LANCASTER — The City Council will consider a proposed ordinance at tonight’s meeting to amend the city’s municipal code in regard to rent stabilization in mobile home parks in the city.
Under the city’s current law an aggrieved homeowner must pursue a violating park owner in a court of law.
“This is an expensive process and deters many homeowners from challenging the violations. Additionally, the procedure for imposing criminal justice penalties on offending park owners is similarly expensive and time-consuming,” a staff report by City Attorney Allison Burns said.
The proposed ordinance would, in addition to existing civil and criminal remedies, allow the city to impose administrative fines and penalties for violations of the city’s mobile home park rent control laws rather than have homeowners pursue a violating park owner in a court of law.
The proposed amendment establishes a $500 civil penalty, or three times the amount of payment demanded or accepted in excess of the rent which could be lawfully charged pursuant to the rent stabilization code, whichever is greater.
A park owner who violates the city code shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or imprisonment up to six months, or both fine and imprisonment.
The penalty for the first administrative citation shall be $500 per month during which the park owner demands or accepts payments of rent in violation of the city code. For a second and any subsequent administrative citation the penalty shall be $1,500 per month during which the park owner demands or accepts payments of rent in violation of the city code, according to the resolution.
The City Council meets at 5 p.m. in Council chambers at City Hall, 44933 Fern Ave.
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