Mobile home residents get month’s notice about $700 lot rent increase

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. -- Residents at a West Michigan mobile home park are upset over the sharp increase in lot rent. It's a jump everyone who FOX 17 spoke with says forces them to move.

At the same time, the residents said the costs to move make relocating virtually impossible.

"It was as if we were blind-sided," resident Williams Hays said.

Residents said it's a rumor that turned into a reality at South Haven's Meadowbrook Village. They received a letter in the mail dated August 1st that states their lot rent is going up on September 1st. They said they currently pay $305 for lot rent. Property owner "Special Assets" is increasing lot rent to $1,000.

The Illinois-based company said the increase is for road, water, and septic system improvements. It's a roughly $700 increase everyone FOX 17 spoke with said they can't afford to pay.

Hays questioned, "Why can't we just have more time to put everything together to get out?"

"The fact of having 30 days and people that have lived here for 25+ years have to put all their belongings up and find somewhere to go and most of them are 70+ [years old]. We have a woman who's 95. My stepfather is 93. He has Alzheimer's. She has Parkinson's. We have two people dying of cancer in our park," Hays said.

For those who own their trailer outright or are paying on it, they said the alternative of moving their property is costly.

Dolly Harris said, "It's gonna be at least $7,000 [to move], and that's bearing there's no problem putting it back together."

Harris said she's leaving her garage behind because it's an extra $1,500 dollars to move.

Tina Williams asked, "What are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to come up with the money to split our trailer to relocate it and get our finances in order and still provide for our family?"

Residents showed FOX 17 the owner's new plan for the land they said they obtained through the county.

Harris said, "The plan that we saw of the new park... our lots don't exist."

If and when they're served eviction notices, they said that complicates the process and potentially leaves them in a deeper bind.

Hays said, "Not to be displaced without help or compassion. Ya know, because this was a community to us and they're destroying it which is fine. They own it. They can do what they want. But we are human beings, and we've lived here for a long time. We've paid a lot of money."

To add to the frustration, they said no one will listen or provide any help and that they just keep getting passed around. FOX 17 left a message with property owner "Special Assets" out of Illinois. We have not heard back as of news time.

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15 comments

  • Sara

    Wow! Just wow I feel for them. They will be higher in lot rent then the one we are at in South Haven. As far as I know we were the highest paying now we won’t be. Its sad that they aren’t giving them more time or helping the ones whom can’t afford it especially on such a short notice.

  • drjackgrenan

    but IF you go into a MHP you sooner or later will be priced out of the ability to afford the lot rent NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE!!! Please NEVER place your home in a park OR IF YOU DO ask for a long term contract with price increases in the contract OR BETTER YET BUY AN ACRE!!!!!! TO PLACE YOUR HOUSE ON! I am a cancer survivor who used to build small residential parks for homes like yours. If you want help you can call me and we can check into groups of people buying land and split it up into 1 acre lots that u own , Call me at 616-414-7246 for a ph talk, God saved me so I enjoy helping people out since I got to see Heaven when I died I do want to go back there! Dr Jack Grenan PhD

    • Mike and Carmen Hosier

      God bless you ! My husband and I are residents of this park. And I am truly touched by your compassion. Hugs to you and all our prayers to you sir.

  • J.B.

    Just another South Haven money grubbing scheme..
    Sure we appreciate your money for 20+ years..
    Oh wait..i can make twice as much money on that property by “upscaling” it into a FIP/Tourist trap?
    To bad,so sad…You people gotta go….
    Been happening for the last 30+ years….If your a local and/or a long term resident..GTFO.
    A real charming place……If you have an out of state license plate…

  • Marc Faulkner

    All I can say is WOW our website has exploded with requests from folks to come and evaluate mobile homes in this area. I am sorry to hear about this happening to what once was affordable house!

  • Carol

    Get ahold of Michelle Dunlap in Niles mi she runs franklin woods mobile home park see what she can do for u all 1-269-684-3525

  • ken hart

    i think i may know why this and other price jacking’s are occurring and will get worse. planet x, or nubiru is close by in our solar system and within 3 yrs max the same thing that happened to the dinosaurs is going to happen to us. the elites have been building under ground bunkers for this event and the rest of us stuck on the surface are all going to perish. they want every last red cent from us before we are no longer here to keep paying. marshal law will be imposed shortly after it get visible and then you will not have any options to survive. god help us all.