Trailer Park Residents File Class Action


Mobile Home Residents File Class Action Lawsuit Against Landlord Challenging Exorbitant Rent Increases

Lawsuit Alleges Parakeet Communities Deceived, Exploited Vulnerable Residents

Residents of two mobile home parks in Auburn, Massachusetts filed a class action lawsuit against the parks’ owner, Parakeet Communities, Inc. (“Parakeet”). The plaintiffs are all senior citizens and others living on low incomes due to disability or retirement. Their suit — filed in Worcester Superior Court by Lawyers for Civil Rights (“LCR”) and Anderson & Kreiger LLP — alleges that Parakeet is illegally exploiting and defrauding them by, among other things, charging unconscionable rents that vastly exceed fair market rates, withholding critical information about park ownership, and making false and misleading claims.

Despite the term “mobile home,” residents of mobile home parks — who are typically senior citizens, disabled individuals, and others on fixed incomes — cannot feasibly move their homes. Massachusetts lawmakers have recognized that these factors create a power imbalance between residents and park owners and have, therefore, passed strict laws to level the playing field. Among other protections, the laws dictate that owners must make substantial disclosures before raising rents and offer five-year leases to new and renewing tenants. 

However, as outlined in today’s complaint, Parakeet has repeatedly and knowingly violated the park residents’ legal rights in an effort to hinder their bargaining position and exploit them for financial gain. Parakeet’s unfair and deceptive practices include:

  • Withholding information and documents that residents were legally entitled to have as they considered new lease or tenancy offers;
  • Refusing to provide mandatory five-year lease offers to renewing residents;
  • Subjecting residents to illegal lease provisions;
  • Making false and misleading claims as part of lease offers; and
  • Charging unconscionable rent amounts that vastly exceed fair market rental rates.

This is exactly the kind of unscrupulous business conduct that violates Massachusetts’ expansive Consumer Protection Act. As Parakeet has imposed outrageous rent increases this year through its unfair practices listed in the complaint — including some as high as 40% — many tenants are facing imminent financial ruin and homelessness. The harm has been so acute that some residents have resorted to creating a food bank for their neighbors. The Massachusetts Attorney General has recognized that mobile home community residents are entitled to respect and deserving of legal protections, but the Plaintiffs are currently getting the benefit of neither.

The park residents have repeatedly sought to resolve this matter amicably with Parakeet — sending letters to the company in both January and April of 2024 — but Parakeet has refused to engage with them in good faith and has now begun eviction proceedings against some residents. Given Parakeet’s lack of responsiveness, and the ongoing harm it is inflicting on residents, the Plaintiffs have been left with no choice but to seek judicial intervention and relief. 

“This class action lawsuit will protect the vulnerable residents of mobile home parks—one of the very last bastions of affordable housing in America,” said Jacob Love, Staff Attorney at LCR. “These parks can only remain low-cost if community owners face consequences for illegal and financially exploitative practices. We won’t let Parakeet, or other owners, flaunt the law.” 

“It is unconscionable for landlords—especially large ones like Parakeet—to take advantage of these vulnerable families.  Massachusetts provides mobile home residents with special protections for good reason and Parakeet’s refusal to comply with those protections must be rectified immediately,” said Sean Grammel, an attorney at Anderson & Kreiger LLP

“Parakeet has made life a living nightmare for me and my fellow residents” said Amy Case, a mobile home park resident and named Plaintiff. “Its actions have stretched our finances past the limit and created constant fear that we will lose our homes. We deserve to be treated with fairness and respect and brought this case to secure our legal rights.” 

Click here to download the complaint.