City eyes rent control for mobile home park: But management and residents of Tahoe Verde are asked to work together on a possible agreement on rent hikes
Residents of the Tahoe Verde mobile home park filled the South Lake Tahoe City Council chambers Tuesday to comment on a proposed rent-control ordinance for South Lake Tahoe mobile home parks.
Among the speakers was Tahoe Verde resident Judy Tiger. In a prepared yet heartfelt speech, Tiger described her situation at Tahoe Verde: Living on a fixed income, being disabled and dealing with rent increases of as much as 11 percent.
Tiger referenced people who have been forced to move, or even sell their homes, due to rent increases at Tahoe Verde.
Several other Tahoe Verde residents also offered comments, most echoing Tiger’s sentiments.
After hearing comments from residents, an attorney representing the mobile home park’s owner and discussing the issue among themselves, council members voted to ask the Tahoe Verde residents and management to work together to try to find a solution. If that fails, the council will look into drafting rent-control legislation.
Many of the Tahoe Verde residents showed up at the start of the council meeting at 9 a.m., resulting in standing room only in council chambers. But many had left by the time the rent-control issue came up at about 2 p.m.
Councilman Ted Long started the discussion by reading into record a statement he wrote on the subject. In it Long references the growth rate of rent for mobile home space, which is increasing at a much sharper rate than that of other rental property on the South Shore.
Long also qualified the phrase “rent control,” suggesting the phrase “rental fairness” be a better way of describing the proposed legislation.
“The point of the statute is to review the request for fairness, not to eliminate rent increases and reasonable rates of return and profit,” Long said.
What Long proposed is a city ordinance that would set restrictions on rent increases in mobile home parks that would keep any rent increases in keeping with current rental market trends.
Michael McLaughlin, attorney for Feldman Shaw, the firm that represents Newport Pacific Capital Company, which owns the Tahoe Verde Mobile Home Park, offered some comments on behalf of his client.
McLaughlin said that Newport Pacific Capital offers subsidies to residents with financial need, offers residents options to buy their lots, and for residents not looking to buy have offered leases with a 3 percent floor and 6 percent cap on rent increases, and increases to be determined by the consumer price index.
Councilman Mike Weber motioned for both parties — the residents of Tahoe Verde, represented by their community council, and the owners and management of Tahoe Verde — to get together and try to resolve the problem themselves. Weber included in his motion that if the parties are unable to reach an amicable solution, the council would look into drafting rent-control legislation. Long amended the proposal with a timeline of 30 days for the parties to report back to the council.
Weber’s motion passed with a unanimous 5-0 vote.