Did El Monte officials have a good reason to impose rent control on smaller mobile home parks?
That’s the question at the center of a lawsuit that was jolted back to life by a state appeals court last week. At issue is a 2015 law approved by the City Council that restricts annual rent increases at all of the nearly three dozen mobile home parks in El Monte.
A lower court previously threw out the lawsuit brought by El Rovia Mobilehome Park, which has 76 lots near Peck and Lower Azusa roads, finding that the city law was constitutional because it still allowed landlords to collect a reasonable return on their investment.
But the 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned the ruling and sent it back to the lower court. The three-judge panel found that El Monte needed to have reasons for passing rent control in the first place — such as a demonstrated history of higher and higher rents — a question that’s still up for debate.