Does anyone know of any case where a RSO filed a lawsuit against a MHP for denial of residency due to that specific status, and won? I have been told by one Park Manager at another Park there have been “tons of lawsuits” filed and won by 290 resgistrants (RSO) due to them being denied residency/tenancy in a MHP. I have not been able to find (on-line) any reference to any such lawsuit. (This is CA.) In the most recent application, the 290 registrant is currently out on probabtion, (a heinous case, already spoken with the prosecutors on his case, and they consider him high risk re-offender). He already was living in one Park, violated the probation terms (no contact with minors) - but again, this is CA, so nothing was done.
Who cares about cases (and I was an attorney in one of my prior lives). If you think it is a danger to the residents or to your bottom line, you deny the applicant. If he sues (and sometimes legal services lawyers will take the case for “practice” since they do not get much trial experience), the worst outcome is a trial. If you can get this tried by a jury, you will most likely win even if you defend the case yourself. If you lose (unlikely) you may have to accept the applicant until he violates a park rule or does not pay rent (in which case you go to court as in any other violation).
You cannot worry about every eventuality, just do what your gut tells you. Let us know the outcome.
They would have to prove why you rejected them and since you never tell any applicant why they are rejected it would be very difficult for them to prove.
If pressed you rejected because you had a uncomfortable feeling about the applicant.
Thank you kindly for all your responses. This is one denial I am inclined to have all my ducks in a row over - (the denial) because this perp is very clever, has manipulated the system/managed to get a judge to sentence against the prosecutor’s wish for 16 years.
Spoke with the probation officer, who indicated that early 2015 CA passed some legislation removing “keep away from schools” etc. restrictions for 290 registrants which has caused lots of confusion. (This registrant is known to have rented space in an RV parking lot where he keeps trailers/vehicles AND a ladder right up against a K-High School fence. That “address” is not listed under Megan’s law, so that’s how they get around that).
New details (yesterday) of the case and history make this a slam dunk denial anywhere. So, have asked CA Dept of Fair Housing their position on this particular case, as it might be more a case by case basis based on the specific details of the registrant’s offenses. (BTW, connected to this, due to prison overcrowding and early release, organizations charged with helping ex-cons rehome are dumping in MHP’s why this is becoming a headache).
FYI there have been a few new CA cases recently (around Halloween) protesting the legal requirement for posting RSO signs to alert parents of trick or treating kids. This is why we’re being extra careful. These individuals seem to have more legal “juice” these days.
Why tell the people why they were denied? there is no point in it… IF, and I mean IF, someone brought their denial into question you would have plenty of time to list reasons. But as long as you don’t deny them for something that is a “protected class” like sex, age, family status, or race, you have nothing to worry about. Being a sex offender is not a protected class. Protect your community and decide who you want to rent to yourself.
Listen to this video. He has not had an eviction since 1981, and he gives great advice. He talks about your right to choose the best tenant. He also talks about CA specifically. He starts talking about choosing tenants at 13 minutes into the video. Be consistent and treat everyone the same!
He has good general landlord advice. The Operations Standands and Procedures manual is the best advice.But this is a sticky wicket. I can’t treat this indidual the same, he is to be denied, and here is the ridiculous new climate we’re operating in: In the last several weeks, there have been a raft of lawsuits, these deviants are banding together:
The gentle man in the video is spot on with the importance of screening. I screen the same regardless of the level of housing I am providing. Applicants do not get special consideration because it is a MHC.
One word of advice XYZ when doing background screening keep the contact with others and other entities to a bare minimum. Once you confirm the applicant has a criminal record do not discuss or ask any further questions. Make a decision and stick with it. Do not allow anyone to know your intentions especially officials of any kind. The applicants probation officer will cut you off at the knees in court when questioned under oath.