5.48.080: ARBITRATION:
   A.   Upon considering an application for a discretionary rent increase, if the commission is persuaded that a majority of the tenants do not agree to the proposed increase, the commission shall within ten (10) days select an arbitrator from a list of arbitrators approved by the city council to conduct arbitration of the disputed application for a discretionary rent increase. If possible, the commission should select from the list a retired judge to serve as arbitrator, but the commission shall not be bound to do so.
   B.   Upon selecting an arbitrator, the commission or its designee shall transmit copies of the application for a discretionary rent increase and any other supporting documentation filed by the mobilehome park owner to the arbitrator for his or her review, and shall mail notice of the selection of an arbitrator to all affected parties as set forth in the application. The owner shall produce, at the request of the arbitrator, any additional records, receipts, or other documents that the arbitrator may deem necessary for a decision on the disputed application. The owner shall supply duplicate copies of such documents to the city, shall keep copies at the owner's office within the park for review and duplication by the affected tenants, and shall provide notice to each affected tenant that the copies are available for review and reproduction at the tenant's expense.
   C.   Upon receipt of the application and all requested documentation, the arbitrator shall schedule a hearing on the application within sixty (60) days. The commission or its designee shall send notice of the time, date and place of the hearing to all affected parties at least thirty (30) days prior to the hearing. The notice shall state that copies of the application and supporting documentation are on file with the city and are available for review by any affected party, and that responding parties may submit written statements or documents to the arbitrator no later than ten (10) days before the hearing. All statements or documents submitted by responding parties shall be signed and verified under penalty of perjury, and duplicate copies thereof shall be filed with the city for review by any affected party.
   D.   At the hearing, the mobilehome park owner and any affected party may offer any testimony that the arbitrator deems relevant to the requested rent adjustment. The owner shall produce any records, receipts, or other documents that the arbitrator may deem necessary to approve the requested adjustment. The owner and affected parties may offer documents, written declarations, or other written evidence for the first time at the hearing only if good cause is shown why such evidence was not filed prior to the hearing. Formal rules shall not be applicable to such proceedings. In addition, members of the rent review commission shall be available as required by the arbitrator for testimony regarding previous rent adjustments in the park. Within fifteen (15) days after close of the hearing, the arbitrator shall make his or her determination, pursuant to the standards hereinafter set forth, approving or disapproving a rent adjustment for the mobilehome spaces specified in the application for a discretionary rent adjustment.
   E.   The arbitrator shall approve such rent adjustment as he or she determines to be just, fair, and reasonable, while assuring the park owner a just and reasonable return on his or her property. Such rent adjustment may be either below or above the proportional change in the consumer price index. The arbitrator shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors in making such determinations:
      1.   Changes in the CPI;
      2.   The rent lawfully charged for comparable mobilehome spaces in the city and surrounding areas;
      3.   The history and pattern of all prior rent adjustment of the park, and any prior arbitration proceedings;
      4.   The completion of any capital improvements or rehabilitation work related to the mobilehome spaces specified in the application, and the cost thereof, including the cost of materials, labor, construction interest, permit fees, and such other items as the arbitrator deems appropriate;
      5.   Changes in property taxes and other taxes related to the park;
      6.   Changes in master land or facilities lease rent, or mortgage payments incurred in financing the purchase or improvement of the park or incurred in an involuntary refinancing;
      7.   Changes in the utility charges for the park and the extent, if any, of reimbursement from the tenants;
      8.   Changes in reasonable operating and maintenance expenses;
      9.   The amount and quality of services provided by the owner to each affected tenant;
      10.   The need for rehabilitation work;
      11.   Employee and incidental expenses.
   F.   Pursuant to its determination, the arbitrator may order any adjustment in rent which he or she deems appropriate or consistent with this chapter, and such order shall be final. There shall be no appeal to the city council. The arbitrator may also order an adjustment for a limited time only when it is apparent that capital expenses or any other relevant factor will change after a determined period of time.
   G.   The total cost of the arbitration and the city's administrative costs shall be borne by the owner if the arbitrator approves a rent adjustment equal to or below the formula rent adjustment authorized by section 5.48.060 of this chapter. The total cost of arbitration and the city's administrative costs shall be borne by the affected tenants if the arbitrator approves a rent adjustment equal to the amount requested by the owner as a discretionary adjustment. If the arbitrator approves an adjustment which is less than the requested discretionary adjustment, the owner and tenants shall share the total costs in accordance with the ratios set out in table 5.48.080(G) of this section.
TABLE 5.48.080(G)
 
Owner's share of total cost    =
1
-
Rent approved by arbitrator
-
Formula adjusted rent
Rent requested by owner
-
Formula adjusted rent
Tenant's share of total cost    =
Rent approved by arbitrator
-
Formula adjusted rent
Rent requested by owner
-
Formula adjusted rent
 
For the purpose of these ratios, the formula adjusted rent shall be based on a time period beginning on the month of the effective date of the last rent adjustment and ending on the date of the first available release of the consumer price index which has been received by the city prior to the application for a discretionary adjustment. The city shall establish fees based on an hourly basis to provide for its administrative costs. (Ord. 2532 § 7, 2003: Ord. 2207 § 1, 1993)