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Fearnot_69

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all,
So this situation is rather convoluted. I was given the property by my mother a few years ago. The property in question is in Henry County, Virginia. She had a verbal contract with someone, who owns the trailers, where he could use the lot for a period of four years. After which, he was going to move them. That four year period ended approximately fifteen years ago. When I received ownership, lot payment was transferred to me. He was responsible for rent collection and the conditions of the park. As time passed, the property has accumulated dog lots, disabled cars, an abandoned trailer used as storage and trash on the property. I recently found out he sold three of the trailers without informing me. On March 23, I received a notice from the Sheriff’s Department that I am to clean areas seen from the main road and removed vehicles not displaying valid tags and inspection. Compliance was to occur by 4/14. I addressed the issue with the trailers original owner and gave him the information provided by the Sheriff’s Department. I typed a letter and left it on the door of the trailer, which had the disabled cars, informing to remove the cars and gave them a couple weeks. The original trailer owner was going to get the others to clean the exterior. Incidentally, the trailers in question are owned by a mother and one of her sons. I have since been in contact with the Deputy on the case, explained the situation, and he has been very understanding and informative. However, his patience and the County’s won’t last for long. I am in the process of seeing a lawyer about my rights and plan of action, as I plan to close the park. Considering the age of the trailers and individuals I’m dealing with, I will be responsible for clearing the lot.( Learning how to dispose of the trailers will be my next lesson to learn) The minimal amount I get for this isn’t worth the headache and affection from the Sheriff’s Department. So, that’s the synopsis of the situation. Incidentally, I’m a medical professional and know nothing about being a landlord. Any information and advice is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
LLinVA

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Posts: 393
Reply with quote  #2 
Talking to a lawyer is a good idea. He should be able to get you straightened out now and figure out what to do moving forward. 

I'm still unclear on the exact arrangement. Is this third-party guy leasing the property from you, or just managing it? Either way, most of this headache should be on him, but it sounds like he had some very informal and atypical arrangement with your mother. 

Is everyone paying on time? Has any actual progress been made on the vehicles and clean up?

Are you anywhere near the area, or is this a long-distance situation for you? If you are within an hour or two max, I would consider keeping it. Trailer parks can be very lucrative if they are managed properly and you are okay with the extra drama associated with that type of people. If you could get this thing better managed, I think you will be very happy to have it in the years to come. Otherwise, you are probably better off cleaning up the current problems and getting it sold (it is probably more worth your time and the hassle than you think). 

With verbal agreements, in VA that means they are all month-to-month. So, you could simply give a 30-day notice to vacate, be barely flexible for anyone that needs an extra week or two (although, if you give an inch they will take a mile), sell the trailers for super cheap, even if just for scrap (do you actually own them), and move forward with a clean slate (to keep or sell).
Fearnot_69

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #3 
LLinVA,
This is a five lot trailer park, created by my father, who has since passed. The third-party guy, I’ll call “Bob”, bought the trailers from my mother, with the verbal agreement to move them off the land in three years. My father passed in 2000 and I was stationed in Germany at that time, so I wasn’t around. It was extra income for her, but she’s had no interest in managing the park. There is where the atypical/informal arrangement began. She didn’t push to move the trailers as time went on. As stated above, there are five trailers, where one is used for storage. I’m not sure for how long, but Bob argued to pay rent space for the four. I have no idea what is being paid per month per trailer or their consistency. Bob has given me the same sob stories for years about losing money and people not paying. He pays me $400 for the lot spaces.
Progress has been made on cleaning the area and moving the cars. There was one last car, which was supposed to be towed. That was stopped by the owner’s mother, stating that arrangement have been made. That was Tuesday. Yesterday it was pushed behind the trailer, out of view of the main road. My priority is to get squared away with the County before moving forward with evictions.
Unfortunately, I live a few hundred feet from the park. I drive past it every day. It’s a disgusting eye sore and I have been passive about the whole situation. Since the order from the Sheriff’s Department, I am no longer going to tolerate this situation, hence subscribing to this forum, consulting with a lawyer, investigating my rights and exercising them fully as the land owner. I speak with the lawyer next Tuesday to discuss a plan of action. Actually, I’ve learned a bit from this forum. My plan is to evict them all and once cleared, bring in new tenants and do it myself. It’s just overwhelming at this point.
Also, my father created a twenty one lot trailer park. It is owned by my mother and poorly managed by another person. The conditions there are similar to my park. She, at least, has lease agreements with those tenants. However, she makes no effort to bring in new clients, minimally manages the park, and there are unauthorized dog lots, abandoned cars and trailers. Once I square away my park, I will take over that one and attempt to develop it the way my father intended. My father enjoyed managing these parks. He wanted to create these for our financial future. I’ve ignored this long enough. It would never have gotten to this point under his management and he’d drop kick my butt and deservedly so.
I joined here, as a starting point, to turn this around. After looking around the site, I realized the wealth of information and experiences available here. It’s encouraging and I appreciate any assistance.
LLinVA

Registered:
Posts: 393
Reply with quote  #4 
I'm glad you intend to keep them. They really are a lucrative option if you manage them well, can stomach the drama, and don't get mushy over sob stories. Good luck and keep asking questions. 
Fearnot_69

Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #5 
I see a lawyer tomorrow at 12:00. Free consultation. Trying to develop a list of questions to maximize the time. Considering the evolution of this situation and the lack of lease for the property, I am considering developing a legally binding agreement for Bob and the other occupants to increase my return on the property or evict them. Thanks for your advice.
jensaks

Registered:
Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #6 
Boy, I am watching this discussion with great interest and trepidation.  We're sort of in the same situation property-wise.  My father bought this property probably 20-25 years ago, along with several other commercial properties. It was pretty nice when he was living...he put all new trailers in as buyers came along (there are 9 spaces) and had an understanding (contract) with the owners that if they moved they were to move their trailer.  Since my father died, my mother just lets things happen.  Not totally her fault, as she's now 97 and just collects the rents.  No maintenance, and the tenants seem to like it that they aren't bothered (!)  This is all going to fall on us, and we aren't really sure what to do.  My mother only spends money on her properties when she has to, and this place doesn't reach her radar.  We're a few hours away, but it's close to a beach town our family like to go to, so we sort of hang our heads when we drive by.  It has potential, but it would take money. 😉  We've suggested things we and our grown kids might do, but she always says to leave it alone...people are happy.  We've taken the reins on her other two properties and they're doing well (except for one tenant from the netherworld).
So..my condolences, and I'll be curious to see what happens.


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