1269.6 Payment of Refuse Fees by Tenants

A. Background

On May 31, 1980, fees for refuse collection charged by the City were billed on the property tax bill and paid by property owners. For this reason refuse collection has always been considered a housing service that is provided to the unit as part of the rent. Refuse collection is considered to be a base year operating/maintenance expense and increases or decreases to the refuse collection fee have always been included in the calculation of the Annual General Adjustment. Landlords are responsible for providing and paying for a unit's refuse collection service, notwithstanding any changes in the City's method of billing for such services.

On or about July 1, 1997, the City of Berkeley stopped billing refuse collection fees on the property tax bill and arranged to have them billed directly to the landlord by the City. As a result of this change in billing, some landlords may transfer the billing to the tenants although the responsibility for the refuse fee is the landlord's.

B. Refuse Charges Paid by the Tenant May Be Deducted from the Rent. 

(1) Any tenant who receives a refuse bill may make an arrangement with the landlord to have the landlord pay the bill. The landlord may pay the bill directly or, if the tenant pays the bill, may arrange to reimburse the tenant or allow the tenant to deduct the amount paid from the rent or may make any other arrangement to which both parties agree, including a rent ceiling decrease pursuant to Regulation 1269(B).

(2) If the landlord refuses to reimburse the tenant for the amount of the refuse bill paid by the tenant, after the tenant has presented the landlord with a copy of the bill and proof of payment, the tenant may deduct the amount of payment from his or her rent.

C. Refuse Charges for Tenancies Beginning On or After January 1, 1999

For tenancies beginning on or After January 1, 1999, payment of refuse charges shall remain the responsibility of the landlord unless such responsibility is expressly assigned to the tenant by the terms of a written lease or rental agreement. 

[Effective June 20, 1997, as amended December 21, 1998]