Attorney General Phil Weiser announces return of $146,000 to Colorado mobile home park residents from Utah management company
Oct. 13, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.)—Attorney General Phil Weiser today announced a settlement with Kingsley Management Corp, a mobile home park management company, which will return $146,770.26 to tenants of its Colorado mobile home parks.
Of this total, $125,892.33 is being returned to more than 200 tenants whose security deposits were wrongfully withheld. In addition, Kingsley Management will return $20,877.93 that was improperly collected in attorney fees from tenants.
“Renters rely on the return of their security deposits when they move to a new home to help offset their moving costs,” said Weiser. “Kingsley withheld money from people who needed it. This settlement ensures that, even if it’s later than it should have been, that money is being returned to those who are entitled to it.”
Kingsley Management oversees seven manufactured home communities in Colorado, which include Lamplighter Village and Kimberly Hills in Federal Heights, Front Range in Broomfield, Friendly Village of the Rockies in Thornton, Friendly Village of Aurora, Arbordale Acres in Lafayette, and Casa Estates in Westminster. Last year, the Consumer Protection Division in the Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation after some mobile home park tenants complained of arbitrary fees imposed upon them by Kingsley.
The bulk of the wrongfully held security deposits resulted from Kingsley Management charging tenants who failed to comply with a provision in the lease contract requiring them to provide 30-days’ notice prior to vacating the premises. The retention of deposits is allowed when the landlord can show a loss of income. Typically, a tenant’s failure to provide 30 days’ notice does result in a loss of income, but Kingsley found renters immediately or were able to mitigate any lost income. In addition, in some of the instances wherein Kingsley retained security deposits, Kingsley was unable to document income lost due to repair of the property.
In the settlement, Kingsley agreed to return the security deposits to the former tenants. The settlement also recognizes the efforts Kingsley has made so far to return money to both current and past tenants. Approximately $55,000 remains to be distributed and efforts to return the money to tenants are ongoing. If prior tenants cannot be located, any remaining money will be placed in the Colorado Unclaimed Property Fund, which ensures that the money can be claimed by the tenant in the future, with no time limit.
Most of the improperly charged attorney fees occurred at two of Kingsley’s parks, Kimberly Hills and Front Range, two parks managed by a husband and wife team. Consumers reported being charged for eviction actions that did not result in an eviction. Under the settlement, Kingsley cannot assess attorney fees for eviction actions unless the action leads to eviction or unpaid rent or other authorized charges, or unless the tenant agrees in writing to a payment of attorney fees.
Under the settlement Kingsley Management will pay $10,000 to reimburse for the costs of the attorney general’s investigation and will make a charitable contribution of $3,500 to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, an affordable housing charity.
Mobile home park residents who wish to file a complaint against their park management or landlord may file with the Colorado Division of Housing’s Mobile Home Park Oversight Program (MHPOP), a new complaint and dispute resolution program that opened on May 1, 2020. Park residents or landlords may file a complaint online at https://cdola.colorado.gov/mobile-home-park-dispute-resolution or contact the Program at MHPOP@state.co.us or 1-833-924-1147 (toll free) for a paper form.