Communication by residents within our own parks is critical. Park owners and managers often hinder the distribution of flyers by resident advocate organizations. Just read on:MANAGEMENT CLAIMS SOLE USE OF MAIL TUBES/ MAIL RECEIPTICLES, ETC.As an example, take written announcement of October 10, 2005 by TPA Management, the management company of Tradewinds in Rosamond (100 miles north of Los Angeles):“We have received complaints from a number of residents regarding letters from other residents who are inserting them into their mail tubes. Please not that the tubes were installed for convenient distribution of MANAGEMENT correspondence, newsletters, and rent statements. Since we can’t control what non-management correspondence is put in your mail tube, we suggest you contact the resident who put their unwanted correspondence in your tube and tell them to refrain from doing so in the future.”In Chatsworth Mobile Home Park (located in the San Fernando Valley), there has been a continuing battle with management over the use of “black mailboxes,” not to be confused with our regular mail delivery mailboxes. These were attached to our homes by the park about 15 years ago. Few if any residents gave their permission. Now the park has new rules and regulations stating: Park Management has attached a small black box to each home for the sole use of Park Management in communicating with Residents, e.g., delivering rent statements
MANAGEMENT CLAIMS FLYERS ARE A SOLITICATIONNo one wants to receive a solication—defined as a flyer for commercial purpose. Most parks have a sign at the front entrance excluding solicitation in their park. Of course this still happens occasionally; however advocate organizations, such as CoMO-LAC, have every right to distribute information about mobilehome issues. This is our First Amendment Right. It is also noted in the Mobile Home Residency Law as follows. 798.51(A)3 No provision contained in any mobilehome park rental agreement, rule, or regulation shall deny or prohibit the right of any homeowner or resident in the park to do any of the following: Canvass and petition homeowners and residents for noncommercial purposes relating to mobilehome living, election to public office, or the initiative, referendum or recall processes, at reasonable hours and in a reasonable manner, including the distribution or circulation of information.One park owner wrote the resident advocate: “SOLICITATION: Note your R&R. Once again I am hounded by residents as to why this resident is allowed to use the Parks black boxes to advertise his ‘new business.’ The Manager was not approached by him to receive approval for his letter using our park name to gain your attention. Approval is most often given to handouts by Management when it can be of benefit or of interest to some in the Park and is delivered to EVERY RESIDENT per our rules and not just a select few. I realize you are fearful of seeing once again, the divisiveness return because of the efforts of a few. A letter from the Park Owner was hand delivered to this resident telling him he must cease his unapproved activities and use the U.S. Postal Service. “ One common tactic management uses is to put out misinformation. They may do it by stating the MRL code, then coming up with their own conclusion. Let reason prevail! Why must a flyer be approved? And what residents want the park to decide what is beneficial or of interest to them? Also flyers DO NOT have to be distributed to all residents– where in the MRL does it state that.
MANAGEMENT LIMITS THE USE OR CLOSES THE CLUBHOUSE How do parks restrict the use of the clubhouse? There are several ways. 1. Say there was vandalism and the clubhouse has to be closed. 2. Say the clubhouse is open or is available; however all the while the clubhouse doors are locked and essentially no residents use it except for those in favor who can use it for their parties, meetings, or events. (But it is available, as park owner know, which follows the wording in the MRL.) 3. Make residents “reserve” the clubhouse two weeks in advance and pay a deposit. And often times the park does not openly display a calendar showing what dates are open. As a result, residents stay away from the clubhouse. If they have an organization, they must meet in someone’s mobilehome or outside the park. Today there is a bill in Sacramento (Coto – AB 954) to prohibit management from attending homeowner meetings. Why? Because management often comes to monitor such meetings. Often management or their friends will try to discredit or attack the resident advocate in the park. This may be done by telling new residents that the advocate is a trouble maker, he doesn’t follow the park rules, or he has some personality problem—like he drinks, abuses his wife and kids, is a “peeping tom” or the like. Management will not talk about issues we might have. How can they attack based on the issues when the issues are valid? So they attack the “messenger.”BOTTOM LINE. Be aware management is happy to restrict your Constitutional Rights and those you have under other laws, such as the MRL. When dealing with management, put everything in writing. And question, question, question anything that management tells you.