San Leandro adds just-cause to proposed mobile home rent ordinance

San Leandro councilmembers asked city staff last March to go back to drawing board and improve a proposed mobile home rent ordinance. On Monday night, San Leandro will make a second attempt at passing what is now a beef-up ordinance that includes just-cause protections for mobile home renters.

EBC AGENDA slateHousing activists lauded the proposed ordinance on March 4 that would have given mobile homeowners greater rent protections, but also found it somewhat incomplete.

Later they urged the council to include just-cause protections and a fine-tuning of the mechanism used to  determine annual rent increase. In both cases, San Leandro city staff agreed.

Just-cause regulations for mobile home rentals is already included in state law, a fact that caused some confusion at the March 4 council meeting. While housing activists urged for just-cause protection, some mobile home park owners maintained it was already law.

Under the law, mobile home owners can only be evicted from the plot of land they rent with a specific cause — seven reasons, in fact — such as nonpayment of rent, violating the rental agreement, and the renter constituting a nuisance to neighbors.

In addition, San Leandro’s originally proposed ordinance tied the annual threshold for raising rents on mobile home owners to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the West region. But housing advocates balked, asking for a more local measuring stick.

Although, there were only varying degrees of difference between, for example, a Bay Area-wide index and a local version, according to city staff, it chose one that specifically covers San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward.

The latter produced an average index of 2.9 percent over the past eight years, the city reported. In March, a 3 percent annual rent cap was bandied about by city staff and some housing activists. Others lobbied for the amount to be even lower last March.

The problem of rising mobile home rents and displacement has grown acute in San Leandro in recent years. In addition, to the housing crisis in the entire Bay Area, San Leandro’s issues appear to stem from the sale of three mobile home parks in the city and an uptick in rent hikes and evictions.


SAN LEANDRO
>>Regular council meeting, Monday, May 20, 7 p.m.
READ THE ENTIRE AGENDA HERE
>>Next meeting: May 27.