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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 18801
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I have lived in my fully paid home in a nice mobile home

Customer Question

I have lived in my fully paid for mobile home in a nice mobile home park here in Northern CA for nearly 18 years, even though my fixed income has always been really low and the space rent fairly high. In the entire time I've been here, I have NEVER ONCE paid my rent late. Ever! And I've never had other problems either. I've been a really good tenant. But the park sold around 2004 and the new owners gave 5 of the lowest income people in the park 10% rent concessions based on income & assets, and the total value of my mobile home, car and other assets had to be under $10k, which it is, and my income is $889/month on SSI. I'm a senior who has been on disability for almost 25 years. So I fit their tight restrictions and they gave me a 10% discount on my rent. Even with the discount, I BARELY make it, but I still manage to survie and have always paid my rent on time still. NEVER a late fee! We got new owners again last summer and all has been going normally, but in February, the park did not provide me the paperwork to renew my 10% rent concession, and March 1st, my rent went up the 10% concession I'd been getting, about $70, which has raised my rent & the utils they bill to $775. I cannot pay it! I don't want to move! I just want that concession that I had been told by the previous owners would continue until my assets went over $10k or my income went up significantly. Neither has happened. I already got a $25 per month rent raise on 1/1/16, the highest rent increase I've EVER received, and now this? I'm overwhelmed. These owners will NOT let me see the documents covering the sale of this park from last summer, even though there is information in there that directly affects me! There have been many other rent concessions given by the previous owners to everyone in the park and those are not being taken away from anyone. There were $25 rent raises each January, but then the previous owners did rent concessions for $14 one year, $11 another year, etc., etc., to ease the $25 rent raises that had been part of a lease. I have a feeling that my 10% rent concession was left out of the sales contract or possibly lumped in with all the other rent concessions, but that's only a guess. I know that of the other possible 4 people who were offered the 10% rent concession years ago, that some have to had died or moved, and so I don't know if there are any others but me who were getting that 10% rent concession. I am not paying my rent for the first time in almost 18 years this month and hoping to get a judge to either let me see those sales documents or I will trust the judge to read those docs and report to me if my situation is covered one way or the other by them. I have put the rent aside in another account until this is resolved (well all of the rent but that last 10% since I simply cannot survive without that money) until this is resolved. For one, I consider this 10% increase a rent increase, and mobile home park tenants are entitled to a 90 day notice of any rent increases. Does that apply here? Are there any other choices I have in fighting this? Can I apply for a court date now, instead of waiting to get served a notice for nonpayment of rent? I cannot that these new owners would want to put out a VERY long time reliable tenant over this low cost (to them!) rent concession! I am cable of filing pro se because I will have to. If I could afford to pay this rent, I could afford to pay an attorney! But I do follow instructions well and just need an idea of where to go with this. I appreciate your help. Thanks so much! Jill Short
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello: You are correct, the rescission of the 10% rent concession would be considered a rent increase and therefore you are entitled to proper notice before the increase. Also and more importantly, the new owners cannot change the terms of the rent concession agreed by you and the previous owners. The rent concession agreement survives the sale of the mobile home park--the transfer of ownership.

As for your demand to see the sale documents, I am afraid that you are not legally entitled to see the documents. The terms of the sale are private and thus the new owners have no legal obligation to disclose the documents to you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Under who what legal theory would the rent concession survive the sale of the park? I am going to have to go into Landlord/Tenant court and argue this, but I cannot without knowing why it would survive.
Also, can the judge review those sale documents on my behalf? Or would that even be necessary if you provide the legal theory for the survival of the rent concession?
And finally, I HATE having to not pay my rent here to get to court to get my rent concession continued. I am wondering if there is any OTHER way to get into Landlord/Tenant court without not paying the rent? Or is this the easiest/cheapest way to do it?Thanks so much for your help. This answer gives me hope that I am not going to have to move after 18 years of residence.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

A contractual agreement such as a lease or rental agreement between a Landlord and Tenant survives the transfer of ownership. If you have a written agreement about the rent concession that does not have any expiration date, which is an addendum to your rental agreement, that contract survives the sale of the property. Only after the expiration of an agreement can the new owners negotiate new agreement with the Tenant.

As for the Judge reviewing the terms of the sale, the Judge cannot do that on your behalf.

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