Mobile home park in Penticton 'hellhole' say tenants

Mobile home park 'hellhole'

Chelsea Powrie

Lorna Rissling is fed up with what she says are decrepit conditions and an indifferent management company at Whitewater Mobile Home Park in Penticton. 

The elderly woman has lived at the park for over three years, and says she has never been able to safely go for a walk in her neighbourhood due to the decaying state of sidewalks and streets. 

"It's all cracked and falling apart, and nobody does anything," Rissling said. "I have arthritis in both my knees, but my right is worse, and I hobble, and then I stumble. I don't need to be in the hospital."

Neighbour Clare Simpson said he often patches the streets himself, rather than wait for their landlords to step in. 

Calls to property managers Stanmar Services Ltd., a Penticton based company, have come to nothing, Rissling and Simpson both say. 

"We're just on a constant downhill slide," Simpson said, with Rissling adding, "And we can't do anything about it."

Both say overdue repairs to the roads and sidewalks are just the tip of the iceberg. Rissling pulled out a copy of the Whitewater Mobile Home Park tenancy rules and regulations, which she signed when she became a tenant, pointing to several rules which she says are woefully under-enforced in the community. 

"'Tenants are to maintain their space in a clean, attractive and well-kept fashion,'" she read aloud, explaining many of her neighbours have not been punished for letting their lots fill with junk or otherwise neglecting them. 

"They have got run-down cars all over the place, they have multiple vehicles all over the place, which is against Stanmar's rules and regulations," Rissling said. "We have a whole list that I had to sign and agree to when I moved in."

They both also claim police presence in the neighbourhood has become a nightly occurrence at notorious problem homes.

The most recent grievance for Rissling and Simpson came last month, when their pad fees came as part of a pre-authorized bank withdrawal.

"I went to check on my bank account to see if the money had come out for the rent, and I noticed it was a different name," Rissling explained. "Instead of Whitewater Mobile Park it was DC Real Estate Holding."

She then heard through a friend on Facebook that the park was now owned through a subsidiary of RE/MAX, though when she wanted to confirm that and find out more, no one at Stanmar Services helped her. 

When Castanet reached out to Stanmar's listed phone number for comment on this story, a RE/MAX office answered. After requesting transfer to a Stanmar manager, no one picked up, and a message left asking for comment went unanswered. 

The park is no stranger to disgruntled tenants, seeing backed-up sewage flowing on the road this spring. Stanmar did not respond to requests for comment at that time either. 

Rissling said an inability to get answers from Stanmar is not unusual. If she could afford to move, she would do so immediately. 

"When I look around, I think 'Holy sh**,'" she said. "What am I doing here? It's a hellhole."

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