INDIANAPOLIS — Lawmakers and attorneys are stepping in to help residents of a Speedway mobile home park.
WRTV first reported the story on Friday when the property owner gave residents just over 30 days' notice that they were selling the property and people needed to move out. But legal experts we spoke with say that might not be the case.
“It’s been a long year and a half for just everybody,” said Lynnette Parks, who lives at the El-Lou Mobile Home Park. “And then, such short notice was devastating.”
For a week now, Parks and roughly 20 other families who live in the El-Lou mobile home community have been trying to wrap their heads around what to do after the park owner Speedway Properties sent them a letter stating they needed to move out by Nov. 30, because they are selling the property.
The Indiana General Assembly recently passed a law in the 2020 legislative session requiring mobile homeowners to give residents 180 days' written notice of their intent to close. Experts we spoke with say these residents should be protected by that.
“We feel that El-Lou needs some education on this matter because giving the residents 30 days' notice would be against the current Indiana code,” said Tomi Adams, a board member with the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association. “30 days is very, very difficult, if not impossible to find another homesite in another community and arrange transport.”
“Well, my initial thoughts are this is a very new law. So hopefully it’s just a misunderstanding,” said Matthew Zentz, an attorney at Zentz Law.
Zentz said he’s meeting with the residents Wednesday to investigate the matter and discuss their rights.
“It’s untested law,” he said. “But on the plain reading, if I were to represent these residents, I believe a trial court would be well within their rights to issue an injunction and give all these residents at least 180 days to find a new home.”
“It’s comforting to know that there are there are compassionate people in the world,” Parks said.
Residents say they would like more time to move out and are hopeful they will get the 180 days. All of the residents who live there own their mobile homes. They say they would also like to be compensated for their properties to move.