The residents of the Appomattox Mobile Home Park in Hopewell, Va., have until Saturday to clear out their belongings:
For most residents at the Appomattox Mobile Home Park, the news came as a surprise: On Oct. 29, each tenant received a notice ordering them to leave the park within 30 days. No reason was given, and many residents had no place to go.
After realizing the state's Manufactured Home Lot Rental Act entitles tenants to at least 60 days' notice, the owners extended the lease until Jan. 1.
By Monday, most tenants had packed their belongings and left behind a deserted mobile home park. …
One of the last remaining tenants is Donald Goldman. … Goldman and his girlfriend bought their trailer just last year, bringing along their two big dogs. Now they're having trouble finding a new home. …
Moving the trailer is not an option.
"It's impossible to move old trailers like this," Goldman said. "I don't know of any neighbor who didn't leave their trailer behind."
All the time, everywhere. The poor have no recourse, no meaningful legal protection and nowhere left to go.
You could call that a travesty of justice. You could call that a classic example of the deck being stacked against the have-nots. You could call that an abomination before God.
Or, if you're real estate blogger Frank Rolfe, you could call that something else: An opportunity.
Here's Rolfe, writing for something called "Bigger Pockets," to helpfully explain how to exploit this opportunity for exploitation in a post titled "Why Mobile Home Park Rents Can Be Pushed Higher Than Others."
Many landlords are scared to push their rents right now. … Articles are abundant, talking about the inability of office and commercial landlords to maintain current rent levels if they want to attract or retain tenants.
Well, itâ€™s a different story in mobile home park land. And it highlights some of the key reasons that mobile home parks are the best niche in real estate investing. …
So how can you raise mobile home park rents when every other landlord is stopped dead in their tracks? … Basically, you can continue to raise rents because the cost for the tenant to move is far higher than the resulting rent increase.
… If you want to find a class of investments that allows you to increase the rents a significant amount each year, whether it's feast or famine in the general economy, then mobile home parks are worthy of further examination.