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Seniors on fixed incomes priced out at mobile home park after rent hike

Posted at 7:18 PM, Apr 08, 2024

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. (KGTV) — Senior citizens living in a Valley Center mobile home lot say they are being priced out after management raised the rent. ABC 10News spoke with multiple seniors on fixed incomes.

"Everybody loves it here," Karyn Keyser told ABC 10News. "Nobody wants to move."

Keyser has lived at the Skyline Ranch Country Club since 2019. The upscale mobile home park for seniors has a golf course and other luxurious amenities.

"It's a fantastic place to live, really," Keyser said.

The problem for Keyser, though, is that she won't be living there much longer. Without signing a new lease agreement, Keyser says her rent has gone up from $955, and now approaches $1,600.

@abc10news Seniors at Valley Center's Skyline Ranch Country Club face uncertainty as rising rents strain fixed incomes. Learn more about our in-depth coverage in bio. #fyp #foryou #rent #home #housing #affordable #senior #retirement #inflation #california #forsale #sandiego #sandiego10news ♬ original sound - ABC 10News San Diego

"I'm on disability; my husband does work, but we still can't afford that much," she said.

Keyser says she owns the home, but she pays money for the plot of land on the property. She says she's struggled to sell the home in the gated community.

"Our plan right away was to put the house on the market and sell," Keyser said.

It's not just Keyser's problem. 'For sale' signs litter the property directly across the main gate entrance, and a drive through the community will show dozens of homes for sale.

"[The signs] are new. People would put their sign out there, but there's never been... it seems like every week somebody's putting their house up," Keyser said.

Watch the video below to hear why Keyser believes the Skyline Ranch Country Club was a rare find before the rent hike.

Senior on fixed income explains why people don't want to leave Skyline Ranch Country Club

California law dictates landlords cannot raise rent more than 10% total or 5% plus the percentage change in the cost of living.

After hearing from multiple renters, ABC 10News contacted the property about the increase.

"During an independent analysis, the Park determined that in order to avoid continuing to run the Park at a loss given the ongoing expenses and costs, the Park was required to increase space rents. The Park’s analysis took into consideration the fair market values of rents, the expenses required to operate and maintain the amenities of the Park, and the Park’s ongoing and recurring expenses," Skyline Ranch Country Club Manager Chris Ingersoll said.

"A notice of rent increase was sent out to the Homeowners in December, allowing the Homeowners enough time to get their financial affairs in order, especially given that the Park’s rent increase was less than the $1,675.00 previously approved by the Homeowners."

Ingersoll told ABC 10News that rent increases have ranged from $100 to $400, depending on the space, and the average increase from 2014 to now is approximately 5.5% per year.

But for seniors and those on fixed incomes, the change is tough to swallow.

"It's not affordable for some of these people who have lived here 20-30 years now," Keyser said. "That's what makes me the maddest. It's not just for us, we're young enough still that somehow, hopefully, we'll get through this.