Berkeley Municipal Code Chapter 13.78, Tenant Screening Fees


13.78.010  Notification of state law limitation on tenant screening fees.
 
When an owner of residential rental property or his or her agent receives a request to rent residential property in the City of Berkeley from an applicant and he or she charges that applicant a fee to purchase a consumer credit report and to validate, review, or otherwise process an application for the rent or lease of residential rental property, he or she shall provide, either in the rental application or in a separate disclosure prior to receipt of the fee, a clear and conspicuous tenant screening fee rights statement and a statement of the maximum fee cap permitted under California Civil Code Section 1950.6(b). The "tenant screening fee rights statement" shall mean the following statement or a statement substantially similar to the following statement:

“Pursuant to California law you have tenant screening fee rights, including the right to a copy of your consumer credit report if one is obtained with your screening fee, a refund of any unused portion of the fee and a receipt of the costs of the screening."

The maximum tenant screening fee is currently $45.16.

For more information about your rights, please visit the following link provided by the City: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1940-1954.1.” (Ord. 7171-NS § 1 (part), 2011)

13.78.020 Remedies – Civil penalty – Not exclusive.

A.    The remedies provided under this section are in addition to any the City or any person might have under  
        applicable law.

B.    Any owner of residential rental property shall be liable to the applicant for a civil penalty of two hundred fifty
       dollars ($250.00) if the owner fails to comply with Section 13.78.010.

C.     Any person aggrieved by the owner’s failure to comply with Section 13.78.010 may bring a civil action against the   
        owner of the residential rental property for all appropriate relief including damages and costs which she or he may
        have incurred as a result of the owner’s failure to comply with Section 13.78.010.

D.    In any action to recover damages resulting from a violation of Section 13.78.010, the prevailing plaintiff(s) shall be
        entitled to reasonable attorneys’ fees in addition to other costs, and in addition to any liability for damages imposed
        by law.

E.    This Section shall not be in effect prior to January 1, 2013. (Ord. 7171-NS § 1 (part), 2011)