Kort & Scott Financial Group (KSFG) dba Sierra Corporate Management (SCM) have methodically stripped the City of Carson of rent controlled mobile home spaces one (1) year after purchasing both Carson Gardens Trailer Lodge and Laco Mobile Home Park in Carson, California.
On Saturday, August 20, 2016, the MHPHOA made a presentation to a large number of Carson mobile home residents along with city and state officials regarding KSFG/SCM. During the meeting, it was discovered that KSFG/SCM have had twelve (12) mobile home owners sign long-term leases in Carson Gardens Trailer Lodge which has 97 spaces – that’s 12% of the mobile home park spaces that have been lost to the nefarious business practices of the new owners Kort & Scott Financial Group.
The MHPHOA are currently awaiting statistics for Laco Mobile Home Park. We are going to surmise that a similar routine has occurred and that at least 10% of Laco’s 94 spaces (9) have been converted to long-term leases and no longer under the City of Carson’s Mobilehome Space Rent Control ordinance.
§4710 Lease Regulations.
No Park Owner may require, directly or indirectly, that any Homeowner or prospective Homeowner sign a lease or rental agreement that provides that it shall be exempt from local rent control or provides for space rent in excess of that permitted by this Chapter as a condition of tenancy in the park and no Park Owner may deny a tenancy to a prospective purchaser of a mobilehome in the park on the ground that the prospective purchaser will not sign such a lease or rental agreement. (Ord. 91-941U, §1; Ord. 91-941, §1; Ord. 92-970U, §2; Ord. 92-970, §2; Ord. 98-1130, §19)
Based on the above municipal code (ordinance), the leases being offered by KSFG/SCM, and signed by mobile home owners, appear to be in direct violation of the Carson Mobilehome Space Rent Control §4710. KSFG/SCM may have obtained these long-term leases through the use of cash incentives, coercion, compulsion, and/or duress. The MHPHOA believe the KSFG/SCM long-term leases are Unconscionable and we are suggesting that the City of Carson deem the KSFG/SCM leases as Unlawful Contracts and have them rescinded.
Note: There is a section in the Carson Municipal Code that provides Kort & Scott Financial Group protections under the California Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL §798.17) from the above lease regulations. It is somewhat obscured within §4711(c) and states the below.
§4711 Utility Fees – Registration and Posting.
(c) Within ten (10) days of executing any rental agreement or lease which is exempt from this Chapter pursuant to Civil Code Section 798.17, a Park Owner shall register that lease with the Department on a form provided by the City, which specifies the beginning and ending date of the lease and the rental rate(s) applicable during the duration of the lease, and shall attach thereto a copy of the lease.
MRL §798.17 is a major loophole in the California Civil Code that was enacted to protect mobile home owners from predatory park owners. The MHPHOA and the grass roots movement strongly urge the AMENDMENT of California Civil Code Section 798.17 .
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Chap. 477 (AB 1938, Williams), eff. 1/1/2013)
If these unfair business practices are allowed to continue at their current pace, KSFG/SCM will convert both Carson Gardens Trailer Lodge and Laco Mobile Home Park to 80-90% leased spaces, no longer under rent control, within 10 years. KSFG/SCM have performed this routine in Granada Villa Mobile Home Park in Santa Clarita which also has a Rent Control Ordinance. Unfortunately, as of August 2016, through the egregious and predatory business practices of KSFG/SCM, only 11 of the 179 spaces remain under rent control.
According to online records, KSFG purchased Granada Villa in 2002. It has taken them less than fourteen (14) years to convert 94% of the mobile home spaces to long-term leases which waives rent control for those spaces – indefinitely. The City of Santa Clarita, California have lost a valuable plot of affordable housing to the KSFG/SCM unconscionable long-term leases. Average space rents in 2016 for Santa Clarita mobile home parks are $725 – space rents in Granada Villa Mobile Home Park are $1,350.
On Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 6:00 PM, the City of Carson, California held a Mobilehome Rental Review Board meeting. Mr. Abraham Arrigotti, President of Sierra Corporate Management was present and asked by a board member if it was true that SCM were offering residents at Carson Gardens Trailer Lodge a $450 cash incentive to sign long-term leases? Mr. Abraham Arrigotti responded with a “yes” and counsel (Thomas W. Casparian) for Sierra Corporate Management confirmed that this was legal and it is encouraged.
Corona La Linda Mobile Home Park – Lease Agreement
File Type: PDF, Pages: 21, Size: 617KB
Note: The Carson Gardens Trailer Lodge lease is identical to the Corona La Linda Mobile Home Park lease with the exception of the base rent and lease terms page(s). There is what appears to be an unintentional paragraph shift between the two 21 page documents that makes them look unalike.
Corona La Linda Mobile Home Park – Rental Agreement
File Type: PDF, Pages: 22, Size: 587KB
Do not sign any documents from Sierra Corporate Management, seek immediate professional and/or legal advice. You must review all documents from Sierra Corporate Management (SCM) with a knowledgeable representative. All documents to be signed by residents must be reviewed by an experienced SCM forensic document specialist. DO NOT sign a long-term lease! As soon as you sign a lease agreement greater than one (1) year, you have waived your rights to any current and/or future rent control ordinances that may be in force or enacted. You have thirty (30) days to review the lease – and you have options – see the Information panel.