NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Gregory Stanley has lived in the Walden Pond mobile home park for almost nine years. He says since the current owners took over, it has gone down hill.
"it looks like a bomb went off. A war zone or something," said Stanley.
Gregory is a single father to his disabled son, Cody.
He and everyone here got a letter on July 6 telling them the park was closing down and they needed to be out by the end of the month.
"I'd like to move, but he doesn't want to take care of me in any way. He just wants us all gone. And I own my own place. I don't want to give up my home and get nothing in return," said Stanley.
The management company, Walden Pond, LLC says they tried to keep the park open, but because of too many vacancies and utility costs, they say it's no longer possible financially.
So as the minutes tick down to when residents are supposed to leave, many of them are wondering where they will go.
"We don't owe this guy a penny, paid rent every month," said one resident.
New Port Richey Code Enforcement Officer Liz Nichols makes frequent stops here to let everyone know their rights. She says in order to boot out residents, the owners have to file for eviction at the courthouse. And at last check, that hasn't happened.
"If utilities are shut off you call me. And if the landlord shows up and tries to evict people without the sheriff or the proper papers in hand, you call the police," Nichols told a group of residents.
While at the park Tuesday, we discovered the office door was open and nobody was there. Paperwork with personal information like social security numbers was left unprotected.
Some residents have left, many trailers here were already abandoned. But several people like Gregory and Cody are staying put, unsure what will happen next."
"I've got a lawyer and we are working through him to resolve some situations, so me and my son can live in a better place," said Stanley.
I did talk to the owner, Paul Beraquit, this afternoon he told me he's not evicting the residents, they are simply closing the park. I asked him what he's going to do if they are still here tomorrow. He said "I don't know yet, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
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