine will network parks in an area. Mobilehome Magazine

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Remember, the saying â&#x20AC;&#x153;Strength in Numbers?â&#x20AC;? You will know what your neighbors are doing, and what they are concerned about. Information that will enable folks to UNITE! Third, residents can use the magazine themselves. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s say you have your home for sale, send us a small ad - we will publish it for a small fee. Of couse space will be limited Finally, remember MHMag is free, but we would appreciate a donation to keep it going in your area. It is mailed, direct to your home. We hope this is your ďŹ rst issue of many! Page 5

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Mobilehomes in Rental Parks Brief History & Resident Issues elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s property. We are the only dual property owners not covered by land-lease laws. Although our investment often exceeds that of the park owner, we are â&#x20AC;&#x153;subservientâ&#x20AC;? to the owners wishes. Many parks were originally developed and operated by mom and pop landlords. They provided affordable housing and a sense of community. They were nice places to live and to all and residents were happy. Owners, managers, and residents had common goals and abuses were rare.

HISTORY Most mobilehome parks were developed in the 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and 1970â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Today there are approximately 10 million Americans living in mobile / manufactured homes across the United States. In California alone there are approximately 1,00,000 residents living on 365,000 spaces in 5,300 parks. We represent about 3% of Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population. Residents of mobilehome parks come from all walks of life, including many veterans who fought for this country. We are grandparents, single parents and families: we are white, black, brownâ&#x20AC;Ś. We are Americans, and proud to be. We deserve to live in well maintained communities, to be treated with dignity and respect. Most of us live in â&#x20AC;&#x153;rental parks,â&#x20AC;? i.e. we own our homes but rent the ground from our landlord. In other words we live on someone Page 6

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Eventually large investors realized mobilehome parks were lucrative investments (cash cows) and as the original park owners retired, they (large corporations) moved in and the complexion of parks changed. Although parks are designated for low and moderate income housing, the priority of many of these corporate owners is more about their bottom line and less about residents. Some park owners want as much control over residents as possible. To achieve this goal, they work to keep residents from organizing or educating themselves about their rights, often park management is unprofessional, rude, abusive and unyielding. As abuses became more common place, more laws were written to try to protect residents.

YOU ARE VULNERABLE A. If you own your mobile/ manufactured home and RENT the dirt under it (about 90% of residents), you are VULNERABLE. You must live by the Rules and Regulations of your park,

whether they are fair or not. And your manager is the enforcer. Sometimes managers do not enforce the R&R leading to parks that are unkept, and unsafe. Or they might rule with an â&#x20AC;&#x153;iron ďŹ stâ&#x20AC;? leading to senior abuse, violations of residents rights, etc. Unequal enforcement is another issue. B. Many park residents are seniors, many live on ďŹ xed incomes, or many are low income. Most have little or no knowledge of their rights or the laws that protect them. And most do not know that there is help! C. Now that the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) is no longer automatically distributed to residents (as of 1/1/2011), residents are even less informed of their rights.

YOU NEED INFORMATION Why is information important to you? Because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Knowledge enables you make informed (better) decisions, resulting in more control over your life. Without information, you are unprepared to protect your rights and your equity. In reality, residents often hide in their homes. Why? To stay off the managers radar. They have no one to turn to, either for information, or for guidance. They may feel alone and isolated hopeless, anxious, and paranoid. And rightly so. This is just what the park owner wants, i.e. no one to challenge his authority. MHMag is a way for you to feel connected, not only to your friends and neighbors where you live, but connected to other parks in your area.

Mobilehome Magazine

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Your Community - The San Fernando Valley This issue of MHMag is being distributed to over 24 parks in the San Fernando Valley (see table below), with a total distribution of 6,000 homes. Using a ďŹ gure of 2.8 occupants per home, we ďŹ gure a readership of about 17,000. In addition the magazine will be posted on our website: www.mobilehomemagazine.org Address

City

1

Park Name Mountain View Mobile Estates

# Spaces 156

24303 Woolsey Canyon

Canoga Park

2

Canoga Mobile Estates

198

8811 Canoga Ave.

Canoga Park

3

Eton MHP

111

8901 Eton Ave

Canoga Park

4

Kona Kai

116

8800 Eton Ave

Canoga Park

5

Riveria

151

8801 Eton Ave

Canoga Park

6

Summit MHP

203

24425 Woolsey Canyon Rd.

Canoga Park

7

Chatsworth MHP

198

21500 Lassen Street

Chatsworth

8

Indian Hills

138

11401 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd.

Chatsworth

9

Sunburst

118

21001 Plumber Street

Chatsworth

10

Valle Verde Mobile Home Park

184

20652 Lassen Street

Chatsworth

11

Foothill Palms MHP

94

12001 Foothill Blvd

Lake View Terrace

12

Bermuda MHCommunity

194

15445 Bermuda Street

Mission Hills

13

Golden Triangle

29

10811 Columbus

Mission Hills

14

Mission Mobile Manor

71

15300 Brand Ave

Mission Hills

15

Northridge MHP

168

19120 Nordoff Street

Northridge

16

Shelter Isle

260

10965 Glenoaks Blvd

Pacoima

17

Reseda MHP

108

6545 Wilbur Ave

Reseda

18

Blue Star MHP

186

12401 Filmore Street

Sylmar

19

Lumark TP

92

12301 San Fernando Road

Sylmar

20

Oakridge MHP

300

15455 Glenoaks Blvd

Sylmar

21

Rancho Hermoso MHP

93

16079 Yarnell St

Sylmar

22

Sylmar Manor

66

13120 Bradley Ave

Sylmar

23

Tahitian MHP

236

15445 Colbalt Ave

Sylmar

199

4201 Topanga Canyon Blvd

24

Woodland Park Mobile Estates

25

Other Parks & COMO-CAL members

2,300

TOTAL SPACES & COMO-CAL

6,000

Woodland Hills San Fernando Valley

The photo at the left is the first meeting of many we had in the San Fernando Valley. Among the participants were Marajorie Felstad, Cliff Jim Rowe, Dwight Blackwell, Jr., and others.

COMO-CALâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S First Meeting - Sylmar Mobile Manor - 2005 Mobilehome Magazine

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We sincerely hope YOU will become active! RSVP Frank at 818-886-6479 to let him know you will be attending: Saturday September 24th, Sunday October 2nd or Tuesday October 11th. See page 17 for details. Page 7

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Local News This section will be an ongoing department in MHMag. We invite you to write about happenings in your park and submit it for publication in MHMag.

CHATSWORTH MHP Chatsworth MHP is a well kept, all age park. Melody Lee, the new park manager, has been doing a terriďŹ c job. She is helping make residents feel it is their park and the years of tension are past. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve even seen notices praising residents who keep their yards beautiful. There have been many issues over the years, including a clubhouse which, alhough available, has been off-limits to residents for every-day use. For many years, the distribution of literature by advocates was prohibited, although the MRL guarantees such rights. That practice is changing under the new manager. Keep up the good work Melody.

CANOGA MOBILE ESTATES Canoga Mobile Estates is a senior park located on Canoga Ave. It is well maintained. About 3 years ago the park sold. Recently DWP replaced electric lines in the street.. Canoga Mobile Estates has an active recreational committee headed by Linda Cole. Tony Sansone has been our contact there for many years - Tony also serves on the MHTaskforce.

INDIAN HILLS For years Indian Hills was not part of the City of Los Angeles; therefore they were not under city-wide rent control. Today Indian Hills residents face a very large pass-through of approximately $3 million for expenses related to the replacement of utility lines in the park.

SUMMIT & MOUNTAIN VIEW Neither park is under the L.A. Rent Stabilization Ordinance. As a consequence their rents are considerably higher than their neighbors. In fact rents average close to $1400/month. Many residents have simply walked away from their homes. Gary Gibson has led a legal battle against the owners of Mountain View and has prevailed.

ETON MOBILE ESTATES Eton is owned by the same owner as Chatsworth MHP and Bermuda (Mission Hills). It is a well kept, senior park.

SYMLAR MOBILE MANOR COMO-CAL held one of itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst meetings in Sylmar Mobile Manor. See photo on page 7.

BERMUDA MH COMMUNITY Bermuda is a senior park operated by John Nowell. It was

developed after many parks in the SFV and has a new manager, Jan McLoed. Residents have a recreational group and ongoing events are planned.

OAKRIDGE MHP Oakridge is a senior park located in Sylmar. A devistating ďŹ re all but wiped the park off the map. Today only half the spaces are occupied.

VALLE VERDE COURTYARD An all age park, Valle Verde continues to have issues with on-the-street parking and speeding. Recently red â&#x20AC;&#x153;ďŹ re laneâ&#x20AC;? strips were added along all streets to stop the illegal parking. Speeding continues as a major problem. It is our opinion that management is responsible to get this under control.

SUNBURST MHP Located on Plummer near deSoto, the park has had a history of issues, including drugs. Now, with the help of Gary Ashe and Golden State Mobilehomes, the homes are better kept and the park is more attractive.

YOUR PARK Tell us about your park and we will publish it here next time. Just contact Frank (818-886-6479).

Your Business Card Here Only $80 per issue thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1.6 cents/magazine Page 8

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Mobilehome Magazine

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Mobilehome Magazine

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Tips & Suggestions: Rent Stabilization in Los Angeles Did you know there are about 5,300 mobile/ manufactured home parks in California, with about 365,000 total spaces? At 2.8 residents per space on average, that amounts to 1,022,000 residents. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about 3% of the total population in California. About 165,000 spaces have some sort of rent stabilization (we often improperly call it rent control). (That means about 200,000 donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t.) Rent Stabilization is local, i.e. a about 110 cities and counties have enacted it. Here in Los Angeles, our RSO (Rent Stabilization Ordinance) covers 60 mobilehome parks. Most of you reading this are covered; however parks like Summit and Mountain View that are not in the city are not covered. and as a consequence, their rents are much higher - upwards of $1500/month. Every June 1st each homeowner pays an additional fee to their landlord to offset the Rent Regulation Fee paid the City of Los Angeles Housing Department to oversee the L.A. RSO. In 2011 that fee was $18.71, residents paying $9.35. The LAHD (Los Angeles Housing Department) administers the L.A. RSO, which states that rents are dependent on the CPI (Consumer Price Index), with a minimum increase of 3% and a maximum of 8%. Since the CPI has been 3% or lower most

of the last 25 years, our increases have been 3%. The table below shows the Consumer Price Index (CPI) used for the Los Angeles area. Note for 2010 the CPI is 1.5%. However, under the L.A. Ordinance, the minimum rent increase is 3%; therefore residents in the 62 mobilehome parks covered by the L.A RSO will be 3% for the period July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 (unless the L.A. rent freeze goes into effect). Often park owners complain rents under RSO do not keep up with inďŹ&#x201A;ation; however the table shows that 9 out of 18 years the park owners were allowed to raise rents HIGHER than the CPI, often 2-3 times more! CPI tables for this area may be found at the following URL: http://www.bls.gov/ro9/9230.pdf

VACANCY CONTROL What about vacancy control? L.A. has vacancy control, which means when you sell your home the buyerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rent increase is capped at 10% higher than your rent. This helps save your equity. The rule of thumb: for every $10 your rent increases per month, your homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s value decreases $1000. We have written many times that without vacancy control, the value our homes here in L.A. could decrease $50,000 or more! We must always be watching!

Consumer Price Index Percentages (CPI)* Annual Percentage adjusted up or down to the closest one percent = % rent increase YEAR

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

2000

2.2

2.7

3.5

2.4

2.9

3.4

3.6

3.4

3.5

3.9

3.7

3.6

3.3

2001

3.7

3.6

3.2

3.4

3.7

4.6

3.8

3.5

3.1

2.5

2.5

1.8

3.3

2002

2.5

2.7

2.8

3.1

2.9

1.6

2.2

2.6

2.8

3.2

3.7

4.1

2.8

2003

3.7

3.9

4.5

3.5

2.6

2.8

2.6

2.8

3.2

2.7

2.0

2.0

3.0

2004

2.2

2.1

1.8

2.4

3.8

4.3

4.0

3.3

3.2

4.7

5.4

4.6

3.5

2005

3.7

3.8

3.9

4.9

4.2

3.4

4.2

5.3

6.0

5.4

4.3

4.2

4.4

2006

5.2

5

4.5

4.5

5.3

5.4

5.1

4.4

3.2

1.8

2.5

3.3

4.2

2007

3.1

3.4

4.0

3.6

3.0

2.7

2.4

2.1

2.2

3.8

4.7

4.6

3.3

2008

4.6

3.7

3.6

3.7

4.1

6.1

6.6

5.7

5.0

3.5

0.6

-0.6

3.9

2009

-0.6

-0.5

-1.6

-2.1

-2.4

-2.8

-3.2

-2.1

-1.4

-0.6

1.2

2.5

-1.2

2010

2.3

1.8

2.4

2.4

2.0

1.0

1.0

1.0

0.5

0.9

1.0

1.6

1.5

2011

2.0

2.6

3.5

3.9

3.7

3.3 Mobilehome Magazine

62515_Bklt_r3.indd 11

OCT NOV DEC

ANNUAL

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Around California: Rent Control Under Siege C ALIMESA / N O O NE S HOWED

hearing regarding Calimesaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rent control ordinance.

On June 30 a study session was held to find options to the Cities lack of funds to administer rent control. This resulted in the suggestion of a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sunset clauseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to end rent control in Calim esa,â&#x20AC;?

Possible amendments included imposing an annual registration fee of $3.59.

One Councilman said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am very im pressed with staffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research into this issue. I would like to see, within a period of one year, to close it down with a sunset cause.â&#x20AC;? Another Councilman stated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gone more than 20 years with this. I think we ought to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sunsetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; it. We are running out of funds to support the ordinance.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Maybe residents donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any real concerns one way or another, but nobodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been out here to talk about it.â&#x20AC;? The only individuals to speak on the issue during public comment were representatives from large corporations who support the mobile home park owners, i.e. no MHOwners showed up. One park representative said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I fully support a Sunset Clause. Rent control is a minority situation.â&#x20AC;? A second said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rent control policy is unfair and the ordinance has outlived its usefulness.â&#x20AC;? The Calimesa City Council decided to hold a public hearing on Aug. 15

C ALIMESA / P EOPLE P OWER At least 400 residents turned out on August 15th to participate in the public Page 12

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One Councilman cited the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financial constraints as a reason to end the ordinance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had a tough time making this kind of (financial) commitment. If this city goes under, you really wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have rent control.â&#x20AC;? He also said the city proposed the sunset clause in part to get people to show up and discuss the issue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve proven that worked.â&#x20AC;? One continued, â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I came in to the council in January, I heard from one side of on this issue. I saw Calimesa as a place that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need so many rules.I wish everyone in here would quit attacking my fellow council members. I am totally against the sunset clause, but couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come up with anything to replace it.â&#x20AC;? In a unanimous vote, the amendment to impose a $3.59 registration fee was passed and the crowd cheered.

E DITOR â&#x20AC;&#x2122; S N OTE What you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know can indeed hurt you! The â&#x20AC;&#x153;study sessionâ&#x20AC;? was held without notice to MHOwners. Of course if one follows the City Council proceedings closely, he would probably have known the study was taking place, The real issue here was simple: paying for the administration of rent control; however it gave those Council members

who favored park owners to stand up and say â&#x20AC;&#x153;Get rid of rent control.â&#x20AC;? In fact other cities have billed park owners and residents an â&#x20AC;&#x153;administrative fee.â&#x20AC;? Just think if residents didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come on August 15th! The results could have been catastrophic - the loss of rent control in Calimesa!

C HULA V ISTA Unfortunately the MHOwners in Chula Vista were not as fortunate as those in Calimesa. On July 12, 2011 the Chula Vista City Council passed a measure to decontrol vacancies, i.e. the 3,500 MHOwners lost vacancy control. Based on a loss of $1,000 equity for every $10/month rent increase, the consequences are tragic! Parks can easily raise rents to buyers by $50-$300/ month. What would this mean to MHOwners there? Simply that they have lost between $5,000 and $30,000 of the value of their homes. Many wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be able to sell. Collectively the loss could be as much as $100 million! Compare that with Calimesa. Calimesa residents retain rent control, at a cost of $3.59 per year. Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note: COMO-CAL, not for lack of trying, has about 1% membership in Chula Vista. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure had we had substantially more members, we could have done something to defend their rent control.

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Legal Corner: â&#x20AC;&#x153;NOTHING TO FEARâ&#x20AC;? by Jon Stanley Heim, Attorney at Law Most mobilehome residents lack the legal and ďŹ nancial resources of the owners and management of their mobilehome parks. Many residents fear that, as a practical matter, they cannot effectively challenge a wrongful act or policy of ownership or management, or that if they try they can suffer retaliation. For better or worse the Mobilehome Residency Law, California Civil Code Sections 798 through 799.11 (â&#x20AC;&#x153;MRL,â&#x20AC;? to which all following citations refer) does give park owners wide latitude in setting park rules and regulations. Nonetheless much of the MRL is intended to give residents a voice in park affairs, and to protect them from ownership backlash for meeting or discussing park issues. In Section 798.50 the Legislature declared its intent â&#x20AC;&#x153;to ensure that homeowners and residents of mobilehome parks have the right to peaceably assemble and freely communicate with one another with respect to mobilehome living or for social or educational purposes.â&#x20AC;? To those ends no park lease, rule or regulation may prohibit peaceable assembly at reasonable hours and in reasonable manners. (Sec. 798.51, subd. (a)(1).) â&#x20AC;&#x153;[P]ublic ofďŹ cials, candidates for public ofďŹ ce, or representatives of mobilehome owner organizationsâ&#x20AC;? may be invited â&#x20AC;&#x153;to meet with homeowners and residents and speak upon matters of public interest, in accordance with Section 798.50.â&#x20AC;? (Sec. 798.51, subd. (a) (2).) Homeowners and residents Page 14

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have the rights to canvass and petition the park community â&#x20AC;&#x153;for noncommercial purposes related to mobilehome livingâ&#x20AC;? or public elections. (Sec. 798.51, subd. (a) (3).) Homeowners and residents may use the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clubhouses or recreational halls for these meetings, without additional cleaning or insurance charges if the meetings are hosted by a homeowner or resident, all are invited to attend and no alcohol is served. (Sec. 798.51, subds. (b), (c).) If any of these rights are denied or unreasonably impaired by â&#x20AC;&#x153;any rule, regulation, or other policyâ&#x20AC;? of park ownership or management, any aggrieved homeowner or resident may sue. (Sec. 798.52.) Many homeowners and residents may be unaware that they have the right to meet not only among themselves, but with park management too on many signiďŹ cant subjects, within thirty days after written request. The meetings may be individual or collective. The subjects include proffered rental agreements, existing park rules, standards for maintenance of physical improvements, and addition, alteration or deletion of improvements, services or equipment. (Sec. 798.53.) The MRL does not require that park ownership accompany park management to such meetings, but it does mandate that ownershipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s identity and address be disclosed upon request of a homeowner or lessee (not any other park occupants). (Sec. 798.28.) Moreover

whenever

management proposes amendments to park rules and regulations, management must â&#x20AC;&#x153;meet and confer with the homeowners in the park, their representatives, or both,â&#x20AC;? on at least ten days notice. (Sec. 798.25, subd. (a).) In general, however, as long as management does meet and confer it need not accept the views or requests of homeowners. Rather â&#x20AC;&#x153;the noticed amendment to the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rules and regulations may be implemented, as to any homeowner, with the consent of the homeowner, or without the homeownerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consent upon written notice of not less than six months.â&#x20AC;? (Sec. 798.25, subd. (b).) Thus if a homeowner does not accept an amendment, he or she will be bound by it anyway after a while. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the provision that gives management such broad discretion in ultimately determining the content of rules and regulations. Homeowners get only a voice, not a choice. Any rule or regulation imposed without following this meeting and conference process is void and unenforceable. (Sec. 798.25.5.) So is any rule or regulation â&#x20AC;&#x153;that creates a new fee payable by the homeowner and that has not been expressly agreed upon in a written rental agreement or lease.â&#x20AC;? (Sec. 798.25, subd. (e).) As counsel to both park owners and homeowners, I have often observed how limitations on the latterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legal or ďŹ nancial resources affect the process and resolution of disputes between the two. Those limitations are real and raise fear in homeown-

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ers. The foregoing and other provisions of the MRL are intended to bring the balance of powers a bit more square. However theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll work only if homeowners and residents know and use them. For example, one homeowner may not be able to afford substantial legal counsel, let alone litigation, no matter how worthy his or her cause may be. But that same one homeowner

may canvass, petition and meet with others, and may invite public ofďŹ cials and representatives of COMO-CAL or other homeowner organizations to those meetings. There they can discuss common interests and issues, and plan lawful, reasonable courses of action. There too they can join together in organizations like COMO-CAL, and by so doing marshal the resources

necessary to pursue their common rights and important causes. In this light homeowners have little to fear. But they have much to do and much to organize. The rights given to homeowners under the MRL will have no effect if they are not understood and invoked by those whom they are designed to protect and serve.

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Advertising in Mobilehome Magazine TO ADVERTISERS

WHY CHOOSE MOBILEHOME MAGAZINE FOR YOUR AD DOLLAR?

Mobilehome Magazine wants to thank all our advertisers. Your support makes it possible to publish MHMag and provide important information to owners of mobilehomes in the San Fernando Valley. See the following bullet points:

Our readers trust & respect us. Many readers belong to our organization Most read & retain MHMag for reference

DISTRIBUTION & AD RATES

Readers advertise & help provide content

Published every other month - bimonthly Your ad displayed in 5,000 Full color MHmag Your ad UHDFKHV15,000 local readers Your ad distributed locally in your city or town MHMag is mailed directly to MHowners Bonus: MHMagazine is posted online. Advertising as low as 1.6 cents/copy Contract for one issue or multiple issues Area speciďŹ c: your ad reaches local customers 15% discount for 3 issue contract (6 mo.) 33% discount for 6 issue contract. (1 yr.) Ad rates 20% lower than competition

WHY ADVERTISE IN A MAGAZINE

We offer competitive ad rates

W W W W W W W W

BULLET POINTS Mailed locally to your customers 5,000 full color copies per issue 24+ pages ďŹ lled with important information Full size 8 1/2â&#x20AC;? x 11â&#x20AC;? on 80# glossy paper Rates as low as $80/issue, 1.6 cents /copy Published bimonthly Discounts up to 33% for multiple issues We design your ad FREE - call us for info. AD RATES & INFORMATION www.mobilehomemagazine.org advertising@mobilehomemagazine.org 800-929-6061 or 818-886-6479 (Frank)

Long life & repeated ad exposure Reach a speciďŹ c audience Excellent picture reproduction quality Superior paper quality (80# gloss book)

You Can Help Us Get Advertising for MHMag TO READERS We ask you to support those folks who advertise in MHMag. Their support makes this magazine possible. If you would mention MHMag when you visit them, they will know their advertising dollar is working. It can be a win-win situation for all of us.

HELP US HELP YOU In these challenging economic times, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s becoming increasingly more difďŹ cult to obtain advertisements from business owners which would greatly assist in deferring the cost of the printing and distribution of MHMag. This is where YOU ďŹ t in! We know youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll agree with us when we say there are certain people in our lives that just automatically enhance the quality of our day-today. The friendly plumber who unclogged your drain for a reasonable price, the manicurist who Page 16

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you so enjoy sitting and chatting with or the dry cleaner who gives such great serviceâ&#x20AC;Ś..it could be anyone. Sometimes when you have fantastic experiences like these, you just canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but tell others about it. So, could you do us a favor? Could you let us know who these people are? We offer very reasonable advertising fees and maybe one of these special people would be willing to help you by spreading the word about them. MHMag has prepared 6â&#x20AC;?x11â&#x20AC;? post cards that explain about MHMag to prospective advertisers. Call us and we will provide them free of charge. If you could hand them out to your favorite businesses, that would help us both. You would be supporting MHMag, and insuring you will get MHMag in the future. Thanks so very much for your assistance.

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People Power: September Meetings in SFV SFV MEETINGS / WHERE & WHEN

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

WHERE: Chatsworth Chamber of Commerce meeting room, 10038 Old Depot Road, Chatsworth. at the Chatsworth Metro line train station. Between Lassen and Devonshire, & between Owensmouth and Canoga Ave. NW corner of the building. WHEN: Saturday September 24. 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Yes you read right, COMO-SFV. So what does it mean. It means â&#x20AC;&#x153;LETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ORGANIZE!â&#x20AC;? What better way to protect our rights and maintain the equity in our homes. Space is limited at both locations, so we would

-------------------------------------------------------

appreciate it if you would call Frank @ 818-886-6479

WHERE: Chatsworth Mobile Home Park Clubhouse, 21500 Lassen Street (just east of Owensmouth). The clubhouse is the big building just off Lassen.

to reserve a seat. Please bring a folding chair to the

WHEN: Sunday October 2nd. 1:00-3:00pm If you can not make either meeting, a 3rd meeting is being scheduled at the Chatsworth MHP Clubhouse on Tuesday night October 11th from 6:30-8:30pm.

TRAIN STATION just in case we have so many that we meet outside. There is plenty of free parking! Our goal is to get as many of you involved as possible. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only way we will be successful. Remember, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know can hurt you!â&#x20AC;? COMO-CAL is here to lead, but without your support

___________________________ AGENDA FOR BOTH MEETINGS Guest Speaker: Chandra Gehri Spencer, Attorney at Law. Chandra will talk about the Mobilehome Residency Law, the importance of organization and the types of issues she handles. COMO-CAL: COMO-CAL President & MHMag Editor Frank Wodley will ask for volunteers to help run COMO-SFV and Mobilehome Magazine(SFV Edition). If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to join, we will help you ďŹ ll out your application. FAQ Handbooks will also be available.

little can be accomplished. Remember PEOPLE POWER!

Over 400

Calimesa residents turned out for the City Council meeting when their rent control as at stake. Calimesa has less than 1,200 spaces! We have over 6,000 here in Los Angeles. So letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surpass the 400! It can be done. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let the park owners win in Los Angeles. We need to show them we support our rent control ordiance and vancy control.

SEE YOU SOON! / REMEMBER RSVP

COMO-CAL MEETING Chatsworth Train Station 2006 Note: All the Literature even then Mobilehome Magazine

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FAQ Handbook: A Must Have for all Mobilehome Owners The 36 page Frequently Asked Questions and Answers HANDBOOK is designed to answer 58 of the most pressing questions homeowners and park management have about the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL). It was compiled by the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Housing. See the back panel for a table of contents detailing the 58 questions. RENTS, FEES & TAXES . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rent Increases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pass-Through Fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . Short Notice of Rent Increase . . . . . . Back Rent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Club House Deposits. . . . . . . . . . . . Security Deposits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deducting Rent - Lack of Park Utilities Withholding Rent if Park Loses Permit Late Fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mobilehome Property Taxes . . . . . . . Property Taxes Too High . . . . . . . . . Section 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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4 4 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 7 7

UTILITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Park Utility Costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Separating Charges . . . . . . . . . . . . Park Cable TV Antenna System Fees . Water Charges in Park . . . . . . . . . .

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7 7 8 8 9

LEASES & RENTAL AGREEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Long Leases Exempt from Rent Control . . . . . . . 9 Leases in Language Not English . . . . . . . . . . . 10 TERMINATION OF TENANCY . . . . . . . . . . Eviction for Late Payment Of Rent . . . . . Eviction for Rule Violations. . . . . . . . . . Termination at End Of Rental Agreement Rights in Park-Owned Mobilehomes . . . Park Closure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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10 10 10 11 11 12

PARK RULES & REGULATIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rules v. The MRL Rule Changes . . . . . . . . . . Selective Enforce of Park Rules . . . . . . . . . . . Senior Park Changed to All-Age . . . . . . . . . . All-Age Park Changed Back to a Senior Park . Occupancy Standards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Clubhouse Hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Parking Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Subleasing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Mobilehome Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Caregiver Residency in Park . . . . . . . . . . . . Park Maintenance, Inspections & Services . . .

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12 12 13 13 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 16 16

Page 18

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. . . . . .

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. . . . . .

It is only available through COMO-CAL. Each Hanbook costs $5.00 plus postage of $1.50 ($6.50 total). We pay shipping on orders over 10 copies, i.e. cost is just $5.00 each. See page 3 for contact info. We have sold over 1,100 Handbooks to date to both residents and managers. It is an invaluable reference guide you will use over and over. Failure to Maintain the Park . . . . . . . . . . . . Mobilehome Park Inspection Program . . . . . Reduction of Park Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . Lot Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trees and Driveways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Responsible for Pre-Existing Code Violations Permit for Remodel. Mobilehome . . . . . . . . Home Rehabilitation Assistance . . . . . . . . .

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16 17 17 17 17 18 18 19

PARK CONVERSION TO RESIDENT OWNERSHIP . Park Condo Conversion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Right of First Refusal to Buy Park. . . . . . . . . . . Laws Appl. to Resident Owned Parks . . . . . . .

19 19 19 20

PARK OWNERS & MANAGERS . . . . . . . . . . . Park Manager Intimidation . . . . . . . . . . . . Park Violations of The Mrl . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contacting Park Owner/Operator . . . . . . . Management Not Available in Emergencies Park Manager Entering Lot . . . . . . . . . . . .

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20 20 21 21 22 22

HOME SALES, RESALES & TRANSFERS . Selling Home in Place in the Park . . . Resale of a Park Model in the Park . . New Buyer Income Requirement. . . . Rights of Heirs Inheriting Mobile. . . . Used Homes - Resale Disclosure . . . Homeowners Required to Sell to Park New Home Defects and Warranties . Other California Senate Select Committee Information . . . . . . . . . .

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22 22 23 23 24 24 24 25

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SERVICES PROVIDED BY COMO-CAL . . . . . . . . . 26 ARTICLES BY COMO-CAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27-33 TESTIMONIALS FOR COMO-CAL . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 CONTACT INFORMATION - COMO-CAL . . . . . . . 35

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Getting Organized - Article by Chandra Spencer, Attorney At Law WHY GET ORGANIZED? Often when people think about â&#x20AC;&#x153;getting organized,â&#x20AC;? they think about cleaning their closets, sorting through their junk drawer or other more mundane household tasks. They rarely think about organizing and uniting as people with common interests for a common goal. That is what this article is about. As mobilehome owners, the importance of unifying as an organized group cannot be overstated, especially when faced with a legal challenge by a mobilehome park owner or a governmental entity. While individual mobilehome owners certainly have rights under the Mobilehome Residency Law and other state and federal laws, protecting those rights as an individual is often a difďŹ cult challenge. By unifying with other mobilehome owners, within your own park and in your area, you are in a much better position to protect your home and your rights. By uniting with others, you are able to pool your resources in a way that you would not be able do alone. The old adage â&#x20AC;&#x153;there is safety in numbersâ&#x20AC;? certainly applies in this context.

HOW DO I ORGANIZE? One of the common barriers to getting organized is the fear of the unknown. However, it is really much easier than it sounds; and there are several legal ways to do it. 1. TALK TO OTHER RESIDENTS One way to get organized is to talk to the other residents in your park to see if they share the same concerns as you do. Under the Mobilehome Residency Law, you have the right to â&#x20AC;&#x153;[p]eacefully Page 20

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assemble or meet in the park, at reasonable hours and in a reasonable manner, for any lawful purpose.â&#x20AC;? Civ. Code § 798.51(a) (1). Any such meeting may be held â&#x20AC;&#x153;in the park community or recreation hall or clubhouse when the facility is not otherwise in use, and, with the consent of the homeowner, in any mobilehome within the park.â&#x20AC;? Civ. Code § 798.51(a)(1). You also have the right to â&#x20AC;&#x153;[i]nvite public ofďŹ cials, candidates for public ofďŹ ce, or representatives of mobilehome owner organizations to meet with homeowners and residents and speak upon matters of public interest.â&#x20AC;? Civ. Code § 798.51(a) (2). Moreover, you have the right to â&#x20AC;&#x153;[c]anvass and petition homeowners and residents for noncommercial purposes relating to mobilehome living, election to public ofďŹ ce, or the initiative, referendum, or recall processes, at reasonable hours and in a reasonable manner, including the distribution or circulation of information.â&#x20AC;? Civ. Code § 798.51(a)(3). If the park owner or management tries to stop you from doing these things, you can ďŹ le an action in a court of law against the park owner or management. Civ. Code § 798.52. 2. FORM A RESIDENTâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ASSOCIATION

Another way to get organized is to consider forming either an unincorporated or incorporated residentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s association. Representation of property owners through such an association is well-recognized by the courts. For example, in Residents

of Beverly Glen, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, , the court noted that â&#x20AC;&#x153;in recent years there has been a marked accommodation of formerly strict procedural requirements . . . where matters relating to the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;social and economic realities of presentday organization of societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; are concerned.â&#x20AC;? SpeciďŹ cally relating to mobilehome parks, In Tenantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Association of Santa Anita Park v. Southers, the court held that an unincorporated association of mobilehome owners had standing to sue the owners and managers of the park for an injunction to stop them from moving tenants from the park illegally and to require the park owner to maintain the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s common areas. If you are interested in forming an unincorporated association, you can do so by simply asking the other residents to ďŹ ll out membership forms. Or, you can proceed more formally through election of directors, adoption of by-laws and registration with the Secretary of State. 3.BRING A REPRESENTATIVE OR CLASS ACTION

Another means of getting organized is through the use of a representative or class action. If you think you and others in your park have similar economic claims against your park owner or governmental agency that regulates your park, you should contact an attorney experienced in such matters. Article by Chandra Gehri Spencer 2625 Townsgate Road Suite 330 Westlake, Ca. 91361 (213) 631-8331 cgs@cgslaw.com

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Fund Raiser - Entertainment Book 2012 On September 1, 2011 COMO-CAL kicks off our Entertainment Book 2012 Fund Raiser. Our goal is to raise $5,000. If 30 folks sold just 12 books each we would reach that goal. So help us help you! Call Frank @ 818-886-6479 and we will schedule a meeting and pass out promotional materials. Save on everyday essentials or tantalizing treats. Entertainment has been helping individuals and families save on the important things that make life worth living. Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on a budget or looking to splurge, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re committed to helping you save on:

Dining Groceries Attractions

Shopping Services Car Care

Movie Tickets Travel Home Furnishings

& much more We already have books for the San Fernando Valley. They sell for $30 ($5 savings off retail). We have all the promotional materials to help you sell. Give us a call at 818-886-6479.

If you are unable to change your life then change your prospective.

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COMO-CAL: Services / How to Join COMO-CAL is a membership organization, i.e only our members receive our newsletter, and other services, etc. Annual membership is only $25. We must charge because we do not get grants or help from anyother source, including the State of California or the federal government.

SERVICES WE PROVIDE OUR MEMBERS We provide at least 6 issues of THE VOICE - our bi-monthly newsletter. It is usually 16-20 pages long, ďŹ lled with information no mobilehome owner should be without. Included are articles from attorneys, tips, suggestions, help understanding laws, infor-

mation regarding what you need to do to protect yourself and your investment and much more. Our website (www.comocal. org) provides all mobilehome owners important information, including attorneys versed in the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL), important links to government, advocacy groups, etc. We have attorneys we refer members for help with litigation or advice. Unfortunately your dime.

HOW DO I JOIN? Joining is easy. You can simply call us at 818-886-6479 and give us your information. Should you want to use your credit card, simply give us that information at the same time. All your information is kept in the strictest conďŹ dence. Once we bill your credit card, this information is destroyed.

We have a blog - AROUND CALIFORNIA at www.aroundcalifornia.comocal.org.

Or you can ďŹ ll out the application below and send it along with a check to COMO-CAL, P.O. Box 4821, Chatsworth, Ca. 91313.

Ultimately, we give home owners hope that someone is working for their interest.

You can get additional information from our website at www.comocal.org.

COALITION OF MOBILEHOME OWNERS-CALIFORNIA NEW MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION (Print Please) NAME: _________________________________________ DATE: _______________________________ PARK NAME: ____________________________________ MANAGER/OWNER __________________ MAILING ADDRESS: _______________________________________________ SPACE #:____________ CITY:______________________________________________STATE: ___________ ZIP: ______________ E-MAIL ADDRESS: ______________________________________________________________________ APPLICANTS PHONE NUMBER:(_____)-_____-______________________________________________ SIGNATURE OF APPLICANT: _____________________________________________________________ Â&#x2C6; MEMBERSHIP: $25.00/12 Months Â&#x2C6; FAQ HANDBOOK: $6.50 (Includes $1.50 mailing - Free mailing on orders of 10 or more) Check/M.O. # ________

Amount: $____________

Donation(____)

Amount: $____________

INCLUDE CHECK OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO â&#x20AC;&#x153;COMO-CALâ&#x20AC;? MAIL TO: COMO-CAL, P.O. BOX 4821, CHATSWORTH, CA. 91313-4821 Page 22

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Thomas James Construction

Thomas James Painting

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Non ProямБt Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Chatsworth, CA Permit 617

P.O. Box 4821 Chatsworth, California 91313

Published by the Coalition of Mobilehome Owners of California (COMO-CAL) Exclusively for Owners of Mobile/Manufactured Homes in California

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Mobilehome Magazine Sept/Oct 2011