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COUNTYWIDE : Cap Considered for Mobile Home Rents

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider placing a cap on rent increases that mobile home park owners in the unincorporated areas of the county can impose when a space becomes vacant.

The county’s rent-review board recommended last week that a ceiling be imposed to stop park owners from sharply raising rents. There is no cap now on what park owners can charge when spaces change hands.

Under the city’s rent-control ordinance, annual rent increases of no more than 5% are allowed on occupied spaces. But that limit doesn’t apply when a space becomes vacant.

The rent-control ordinance was adopted in 1981. It applies to 24 mobile home parks scattered in the unincorporated area, with a total of 1,555 spaces.

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In December, 1989, the supervisors changed the ordinance to include a provision that allows park owners to raise space rents as much as they want when a residence changes hands.

Since the change, 68 spaces have changed hands and the rents have jumped. At Mira Valle mobile home park near Ojai rents ranged from $296 to $317, but when a vacancy occurred the rent increased to $453, according to a county survey of parks.

Mobile home owners are pushing for a ceiling on rents when vacancies occur, and park owners are opposed, County Planner Kim Hocking said. The rent-review board did not specify what the cap should be, he said.


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