Vacant Rental Unit Scam

These scammers are targeting Bank owned mobilehome repos and vacant homes in your mobilehome community and are attempting to “rent” these homes to people in your area.

Here is how it is working. The scammer’s drive around your community and identify any vacant homes. They then place a “For Rent” yard sign not far from the community with a telephone number. When the potential resident contacts the scammers they give the residents the address and tell them to go take a look and are instructed that if they like it to call the scammers back. At which time they will arrange to “sign contracts” and collect the security deposit. They then meet the potential “renters” at an offsite location and collect the deposit. The “renter” is then told they can move in whenever and that the key will be delivered to them. Any attempt to contact the scammers after this point results in a text message letting the “renter” know they are stuck somewhere and that the key will be mailed. This of course never happens.

This scam has occurred in mobilehome communities in Chino, Ontario and Riverside. Please make sure your managers are aware of this scam and have them keep an eye out for two men who have used the names Samuel Fuentes (619)399-8477 and Jesse/Jesus Mendoza (760) 406-1617. They are driving either a 2010 blue Saturn SUV or Black Bronco. Please notify the Police immediately if you see these cars or any other suspicious activity in your park.

With Tax Season Upon Us we need to Be Informed. Who has to File?

It comes down to more than just earned income when determining if you need to file taxes. Other circumstances include: age, if your income was earned from social security, if anyone can claim you as a dependent and your filing status.

In some cases even if your income is under the required amount it is in your best interest to still file. If, for example, you had a part time job for a portion of the year and you had federal taxes withheld, you could be eligible for a refund. If you don’t file then you will never see this money.

For more information about filing your taxes visit http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch01.html#d0e5173

 

New Taxes. Beginning January 1, 2013 there will be several tax increases to Fund Health Care that you should be aware of.

The government will begin collecting billions of dollars from tax increases beginning January 1, 2013. They include, but are not limited to: an increase in the payroll tax on wages, a tax on investment income and a new tax on medical devices.

The statewide sales and use tax will increase .25% and will apply for four years.

Payroll taxes will increase .9% for an individual who earns over $200,000 a year and for couples who earn over $250,000.  People who fall into this category will also be facing an additional Tax of 3.8% on investment income.

Chula Vista Asks Mobile Home Owners To Pay Yearly Fee for Rent Control

In June 2012, the City of Chula Vista told its mobile home park residents that they would need to pay a $60 fee each year to the City to help cover the costs of administering the City’s rent control ordinance, which average about $95,000 a year.  .  . According to city officials this cost could fluctuate yearly based on the previous years participation by mobile home owners. Further, according to the City, if the individual mobile home owners opt to not pay the annual fee they will no longer have the right to petition to the City’s rent review commission and will be subject to whatever rent increases are imposed on them.

Other cities throughout the state are also taking a close look at the cost of rent control.  Recently the City of Watsonville passed a law stating that they would be collecting a $5 a month fee ($60 a year) from Mobile Home owners in order to keep the rent control in place.

Mobile Home Taxation Exemptions For Military Personnel

If you reside in a Mobile Home park and are either Active Duty Military personnel or a Disabled Veteran and you are struggling to pay your property
taxes there are a few exemptions in California that might help.

  • Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940
    • Who : If you are Active Duty military personnel stationed in California, and you own the mobile home you are residing in and that home does not have a permanent foundation this exemption applies to you.
    • What: If you can claim residency in your home state (outside of California) your home would be immune from property taxation in California.
    • How: You must fill out form BOE-261-D also known as Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act Declaration.
  • Disabled Veterans Exemption
    • Who: Any blind or otherwise disabled veteran or the veteran’s unmarried spouse, who owns and resides in a mobile home in California.
    • What: The first $100,000-$150,000 of the manufactured home’s full value may be exempt depending on the degree of disability and annual income of the veteran. If you pay a Vehicle License Fee (VLF) on your home rather than property taxes the first $20,000-$30,000 of the homes market value may be exempted from the VLF.
    • How: Fill out form BOE-261-G and contact your local Assessors office for an appeal.

For a list of California’s Mobile Home Residency Laws Click Here.

Park Rules Protect Residents

Every mobile home park has “rules and regulations/guidelines” ( like CCR’s)  that all residents agree to follow when they move into the park – the same as other developments like condominiums and apartments.   Rules vary from park to park, but all communities must follow the laws established in the State of California Civil Code, commonly referred to as the Mobilehome Residency Law (“MRL”).  The California Mobilehome Residency Law  generally changes every year and the management of every mobile home park is required to distribute copies of the new laws annually (by February first).  The park rules are designed for the benefit of the majority of the residents, and to preserve the quality of life for everyone living in the community.  As an example, requiring the home and lot  to be kept uncluttered and well maintained adds to the overall appearance and desirability of a community and to the resale value of the homes in the park.  It is the responsibility of the park management to enforce the rules.  Residents who are not in compliance with the rules may be evicted. Click Here for a complete copy of the Mobilehome Residency Law.