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Rent Control a major issue

Picture courtesy of BILL WECHTER | bwechter@nctimes.com

Picture courtesy of BILL WECHTER | bwechter@nctimes.com

There has been a battle in recent years between mobile home park owners and the residents of their parks. California has rent control in place so you cannot just jack up the rent to whatever you want, it has to be increased on a small schedule - this is especially helpful to the large porportion of mobile home owners who are on fixed incomes.


Here is a news story about this topic being underfire:

"Backers of a ballot measure that would phase out rent control in Oceanside's 17 mobile-home parks have vastly outspent those fighting to keep it, according to reports filed with the city clerk.
Between Jan. 1 and May 19 ---- the latest date for which figures are available ---- the political action committee supporting Proposition E had raised $238,348. That's on top of the $16,775 that the committee ---- Taxpayers and Property Owners for Fairness, Yes on E ---- had raised in 2011.
The committee is sponsored by the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association, an industry group for mobile-home park owners.
By comparison, groups opposed to Prop. E reported combined contributions in 2012 of nearly $45,000.
Councilman Jerry Kern, who championed Prop. E, said those supporting it needed more money, in part to overcome what he called the emotional appeal of those trying to keep rent control for mobile-home park residents.
"All the emotions are on their side," Kern said. "It's very hard to go against somebody who says, 'They're going to take my home away.'"
Kern said voters also are more inclined to vote against a ballot measure, particularly if they aren't sure what the measure is about.
"If you're confused, you usually vote 'no,' so we have to get a clear message out there," Kern said.
Mobile-home residents who are fighting the ballot measure have no way to match the money that Prop. E supporters have poured into the campaign, said Chris Gow, president of the Oceanside Manufactured Homeowners Alliance, an organization representing mobile-home residents.
"We have people power," Gow said. "We just have to keep doing what we have been doing. We have our rallies, and we're hitting the grocery stores with our brochures and word of mouth."
Money raised by groups fighting against Prop. E includes $16,643 raised by the political action committee Save Oceanside; $16,190 raised by the political action committee Taxpayers for Oceanside Neighborhoods; and $12,141 raised by the Oceanside Manufactured Homeowners Alliance.
The alliance was not required to report contributions because it is not a political action committee like the other groups, said Assistant City Clerk Holly Trobaugh."


To read the whole article, visit this site:
http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/oceanside/oceanside-rent-control-supporters-outspent-by-those-want-to-end/article_c2cde58b-2de2-5690-8400-716dbfe0e6b3.html

Obviously, this is a serious issue. Mobile homes are considered, especially in California, as low-income housing. There is nothing low about a $800 to $1500 monthly space rent amount.

We will be watching this topic closely for sure.

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May 26, 2012
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Continued from previous comment
by: John Arendsen

If these park owners had any common sense whatsoever they would look at the advantages of converting their parks to a resident owned community. But they just don't see the forest through the trees.

This would be a win win for all parties concerned. Park owners would realize a tremendous ROI at the end of the day and homeowners would have an opportunity to own a home which would give them every incentive in the world to begin gentrifying their communities.

Don't believe me? I can prove it. We''ve been working in condo conversion and "Planned Unit Developments" (PUD's) for the past 25 of the 30 plus years we've been in the MH industry and can show you first had what the benefits of park/community conversions really are.

If the park owners, for whatever reason, don't want to release their ownership hold on their parks then they should at least consider long term leases i.e. 30, 50 or even 100 year leases with escalation clauses geared to the "Consumer Price Index" (CPI).

This would also serve to benefit all parties as well. Albeit not as good as owning your own dirt, but at least the homeowner would have a little control of their own destiny.

It might even incentives them to improve the park by putting in new homes, landscaping and/or remodeling their existing homes and even updating their rec centers and other amenities. There's a great deal to ponder on this subject. But the upside benefit by far outweighs the downside risk.

But one thing's for sure if the park owners maintain the status quo they are sure to seal their own fate. They will end up becoming a new generation of slum lords, their park will continue to decay and decline, they'll attract all the undesirable elements that we have come to experience with urban sprawl and MH rent/lease communities will continue to slide into the abyss.

May 26, 2012
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Values of MH's go down as rents go up.
by: JOHN ARENDSEN

As an active and contributing RE broker, Manufactured Home Dealer, General & Manufactured Home contractor in 4 states, a developer and an ardent stakeholder in this business for the past 3 decades I can tell you first hand that the higher park/community rents/leases go the lower the value of the home.

It's a given that landlords who continue jacking their rents up are only exacerbating and contributing to the ruination of their respective parks.

What used to be very quaint and charming places for folks to raise their families and/or spend their golden years will and in some cases already has turned into the next generation of slums.

There is absolutely no incentive for a person to spend $40,000 and up on an old derilict, out dated and in some cases unsafe old mobilehome and to then have to pay out such exorbitant rents.

Additionally, the average person who can afford a MH cannot or will not even think about pulling the old MH out and replacing it with a nice new one because there's no incentive to do so.

What motivation do they have to do that when the landlord keeps jacking the rent up and driving the value of the home down. It's a losing proposition for any homeowner.

In today's RE market they'd be much better off purchasing a condo or town home than a mobile/manufactured home in a rent/lease park. At least they'd stand more of a chance to build some equity instead of pouring money down a bottomless pit for which there is no return.

This is the first part as I'm bound to a 3000 character response. Please look for the rest of this answer.

May 26, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Values of MH's go down as rents go up.
by: JOHN ARENDSEN

As an active and contributing RE broker, Manufactured Home Dealer, General & Manufactured Home contractor in 4 states, a developer and an ardent stakeholder in this business for the past 3 decades I can tell you first hand that the higher park/community rents/leases go the lower the value of the home.

It's a given that landlords who continue jacking their rents up are only exacerbating and contributing to the ruination of their respective parks.

What used to be very quaint and charming places for folks to raise their families and/or spend their golden years will and in some cases already has turned into the next generation of slums.

There is absolutely no incentive for a person to spend $40,000 and up on an old derilict, out dated and in some cases unsafe old mobilehome and to then have to pay out such exorbitant rents.

Additionally, the average person who can afford a MH cannot or will not even think about pulling the old MH out and replacing it with a nice new one because there's no incentive to do so.

What motivation do they have to do that when the landlord keeps jacking the rent up and driving the value of the home down. It's a losing proposition for any homeowner.

In today's RE market they'd be much better off purchasing a condo or town home than a mobile/manufactured home in a rent/lease park. At least they'd stand more of a chance to build some equity instead of pouring money down a bottomless pit for which there is no return.

This is the first part as I'm bound to a 3000 character response. Please look for the rest of this answer.

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