County shuts down trailer park after renters say conditions unsafe

County shuts down trailer park after renters say conditions unsafe

BEAVERTON, Ore. – A landlord is in trouble for renting out homes in his orchard in conditions renters say are not safe.

Washington County is shutting his park down. The county says the landlord, Delbert Nelson, did not follow the law and opened a trailer park on land not zoned for it, did not get permits for things like water, electricity, foundations and everything he needs to make sure his renters are safe.

The renters say the results are horrifying.

Wednesday was eviction day for Amber Howard. She and others live in Nelson's RVs, which are broken down and shabby.

Howard is disabled with a metal leg and Crohn’s disease.

She says the landlord promised hope and an inexpensive place to live run by a Christian following Christian values.

But she and others say after they moved in the landlord did not make repairs and instead brought up unexpected charges and fees – hundreds of dollars a month for things like electricity and septic, draining the money the renters need to find a new place.

"You get to know him real fast. Then you see his true colors and people get sucked into this and cannot get out," said Howard.

Neighbor Lisa Miller says her electricity comes from extension cords the landlord runs from his shed to their trailers.

Their water flows through hoses that bring a strong smell into their bathrooms and kitchens.

Howard says it smells like sewage.

A KATU News reporter went to Nelson's house near the trailers to ask him questions about his illegal trailer park. He did not answer the door or KATU's phone calls.

"The best thing to call him is a snake," Howard said.

Now renters are struggling to find new homes and are still wondering why a landlord would operate the illegal, broken down park.

The county says Nelson is cooperating with it to get the renters out and comply with the law. But renters say this has been going on for years and they believe he's only changing now because he was caught.