NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


January 25, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

CURRAN BROKERS DEAL WITH HOWARD MOBILE HOME PARKS, OUSTED RESIDENTS HAVE A YEAR TO RELOCATE

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. today announced that Cohen and Mason Limited Partnership, the owner of three mobile home parks it planned to close in Howard County, has agreed to allow residents to remain in the parks through December 31 of this year and provide relocation assistance to residents who left after receiving a notice telling them to leave by December 31, 2000.

Curran said that Marylandís Mobile Home Parks law requires that mobile home park residents be given one-year advance notice if a park is going to close. "While we canít make the park owner keep the park open indefinitely, the settlement ensures that residents receive time to make alternate living arrangements and provides compensation to those who left prematurely due to the notice to vacate," Curran said.

Under the settlement reached with Curranís Consumer Protection Division, Cohen and Mason agreed to pay relocation assistance to each resident who left the Crane, Crescent or M&S Mobile Home Parks in Laurel after receiving the notice to vacate on or about September 26, 2000 or who leaves by January 31, 2001. Residents who took their homes when they left are eligible for a $2,000 payment while residents who left their homes behind will receive $1,500.

Curran said that the Mobile Home Parks law is intended to offer some stability to residents who are in the difficult position of owning their homes but renting the land upon which those homes are located. The Division alleged that, in addition to failing to provide the one-year notice, Cohen and Mason also failed to comply with the requirement that residents be offered one-year leases as long as they pay rent on time, maintain their homes and comply with park rules. Under the settlement, Cohen and Mason denies that it violated the law.

Curran encouraged mobile home park residents or those considering moving to a mobile home park to contact the Division to obtain a consumer publication about their rights under the Mobile Home Parks law or if they have a complaint by calling (410) 576-6550 or visiting the Attorney Generalís website at www.oag.state.md.us.

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