Regional Conference in Orange, September 28, 2019

By Carol Brinkman, GSMOL State Secretary and Chair of LAT Committee.

Mary Jo Baretich, Vice President of Zone C, and Bobbie Magnusson, Park Royale Mobile Home HOA & GSMOL President and Region 5 Manager, were the gracious hosts for the GSMOL Regional Conference held in Orange.

David Loop, VP of Resident Owned Parks spoke to us (via Zoom) about buying your Park and showed us a path towards park ownership that is affordable when residents opt to purchase their park as a non-profit mutual benefit corporation instead of by subdivision. The corporation buys the park and each resident owns 1 share in the whole. This is much cheaper than buying the land under your home for tens of thousands of dollars, an expense most of us cannot afford. The main reasons to buy your park is to stabilize your rent over the long term, make your home more valuable and easier to sell and give you control of your economic future. In 2005 when Dave’s HOA decided to purchase their park, his rent was $550 a month. 15 years later, it is $556! Dave gave us a thumbnail sketch on the steps to purchase your park, financing options, how to pick up the property-tax basis of the seller, how to deal with infrastructure issues and more! If you are interested in purchasing your park, contact Dave Loop at 831.688.1293 or deloop1@gmail.com.

Bruce Stanton, GSMOL Corporate Attorney, presented his always-popular MRL “Road Show” Questions and then distributed a cheat sheet with the answers. Some examples:

  • Q: Who enforces the MRL?
  • A: You do! There is no MRL police force – but help has arrived in the form of the MRLPP created by AB 3066.
  • Q: What is the MRLPP or MRL Protection Program?
  • A: It is a 3-year pilot program that provides a complaint procedure where HCD will field complaints and refer the most egregious MRL violations to local non-profit providers at no cost to homeowners. It will begin July 1, 2020.
  • Q: Under what grounds may a park owner lawfully turn down a prospective purchaser who applies for tenancy?
  • Two reasons: 1) A demonstrated failure to follow rules (ex: evictions) under prior tenancies and 2) the financial inability to pay, usually determined by a 3 to 1 ratio of “income” over housing related expenses. Many seniors no longer have “income”, so a pending bill, AB 274, now on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature, requires management to consider other assets such as savings accounts, IRAs and trust funds to evaluate ability to pay.
  • Q: Can a park owner be required to continue to operate as a Senior Park?
  • A: Yes! Residents can request their city council to enact a “Senior Park Overlay District” which would require parks to continue to operate as “senior” housing.
  • Q: Which leases/rental agreements are exempt from local rent control?
  • A: Long term leases or leases that are over one year!
It is hard to imagine that a manager from HCD, a former building inspector, a former military man and a man who confesses to throwing microphones, who has a raccoon story that he teased us with but never revealed, could be funny!! But Matthew Wiese made us laugh and never fails to entertain as he lightened our fear about the Mobile Parks Maintenance (MPM) inspection program designed to inspect MH parks and residents’ homes for health and safety violations! He fielded an hour’s worth of questions. My biggest take-away was that the MPM has authority to inspect the outside of my home only (not the inside) and that I will be held to code standards in place when my home was built and not to current 2019 code standards. That, and a building permit costs $196!

The last segment of the day was “open mic” with Bruce Stanton and Matthew Weise as the 80 or so attendees peppered them with their personal questions and individual park issues. For an hour, they provided answers and free professional advice.

Under GSMOL’s current fiscal austerity program put in place to enable us to pay off the debt we inherited from past administrations, no corporate funds were available to pay for this Conference. All costs were borne by Mary Jo and Bobbie. With touching generosity, those who attended graciously donated $291 to help defray costs. THANK YOU!

I think all would agree that this was a satisfying day and time well spent.

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