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Tenants, Owners Agree on Plan to Limit Rent Hikes

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SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A mobile home rent control ordinance acceptable to both tenants and park owners was tentatively approved by the Azusa City Council Monday.

The revised ordinance is the result of recent negotiations between tenants and park owners. The tenants have complained for the past two years about escalating rents, and the park owners have vehemently opposed rent control efforts.

The new ordinance sets up a procedure for rent increases, which are permitted if the owner notifies all affected tenants and has met the following conditions:

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* No rent increases for the past 12 months.

* No decrease in services to the tenants.

* Proposed increase is no greater than the sum of the consumer price index and the increase in any special tax.

If the criteria are not met, the proposed increase could be reviewed by a park committee mediation board, consisting of two owner representatives and two tenant representatives who will together appoint the fifth member. Their decision must be accepted by the owner and at least 67% of the tenants.

If mediation fails, a five-member Mobilehome Rental Review Board will conduct a formal hearing and decide on the proposed increase. The board will be composed of members selected by the two sides and approved by the council. Decisions by that board may be appealed to an arbitrator in the court system.

The ordinance was approved by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman John Dangleis voting no. Dangleis said he opposes all rent control. The measure is scheduled for a final vote Jan. 6.

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