December 9, 2022

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Wicked Real Estate

San Rafael, cellular dwelling people resist hire hikes

3 min read

Town officers and citizens at R.V. Park of San Rafael are pushing again against a slate of hire hikes by the management.

Citizens say the proprietor, Harmony Communities of Stockton, is searching for steep will increase at the neighborhood, which is at 742 Francisco Blvd. West.

In a recent letter to residents, the organization explained the increases will provide the ordinary regular monthly lease to $650. It claims the nearest comparable neighborhood, a site in japanese Larkspur, prices about $2,000 for “similar accommodations.”

“While it is a bit bigger than we would typically like, it is essential to staunch the bleeding,” the letter reported. “Currently the park is getting rid of funds on an ongoing basis.

“I do think you will all concur that a home wants to make a sensible volume of revenue in order to remain in organization and that the new rents are extremely cost-effective and fair to all,” mentioned the letter, which is unsigned. “We do not want to displace a one individual with this rent improve and just wish for the proprietor to make a realistic gain and be equipped to give harmless and inexpensive housing for all of you.”

The dispute hinges on what kind of households are there. Harmony claims they are leisure cars and hence exempt from a metropolis hire command ordinance masking mobile or manufactured residences.

The town and the residents say in any other case.

Beverly Mason stops to pet a community canine at the R.V. Park of San Rafael, wherever she has lived about 20 a long time, on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. (Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal)

The metropolis has despatched a letter to Harmony Communities.

“We fully grasp that you contend that the tenant areas in the park are occupied by leisure cars (RVs) alternatively than by mobile residences, and that the park is consequently exempt from San Rafael’s Cell Household Hire Stabilization ordinance,” City Lawyer Robert Epstein wrote.

Epstein said the ordinance does address the community and the proposed raise in rents “violates the provisions of that ordinance.”

Epstein cited preceding litigation involving the home and the city. He explained the case founded that “the park is a cellular household park issue to the hire command ordinance.”

“It is not a recreational car or truck park, subject to a distinct statutory scheme,” he wrote.

That match desirable the ordinance, implementing to the park and hire increases on its models, was settled in 2005, when the operator agreed to dismiss the charm.

Epstein’s letter reminded the landlord the park is certain by that judgment. Though the administration has presently increased lease for 2021, “any even further lease boosts ought to be accepted via the hearing procedure supplied for in San Rafael Municipal Code.”

Beverly Mason, a resident in the community for about 20 decades, mentioned she thinks the house owners had been trying to get all around the ordinance and elevate rents quietly. She stated the administration has also elevated costs on other providers, these types of as for renting parking areas at the park’s exterior boundary.

Mason mentioned other tenants are a lot more hesitant to communicate out than she is, fearing retaliation in the type of even steeper lease hikes. She said it feels “awful” looking at instability for existing cost-effective housing like mobile residences.

“It’s insanity, this idea of being equipped to improve the rent — just obscene in my view,” Mason claimed.

But if the developer chooses to disregard the city’s warning, Mason said, she anxieties “they can do whatsoever they want.”

Harmony Communities did not reply to requests for remark.

The business was also involved in a controversial 2018 RV park hire hike in San Leandro, which does not have rent command. And in a Fresno County situation very last yr, citizens at the Shady Lakes Cell Home Park submitted a lawsuit alleging the business unfairly hiked rents and harassed tenants.

Organization reps denied the promises in both of those instances. The enterprise continues to purchase cost-effective housing communities in low-profits regions in cities this kind of as Gilroy.

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