Laguna Vista Mobile Estates residents to receive rent increase


Laguna Vista Mobile Estates, pictured in November 2022, is located in the San Luis Rey neightborhood of Oceanside. (Google Street View photo)

Ryan Hardison



The residents of Laguna Vista Mobile Estates, one of Oceanside’s 17 mobile home parks, faced a substantial increase in their monthly rent at the meeting of the Oceanside Manufactured Home Fair Practices Commission on Thursday, March 16.

Located at 276 N. El Camino Real, the park has 272 spaces, occupied by a community of primarily seniors, as well as veterans, people with disabilities and low income families.

Laguna Vista MHC is the only mobile home park in Oceanside that is counted as affordable housing due to the park’s separate Regulatory Agreement with the city of Oceanside, which is in effect until August 31, 2052. The agreement requires Laguna Vista to keep 150 spaces at all times for 96 “low income” and 54 “very low income” residents.

Mike Mohammad A. Ali, through Laguna Vista MHC LLC, has owned the park since 2020 and last year applied to the commission for a net affordable income (NOI) monthly space rent adjustment increase of 26.67% under Chapter 16B of the Oceanside Municipal Code.

Ordinance 16B caps annual rent increases at the lesser of two options: an 8% increase or an increase equal to 75% of the consumer price index (CPI), but park owners can still apply for additional rent increases.

CBS8 reported in April 2022 that residents of all Oceanside mobile home parks faced an annual rent increase of 3.9% in 2022, which was subsequently approved by the commission.

Though the commission meeting specifically dealt with the residents of Laguna Vista Estates, Linda Walshaw, CEO of Mobilehome Advisory Committee Inc., says this issue is just one segment in an ongoing rent control battle that’s been brewing in Oceanside since 2012.

A senior herself, Walshaw says many seniors lack alternative living options, and despite paying for utilities and property taxes, they can be forced out of their manufactured homes by high rents. Additionally, she says park owners often keep residents in the dark regarding their overall plans, with many mobile home parks along the California coast being bought up by private equity investors with the intention of skyrocketing rents.

“Anytime they can increase their profits, then that makes (the parks) more valuable to other investors if they want to flip the park and sell it for more money,” Walshaw said.

Walshaw said there is a lot of dissension within the community of residents as some want the rent discussion to stay within their park, while others want to raise awareness of their fight, making it difficult to unite residents to sue their park owner.

“You have two schools of thought: you have the people who want to stand up for their rights and fight back and then you have the other people who don’t want this information to get put out in the public because they think that it will affect their ability to sell their homes,” Walshaw said.

At the March 16 meeting, the commission recommended a NOI rent adjustment of 4.2% for 2022 (added on top of the 3.9% annual adjustment) and said the applicant didn’t meet the burden of proof to support its claim for a 26.67% NOI monthly space rent adjustment.

Along with the NOI adjustment, the commission granted the park owner a one-time pass-through payment, allowing Ali to pass on the cost of a $2,000 hearing fee paid during the application process to the park’s residents at a cost of $7.35 per space.

As part of the ruling, the city’s consultants, RSG Inc., determined that two 2021 expenses totaling $89,754.58, which paid for asphalt removal, repainting and restriping as well as a water pump installation at the park, were necessary capital improvement expenditures.

The commission also granted an additional temporary rent increase of $3.63 per space per month for a period of nine years, calculated as a separate line item on monthly rent invoices.

Though the monthly rent increase decided upon was far less than what the park owner applied for, Walshaw said she believes that the outcome of this Laguna Vista rent control matter will encourage other park owners to continue raising their rents, signaling further rent control battles to come.

Ryan Hardison is a local freelance writer.