Preface. From the New York Times to local ABC 6/WOWT, reports about aggressive, problematic behavior, including threats of eviction for ‘rules infractions’ have been coming in with respect to Provo, Utah based Kingsley Management Corporation owned Maplewood Estates manufactured home community in Omaha, Nebraska.
Before diving into the details of that report, a broader cautionary notice is warranted for any consumer shopping for housing.
There are sobering stories about buyers and renters of conventional housing, as well as for certain firms involved in the mobile/manufactured home industry.
In the conventional housing world, a decision to buy a house that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company that doesn’t properly care for their clients can lead to years of disappointing travails. One of several possible examples of that are linked in the mainstream news video found in the report below. Numerous other such mainstream news reports exist for other new conventional housing builders.
The point is that someone shopping for far more costly conventional housing, as well as mobile or manufactured homes can encounter unethical or even illegal behavior. It should be obvious that there are good and bad companies and professionals in any industry.
That noted, this MHLivingNews report should be considered as a cautionary tale that will give consumers specific information as well as more general manufactured home shopping tips, the later of which will be linked further below.
Those general disclaimers above and that follow noted, let us press on to the specifics of the matter involving Maplewood Estates manufactured home community, located at 12801 Spaulding Plaza Omaha, NE 68164, which their attorney James B. McVay indicated to MHLivingNews is owned by Kingsley Management Corp, 5314 N 250 W Ste 210, Provo, UT 84604.
Allegations of Abusive and Predatory Behavior,
Threats of Eviction for “Rules Violations” During Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays
In the manufactured home community world, as MHLivingNews and our MHProNews sister site have noted in multiple reports over several years, certain operations arguably appear to have a problematic track record of so-called “predatory” and “abusive” business practices, according to public officials, resident complaints, and mainstream media reporting.
Housing firms in conventional housing or in the manufactured home industry with a problematic track record should logically be avoided by the prudent who do not want to risk costly and often painful consequences. MHLivingNews strive to provide readers with ‘both sides’ of the story, “We Provide, You Decide.” ©
In this instance, Kingsley Management Company (KMC) and Maplewood Estates did not respond to our repeated contacts. But the attorney for Kingsley and Maplewood estates provided some ‘on the record’ feedback on the numerous claims leveled against them in reports from the New York Times, ABC 6/WOTW, KAKE, and apparent resident comments posted online.
In fairness and for balance, Kingsley’s website says the following. “Kingsley Management Corporation is committed to providing safe, comfortable, and affordable living conditions in manufactured home communities.”
But reports by Omaha, Nebraska area news sources, as well as the New York Times, have often described residents’ concerns that paint a different picture than that corporate claim.
For instance, the New York Times noted earlier this year that evictions were being threated against residents, some of which claimed protection under the federal CARES act moratorium.
Maplewood Estates resident Danni Rhiley said her landlord, Kingsley Management Corp (KMC), rejected a payment plan she had proposed. Rhiley reached out to Legal Aid, who offered to give legal defense. That provided more time, but with CARES Act expiring, threats of legal action resumed.
More recently, the following charges were leveled by residents per award-winning reporter, Mike McKnight at ABC 6, WOTW.
On November 21, 2020 – just days before Thanksgiving – dozens of residents Maplewood Estates found “an ultimatum” taped to their doors, reported McKnight for WOWT.
The management warning letters included one placed on the door of Dan Jackson, purportedly telling him to leave and take his home with him. The cost of moving a manufactured home can be thousands of dollars, as Kingsley Management and Maplewood Estates team members no doubt realize, given that they are industry professionals.
“Oh yeah, they want this property because they can put a bigger home on it and charge more money,” Jackson said.
The reasons for the threats?
“Anything from removing temporary steps to painting or replacing skirting and siding.” In short, many of these were cosmetic issues, which may have technically violated a lease term, but nevertheless were being abruptly used in connection with a 30 day notice delivered during the COVID19 pandemic during the holidays.
“When we’re in the middle of a COVID virus pandemic and they’re slapping this against all these people. A lot of them aren’t working and I’m on Social Security,” said resident Linda Ishaii. She said that they were being bullied by management.
The notices indicated that if the cited repairs are not completed by about Dec. 18, the lease could be terminated on the home site where a mobile home or manufactured home is sited. That could lead to a costly eviction. If a resident couldn’t pay for that, the resident might be evicted and given time and legal procedures, the home could end up in the hands of management with little cost. Similar tactics – such as what was outlined – have been reported elsewhere.
See a related report to the video above at this link below.
The management letter to Jackson said that latticework on three sides of his carport has to be torn down and replaced with solid wood. But Jackson asserted that the latticework was there for more than five years. No matter.
Jackson’s concerns about forcing residents off their home site or out of their homes may have a wider implications, as a related report linked here attests. In other jurisdictions similar or other practices have been used to either force a resident out, and obtain the title to the home under abandonment or other proceedings. But if the resident can afford to move the home, then indeed, another new manufactured home could be brought in by management. KMC might then charge a higher rate to a newcomer than to a long-term resident.
Rephrased, aggressive property management companies can capitalize on the situation in a variety of ways, which may be ‘legal’ but is nevertheless unethical, in the view of advocates and residents.
After ABC 6’s “On Your Side Report,” management reportedly backed off some. The letter linked here from Maplewood Estates’ management was obtained by MHLivingNews. It cites rules that residents signed. But it fails to note that those who don’t agree to the rules could be forced to leave by Kingsley/Maplewood management. Put differently, there is arguably little practical choice for a resident to do anything but sign the ‘agreement,’ given the cost of moving a manufactured home.
While some residents are okay with that, others clearly are not.
A little more time for maintenance or cosmetic issues may not always be a cure for a given resident. Janey Rapier was told she had to paint and install a new foundation enclosure – a.k.a. “skirting” – around her house a week before Christmas. Due to temperatures, “We can’t paint, not today,” Rapier said.
“I cried because of it. I’m afraid I will be on the streets. We have no money, we paid for this,” Rapier said. The Maplewood/Kingsley Management Corporation (KMC) letter linked here indicates that some may request it may be given a no-interest loan to make the updates, but they may also be asked for collateral to back that loan up. Is that just another way of possibly getting a lien on a resident’s home?
- “I have alerted our staff at the office on aging in case they get any calls for assistance that they are aware of the situation and whatever the issue that comes up we’re going to see what we can do to help,” said ENOA Board Chairwoman Mary Ann Borgeson.
- Jackson said that he is doing what he was told about the lattice on his carport, but contends that he still is uncertain. “Up until now, everything has been told to us. Nothing has been talked about, so it’s been a mystery. And anything after this will be fine to talk about and see what we can do,” Jackson said.
The MHAction activist group posted this on their Facebook page regarding the controversy. It links to the video interviews by WOTW.
Kingsley/Maplewood Estates Attorney Communications to MHLivingNews
At 1:21 PM on 11.28.2020 attorney for Maplewood Estates and Kingsley Management Corp (KMC) sent the following via email to MHLivingNews in response to our inquires about the purported plight of numbers of residents there.
Please see the attached letter in response to your inquiry.
I would appreciate if you would confirm receipt of this this email. Thank you.”
James B. McVay
Tiedeman, Lynch, Kampfe,
McVay & Respeliers
300 Overland Wolf Centre
6910 Pacific Street
Omaha, NE 68106-1045
McVay’s letter sent via email is linked here.
McVay’s letter on behalf of Maplewood Estates/KMC said in part the following.
“…I appreciate your [MHLivingNews] contacting me concerning this matter.
Unfortunately, the news stories generated by WOWT.com do not tell the entire story. Our clients have not asked the residents in the Community to do anything that is not required by the terms of the residents’ leases and the Rules and Regulations for the Community. Furthermore, in all but a few cases, the residents have been sent repeated requests to address the issues with their homes prior to the notice being sent. Unfortunately, those prior requests have been largely ignored.”
McVay added that “I am uncertain what you may be referring to when you state that you have been doing research on my client’s “operation and purported business tactics” and am therefore unable to address anything further.” However, MHLivingNews provided him with a link to cases in the neighboring state of Colorado as well as New York regarding KMC’s business practices.
Those two reports, provided to KMC’s attorney McVay, are below. What follows largely quote from the summaries on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website regarding KMC’s record with them are as follows.
Government or Other Allegations and Actions
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) website shows two different state attorney generals offices have taken action against Kingsley Management Company. One was in New York State, the other in Colorado, which borders with Nebraska. The BBB also has consumer complaints about Maplewood that seem to be similar to those posted on Google reviews and/or that mirror the legal actions taken against KMC in New York or Colorado.
Government Actions: The State of New York vs Kingsley Management Corp.
The following describes a government action that has been resolved by either a settlement or a decision by a court or administrative agency. If the matter is being appealed, it will be noted below.
On 10/18/2018 the business Kingsley Management Corp. entered into a Settlement Agreement with the State of New York. The Agreement settles allegations that the business was in violation of New York Real Property Law. Under terms of the Agreement, the business agreed to discontinue rent-to-own practices found to be unlawful by the Attorney General and to sign the assurance of discontinuance. The Agreement was for settlement purposes only and should not be considered as an admission of guilt or finding of violation of the law. For more details go to https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-underwood-announces-major-settlement-manufactured-home-park-owners-reform-rent-own
That NY document can also be accessed as a download here.
The following describes a government action that has been resolved by either a settlement or a decision by a court or administrative agency. If the matter is being appealed, it will be noted below.
On October 13, 2020 he State of Colorado entered into a settlement agreement with Kingsley Management Corp, which will return $146.770.26 to tenants of its Colorado mobile home parks. This money includes security deposits that were wrongfully held and improperly collected attorney’s fees from tenants.
For more information regarding this action, please see the header linked above and also at this link here.
MHLivingNews follow up with KMC’s Attorney
The following was sent to McVay and Maplewood’s management via email at 2:02 PM on 11.28.2020.
I appreciate your prompt reply. We take stories on a priority basis, so the short notice simply is what it is. That’s the news business even for trade media, as I trust you understand.
That said, in fairness, we will provide our readers with the attachment you provided.
That noted, please be advised that we have contacted public officials and others about your client. What they may or may not do is up to them.
Additionally, it seems, based upon the actions of state attorney generals in at least two states, dozens of online comments by apparent residents, and videos like the one below – that residents at KMC properties in general, and Maplewood in Omaha more specifically – have reported on a pattern of activity that is often described as “predatory,” ‘bullying,’ and “abusive” by your client’s residents as well as by public officials.
[The link to the video posted above was here.]
That video confirms some of the allegations raised in posted online comments about Kingsley Management Corp and Maplewood more specifically.
IMHO, our industry is necessary and is often a good option for affordable quality living. We at MHProNews and MHLivingNews are pro-ethical businesses as well as pro-consumer.
But problematic behavior by certain companies can unfairly give even white hat brands a bad name, a kind of guilty by association.
Thus, our modus operandi is to spotlight allegations of purported predatory and other negative behavior as a kind of consumer alert, “caveat emptor.” We also spotlight good behavior and happy residents, so that shoppers can discern how to do business with ethical operations. We at times work with other operations, an example is linked below.
Saving Time, Money, Hassles – How Can You Buy a Manufactured Home Without Encountering Problems? Pissed Consumer Video Interview of L. A. “Tony” Kovach on Manufactured Housing (manufacturedhomelivingnews.com)
You may be interested to know that we have also over time been contacted by public officials for expert insights.
In fairness, and looking toward possible solutions, if you can provide me with written assurances that the types of behavior that your client’s residents are being accused of are going to be stopped immediately, we will indicate that in our report.
If you have some other tangible way of providing our readers with confidence-inspiring changes to what seems to be a multiple year pattern of alleged predator behavior, please advise ASAP.
It will take an hour or two for our report to be finalized and then published. In fairness, you should know that we document concerns so that readers and researchers alike can discern the truth for themselves “We Provide, You Decide.” ©
Thanks for the prompt reply, I truly hope you will be able to do so again rapidly today in a fashion that will give tangible evidence that concerns like those raised below are forever in the rear view mirror.
Don’t you agree that the manufactured home industry obviously doesn’t benefit from these sorts of issues?
Please advise, thank you again. Respectfully,
L. A. “Tony” Kovach
## End of follow up to McVay/KMC/Maplewood Estates attorney. ##
A final follow-up:
- I understand that you are in the news business. However, I would submit to you that sending an email at 11:26 a.m. on a Saturday and expecting a business to respond that day is not reasonable. Nevertheless, it is your business to manage – not mine.
- You indicate in your email that residents of KMC properties, in general, and “Maplewood Omaha more specifically,” have reported a pattern of activity that is described as “’predatory,’ ‘bulling,’ and ‘abusive.’ I reviewed the video you provided and I do not believe that it references the Maplewood Omaha MHC at all. Am I missing something?
- You asked me to provide written assurances “that that the types of behavior that your client’s residents are being accused of are going to be stopped immediately. . . . ” You did not provide specifics and so I am again unsure what you accusations you are referencing. Frankly, I am unaware of any accusations my clients have made concerning resident “behavior.”
- I am unaware of what “multiple year pattern of alleged predator behavior” you are asking me to address. To the extent that your concerns extend beyond Maplewood Omaha MHC, I am simply unable to speak to those matters. What I can tell you is that the content of the leases used at Maplewood Omaha MHC, the handling of security deposits within that Community, the manner in which the Community is managed, and the filing of any legal action taken involving residents within Maplewood Omaha MHC, is done as allowed by law in the state of Nebraska.
Again, please confirm receipt of this email. Thank you…
## End of body of attorney McVay’s letter to MHLivingNews. ##
At 3:03 PM on 11.28.2020, MHLivingNews sent the following to McVay copying Maplewood/KMC management.
Per your request, your reply message was received.
We will use your follow up in our report.
That said, to your points,
- MHLivingNews provided you with links to out of state cases where Kingsley settled with state attorney generals in CO and NY. Further, MHLivingNews provided you with links to local media reports that make specific complaints from your client’s residents.
- Presumably you are able to go to Google and search for reviews of Maplewood Estates, or to the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, etc. and see dozens of complaints from your client’s residents yourself.
- Those residents, media reports, and public officials are the voices lodging the complaints and concerns.
- That YouTube video sent to you, apparently by a resident of your client, which MHLivingNews provided makes a similar point to some of those complaints posted online from Maplewood Estates.
- All of which suggests that the alleged and so-called predatory business practices are not localized to Maplewood in Omaha, NE. Nor are these a one-time incident. Rather, they appear to cover years of such concerns raised by your clients residents.
- Some sources specifically named Candis Sorensen, the manager at the Maplewood Estates property at 12801 Spaulding Plaza Omaha, NE 68164.
Clarifying to your response, sir?
Thank you for your feedback, as noted, MHLivingNews will plan to use it.
## End of body of the emailed message to McVay and Maplewood/KMC management ##
Additional Information, MHLivingNews Analysis and Commentary
McVay’s letter arguably attempted to deflect or dodge an array of complaints from Maplewood and other KMC properties.
On Google, as the illustration near the top reflected, there were several complaints by apparent residents at Maplewood. It should be noted that while there were some ‘five star’ ratings too, they at times appeared to be from people who were not residents. That logically calls into question how authentic some of those more positive reviews about Maplewood actual are.
Some examples of other feedback from residents at Maplewood, that illustrate the concerns MHLivingNews raised with McVay and KMC/Maplewood are as follows.
There are millions of happy manufactured home owners, according to research by third party.
That said, the troubling reports by the New York Times, WOTW, and the accompanying evidence of settlements with various state officials of problematic business practices apparently employed by Kingsley arguably point to problems with how they treat their residents. Numbers of of those residents have reportedly lived at that location for years.
Manufactured home living can be good, but the bottom line is who someone deals with before buying a home and placing it in a community matters. The video that follows and the linked reports gives tips and also reflects examples of good and arguably problematic or predatory firms. To learn or see more, surf the balance of the MHLivingNews website.
Protecting the rights of manufactured home residents and treating them with respect should be an automatic for any ethical business.
That noted, there are routinely multiple manufactured home communities in an area to select from. If you are shopping, consider your choices with care.
See the videos and related reports with interviews from experts and actual manufactured home owners, linked above and below to learn more.
There is always more to come. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, lifestyle news, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)
(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.