New bill would cap mobile home rent hikes statewide – Daily News

on Feb22
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California legislators passed a law last year that limited rent increases for tenants in buildings at least 15 years old.

But the measure, AB 1482, did not include mobile homes, allowing park owners to raise space rent as much as they want.

A new bill unveiled Friday, Feb. 21, would change that.

Assembly member Sharon Quirk–Silva, D-Fullerton, unveiled a plan to place rent caps on all California mobile homes. Patterned after AB 1482, the bill would limit future increases to 5% a year plus the cost of living, up to a maximum of 10% a year. Landlords also would be prohibited from raising mobile home rents more than two times a year.

The bill would apply both to Californians who rent a mobile home and to those who own their own mobile home and rent the land it sits on.

Speaking at a press conference outside Fullerton City Hall Friday morning, Quirk-Silva said rent protections provided last year to people living in apartments and other rentals need to be extended to those living in mobile homes.

“Just as (apartment) rents have dramatically increased, mobile home owners are also faced with drastic rent increases,” a statement from Quirk-Silva’s office said.

Unlike tenants who rent an apartment or a house, however, those living in mobile homes can’t easily move when their rent becomes unaffordable, Quirk-Silva added at Friday’s press conference.

“The reality of these is many are built on a foundation,” she said. “And even if they could be moved, where would they move them to (with) rent increasing every day?”

Quirk-Silva said many residents are one paycheck away from poverty or homelessness.

“We know that any increases for some members of our community, specifically those who are on a fixed income, can be the next step for them not being able to stay in their home,” she said.

The press conference was attended by about 15 residents of the Rancho La Paz Mobile Home Park, a property in Fullerton and Anaheim that faced big rent increases after it changed hands. The new owner reduced the rent hikes and spread them out over time after negotiations with residents, but tenants say the increases eventually will force them out of their homes. For example, rents are set to rise by more than 50% over the next three years.

“We needed this bill. … A third of our park will probably be homeless after that third increase because there’s no way somebody on a fixed income can come up with this amount of money,” said Lupe Ramirez, head of the Rancho La Paz residents association. “We didn’t get the huge increase, but we still got substantial increases that are not sustainable by our people.”

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