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Question about park owner/management responsibilities...

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Question about park owner/management responsibilities...

Postby » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:35 pm

My sister lives in a park in CA.

1 year ago, she was having some plumbing work done and the contractor noticed that the "cutoff valve" at her site was corroded and failing fast. He showed her how it cannot turn the water entirely off in the event of an emergency.

She contacted park management and the manager and her maintenance person came up and looked at it and agreed that it needed to be replaced. They said they'd "put her on the list".

6 months later, it still wasn't fixed and my sister reminded mgr about it. She changed her tune and said that it couldn't be fixed until the cement surrounding the valve (which protrudes approximately 3 inches from the ground and is entirely accessible) was removed. My sister contacted plumbing professionals for estimates and they all agreed that there would be no need to chisel the cement out.

My sister gave this information to the manager at that time and she said they'd "get around to it".

It has now been 1 year and still nothing has been done. We are concerned because if my sister's pipes spring a leak, there will be no way to shut the water off at her space and she could find her home flooded. She even offered to have her plumber do it at her expense, yet, the park management won't allow that.

Management of this park is terrible and they constantly violate the residency laws, so it's no wonder she is having such problems. She is afraid to keep asking them about it because they will retaliate by harrassing her and calling her names or filing a restraining order against her (they've done this to several other tenants who have complained about them) or by giving her "violations" in an effort to get her and other tenants who assert their rights out of the park. (They've even given people in the park "violations" for being outside of their homes after 10pm!).

I suggested she contact the owner of the park and put some pressure on him and if that doesn't work, to contact the mobilehome ombudsman and file a formal complaint.

Anyone have any other suggestions?
wendys8861 offline
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:10 pm

Re: Question about park owner/management responsibilities...

Postby » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:34 am

California Department of Housing and Community Development provides Mobilehome Ombudsman services. They can legally assist you with questions or complaints on issues of mobile home park health and safety issues such as unsafe electrical, sewer, gas or water systems. I don’t know if a failing shut off valve would come under that category as it is not an immediate danger to health or safety.

The Ombudsman CANNOT Assist You With Unfair or illegal management practices by mobile home park management. The Ombudsman cannot mediate or offer any legal advice on mobile home park rent disputes, lease or rental agreement disputes, or similar legal matters. They tell us on their web site that you should seek legal aid or assistance from an attorney or your local government officials in these matters.

It is a fine line but it seems like they are very limited in the scope of what they can step in on. A shut off valve is a VERY inexpensive item. In many parks the shut off is considered part of the home and the home owners responsibility ... Just like a plumbing problem inside would be. Even if this is clearly the parks responsibility, this is not an issue that I would want to go to war with my landlord over... It is just not worth you time or aggravation.

The parts will cost about $5. Installation is very easy. You can leave the old one in place and install a new one under the home where the water line comes out of the ground and into the home. If you can not do this yourself ask anyone that has any handyman experience. The entire job should take less then ten minuets.
David Oxhandler
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David Oxhandler offline
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:37 pm

Re: Question about park owner/management responsibilities...

Postby » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:51 am

Thanks David. I understand that this is a very easy repair, but the problem is that they insist that they must be the ones to change it and they won't let her hire anyone nor will they let her do it herself.

Thanks anyway for the reply.
wendys8861 offline
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:10 pm

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