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Shocking Law Allows RV Park Evictions for No Reason

An RV park in Imperial Beach, California, is in the news after tenants complained about mandatory forced evictions. Every six months, management requires residents to pack up and leave for 48 hours.

If you’ve ever considered going full-time in your motorhome, you’ll want to learn about this practice and what’s being done about it.

Today, we’re exploring an unfortunate fact of life for many living in RV parks.

Let’s get into it!

Isolated Eviction Notice On Yellow Paper With Sticky Tap On A White Background, potentially like the one RV parks use
No one wants to see this on their RV

California RV Park Guests Get Eviction Notice Every Six Months

Miramar Imperial Beach Mobile Home & RV Park tenants hope new legislation will offer much-needed stability. Under current California law, RV and trailer parks can legally evict residents every six months.

And that’s not all. When they return to the grounds, their monthly fees are often double what they were paying. 

Many of these tenants are elderly, disabled, or veterans on a fixed income. Not only is the cost of moving their belongings exorbitant, but the price to return is entirely unfeasible. This means that many people at this park, and others in similar situations around the state, face homelessness. 

Rent prices are currently higher than ever, especially in high-cost-of-living areas like California. Since 2022, an eviction moratorium has been in place to avoid these forced removals from RV parks.

However, this suspension will soon end.

State Representative David Alvarez introduced Assembly Bill 1472 to prevent park owners from raising fees by more than 5% before 2030. It’ll also end mandatory evictions, meaning RV park tenants could gain status as permanent residents. While state housing laws already limit rent increases, mobile homes aren’t covered under these ordinances.

It’s not just in Imperial Beach that RV parks support evictions

About Miramar Imperial Beach LLC

Folks living in this park didn’t always have such a hard time. In 2022, Miramar Imperial Beach, LLC, bought the former Siesta RV Park. While residents already fought against forced evictions under previous ownership, they also faced higher water, sewer, and power fees after the sale.

Former Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina spoke out against Miramar’s actions, calling them “slum-lords” and renouncing the mistreatment of their tenants. He stated that for-profit housing is detrimental when used as a “profit center” rather than a way to help the less fortunate.

Effects of RV Park Evictions

The Miramar policy requires residents to relocate for at least 48 hours every six months. This means they have to pack up all their belongings and find somewhere else to stay for two days before they can return. 

When you figure in the price of a hotel room, food, and the fees to move back onto the property, this two-day period can cost as much as the monthly rent.

Perhaps the most significant problem with these forced evictions from RV parks is that temporary tenants don’t have the same legal rights as permanent residents. After nine months at one location, you’re considered a resident. According to Serge Dedina, that’s precisely why these property managers limit occupancy to six months.

Many RV parks take additional measures: Why Are Campgrounds Running Background Checks on Guests?

How Would A Proposed State Bill Ban Six-Month RV Park Evictions?

On May 8, 2023, the California Assembly passed Bill 1472, proposed by David Alvarez, with bipartisan support. Under the bill, RV parks can no longer evict tenants to keep them from gaining resident status. 

A press release from the state says the “RV Shuffle” causes undue hardship to the most vulnerable Californians. They note that the affordable housing crisis has left many people without options.

If passed, the bill will protect tenants throughout the city of Imperial Beach. The next step is a review by the State Senate. However, no date has been set. 

Is It Easy For RV Park Owners to Give Eviction Notices?

While tenants of RV parks don’t always have resident status, some protections remain to keep them from forced eviction. 

Park managers and landlords must have a documented reason to evict you before giving you the boot. Of course, these reasons vary between states. But offenses like not paying rent, causing property damage, or breaking the terms of your lease are generally valid grounds. 

However, RV parks are on private property, and lease agreements can skew in their favor. Therefore, it’s important to thoroughly read all contracts before signing to ensure you’re not agreeing to unfair policies.

Portrait of a senior cowboy casually leaning in one hand and old fence. He wears a cowoy hat and sunglasses. Out of focus van in background. He may represent some of the people being evicted from RV parks.
Are eviction notices at RV parks fair?

The Problem With Corporations Buying Small RV Parks

While the Siesta RV Park had issues, its sale to Miramar caused many more problems for tenants. Unfortunately, this scenario has become all too common as corporate investors scoop up mom-and-pop parks. 

Family-owned campgrounds that weren’t worth much in the past are selling for millions today. And folks who never thought they’d sell are getting offers they can’t refuse.

But when these parks change hands, the new management often doesn’t have a connection to the residents as the previous owners did.

Instead of treating tenants like guests, they’re often seen as numbers on a corporate spreadsheet. This depersonalization is partially to blame for the problems at Miramar and similar parks.

RV Park Evictions Cause Hardship

The threat of forced eviction is a reality for people living full-time in campgrounds and RV parks. The consequences can be devastating. While it’s not always the case, many of these tenants are financially insecure, and stripping them of resident status and requiring them to do the RV Shuffle only worsens matters. 

Fortunately, the problems in Imperial Beach may soon end if AB 1472 passes. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more.

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