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Mobile Home Park Rent Hike Blocked Temporarily

May 07, 1989|SIOK-HIAN TAY KELLEY | Times Staff Writer

MONROVIA — A Pasadena Superior Court judge last week granted tenants of the Park Santa Anita mobile home park a temporary reprieve from a rent hike.

Rents currently range from $180 to $250 a month, according to Barbara Daly, secretary for the tenants association. The new rate, which was to have become effective Wednesday, would have been $350 for tenants of the 38 mobile homes.

Judge Robert Olsen issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday, a lawyer for the tenants said, after agreeing with him that the owners had raised rents before completing a report for the city on the impact closing the park would have on tenants. Olsen set a hearing for May 19 to determine if a temporary injunction, which would prohibit the park owners from raising rents, should be issued.

The proposed increase comes in the midst of a legal battle between the park owners and the city.

Because the park's owners plan to close the park, they are required to give the city a report on the impact on tenants. The City Council in February rejected an initial report as inadequate and adopted an ordinance detailing compensation packages for displaced tenants.

Amount Disputed

In a suit filed against the city in April, park owners claim that the required payments to tenants are excessive.

The suit asks the court to invalidate the requirement that park owners pay fair market value for the mobile homes of residents who are unable to relocate to a comparable park.

Park Santa Anita owners also are challenging a provision that they must pay up to $15,000 over four years to each tenant to help cover the difference between rent at the park and the cost for comparable housing.

Bob Burlison, attorney for the tenants, maintains that the owners had agreed not to raise rents until the relocation impact report process is completed.

Michael Spata, attorney for the park owners, said he will refute that claim at the May 19 hearing.

Park owners notified tenants of a similar increase in January, but residents refused to comply because they were not given the required 60-days' notice, Burlison said.

Beverly Southers of Carlsbad, one of the owners, said no rent has been collected since February because the tenants would not pay the increase.

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