Torrance rejects mobile home rent control ordinance | Techy Kings

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John R. Saunders of Saunders Property and Skyline Mobile Home Park at 2550 Pacific Coast Highway (Saunders, Google Maps)
John R. Saunders of Saunders Property and Skyline Mobile Home Park at 2550 Pacific Coast Highway (Saunders, Google Maps)

The municipality of Torrance has supported a mobile home park owner’s agreement to limit rents and rejected a proposed rent stabilization ordinance that residents supported.

The City Council rejected a rent control ordinance and approved a rent stabilization agreement proposed by the owner of Skyline Mobile Home Park at 2550 Pacific Coast Highway, the Torrance Daily Breeze reported.

Residents of the 265-lot, seniors-only mobile home park have called on the council to protect them from soaring rents for more than a year.

Indoor park in 2021. acquired by Newport Beach-based Saunders Property in October. Since then, rents in Skyline have increased by 15.9 percent, and will rise another 10 percent in January.

Owner John Saunders told residents that the first rent increase was $625,000 after a property tax increase at Saunders Property due to a land value recalculation at the time of purchase.

Further increases will gradually bring rates up to market value, he said. But rising rents have worried the park’s elderly residents, who live on fixed incomes.

“I want to stay in Torrance, I love Torrance, but if this growth continues, I won’t be able to afford Torrance,” said resident Bernice Rose. “I am 85 years old, blind in one eye and barely able to see in the other. If I had to move somewhere else, I would crawl on the floor to find out where I was going.

Responding to pressure from the city council, which has been mulling a potential rent control ordinance since earlier this year, the landlord in August offered a rent stabilization agreement.

Saunders voluntarily applied the state’s AB 1482 rent increase limits to Skyline’s rents.

The statewide bill applies to rental units, not mobile home parks, and increases annual rent caps by 5 percent, plus regional inflation, to keep the total increase to 10 percent.

In September, the council approved that rent control ordinance settlement, saying it was a fair deal. But Councilman Asam Sheikh asked the city to reconsider the decision because of possible confusion over the terms.

He proposed a rent stabilization ordinance with a 4 percent annual increase plus inflation to keep the total increase to 10 percent, including a provision allowing the landlord to change the rent to market value each time the lease changes.

The proposal, sponsored by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, did not receive a second and died without a council vote.

– Dana Baltramiejus

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