Utah Legislature Dealing with MHC Owner-resident Mediation

SaltLakeTribune reports about two dozen land lease community (LLC) residents attended a Capitol Hill Business and Labor Committee hearing to support legislation that calls for mediation in cases of MHC owner-resident disputes. Rep. Janice Fisher (D-West Valley City) introduced a bill that would provide for nonbinding mediation if the rent should increase, and would not allow more than one increase a year. Mediation would also be called in if the rent increased more than one percent above the consumer price index. According to Steve Anderson, past president of the Utah Mobile Homeowners Action Group (UMHAG), while denying the group is seeking rent control, says the legislation will protect homeowners from being forced to sign leases by the landowners. But Rick Bills, the manager of his family-owned American Heritage Retirement community for 24 years, says the bill is an infringement on his rights and a step towards rent control, and suggests UMHAG will be back to ask for more next year. Sen. Karen Mayne (D-West Valley City) says there are several MHCs in her district, and in one of them they would not let the residents pass out fliers. Richard McMullen, of Kingsley management, which owns seven MHCs in Utah, says, “If we’re mistreating our customers, they have every right to not do business with us and to relocate. They’re not held hostage.” Rep. Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) expressed concern about tying non binding mediation concerning a rent increase to the rise in the consumer price index. After a split vote, committee members decided the bill needs more work.

(Photo credit: Trent Nelson/SaltLakeTribune)

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