The residents of Hemet West Mobile Part are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore

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Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

I’ve been hearing from mobile park seniors over the past few months about rent increases. Most seem to feel a 2% per year raise is sufficient, while most have been around 5%.

The residents at Hemet West are furious. I sat down with Larry Graves, President of the Homeowners Association, a few days ago and he unloaded the tenants’ grievances about recent notices of rent increases from the LLC that owns the property, property handed down from the previous owners.

“Most of the people who live in the park have a rental agreement,” Mr. Graves explained. “I’ve been here more than twenty years and my rent has more than doubled.”

The current lease has a 5 percent cap and that’s been the same for years because of adherence to the Riverside County Consumer Price Index. If the owners of Western States Mobile Home Park prevail, that will be no more as of January 1, 2023, according to Mr. Graves.

The owners notified us all on November 1st that we are getting a new lease for the coming year, removing the Consumer Price Index as a guide on the increase. That will up the rent and also add 10% for any capital improvements, that, plus the rent increase, adds up to 20% overall. Senior citizens can’t handle that on a fixed income. That’s bad news for all of us.

The residents have banded together and coughed up enough money to retain out of town attorney’s well experienced with mobile home laws. In their recent meeting, it was agreed that the attorneys would be writing a letter to the owners requesting that the new lease be rescinded and to continue on as always. A class action suit seems to be the next stop if they refuse.

Graves said, “They can’t throw the whole park out into the streets” He also added that none of the tenants have signed the newly proposed agreement.

The original owners were older and more understanding than the current ones. “We loved them so much that we set aside one day a year for Homeowner Appreciation Day.”

The Home Owners Association has also approached the City of Hemet to see if there is anything they can do to help.

You can bet that every mobile park in the city has an eye on this situation and will act accordingly if the owners get their way at Hemet West. It might be smart of the Home Owners Associations at Parks in the Valley, along with their tenants to help Hemet West folks if this goes to court. Just sayin’.

rustystrait@gmail.com

There is also a ‘no arbitration’ clause in the newly proposed lease, which gives the owners total control of the tenants’ rights.


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