Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing the owner of a mobile home park in Marshall for allegedly charging residents illegal late fees and failing to maintain the park.
Ellison’s office announced the lawsuit against Schierholz and Associates, Inc. on Friday. Schierholz owns the Broadmoor Valley mobile home park in Marshall.
Filed in Lyon County District Court, the lawsuit alleges Schierholz has charged residents lawfully high late rent fees and failed to maintain the park and roads up to standards required by state law.
Minnesota state law limits late rent fees to 8% of what is overdue, but Ellison’s lawsuit alleges Broadmoor Valley residents were charged more than that. Schierholz allegedly threatened those who organized to address the issue with legal action and banishment from the park.
Ellison’s lawsuit also claims residents in Broadmoor Valley are living in “undignified living conditions.” Homes allegedly have shattered windows, no siding, holes in exterior walls and other problems. Water, garbage and other debris has also allegedly accumulated in the park, including around the storm shelter.
Poor road conditions have prevented school buses from entering, forcing children to walk to the entrance of the park to get to school, the lawsuit claims.
Potholes and other road issues have also meant residents sometimes have to drive on the wrong side of the road. The lawsuit claims that Schierholz sometimes fails to plow the road during the winter, or only plows one lane.
“Manufactured home parks are an important source of affordable housing and homeownership in Minnesota. Manufactured home park residents, like all Minnesotans, deserve to afford their lives and live with dignity and respect,” Ellison said in a statement.
“But that’s difficult when park owners charge illegal fees and neglect to maintain their park.”