In response to several complaints of rent hikes and deteriorating living conditions, Attorney General William Tong sent a letter to Sun Communities management on Monday opening an inquiry into property management concerns at Beechwood Community, a mobile home park in Killingworth.
Beechwood was acquired by Sun Communities in 2019, one of several investment firms that have been buying up mobile home parks across the country, with negative outcomes for residents. Last year, the Connecticut Examiner reported on a meeting of Beechwood residents who spoke out on the almost five percent increase in rent and lack of proper maintenance to their homes.
Attorney General Tong met with Beechwood residents in November of last year and heard complaints from dozens of residents regarding community-wide septic problems, among other concerns. According to the attorney general’s office, Beechwood tenants reported that Sun has not kept up with regular septic tank maintenance. As a result, tenants are experiencing sewage back-ups into their sinks, toilets and bathtubs.
While the rent tenants pay is supposed to cover maintenance, some have paid out of pocket to have plumbers address problems resulting from the septic backups. Another tenet, who is disabled, complained of a large beehive in front of her porch. After the management company told her they didn’t have money in their budget to remove it, she had to pay to remove it herself, according to the attorney general’s office.
In addition to opening the inquiry, Attorney General Tong also submitted testimony regarding two legislative proposals seeking to ensure mobile home parks in Connecticut remain both affordable and well-managed.
“Residents everywhere—regardless of the type of property—deserve affordable, safe, appropriately maintained housing,” Attorney General Tong said. “I fully support the Housing Committee in their efforts to ensure Connecticut’s mobile home communities remain an affordable option.”
House Bill No. 6589: An Act Concerning Rent Stabilization in Mobile Manufactured Home Parks and Senate Bill No. 988, An Act Concerning the Purchase of Mobile Manufactured Home Parks have both been referred to the Joint Committee on Housing.