New protections coming for trailer park tenants

Living in a trailer park is about to get a little less risky.

If the owner of a mobile home park decides to force his or her tenants out to redevelop the property, they will now be required to give tenants 12 months notice and provide greater financial compensation.

Premier John Horgan was in Penticton on Tuesday morning to make the announcement. He said it’s reasonable for trailer park owners to want to earn more money by redeveloping their properties, “But the consequences for the families that live there can often be dire. And very few places can be called home when you’re living on a pad on someone else’s property.”

Based on discussions with local MLA Dan Ashton and Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, Horgan said that unfair evictions from mobile homes don’t seem to be a major problem in the area, but the issue still needs to be corrected. So next week, the provincial government will be introducing legislation to update the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act.

“No one should have to face financial ruin or potential homelessness when facing eviction from a manufactured home park,” Horgan said.

The language has also been clarified to state that a tenant who cannot relocate their mobile home is not responsible for disposal costs. Furthermore, if property owners turf their tenants and then don’t end up redeveloping the park, they’ll have to pay even greater compensation. 

Speaking on behalf of the Penticton and District Manufactured Home Owners Association was president Hugh Chown. He thanked the NDP government for its action and said that pleas with the previous Liberal government went unanswered.

“The strengthening of protections for owners of manufactured homes in situations when park owners decide to close or convert a park is long overdue,” Chown said. “What many people don’t realize, is that when a park is closed, the tenant doesn’t just lose a place to live, they also lose the equity in the home. It can cost $15,000 to relocate a home, and that’s assuming you can find a place to move it to.”

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