(A) Application for the waiver of filing fees due to economic hardship under Section 1204 shall be confidential even as to the opposing party. All other documents filed in connection with an individual rent adjustment proceeding shall be public records, unless a party receives a determination by the hearing examiner that a particular document shall be confidential. For any such determination of confidentiality to be made it must be demonstrated that the document in question is exempt under the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.) or that the public interest served by not making the document public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the document. Unless specifically directed by the hearing examiner, documents determined to be confidential will be available for inspection by the opposing party but not by the general public.
(B) A party seeking a determination that a particular document shall be treated as confidential shall make such a request in writing. The request shall be made at the time that the document in question is offered as evidence or is otherwise required to be produced. The examiner may determine that only a portion of the document is to be treated as confidential, and may make such rulings regarding disclosure to both the opposing party and the general public as are consistent with this Section. The request and the ruling thereon shall be included in the record.
1214. Advisory Decisions for Exempt Units
(A) Conditional Approval of Rent Increases for Exempt Units. In conjunction with any IRA petition, a landlord may request that any building-wide rent increases (e.g., capital improvement, MNOI, property tax) approved by the hearing examiner also be conditionally granted for units which are exempt from the Ordinance at the time of the filing of the petition. In such an event, the hearing examiner, in his or her decision, shall determine the amount of the building-wide rent increase apportionable to the exempt unit and shall issue an advisory ruling conditionally granting the increases in the appropriate amount, provided that, at the time the petition is filed, no more than 50% of the building's units are exempt and no more that 50% of non-exempt units are vacant. For exempt units which are occupied for any reason, the amortization period for any temporary increases granted under Regulation 1267 shall run concurrently with the amortization period for the nonexempt units affected by the same capital improvement.
(B) Implementation of Rent Increases Conditionally Granted in Advisory Decisions
When a unit subject to an advisory decision under subsection (A) ceases to be exempt, the landlord may request the implementation of the rent increases conditionally granted in the advisory decision in the following fashion:
(1) Petitions: Notice
(a) The landlord must file with the Board an original petition requesting implementation of the advisory decision and one copy of the completed petition, the advisory decision and an addressed, postage-paid envelope for each affected unit. By the conclusion of the next business day, the Board shall mail to the tenants of each affected unit a copy of the petition, a copy of the advisory decision and a notice which states that the tenant has a right to object to the petition, lists the possible objections as set forth in subsection (B)(3) and states that if the tenant does not object on any ground listed in subsection (B)(3) within twenty (20) days of the filing of the petition, the rent for the tenant's unit may be increased by the amount conditionally granted in the advisory decision, based on the information in the landlord's petition and the Board's files. A proof of service stating the date and place of mailing and to whom and to what addresses the petitions, advisory decisions and notices were sent shall be retained in the petition files. There shall be no fee for the filing of the petition and the petition shall not be subject to the limitations of Regulation 1267(K).
(b) If the unit ceases to be exempt by virtue of the creation of a new tenancy and the landlord is filing the petition within 6 months of the creation of the new tenancy, the landlord shall certify in the petition that, when the tenancy was created, the tenant was notified of the advisory decision and that the rent increases which were conditionally authorized in the advisory decision would be implemented as soon as possible, subject to final Board approval.
(2) Asserting Tenant Objections
Tenants subject to petitions under subsection (B)(1) may file objections with the Board within 20 days of the filing of the petition. Failure to file an objection on any ground specified in subsection (B)(3) shall constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing on the petition.
(3) Grounds for Tenant Objection
Objections to a petition brought under subsection (B)(1) must be made on one or more of the following grounds:
(a) At the time that the petition resulting in the advisory decision was filed, more than 50% of the building's units were exempt from the Ordinance or less than half of the non-exempt units were occupied by tenants;
(b) The petition was filed within 6 months of the creation of a new tenancy and the landlord did not advise the tenant of his or her intent to file the petition prior to creation of the new tenancy;
(c) Any other grounds which would justify denial of the rent increase pursuant to the regulation under which the rent increase was conditionally granted in the original decision.
(d) The unit is not eligible to receive annual general adjustments for any period since the rent was last certified or individually adjusted by the Board. Any such objection shall identify each challenged annual general adjustment and the reason for the alleged ineligibility;
(e) The landlord has been charging rent in excess of the lawful rent ceiling;
(f) The unit is substantially deteriorated, fails to comply substantially with applicable state rental housing laws or local housing, building, health and safety codes, or the landlord does not currently provide adequate housing services;
(4) Rent Increases
(a) The record closes twenty (20) days after the filing of the petition or upon the filing of express written waivers of the right to a hearing signed by all affected tenants, whichever is sooner. Within ten (10) days of the closing of the record, the Board shall issue a decision increasing the lawful rent ceiling by the amount conditionally granted in the advisory decision for any unit where no tenant timely objects on a ground listed in subsection (B)(3), and where the evidence submitted supports the petition and substantially conforms to the Board's records. The Board shall serve a copy of the decision on all parties.
(b) For any unit where no tenant objects on a ground listed in subsection (B)(3), but the petition does not substantially conform to the records of the Board, the Board shall notify the petitioner that the petition will be dismissed unless the petitioner cures the defect, within thirty (30) days of receiving notice of the defect. The Board shall issue a decision within ten (10) days of receipt of the petitioner's response.
(c) For any unit where a tenant files a timely objection, the Board shall set the petition for an individual rent adjustment hearing and so notify the landlord and tenants pursuant to Regulation 1223.
(d) Individual rent adjustment determinations under this regulation shall be limited to the issues raised by the petition and specific objections made pursuant to subsection (B)(3). Where an objection is found to be valid, the rent increase authorized under this regulation shall be reduced, denied, or deferred as the hearing examiner or Board determines to be appropriate. Any increase which is deferred due to a valid tenant objection shall be made effective upon submission of proof of compliance, subject to Regulation 1250.
[Effective April 9, 1993]