Friday, August 24, 2012

Residents In Rapidly-Deteriorating Mobile Home Park In Foreclosure Face Loss Of Homes Over Lot Lease Misunderstanding

In Niagara Falls, New York, WIVB-TV Channel 4 reports:

  • A Niagara Falls mobile home park right next to the outlet mall has been the scene of one Call 4 Action complaint after another.

    Back in August of last year, tenants responded with protests when they got notices saying the park would be sold. Then in June of this year the office was burned by an arsonist. Now, we've learned a demolition crew has been ripping through the park.

    There are now more vacant lots and mobile homes at Sabre Park than those that have someone living in them. Some are empty because the owners were evicted. Other residents just left because of the uncertainty hanging over the park.

    But some tenants are being kicked out. Not because they are behind on the rent, or because their homes are dilapidated, but because they didn't sign a new lease.

    Margaret Peters said, "They never said you have to sign it to stay here. So we did not sign it, and I figured I would still go on a month-to-month basis, just like I have all these years."

    Peters told News 4 she has lived in her mobile home since 1976, when her parents owned the home. Now she uses a wheelchair and her son, Kenneth Mahon, is staying with her. She and her son's unit is so old it can't be moved, and they can't just up and start all over.

    "We have nowhere to go," Mahon said. "I just don't know what to do anymore. It is causing so much grief in the household, and it is just so stressful."

    Peters and her son are among the 70 or so tenants who were offered new one year leases from the park's owner, Sabre Park Associates, LLC. Many didn't take the offer seriously because just last summer, they were told new owners were probably going to kick them out anyway, leading to angry protests. Sabre Park Associates is in foreclosure and among the potential buyers is the owner of Fashion Outlets, next door.

    Now Peters and her son want to sign a lease. "If I would have known I had to sign it, I would have signed it, but I didn't know I had to sign it because I've never signed one since 1976," Peters said.

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