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TROUBLESHOOTERS: West Peoria tenants still receiving silence from management as bill to repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act moves to the house floor

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"I want a reasonable rent increase, something that I can afford," said Marilyn Eldubbeh.

It was in December that Marilyn Eldubbeh and Patti Brooks, along with other tenants at Wandering Springs in West Peoria, received a letter from management which stated they'd have to sign a new lease and would pay nearly a 60% increase for rent starting January 1st.

A rent increase requires a 90-day notice under the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act.

Due to the high price Brooks said the management company, Statewide Property, promised her a rent voucher that she still hasn't seen.

"I did sign the lease, but I can't pay that and he knows that. I just sent him a text last week. Never heard back," said Brooks.

These tenants said they've tried to get in contact with management to express their concerns about the cost of rent and the fact that a 3-year rent increase projection isn't in their lease, which is also a requirement of the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act.

They've been met with silence just like the Troubleshooters team.

Brooks said, "When you call it goes straight to the answering message so you figure he's got the message. He either chooses to call you or not."

Robert Jones said he and his wife paid the extra money for January, February, and March, but not April.

"Me and my wife talked about it and we just said well we're just going to do what everybody else is doing and pay the $310."

Terry Nelson, President of the Manufactured Homeowners Association of Illinois told Jessica Cook rent increases happen too often in mobile home parks throughout the state.

She added many times they are illegal and that is why she and other state advocates support House Bill 116, which aims to repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act passed in 1997.

The legislation states rent can be raised any amount and local government can't itnerfere.

Nelson said it's time for this act to be history.

"Then we can add in the form of amendments a way for local government or state, however the amendment, that reflects the need of the word affordable...When you have northern and southern Illinois you can't really do something blanketed."

The proposal is currently on the house floor and may be voted on soon.

"You know the way it was we were getting a $10 every two years increase because it started out it was $290 rent. You go from $310 to $500. No, I can't," said Eldubbeh.

Brooks said, "We are somebody down here and we have the right to know what's going on."

Jessica Cook

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