Several residents of La Hacienda Mobile Home Estates are fighting potential evictions, filing a lawsuit to prevent the landlord from kicking them out.
Forming the Hacienda Homeowners for Justice group, nine families living at the north Fresno park filed a lawsuit Wednesday, asking a judge to prevent Harmony Communities’ eviction practices.
The families are represented by Mariah C. Thompson and Marisol F. Aguilar of California Rural Legal Assistance Inc., a nonprofit law firm.
Harmony purchased the park in October 2022 for $1.4 million, the lawsuit states. Several residents — who are not already under eviction proceedings — received a 12-month eviction notice. Harmony said it is closing the park and intends to sell.
Other tenants received five-day or seven-day notices to vacate. The lawsuit states that Stockton-based Harmony did not follow proper eviction law. The residents are asking a judge for a preliminary and permanent injunction from enforcing the eviction notices. The lawsuit also wants Harmony to be penalized $2,000 per violation as the law allows.
La Hacienda residents plan to speak to the Fresno City Council at Thursday’s meeting.
Harmony Reportedly Asking for $4.1 Million
In a document viewed by GV Wire, Harmony is asking $4.1 million for the five-acre property. It is expected to be officially listed by next week. Although once zoned for trailer park residential use, the land is now zoned as “CMX” — corridor/central mixed-use. It is unclear when the city rezoned the property.
Mobile home park residents generally own the home and pay rent for space. La Hacienda — previously known as Trails End — fell into disrepair from its prior owners, racking up several code enforcement violations. A fatal fire in 2021 brought scrutiny into the park’s operation and the plight of its residents.
The state suspended the owners’ permit to operate, and a city of Fresno lawsuit forced the park into a receivership in 2021.
‘Attempting to Restore Order,’ Says Harmony Communities
Sherrie Johnston, chief operating officer for Harmony Communities, said the company is trying to restore order in the park.
“After two years of lawlessness, no rents paid and people moving in and out without any registration or applications, we are attempting to restore order within the scope of state law and according to our agreement with the City of Fresno and the courts,” Johnson said.
“CRLA’s attempt to circumvent state law leaves this community and the surrounding community less safe. We will continue to honor our obligations and comply with state law at every turn.”
The city of Fresno is taking a wait-and-see approach.
“State law dictates procedures for the closure or change of use of a mobile home park, including a report on the impact to displaced residents. At this early stage, the statute does not contemplate an active City role within that process,” Fresno City Attorney Andrew Janz said in a statement. “The City Attorney’s Office will continue to monitor La Hacienda Mobile Estates, LLC’s compliance with the relevant provisions of the Government Code as to the potential closure of the mobile home park.”
The court set Aug. 16 as the initial date for the wrongful eviction suit. Attorney Mariah Thompson, representing La Hacienda residents, anticipates they will be in court this afternoon seeking a temporary restraining order against Harmony.