Operations catch attention of ND Manufactured Housing Association

Mobile home park companies register with state

Shalom Baer Gee/MDN A sign stands outside of Parkview Mobile Home Park in southeast Minot after Oakland Communities of Minot sold the property along with Western Village in Minot. Before the sale, the sign bore the name of the owner, which has since been whited out.

Fifty-seven days after Oakland Communities of Minot sold Parkview Mobile Home Park and Western Village to Parkview MHP LLC and Western Village MHP LLC respectively, the companies registered with the North Dakota Secretary of State. The Secretary of State office previously confirmed that companies must be registered with them to do business in North Dakota.

Both LLCs are listed as foreign limited liability corporations, which is an LLC that is based in another state. In these cases, Delaware, although the principal address for both is in New Jersey. Notices sent to residents stated that both are affiliates of Homes of America LLC, also based in Delaware. An Oakland Communities official said the sales were a “package deal.”

Residents of both parks in Minot reported lack of communication and maintenance that went on for at least seven weeks after the sale. One resident said she called the number provided to residents approximately 20 to 30 times before getting a response. Another resident stated that the online portal showed that she owed January rent a month after making the payment.

Kent French, director of governmental affairs at the North Dakota Manufactured Housing Association, has taken interest in the situation and stated that the companies are not in compliance with the law.

“We are made up of the people that own and manage the communities, and dealerships, bankers, numerous people that have something to do with our industry,” French said. “One would think that we would be on the side of the people that are purchasing the new properties, but when they take advantage of the individuals that live in the communities, that hurts our industry.”

French said he had a hand in writing Senate Bill 2159, which passed during the 2021 legislative assembly and laid out rules that mobile home park owners and purchasers must follow.

According to the bill, someone who owns or purchases an existing mobile home park must designate a local office that is operational on the fifth business day after the change of ownership, have a designated phone number that’s manned during business hours, have an operational emergency phone number that is manned at all times and respond to tenant inquiries and complaints within two business days after receiving them.

“They are breaking the law,” French said.

On Feb. 14, a woman started as manager of the two parks. She declined to identify her last name to The Minot Daily News. Residents have expressed cautious optimism about the new manager, Haylie.

Haylie said on Tuesday that the phone number originally provided to tenants, which she now monitors, acts as both the business phone number and the emergency phone number. She also confirmed that there is not a local management office at this time.

French said that he has contacted legislators in the Minot area to notify them about the situation. He said that one of the things he wants to revisit is the penalties for not adhering to the rules laid out in Senate Bill 2159.

Currently, a person who violates the law could be subject to a civil penalty not exceeding $1,000 or actual damages, whichever is less, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

“One of the debates we had on it was the enforcement of it, and most people in North Dakota understand that businesses usually care about their people, and things can happen where there can be a slip up or something like that. These people just don’t care. They flat don’t care,” French said.


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