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Seniors in mobile home park say rate increases are forcing them out

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MIDVALE, Utah - Residents of a Midvale senior mobile home park feel they are being forced off the land by rent increases so the new property owners can build a brand new apartment building, but owners of the property deny such allegations.

Most of the residents at the Applewood Mobile Home Estates have been retired for several years and are living off of retirement funds or Social Security checks--fixed incomes, so when they were notified of two rent increases by their new property owners in the last few months, many felt they were being forced out.

“It’s taking medicine money, it’s taking food money,” resident Shirlene Stoven said. “ It’s a matter of, do I put gas in my car this month or do I buy my medicine? It’s not right.”

Last August, the residents of Applewood Mobile Estates received notice their  property management was raising the rent by $89.

“Normally the rate increase could be $20 maybe $25, sometimes no increase at all,” Stoven said. “So we all got sick, sick at heart thinking, ‘We can’t afford this. We can’t afford this.’”

Stoven has been a resident in the park for the last 20 years. When she chose the plot of land it was with the intent to never move again. After talking with other residents who also couldn’t afford the increase, she decided to fight back. Her first step was to form a homeowner’s association for the park.

“Started thinking, ‘What can we do to save ourselves?’ because we feel like it's financial eviction, they know we are seniors, they know we are living on a fixed incomes and they know we can't afford,” Stoven said.

Stoven got in touch with Midvale City and found that the owners of the property had filed a concept plan for redevelopment of the piece of land Applewood Estates currently sits on.

The plan filed said it’s 4 years out, but would build 186 apartments on the 7-acre stretch where the 55 mobile homes currently sit.

Representative Tim Cosgrove wrote House Bill 108, which would create a mobile home task force because he said there are several parks like Applewood in his district that he feels are in need of security.

“'They’re in a precarious situation where they own the home but they don’t own the land it’s sitting on, and it put them at an unstable situation,” he said. “HB108 Looks for ways and solutions, avenues to help find a more stable and secure place for these individuals and their families to live.”

Bolton Property Management could not be reached for comment but issued a response letter to its Applewood residents.

In the statement they wrote that, despite the rent increase, the rate of $460 the tenants pay each month is still 13 percent below market levels.

As far as future plans for the property, the owners deny plans to redevelop the property and said they have no current plans to change its use. They add that, as with any property, there are always options for development.

HB 108 has made its way through the House and is now working its way through the Utah Senate.

8 comments

  • ohmyheaven

    There is a special place in heck for people that harm seniors and I feel that this is a deliberate harm.
    Money, the source of all evil……..

  • Momx2

    I live in Majestic Oaks MHP and they increase our lot rent every year but yet we see no benefits from it. No security, no clubhouse privileges w/o paying a $250 deposit, and they playground for the kids is a hazard. But yet they don’t tell us where our money is going. And to top it off we pay our own water, garbage and sewer.

  • Rosie

    I recently purchase a mobile when my husband and I decided to move here we thought it was better than renting since we would not be throwing our money away on rent but now it’s worse we own our home and we are still paying money as if we were paying rent a land that would never be our they just raise the rent and I just move this is ridiculous.

  • Lydia

    I agree. My family and I live at Mountain View Community park, off of 3100 s and 2700 w. We have no security, recreation room is old and has a few exercise machines. The playground has no trees for shade. The playground equipment gets really hot for the kids to play on in the summer. They have raised the rent twice since we have been here and have only lived here for 2 yrs. We don’t see any improvements anywhere on the property. We own our trailer now, but this is ridiculous, how could they keep raising the lot rent, n where is our money going. We now pay anywhere from $560-$595 a month varies. Does anyone know where we could get information on how high they can raise our lot rent once we own our trailer.

  • Jack Knab

    Live in a Mobile home Park Country Knolls Pompano Beach Fl. owned by Lakeshore. Rent increase every year. Sprinklers do not work ,Security fence down, street lights don’t work . we pay are own water now. park land not kept up and they give us a violations if we don’t keep our lots up. no park people for anything that need repaired for 6 Months.

    What can we do to get help 55 and over
    Thanks to anyone

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