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Mobile home rent dispute will go to state mediator

Harbor View mobile home park residents and their corporate landlord will head to mediation after talks Wednesday failed to produce a solution to a dispute over rent increases. "It didn't go well at all," said Don Blatchford, chairman of the homeowners committee. Equity Lifestyle Properties, which bought the park on Louisiana Avenue in 2002, recently revised rents that increase up to $113 per month starting March 1. The company said the amounts reflect fair market value, but homeowners say their park is not like others in the area. They offered a counter proposal Wednesday that allows for a 5 percent increase in 2005 and one that mirrors the Consumer Price Index in the following four years. "They said that is completely unacceptable," Blatchford said. He will organize mediation through the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Equity Lifestyle Properties, based in Chicago, has not returned numerous calls seeking comment.

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