Submitted by Linda Duffy, Compliance Manager for Community Legal Aid:
'Susan' contacted Legal Aid when she received a notice saying she owed over twice as much rent for her mobile home as she thought, and the manager of the mobile home park threatened her with eviction. Susan asked for an accounting of her rent payments from the manager, but received no response.
On a household income of less than $10,000 a year and caring for her sister's child for whom she has custody, Susan could not afford to move.
Despite the fact that the law required mobile home parks to provide a written lease to residents, Susan had no written lease that specified the rules regardig her rent payments. In addition, the manager did not always provide Susan with receipts for rent paid.
Legal Aid staff Attorney Meredith Watts took on Susan's case. She discovered a second case in the same mobile home park where a resident was threatened with eviction for non-payment of unjustifiable lot rent charges. Once Attorney Watts obtained a copy of the park manager's accounting log, she detected that Susan had not been credited for all rent paid.
At the hearing, the park owner instituted new practices, including providing residents with written leases, rent receipts for each lot rent payment, and accurate accounting to ensure that neither Susan nor any of the other residents are overcharged in the future. Susan and the child in her care were able to remain in their home, and Susan was saved $1,063, 13% of her $10,000 annual gross household income.
Community Legal Aid's local clients are primarily families with children, the elderly and the disabled who are residents of Orrville, Dalton and Marshallville and have urgent civil legal problems, but whose low household income makes it impossible for them to pay for legal help. Their programs work to prevent or stop doestic violence and child abuse, prevent homelessness, and help individuals with disabilities secure health care and subsistence income.
For more information, contact Linda Duffy: phone: 330-983-2508