Friday, September 30, 2016

Failing Sewer System, Need For Other Repairs May Be At Center Of Landlord's Announced Mobile Home Park Shutdown; Dozens Of Lot-Leasing Homeowners Forced To Pack Their Bags & Leave Under Threat Of Add'l Rent Charges If Their Homes Are Not Moved By Specified Date

In New Cumberland, West Virginia, WTOV-TV Channel 9 reports:
  • Dozens of families are packing up their homes and looking for new places to live after learning the New Cumberland trailer park will soon close down. Residents have just two months to move everything they own.

    Many have lived at Bel Masa Mobile Home Park for decades. Now that the park's closing, they have find somewhere to go and remove everything from the property. They're angry about the short notice and want something done.

    Tim Collins has lived at the Bel Masa for almost a decade. "It’s my first home by myself,” he said.

    Mary Sullivan has lived there for more than 20 years.

    But now, it's time to go. Tenants received a notice saying Bel Masa will no longer operate as a mobile home park. Tenants must vacate the lot they rent on or before November 12. The letter goes on to say... "should you fail to remove your mobile home"... "or should you leave any property or debris on the premises you will continue to be charged monthly rent."

    "What they're giving us ain’t enough time to get out of here find a place and clean up these whole lots,” Collins said.

    Residents call it a big order from a notice they just received last week. "I mean it says 90 days, but we didn't get it ‘til a month afterwards,” said resident Victoria Hughes.

    Hughes believes owners opted to close instead of making much-needed repairs to things like the leaking sewerage system. "Instead of telling us 6 or 7 months ago they were going to have to close down, they waited until the last possible moment to,” Hughes said.

    For an answer to that and more of their questions, we called the owners and even rang their doorbell but got no answer.

    With rent already paid, some want at least some of that money back to help pay for moving costs. "I think it would be the decent thing for them to do, not take our money," Collins said.

    But for others, it’s all about time. "As of right now we’re looking for a place. If we don't find a place by the time we’re supposed to be out of here then we have to go back to my mom’s,” Hughes said. "I just want more time to be able to find a decent place for my kids and I to go.”

    The park owner has not responded to requests for comment but West Virginia code lists stopping operations as a reason to terminate a lease.

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