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Del. house approves rent justification bill

Randall Chase, Associated Press

DOVER, Del. (AP) -- Delaware's House has unanimously approved a bill restricting the ability of manufactured home park owners to raise lot rents.

The legislation approved Thursday requires park owners to obtain state approval for rent increases that exceed the average annual increase in the Consumer Price Index for urban consumers in the Philadelphia-Wilmington area for the preceding three years.

The Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority would consider the costs of operating and maintaining and improving the affected community. If an owner can't demonstrate that those costs in the prior 12 months have exceeded the CPI, the authority would deny the rent hike request. If the authority believes the costs have exceeded the CPI, it would determine an appropriate rent increase.

The bill goes back to the Senate for approval of a House amendment.