(WSVN) – They have been told they have less than three months to pack up and vacate the RV sites they have called home for years. But simply driving off is out of the question for many residents. This is Kevin Ozebek with tonight’s 7 investigations.
Her favorite feature is the view.
Erik Gagnon: “We had to find this camper specifically for the windows.”
Erik Gagnon and his fiancée Tracey Stokes have parked their trailer right on the Gulf of Mexico.
As of 2018, they reside in the community of Sun Outdoors Key Largo.
Kevin Ozebek: “Do you love it here in this community?”
Erik Gagnon: “Yes.”
Tracey Stokes: Yes.
Eric Gagnon: “We did.”
Tracey Stokes: “We did.”
The change of heart came on October 5 when they received this letter, which read: “This is a notice of cancellation of your monthly RV contract effective January 1, 2023. All personal effects must be removed. This removal will be at the expense of the owner (your).”
Tracey Stokes: “Heartbreaking because we’ve made a home here.”
Erik Gagnon: “We crawl.”
Some residents of the Sun Outdoors Marathon community received similar letters, including snowbird Clara Bader, who is based in upstate New York.
Clara Bader: “So it’s not like we can take our seats and go.”
Clara bought her winter home in 2018. It came with this Florida room built from the trailer.
Although it’s what many people would call an RV, Clara says it’s not mobile at all.
Clara Bader: “I called the manager at Sun in Marathon and he said they would pay for my trailer to be demolished. They would pay for the moving expenses.”
Clara’s neighbor, Adam Denny, owns this trailer. He also added a Florida room.
Adam spoke to us from his second home in North Carolina.
Adam Denny “It’s certainly not a moving object. These places have been around for decades. Tires haven’t touched the ground for decades.”
Because many in RVs own the home but not the property, there is a law in Florida that makes evictions from properties quite difficult, but that law may not apply here.
One reason is that both Sun Outdoor communities are not designated as RV parks, but rather RV parks.
Clara Bader: “It might not be illegal, but it’s definitely morally wrong.”
But here the story takes a turn.
When we asked Sun Outdoors about the letters, they told us, “We have reached out to all of our RV Resort guests and everyone is welcome to stay as long as they like, which has always been the case. We are just updating our reservation structure.”
Although just a few days ago, Adam and Clara were offered not only moving expenses, but also an additional fee of $3,250 and an additional fee if they leave by mid-December. Sun Outdoors also offered to pay for the demolition costs.
So far they have not accepted the offer.
Clara Bader: “It’s easy – it’s really unfair.”
Erik and Tracey were later told they could stay but would have to pay hundreds more monthly.
Tracey Stokes: “Well, yeah, we’ve got to get out of the Keys, basically.”
Your home stands on good, working wheels.
Faced with rising real estate prices in the Keys, they left this piece of paradise and headed to Texas.
Kevin Ozebek, 7News.
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