Today was court for some residents at Akron Mobile Home Park. They are facing eviction by a Florida investment company that buys up mobile home parks (which really should be rebranded as Manufactured Home Parks, but that an issue for another day).
The Florida company is called Sunrise Capital Investors (SCI). They basically buy up Manufactured Home Parks, bundle them into an investment product, and sell shares to people. Kind of like a mutual fund, but it owns actual properties and not equities. Their web site says their benchmark return on investment is 12% and total return target of 18-20%.
Their web site is confusing in the fact that the “links” on the top don’t take you anywhere, you just have to keep scrolling down to get info. When you get to the info for where the “link” should have taken you, the “link” lights up. I went there a few months ago and there was much more info about how to invest with them, what the minimum investment was, the three tiers they offered etc. I can’t find any of that now. The only way to get any information about any of their investment products is to click a “contact us” button (nothing happened), fill out a “Contact us” type form, you can click a link that says “Schedule a call” that takes you to a calendar, and there is a general email address.
I then tried the links for “Mobile Home Park Fund” and it didn’t work, and neither did the “investing through self-directed IRA” link.
Here is their web address: https://sunrisecapitalinvestors.com/ Try it for yourself!
The tenants of our park have been on a rent strike for 3 months time. The money is safe, in an escrow account for now waiting for this to get worked out. Some of the tenants complaints are:
SCI raised the rent by an unreasonable amount and has made it unaffordable for some residents to stay in their homes.
Bad to no maintenance at all, a lot is in regards to winter plowing and salting roads in the park.
There is an issue with the water billing that needs to be addressed as well. Some residents told me that: One person got a bill for hundreds of dollars and another person got a bill for……twelve cents. Another issue is the property tax issue. I don’t have details on that at this time.
They also say that SCI hasn’t gone through the proper process to evict them.
So there is your backstory. This story has been covered by TIME magazine and a local TV channel as well, just in case you are interested in more details than I have. Here is the link to the story WIVB from Buffalo did.
TODAY IN COURT:
Many residents of the park were in attendance as was I. SCI was being represented by, well, I forgot his name, and here is why: I was introduced to this guy and 5 other people all at the same time upon walking in. Later, when I went to try and talk to him, I asked him his name, and if he could tell me what was going on so I could get it right. He just turned his back to me and said “You have to talk to our PR guy…….” and walked away.
So, I don’t know his name even though he was the “representative for SCI”. He reminded me of “Pharma Bro”, remember him? If you don’t, just Google Pharma Bro. So, for the sake of the rest of this story, I will refer to this guy as “Sunrise Bro”.
Then the Judge came in, and apparently SCI’s attorney, Sean Makenzie was running late (winter wednesday). So, in the meantime, we got to watch *cue music* Traffic Court! The highlight of that was a teenage girl that got busted speeding (?) texting (?) some teenage driver thing (?). Her punishment was to write an essay about distracted driving and read it to the court. Wasn’t it her lucky day that the whole Akron Mobile Home Park thing was happening so it was a packed house! Poor kid. She did great though, and made a great case about distracted driving and how dangerous it is.
When Mr. Makenzie got in, Judge Campbell called up both sides. AMHP was being represented by Micheal Kooshoian.
Judge Campbell asked Mr. Makenzie if he was there to get people evicted today, and Mr. Makenzie said yes. The Judge then asked Mr Makenzie how he was supposed to even know what was going on when he had only received the paperwork at 1:30 today. They argued back and forth for a while, but really, the Judge had adjourned the case I couldn’t count how many times. Mr. Makenzie said that the tenants were just “putting up a smoke screen” just so they didn’t have to pay rent and made a motion to move forward, which was denied.
Between SCI’s lawyers not getting the information to Judge Campbell in a timely manner, and the many conflicts of interest because this is a small town and everyone knows everyone, Court was adjourned.
SCI did settle a few cases with some residents, and withdrew action against them. ALL the other eviction cases will come back on March 27.
I tried to talk to “Sunrise Bro” again, but he brushed me off and gave me a phone number of some “PR person” in Florida to call. Mr Makenzie was “Not authorized to give any statements” and also told me to call the “PR department” for comments. Mr. Kooshoian said that there are so many conflicts of interest, this whole issue might get moved to another court. Other than that, no comment.
For now…….The residents of Akron Mobile Home Park get a reprieve, and…….We wait. -JAP-