MOUNTAIN ISLAND LAKE, N.C. -- About 40 neighbors living in a mobile home park next to Mountain Island Lake have to move out by the end of the year after the property owner terminated their oral leases.
Riverside Mobile Home Park residents say the notice, which showed up in their mailboxes, is unfair and uplifts people who can’t afford to move and who planned to stay at the mobile home park until they died.
"You don't have to worry, you'll be here forever,” is what homeowner Carol Pietras says the property owners told her. She has lived at the mobile home park for 13 years.
The first notice told them they had to be out by July 15 and said July rent would not be charged, according to the letter.
"There's no way possible that 15 of us can be out of here in 30 days, some of these people have been here for 40 years,” Pietras said.
Another letter came in the mail with a new December 22, 2013 deadline. That letter said rent still has to be paid.
The reason why, according to yet another letter neighbors received, states two of the three owners if Elbert Associates died and the remaining owner no longer wants the property.
“Per the wishes of her father when it came time to sell, the property would be re-purposed as a park. This is what will occur,” the letter said.
Neighbors are now putting their homes up for sale and hoping someone buys and removes them. Another possibility is current owners paying to haul the mobile homes elsewhere. That’s an expense some neighbor say they can’t afford. Pietras says some of the mobile homes are so old that they likely wouldn’t survive the trip.
She spent thousands upgrading her home, including a new addition and 21 windows.
"I'm close to retirement, was planning on being here the rest of my life and dying here.”
She's reluctantly putting it up for sale.
"I'm going to lose 50-thousand on it,” Pietras said. "I'm stuck and a lot of these other people are stuck too. They inherited their property; they're in their 50s and 60s and can't afford to go somewhere else."
Homeowners know it's not their land, but took pride in their word.
"I guess the younger generation doesn't see it like that,” Pietras said.
Finishing out their days on Mountain Island Lake is now starting over somewhere else.
We called the land owner for a response but didn't hear back.