Mobile Park Resident Get Some Legal Clout

By: Vicky Nguyen
By: Vicky Nguyen

They say they have hope now . . . residents of a South Reno mobile home park are getting help from a local attorney.

Tonight we uncover what they call the dangerous and unsanitary living conditions at the Four Seasons on South Virginia.

The residents say they've reached the breaking point. They say the living conditions are unfit for people. And despite their repeated calls for help, they haven't gotten any response from the property owners.

Attorney Ken McKenna takes in the concerns of Four Seasons residents . . . listening to complaints like this:

"Here's another sewer leak..is that mold? Yeah that's mold," says one mobile home park resident.

Gathered around a makeshift meeting table, it's the first time in a long time these people say they feel like they matter.

"I've been praying for a miracle. I am so thankful to channel 8 and for everyone willing to help us fight for this," says resident Tereas Zeitler.

Zeitler and her husband help manage the park. She says they keep track of what needs to be fixed but park owners don't respond.

"There's nothing we can do, we're trapped," she says.

Eighty-year-old Cherokee Adami showed us the temporary fixes. A broken fence is supposed to keep children away from the sewage drain. "That lid can just be flipped up and that's raw sewage," he says.

Residents say the bathrooms house mold, floors have no foundations, and they claim asbestos hasn't been removed from the buildings.

"I've been to the building department, the planning department, the health department, the mobile home association and there's been nothing done," Adami says.

McKenna says it's a case where wealthy owners are taking advantage of their tenants - many of them too old or too poor to move elsewhere.

Ken McKenna\Attorney]

"This situation is so outrageous I suspect something will happen immediately," McKenna says. "The fact these people got so organized, they have a private attorney. These people are gonna get a wake up call."

Bradley Benjamin - a majority owner of the property - returned our calls shortly before deadline. He refused to have his comments taped, but he said he and his partners are doing the best they can to fix the problems.

He says they only gained control of the operations at the park in September, and they're trying to undo 23 years of poor maintenance.

Benjamin says he'll try to work with tenants in the park instead of the courtroom.

The owner also said this park is not a money maker for the partners. He says they actually pay some of the bills out of their own pocket.

At this point, we're hearing the frustration from both sides. Now that attorneys are involved, I suspect we'll be seeing some resolution soon.

More details to come I'm sure.

And we know attorney fees aren't cheap - making one wonder how are these residents going to manage?

However McKenna has said he's offering his help because he has the resources to do so and he thinks this is important.

Residents are only being asked to contribute what they can, no minimum amount.


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