As the owner of a mobile home park in Lexington, I do agree that our industry has its problems and has plenty of room for improvement. However, I feel this article unfairly lumped all mobile home parks together.
I have owned my park for 18 years and work every day trying to make it a better place for my tenants.
My lot rent is $275 and I give seven days notice before any penalties are applied. I have also increased lot rent on existing tenants only once.
All of my lot leases are for 30 days and this is 30 days more than I receive when people are moving. Anyone who believes that a landlord is going to evict someone who is paying rent on time, going by the rules given to them before they moved in, keeping their place clean and not bothering their neighbors has never been in the rental business.
I have recently invested $200,000 and worked with Kentucky American Water to have new water lines and meters installed in my mobile home park. So if the water bill goes up, blame Kentucky American.
I would also like to point out that the mobile home in your article that was moved was a double-wide. That means it has to be disabled and moved in sections and assembled back together. This makes it three times as expensive to move and much more susceptible to damage when moving.
I do agree that sometimes people abandon their homes and simply walk off. What kind of condition do you think those homes are in? It costs landlords considerable money to dispose of the homes left on our properties.
All properties have rules and regulations just as there are new rules on some people who buy their homes. For example, some cannot have storage buildings or satellite dishes or the paint colors they want.
Shouldn't we be able to require a tenant to clean their yard? Apartment complexes issue parking permits and limit the number of cars; why should we not be able to do the same? I drive by houses and apartments where people have been evicted and see everything they owned set out on the curb.
On average, apartments run $700 to $800 per month. When you pay first and last month rent and make a security deposit along with moving expenses, it is almost as much as moving the average single-wide trailer.
There are apartments and houses that landlords do not keep up and who charge unfair prices and practice discrimination, but there are more good people that try to do right, and that applies to mobile home parks as well.
In order to run an orderly mobile home park, I have to require tenants to do the right thing, pay rent, keep their place clean and obey the rules. I have a duty to all the other tenants to see that they do this. This means I have to sometimes evict, just like apartment complexes and owners of rental houses.
Yes, it is a business, and I do have to make money, but I am not trapping anyone.