The majority of Lancaster’s mobile home park residents will be limited to 1.4% basic space rent increases during the coming year under a newly passed overhaul of the city’s rent-control law, city officials said Wednesday.
Under a measure adopted 4 to 0 Tuesday by the City Council, annual rent increases for mobile home park residents covered by the law will be limited to 60% of the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles area each June. The 1.4% figure is 60% of the 2.4% CPI increase for 1992-93.
City officials estimated that the new law will cover about 60% or 2,100 of the city’s 3,500 occupied mobile home park units. The other units are exempt from the law because their residents have space rental agreements that run longer than a year in duration and govern their rates.
The new measure, applauded by tenants but decried by park owners, replaces a prior city system that left such annual rent increase decisions up to the City Council. Council members had often based their decisions on changes in the CPI, but the debate every year resulted in substantial haggling.
The new law contains the same provision as its predecessor that permits owners of the 33 mobile home parks in the city to individually petition for special additional rent increases upon showing of cause. Such requests will continue to be decided by a five-member council-appointed panel.
But the new law adds a provision that for the first time will permit a majority of the occupants in any park to appeal to the city panel to reduce or cancel the annual increase if circumstances warrant. The law, however, says residents must overcome a presumption in favor of the increase.