Carol Brinkman, San Juan Capistrano

I am writing to add my voice to a groundswell of objection to the intended more-than-doubling of my space rent in El Nido Estates Mobile Home Park (due to become effective Sept. 1, 2015). When I moved into El Nido in August 2008, I was informed that this park was under rent control—the single biggest reason I decided to relocate here. As expected, each year rent increased minimally according to Consumer Price Index, approximately 1 to 3 percent annually.

As expected, in February 2015, I got notice from park management representing the park owner, Richard Worley, of the CPI increase of 1.3 percent for 2015 (or $7.80 with my new rent rising to $607.97 per month to become effective May 1, 2015). Then in April, I got a notice rescinding the rent increase, saying the owner wishes to “further review the current rents.” Two weeks later, I received two notices. The first was a change in rent, increasing my prior year’s rent of $600 by $641 for a new total of $1241.17—over double the amount of the prior year. The second notice was notification of the park owner’s intention to offer a long-term lease with some financial incentives to sign immediately—a manipulation by Mr. Worley, since signing any lease automatically forfeits your rent control.

El Nido Estates is a “five-star” senior park with a long and stable history. Many of us seniors are on fixed incomes. I will be unable to pay this dramatic increase and will be forced to leave. At age 72, I do not want to do that. Furthermore, I doubt I will even be able to sell, especially if there is controversy and potential litigation pending—not to mention the saturation of “for sale” signs driving down market prices as many residents flee the park at the same time. I speak for myself, but the homeowners of El Nido are united in our opposition to this huge rent increase. We intend to file a petition before the mayor and the City Council of San Juan Capistrano. But while we wait for our fate before the City Council, Mr. Worley’s actions have created fear, anxiety and sleepless nights for all of the residents of El Nido Estates.

About The Author Capo Dispatch

comments (3)

  • As a resident of El Nido Estates, I am also immensely distraught over the proposed doubling of our rent. Not only for myself, but for my mother (age 72) who recently relocated from Colorado to retire in a community where we were assured by park management at our time of purchase that rent control would remain in effect and was not likely to be challenged. The proposed rent increase of over 100% will be both devastating and financially impossible for those of us living on a fixed income. The fact that fear, anxiety and sleepless nights abound is an understatement.

  • So, the question is……does the City have a “Rent Control” program or not? This is not likely the only park that has this problem. It is time for the City to speak.

    Most folks know that rents in Orange County have escalated rapidly in the last few years. There is no effective way of gaging actual rents achieved and rental agreements/leases are not recorded as are home sales. Something must be done.

    • With the new city council, Bonnie, it is hard to tell. I think they have their own agenda, and I think their agenda most likely outweighs the needs of the people, given the rate the city employees are leaving.

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