Rents Doubled at Retirement Complex

Times Staff Writer

The new owner of a Thousand Oaks retirement village announced increases Tuesday that will more than double monthly rents for many residents, prompting some to say they will be forced to move.

Paul Rusnak, a principal in LAV Care Corp., new owners of the financially troubled La Serena complex, said the April 1 rent increases were “a survival decision. We can’t provide services unless we get money--there are no free lunches.”

Some angry residents said they may take legal action against LAV Care, which paid $6 million for the 150-unit complex in January. In the meantime, they said, they will try to persuade Rusnak to give them more time to look for a new buyer. Rusnak said Tuesday that LAV Care is willing to sell if it can do so at a profit.

“It was a bombshell,” said Carl W. Segerhammar, 81, whose monthly fee for a two-bedroom unit will go from $1,300 to $2,957. “Most of the 80 or so of us left here aren’t going to be able to afford to stay.”


The fees also include payment for some meals and for health care on the premises.

Nearly all of the residents made down payments of $25,000 to $110,000 for apartments at the 8-year-old complex.

Rusnak said Tuesday that the 6.5-acre property at Moorpark and Olsen roads would have to close unless LAV Care charges residents the full price for the units. He said the rents are 10% below what new residents will be charged.

Marsha Jacobson, attorney for the state Department of Social Services, said the legality of LAV Care’s move is under study.