Rent Board Regulation Changes
(prior to January 2010)
Regulation 1132. Adopted the 2010 Annual General Adjustment Order. Adopted October 19, 2009.
Regulation 883. Changed the amount of time an automatic “Administrative” waiver is granted from 90 days of the due date down to 60 days and add language that only makes the waiver automatic if the late payment was made not as a result of deliberate delay.
Regulation 1280. Updated Appendix A table. January 2009.
Appendix B to Chapter 12. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Information. Dated December 31, 2008.
Appendix D to Chapter 12. Indexing of Regulation 1274(B) Rent Increase Limits for Calendar Year 2008. Dated December 31, 2008.
Regulations 701 and 702. Changed to provide an alternate method of calculating the interest for landlords who keep the deposits in a qualifying account (i.e., an insured account at a financial institution located in Berkeley). Effective November 3, 2008.
Regulation 1280. Updated Appendix A table. February 2008.
Appendix B to Chapter 12. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Information. Dated December 27, 2007.
Appendix D to Chapter 12. Indexing of Regulation 1274(B) Rent Increase Limits for Calendar Year 2008. Dated December 27, 2007.
Regulation 1130. 2008 Annual General Adjustment Order. Effective October 15, 2007.
Regulation 1280. Updated Appendix A table. February 2007.
Regulation 701. Updated table of interest rates. January 2007.
Regulation 1129, 2007 Annual General Adjustment Order. Effective October 16, 2006.
Regulation 1018 adopted to provide a process for a landlord or tenant to petition for a determination of the landlord's eligibility to establish an initial rental rate. Effective July 17, 2006.
Regulation 1017 adopted as a permanent regulation. Effective May 15, 2006.
Emergency Regulation 1017 adopted to permit landlords to offer housing to disaster victims at below-market rents for a temporary period without forfeiting the right to later raise the rent to a market rent. The immediate adoption of this regulation is necessary to assist disaster victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in obtaining temporary housing in Berkeley. Effective October 17, 2005.
Regulation 1380 amended to (1) extend the period of owner-occupancy necessary to negate a presumption that an OMI eviction was not in good faith from 24 months to 36 months to conform with Berkeley Municipal Code Section 13.76.130.A.9 and (2) clarify that a landlord's offer of an available non-comparable dwelling unit to a tenant being evicted for owner or relative occupancy, as required by Berkeley Municipal Code Section 13.76.130.A.9.e, is an essential element of the eviction so that the landlord's failure to make the offer or the landlord's deliberately causing an otherwise available dwelling unit to be unfit for human habitation constitutes a defense to the eviction. Effective September 13, 2005.
Regulation 1301 amended to clarify when a non-comparable dwelling unit is available as a replacement unit for purposes of eviction for occupancy by owner or owner's relative. Effective June 20, 2005.
Regulation 705 amended to provide that a security deposit may be increased during a tenancy in consideration of a landlord's waiver of a prohibition on pets. Effective June 6, 2005.
Regulation 1271 amended to provide for tolling of limitation period for liability for rent overcharges where the tenant delays filing petition in reasonable reliance on landlord’s misrepresentations. Effective April 4, 2005.
Regulations 701 [Security Deposits], 702 [Payment of Interest on Security Deposits] and 704 [Deduction of Interest from Rent] amended to clarify the procedures and interest rates payable on security deposits when the interest is not paid in December as required by B.M.C. section 13.76.070. Effective April 4, 2005.
Regulation 1310 amended to conform to Measure P, section 6 (effective December 17, 2004). Measure P, section 6 which amends section 13.A2 of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance specifies that, notwithstanding a rental agreement’s prohibition against subletting, a tenant may not be evicted for replacing a roommate provided: (1) the landlord unreasonably refused to consent to a roommate replacement; (2) the tenant remains an actual occupant of the unit and (3) the total number of occupants does not exceed the base occupancy level. Measure P, section 6 also provides standards for determining when a landlord’s refusal to consent to a subtenant is unreasonable. Effective December 17, 2004.
Regulation 1100 amended to conform to Measure O by deleting subdivision (A). Under Measure O, each year’s Annual General Adjustment (AGA) will be set at 65% of the increase in the prior year’s Consumer Price Index. Effective December 17, 2004.
Regulations 701 and 702 amended and Regulation 703 repealed to conform to Measure P, section 3, which will amend Section 7 of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance to modify the method for determining the amount of interest that landlords are required to pay while holding tenant security deposits. Effective December 17, 2004.
Regulation 1241.5 amended to provide that where a landlord offers to pay the full amount of a hearing examiner’s rent refund order, (1) the tenant’s acceptance of the payment constitutes a waiver of the tenant’s appeal rights provided the tenant received written notification of the consequences of acceptance and (2) if the offer is not accepted, the landlord will nonetheless be deemed in compliance with the order provided the landlord deposits the payment into a Board maintained escrow account. Effective December 17, 2004.
Regulation 1004 amended to provide that where a petition for an Individual Rent Adjustment is pending when a Request for Certificate of Permissible Rent Level is filed, the Certificate will not be issued within five days but instead the Request shall be consolidated with the pending IRA. Effective June 25, 2004.
Regulation 1004 amended to provide that, notwithstanding the issuance and finality of a Certificate of Permissible Rent Level, certified rent levels are subject to temporary adjustment pursuant to Regulation 1269(B). Effective May 7, 2004.
Regulation 1009 amended to provide that a landlord’s failure to provide full and accurate information on a Vacancy Registration form regarding the circumstances of the termination of a prior tenancy constitutes intentional misrepresentation. Effective May 7, 2004.
Regulation 1239 rescinded to eliminate the requirement that the amount of a rent adjustment granted not exceed the amount requested in the rent adjustment petition. Effective September 11, 2003.
Regulation 1269 subdivision (B)(1) amended to (1) provide that a pre-Costa-Hawkins tenant may receive a rent ceiling decrease where the landlord causes a reduction in any additional housing services or living space that were provided at the beginning of the tenancy pursuant to the rental agreement and (2) establish a presumption that any space or service provided at the beginning of the tenancy was provided pursuant to the rental agreement. Effective August 25, 2003.
Regulations 883, 884 and 885 - Regulations amended to "streamline" the waiver process. Numerous changes. Read draft regulations PDF files: staff report, draft regulation 883, draft regulation 884, draft regulation 885 to see changes. (PDF files require Adobe Acrobat reader.) Effective June 24, 2003.
Regulation 524 - Adopted to clarify that the rent ceiling limitations of the Rent Ordinance are intended to apply to units rented for residential use by a "tenant in occupancy." Effective May 30, 2003.
Regulation 525 - Adopted to provide a procedure by which a landlord may seek a determination from the Rent Board that a unit is not being occupied by a "tenant in occupancy." Effective May 30, 2003.
Regulation 880 - Amended to eliminate the exact registration fee amount. Effective May 5, 2003.
Regulation 1013 - Amended Subdivision (A)(2) to clarify that the "initial rent" for a rental unit is the market rent established by the parties at the commencement of the tenancy and that where the rental agreement includes a period of time for which the tenant pays reduced, discounted or "free" rent, the monthly market rent is calculated as the average of the monthly payments made during the initial term of the agreement or during the first twelve months of a month-to-month tenancy. Effective February 26, 2003.
Regulation 1125 - Annual General Adjustment Order for 2003. Granted October 21, 2002.
Regulation 1242 - Amended to clarify and modify aspects of the appeals process including the requirements for filing an appeal, the effect of filing an appeal, the procedure for official notice and the length, timing and content of the parties' oral presentations. Effective August 9, 2002.
Regulation 1269 - Amended Subsection (B)(3) to provide that the minimum rent decrease for a rental unit that substantially lacks the affirmative characteristics of subdivisions (b) [plumbing/gas facilities], (c) [hot/cold running water] and (d) [adequate heating facilities] of Civil Code section 1941.1 shall be 20%. Effective August 9, 2002.
Regulation 1270 - Amended Subdivision (C) to clarify that "Policy" or "Policies" as used in the regulation means any rule, course of conduct, act or actions by a landlord. This provision is declaratory of existing law. Effective April 1, 2002.
Regulation 1013 - Amended to provide that the occupancy of a rental unit by a landlord's relative following recovery of possession of the unit pursuant to B.M.C. section 13.76.130A.9b is not a tenancy for purposes of the relative's occupancy. Effective March 18, 2002.
Regulation 508 - Amended to conform to Civil Code Section 1954.52 (Costa-Hawkins) that restricts the exemption for condominium units to only such units that have been sold separately by the subdivider to a bona fide purchaser for value. Effective January 24, 2002.
Regulation 1271 - Amended to clarify that rent overcharges resulting from a failure to return security deposit interest are not subject to the three-year statute of limitations. Effective January 7, 2002.
Regulation 1013 -- Amended to conform to Civil Code Section 1954.52 (Costa-Hawkins) that restricts the exemption for condominium units to units that have been sold separately by the subdivider to a bona fide purchaser for value. Effective January 7, 2002.
Regulation 1016 - New regulation creating a presumption that a tenant who vacates within one year of receiving a notice terminating the tenancy so the owner may move-in, vacates because of the notice. In such cases, the owner is not entitled to set a market rate rent when the unit is next rented. Effective November 19, 2001.
Regulation 1124 - 2002 Annual General Adjustment, granted by the Rent Board on October 15, 2001.
Regulation 1015 - New regulation providing for the removal of property constraints pursuant to the Ellis Act. Effective September 20, 2001.
Regulation 1301 - New regulation to provide a procedure for determining the initial rent of a non-comparable unit required to be offered by a landlord to a tenant displaced by an owner-occupancy eviction subject to Measure Y. Effective September 6, 2001.
Regulation 1234 - Amended to provide: (1) that unless otherwise specified, the time to respond to an order or notice served by mail is extended by five days; and (2) that a party failing to perform an act by a date certain (except the filing of an appeal) may be relieved of the consequences of that failure upon a demonstration that there was good cause for the failure. Effective September 6, 2001.
Regulation 1201 - Amended to clarify that sworn declarations may substitute for documentation in support of a petition. Effective May 11, 2001.
Regulation 1207 - Amended to clarify the grounds for which a petition will be deemed unacceptable. Effective May 11, 2001.
Regulation 1310 - Amended to provide that it is not a substantial violation of a material term of a rental agreement containing a covenant prohibiting sublease or assignment, for a tenant to permit a rental unit to be occupied by a subtenant under certain circumstances. Effective May 11, 2001.
Regulation 1206 - Amended to allow former tenants to file petitions for three years instead of one year. Effective March 9, 2001.
Measure Y - new rules limiting owner/family move-in evictions (text from City Clerk Election Material)
Regulation 1382 - Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) section 13.76.130.A9 states that an owner of record holding at least a fifty percent recorded interest in a property may recover possession of a rental unit if he or she intends to occupy the unit as his or her principal residence. Staff often receives inquiries from married couples asking whether a 50% interest held as community property satisfies the ownership interest requirement of the Rent Ordinance. To remedy this problem, the Board, at its December 7, 2000 meeting, adopted Regulation 1382 to clarify that married couples or registered domestic partners whose combined recorded interest in a property equals or exceeds 50% satisfy the ownership interest requirement of Sections 13.76.050.H and 13.76.130.A9 of the Rent Ordinance. Effective December 14, 2000.
Regulation 1123 - 2001 Annual General Adjustment, granted by the Rent Board on October 16, 2000.
Regulation 883 - The amendment to Regulation 883(H) does away with the separate treatment of “30 day waivers” and has all late payments be subject to the 90 day requirement that there be a three year perfect payment record for the late registration penalties to be administratively waived. A landlord who does not qualify for the administrative waiver may still seek to have the penalties waived for good cause. Effective August 25, 2000
Regulations 884 and 885 - The amendments to regulations 884 and 885 change the processing of waivers by substituting the Hearing Examiners for the appointed Board Commissioner. Upon receipt of a waiver request, staff prepares a report of the registration history of the property in question. The report and the waiver request will be reviewed by a Hearing Examiner instead of a Board Commissioner. Following review, a recommendation will be made on the waiver request. The landlord would then be the notified of the recommendation. If a landlord disagreed with the recommendation, he or she could submit a written response or objection to the recommendation. The recommendation and the landlord's response would then be submitted to the full Board for approval or modification. Effective August 25, 2000
Regulations 1004 and 1005 - Certification of permissible rent ceilings is mandated by the Petris Act (Civil Code §1947.8). In 1988, the Rent Board adopted regulations 1004 and 1005 to implement the Petris Act by establishing the processes for rent certification. At that time it was anticipated that the Board would annually mail Notices of Apparent Lawful Maximum Rent Ceilings to the landlords and tenants of all registered units and that the Notices, if unchallenged, would constitute certification of the rent ceilings stated in therein. Accordingly, regulations 1004 and 1005 each make reference to a Notice of Apparent Maximum Lawful Rent Ceilings as the equivalent of a rent certification. Subsequently, however, questions concerning the reliability of the Rent Board’s database were raised and consequently, although the Board undertook mass mailings of Notices for several years, the Notices were not represented as being a certification of rent ceilings but rather as informational. Rent ceilings stated in the notices have not been treated as certified. Regulations 1004 and 1005, however, continue to refer to the Notices as the equivalent of certification. To avoid any possibility of confusion, staff recommends that Regulations 1004 and 1005 be amended by deleting references to Notices of Apparent Maximum Lawful Rent Ceilings. These amendments are for clarification and do not work any substantive change to rent certification.
Regulation 1013 - Senate Bill 1098 (Burton), which enacts amendments to certain provisions of the Costa-Hawkins bill, was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor and became effective on January 1, 2000.
The new law provides that if a landlord terminates or fails to renew a contract or recorded agreement with a governmental agency that provides for a rent limitation to a qualified tenant [e.g., a Section 8 contract], the owner will not be eligible to establish an initial rent for that unit for three years following the date of the contract termination or non-renewal and that, during the 3 year period, the rent for the new tenant shall be as the last Section 8 rent, plus any increases authorized by the Rent Board (e.g., AGAs). This provision does not apply to brand new government-subsidized tenancies of 12 months or longer that are established after January 1, 2000.
Under original Costa-Hawkins law, a landlord was not allowed to establish an initial rent for a vacant unit that contained serious code violations for which a citation had been issued and which remained unabated for six months or longer preceding the vacancy. Under the new amendment, the six month period has been reduced to 60 days, so that if a tenant vacates a unit with serious code violations that had been cited and had existed for 60 days, the unit will not be covered by Costa Hawkins, except that the 60 day period to correct a violation may be extended by the City department that issued the citation. Effective February 11, 2000
Regulation 1205 - The amendments provide that, following the filing of an IRA petition, all respondents (i.e., landlords, as well as tenants), will receive a notice stating that he or she has a right to object to the petition and that if objections are not filed within 20 days, the petition may be decided without a hearing. The amendments further provide that a hearing will be held on all petitions and objections unless (1) no objections have been filed, (2) the petitioner has not expressly requested a hearing and (3) the hearing examiner determines that a decision can be rendered without the need for live testimony. Effective January 8, 2000
Regulation 1208 - Minor modifications are proposed to clarify the parties= obligation to notify the Board and opposing parties of any changes in the information stated in the petition and responses to petition. Effective January 8, 2000
Regulation 1210 - Amendment to require that the response form that will be sent to respondents will inform them of their right to object to the petition, of possible objections and that, if they fail to object within the specified time, their right to have a hearing on their objections may be waived. Effective January 8, 2000
Regulation 1211 - Amendment to state that the failure to file timely objections to an IRA petition may constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing but that, notwithstanding a party=s failure to respond, the petition will not be granted unless authorized under the regulations and supported by a preponderance of the evidence. Effective January 8, 2000
Regulation 1221 - The title of the amended regulation will be Hearing, rather than Hearing Examiner. It is proposed to add the authority to decide petitions administratively to the enumerated powers of the hearing examiner. In addition, subsection (2) expressly states that it is the Board=s policy that petitions be decided on their merits, consistent with due process and orderly administrative procedure. It is further stated that the Board=s regulations are intended to insure that each party has notice of all issues in advance of the hearing and that hearings should be limited to the issues and objections raised by the petition and filed objections. The regulation provides, however, that the hearing examiner has the discretion to consider additional issues and objections when it is in the interests of fairness and all necessary steps are taken to ensure that all parties have a full and fair opportunity to respond to the newly raised matters. Effective January 8, 2000
Regulation 1267 - The Board amended Subsection (G)(4)(q) and (G)(4)(r) to more fully set forth the basis on which tenants may object to capital improvement petitions where the landlord has benefited from Costa-Hawkins rent increases. The amendment clarifies existing law and does not change the substance of the regulation or the objections. Effective November 19, 1999
Regulation 703 - The Board amended the regulation to provide that where a landlord fails to place a security deposit of six or more months' rent in a federally-insured interest-bearing account, the interest due the tenant shall be 20%. Effective November 5, 1999
Regulation 704 - The Board amended the regulation to provide that where a landlord fails to return the annual interest on a security deposit of six or more months' rent to the tenant by January 10th of the next year, the tenant may deduct interest on the deposit at the rate of 20% from the rent, following notice to the landlord. Effective November 5, 1999
Regulation 1271 - The Board amended the regulation to provide greater flexibility with respect to the disposition of rent overcharges paid to the Board. Effective November 5, 1999
Regulation 1380 - The Board amended the regulation to require notice of termination given when an owner seeks to recover possession of a rental unit for use as his or her principal residence or that a relative must name all persons on whose behalf recovery of the unit is sought. Effective October 22, 1999.
Regulation 1122 - The Board passed the Year 2000 annual general adjustment, October 18, 1999.
Regulation 1013 - The Board passed two amendments to the Regulation which explains when a landlord is allowed to set a market rent after a vacancy, August 16, 1999.
Amendment to Regulation 1013(B):
Under Costa-Hawkins [Civil Code sections 1954.52(a)(3), 1954.53(a)(1)], a landlord does not have the right to establish a market rent for a new tenancy if the previous tenancy was terminated by a 30 day notice pursuant to Civil Code section 1946. Costa Hawkins contains no exceptions to this prohibition. The Board recognized the unfairness of this prohibition where, prior to the passage and, therefore, without any knowledge of Costa-Hawkins, a landlord, after purchasing a property and incurring a substantial mortgage in expectation of occupying the unit as his or her principal residence (or the residence of a close relative), finds that, due to some unforeseen circumstances, he or she must return the unit to the rental market. Under a strict reading of Costa-Hawkins, because the last tenancy was terminated by a CC section 1946 thirty day notice, no matter how long ago, the landlord would be required to rent the unit at the Rent Ordinance rent ceiling, even if it would not cover the mortgage expenses.
Under the amendment, there is a very narrow exception to the Costa-Hawkins prohibition for landlords who (1) terminated the last tenancy prior to December 31, 1994 (i.e., before the expectation of Costa-Hawkins could have provided a motive for the eviction) for purposes of owner occupancy (or occupancy by close relative) and (2) resided at the property continuously for at least two years.
Amendment to Regulation 1013(O)
Where a rental unit is rented to multiple tenants (i.e., the "original occupants"), a landlord has the right to establish a new market rent for the unit after the last of the original occupants leaves the unit, even if later-arriving subtenants lawfully remain in occupancy. The landlord's right to establish a new market rent may be lost, however, if the landlord receives notice that the last original occupant has departed and the landlord thereafter accepts the existing amount of rent from the remaining occupants. Some landlords interpret the law as presenting a "use it or lose it" situation, i.e., immediate notice of a new initial rent must be given or the right to a vacancy increase will be lost if the landlord accepts the existing rent from the remaining tenants. Some landlords would rather let the sitting tenants remain in the unit at the existing rent for a little while (e.g., until the end of a semester) before raising the rent to market and registering the initial rent with the Rent Board.
The amendment provides landlords with a six-month grace period after the last original occupant vacates the unit before the landlord is required to establish an initial rent for the sitting tenants who remain in possession. After the landlord has notice that, for Costa-Hawkins purposes, a new tenancy has begun, the parties may agree in writing that the landlord may accept rent in the existing legal amount for up to six months without waiving the right to establish an initial rent. The proposed language makes clear that the landlord must give the tenants legal notice of any rent increase to be imposed during the grace period.
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