This blog is fashioned in the American tradition of citizen activism and political rebellion. It uses a mix of humor, satire, common sense, anecdotes, analogy and facts to inform, enlighten and inspire “the movement”.

Like Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” I make no claims of impartiality. This is not a bipartisan effort. I have a definite point of view. If you feel a particular post is inaccurate or offends your sensibilities, then post a rebuttal comment or start your own blog.

I try my best to make this site as accurate and up to date as possible. However, the mobile home conversion movement is very young and things change very quickly. If you feel that some information is missing from certain posts or that your particular park or situation is not represented, then write an update and email it to me.

When talking about the specific people involved I try my best to separate unbiased facts from opinions. I will sometimes use hyperbole to entertain and illustrate deeper truths.

The information on Sham Conversions is accurate to my knowledge. However, do not use the information on Sham Conversions as your sole guide on matters of law.

The materials and information on this web site are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

In other words don’t do anything that could mess up your own situation without consulting a lawyer (other than Richard Close) first.

A Note About the Use of the Phrase “Sham”

Little did we know until we got a cease and desist letter from Gilchrist & Rutter that the word “sham” had a legal meaning when applied to park conversions to resident ownership. We at www.shamconversions.com use the phrase strictly as a metaphor as do many reporters and elected officials. So to clears thing up we thought it would be appropriate to define “sham” as it applies to conversions.

“Sham” Conversions – The Court’s Definition
In El Dorado, the Court of Appeal defined a “sham” conversion as one in which a park owner sells a single unit and prices the remaining units at prohibitively expensive amounts merely to claim that local rent control laws no longer apply. We at www.shamconversions.com do not imply in any way that the park owner initiated conversions carried out by Gilchrist & Rutter are illegal or fit the court’s definition of “sham”.

“Sham” Conversions –Our Definition
We use the phrase “sham” as a metaphor. Much in the same way you would use the phrase “railroaded”, “hoodwinked”, or “poppycock” we use the phrase “sham” to express our feelings about a situation that we have little control over and that we feel is fundamentally unfair. Why would we think this? When a park owner decides to convert his park, the residents are told several things:

  • The owner has a right to convert the park and there’s nothing you can do to stop it
  • You will be given the “choice” to buy your lots at an undetermined price or continue renting.
  • Those that “choose” not to buy, but are low income, will be protected by California state rent control.
  • Those that “choose” not to buy, but do not qualify as low income, will see their rent increase by 20% of the difference between the current rate and the appraised fair market value, per year for the first four years. After four years the owner can raise rents to any level they desire.
  • You will be given a resident survey of support. It will ask you if you support the conversion or not. However, you will also be told that the results carry no weight and that the conversion will happen even if 100% of the residents oppose it

It is from our personal experience with the conversion process that we claim the use of “sham” to described how we feel about the concept of park owner initiated conversions that discount the feelings and wishes of the residents themselves, robs us of our equity and tears apart our communities.

Thanks and good luck,

Clay Butler

Creator of Sham Conversions