On January 2nd a CoMO-LAC member in Blue Star (located in Sylmar) advised us that they have a new management company (Sierra Corporate Management Inc.) and many residents received a notice that space rents would be increased by $129.00/month. This is not a AAA Mobilehome Park. It is family park that has not been well maintained. The pool is locked nine months out of the year and some streets and driveways are in disrepair. Rents are in the mid $400.00/space. Residents have also been advised that rents for new residents buying homes in the park would climb to $850.00/month.
THIS INCREASE IS ABSURD. Only thirty of Blue Star’s 186 spaces are under the L.A. Rent Control Ordinance, which means a 3.0% increase is allowable this year. We have just learned that the other 156 spaces are actually in the county, and not in the city. IN THE SAME PARK! So those 156 spaces will get the $129.00 increase, except the residents still under five year leases.
It took CoMO-LAC just a couple days to send letters to about 130 of the 156 spaces inviting them to attend our monthly meeting at the Train Station on January 7th. Most only received their letter by January 5th, yet about 30 from Blue Star and more from Canoga Mobile Estates attended. CoMO-LAC gained 15 new members on the spot, with others sending in their membership later.
Those attending were serious about getting something done. One resident said the park had actually been purchased by Sierra Management. Of course all are very concerned about such a large rent increase. Some in the park have 5 year leases, so they will not be affected until their lease runs out. But then they too will be subject to this absurd increase.
The first meeting was very positive. Those from Blue Star decided to organize as many residents in the park as possible. Eleven residents volunteered to help! That was a terrific response. The second meeting will be scheduled February 4th at 10am at the Chamber of Commerce again. We have already spent time looking at options for action. Such options include getting the advice of an attorney, getting signatures on a petition, getting media coverage, asking the County of Los Angeles to arbitrate or try to get the City of Los Angeles to annex the 156 into the City of L.A. In fact annexation was done years ago with a park located entirely in the county, namely Indian Hills in Chatsworth. Residents of Blue Star must take a stand. And CoMO-LAC is by their side.
Eventually with enough mobilehome residents joining CoMO-LAC, we may have a chance to get rent control for the County of Los Angeles. But it will take a lot of time and effort. Currently anyone living outside the City limits is not covered by our Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and the park may raise their rents at will. These residents have no protection. So it is about time we UNITED and work to get rent control for all of L.A. County.
Don’t let this happen in your park. Be prepared! Educate yourself. Read your rental agreement. And every park should have an active homeowners group in place. And join CoMO-LAC and have a voice. UNITE