The Garden City Telegram
3/16/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Home move

Landlord did his best to work with tenants.

No one wants to be forced to move.

Such was the case for residents of a local mobile home park who were evicted due to sale of the property to Garden City Community College.

The land near GCCC could be used by the community college for new programs or other expansion, with student housing another possibility.

But future use of the site wasn't necessarily on the minds of angry mobile home park tenants. The deal between property owner Bob Kreutzer and the college meant those currently living there would be evicted — not the kind of news anyone comfortable in their home wants to hear.

Lease agreements required that residents received 30 days' notice. Sensing challenges for the folks being uprooted, Kreutzer and representatives of GCCC did the right thing in expanding notice to 90 days, which gave tenants more time to make plans.

It would appear that anyone who didn't initially understand the situation due to communication or other issues ended up receiving sufficient information, along with additional time to find a place to live.

And while the extension may not have done much to pacify some tenants, they at least should consider the favorable treatment from their landlord over the years.

Kreutzer didn't raise lot fees for well more than a decade. That can't be said of too many landlords in a community with a number of questionable rental operations, and a need for more good options.

The problem was that in spite of such a reasonable deal, tenants collectively were behind some $12,000 in rent. No one in business can allow that to go on forever.

In the end, a respected local businessman did his best to work with his tenants, and in more ways than many would.

Tenants on their way out may not take that into consideration. That's no surprise.

But those upset by being forced to move at least should consider how their neighbors — those who wouldn't pay lot fees or try to work out a payment plan — didn't help by taking advantage of the situation in a way that had to end at some point.