20% rent hike for some mobile homeowners | TahoeDailyTribune.com

20% rent hike for some mobile homeowners

Two weeks after they appealed to Douglas County commissioners for a rent cap, the residents of the Tahoe Shores Mobile Home Park were notified of up to 20 percent rent increase starting March 1.

The commissioners granted the request on Tahoe Township parks on Nov. 21. But District Attorney Scott Doyle warned researching the fair-market rates may delay enacting the ordinance for that long.

Ninety days are required to implement such a rate hike.

Jan Christensen, whose rent would go from $547 to $657 a month, addressed the commissioners Thursday in a plea to move the process along. This rate excludes the $50 water bills the residents are now asked to pay each month.

Rental rates and increases vary by lot size and location.

“This is for a parcel of land that no one can show me a property line on, and that has no view other than the home next door that has been vacant for three years,” she said.

The commissioner plans to take up the matter Dec. 19, when it returns to Tahoe with a draft Doyle plans to present to the board.

Christensen said Wednesday that she fears the increases will turn into a routine practice until the low-income residents in the 155 spaces at the end of Kahle Drive are forced to leave.

Most believe this is the intention of the owner, South Shore Tahoe LLC. The limited partnership bought the 17-acre property a year ago for $12.6 million. The company plans to redevelop the site, but it has not released what those plans entail.

Phone calls to the park management representative were unreturned, and South Shore Tahoe LLC manager Tom Casteneda declined to speak for his boss and park owner, Robert Mecay of Incline Village.

A few weeks ago, the park owner had proposed a rent increase of $100 a month effective April 1 to offset expenses incurred by the acquisition, the park owner’s attorney Lew Feldman said. But the company regrouped after the commissioners determined relief was necessary for the residents.

The residents and park owner have wrangled over rent increases and their leasing agreement for months.

Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at swood@tahoedailytribune.com

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