Residents at Campbell Co. mobile home park unhappy with new management’s rules

Investigations

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Residents at a mobile home park that is under new management in Campbell County say some of the new park rules are unfair. For example, under the new rules, renters will have to cut their own grass, and pay extra for any pet they own.

Some of the units at the Old Spruce Mobile Home Park go back 30 years and they’re in bad condition. A letter sent to residents from the new park managers states, “No longer will there be long-term rentals, only month to month.” However, residents will be given a chance to rent to buy. The plan, according to new management, is to clean up the park, but some residents believe the new management wants to run them off.

Kim Summers is a cat lover, she rescues them, but she’s afraid she won’t be able to care for cats anymore at her home, it’ll be too expensive on her limited income. For five years, she’s lived at this park. Once called Spruce Mobile Home Park, it’s now under new management and ownership. She says at first, many families were excited about improvements that would come to their community now called Cove Lake Circle Mobile Home Park.

Summers says she showed the park management a damaged back door two months ago and submitted a maintenance request. She pointed to a hole in this step leading to the door, neither have been fixed.

She says, “As you can see somebody can easily break-in. A piece of the old door was screwed in here and she promised me that she had plenty of doors, would bring one soon, within a few days, and she’s never showed up.”

Jennifer Newman says that a dumpster near her home is a health hazard, “The new landlord put this dumpster here when these people move out. It just keeps collecting garbage from people in the neighborhood who bring their garbage here. It’s right out my back door.”

Another letter sent to residents claimed new improvements were on the way. However, residents say they’ve left messages, letters, but can’t get a hold of them. Also, with the new rule of residents having to mow their own grass, if it gets too high, residents will be charged a fee. Management also claims the park provides affordable housing to its residents. Yet, the facts are, rent has gone up more than 60% in two months.

Newman says, “they’ve raised the rent to $500 a month from $300. They said they’re going to fix everything. I haven’t seen them fix anything.”

Summers has repairs that need tending to in her home, black mold caused by water leaks, electrical wiring that isn’t safe, plus a hole in the floor that’s dangerous and is an open invitation for pests.

Summers is 22 years old and has multiple health problems. She’s unable to do the work herself. Yet under new rules, she’ll have to either pay someone to cut her grass or be fined. Also, a $50 fee will be added monthly for every pet that a resident owns, according to new park regulations. 6 On Your Side reached out to park management for comment about the fees and unfinished repairs. There’s been no response.

In its letter to residents a few weeks ago, Capitol Communities said it will strictly enforce all of its new rules. For example, if rent is not paid on time, residents were told there would be a late fee and they’d be subject to eviction. As for those residents on month-to-month rentals, in its June letter, they said the local manager will be available to discuss homeownership options.

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