Just received a small claims court filing against our park. Essentially the resident who is on a rent-to-own agreement found a legal-aid lawyer who says our agreements are in violation of law. The basis of the claim is that the park has shifted the maintenance and repair responsibility to the tenant. Our lease agreements charge residents a “Net Home Rent” plus lot rent, where “Net Home Rent” is the Home Rent minus a “monthly maintenance credit” that the resident receives for agreeing to maintain the home. For example, say the home rents for $350 per month normally with the maintenance credit being $100 per month; thus, the resident gets invoiced for $250 per month plus lot rent. In a separate “lease option” agreement, the resident also gets a credit toward the purchase of the home in the future should they exercise an option to purchase.
Has anyone been involved in a claim such as we are experiencing? Any advice? Strategy suggestions?
By the way, the resident has not paid their home rent nor lot rent for this month. Should we serve them with a 3-Day notice?
(Note: We now are using the rent credit program; yet the above described claim is from a resident that came into the park under our previous rent-to-own program.)