This article was posted on Tuesday, Aug 01, 2023

Below are questions asked by rental property owners regarding California rent control laws followed by answers provided by Attorney Richard Beckman.


Question 1: I read that the city council in San Leandro voted against continuing their eviction moratorium. Is that true?

Answer 1: As reported in the last issue, it was noted that while all other jurisdictions are winding down their eviction protection laws, San Leandro had elected to extend its moratorium another year. On February 21, 2023, the city council approved an ordinance extending the City’s Eviction Moratorium for one year, until February 28, 2024.  

- Advertisers -


However, the council reconsidered its extension at its June 5, 2023 meeting, and on June 20, 2023 the council elected to lift the eviction moratorium. By a 6-0 (one absentee) vote, the Council approved Amending Ordinance No. 2023-001 to terminate the city’s eviction moratorium effective as of July 31, 2023.

Thus, until July 31, 2023: 

  • Property owners/managers are prohibited from evicting residential tenants, as well as mobile home and recreational vehicle (RVs) owners, for nonpayment of rent where the inability to pay is due to either a substantial decrease in household income or increase in medical expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The city’s Eviction Moratorium only appliesto tenants who have submitted written notification to their landlords that they cannot pay rent due to documented COVID-19 reasons.
  • Written notice of COVID-19-related reasons for non-payment of rent must be submitted every month a tenant cannot pay partial or full rent. 

Beginning August 1, 2023: 

  • Tenants will have up to 180 days or 6 months from July 31, 2023 to repay any past due rent. 
  • If a tenant does not submit the valid written notice for a particular month, then the property owner/manager can begin eviction proceedings at that time. There is no need for the property owner/manager to wait until the end of the 180-day repayment period (i.e. after July 31, 2023–the end of the eviction moratorium). 
  • Tenants who submit a valid written notice are exempt from eviction due to failure to repay back rent due until the end of the 180-day repayment period. 

And bear in mind that under Alameda County Law, Code Chapter 6.120, a tenant may never be evicted based on rent that became due between March 2020 and April 29, 2023.

Question 2: When do I have to register my Oakland rental units?

Answer 2: By July 3, 2023. The Oakland City Council adopted a requirement to establish a rent registry for all units subject to the Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) Fee. As of July 1, 2023, owners of these units will be required to report rent and tenancy information to RAP. Because July 1, 2023, falls on a Saturday, the deadline to register will be extended to July 3, 2023. Starting in 2024: Owners will be required to confirm or update their units’ tenancy information annually by March 1st.

You can visit the Oakland RAP website, where Live Counseling Sessions for Rent Registry will be provided. As the website notes, due to the high volume of Rent Registry inquiries, RAP is offering live counseling sessions through July 3, 2023, to help answer any questions you may have. Live counseling sessions will take place through July 3, 2023,  and links to those sessions can be found at


Question 3: Does AB 1482/Civil Code 1947.12 (rent cap) apply to the rented ADUs in the following situations? The properties are in Bolinas, Marin County.

  • Primary residence occupied by owner, with one separate ADU rental unit; and
  • Primary residence occupied by owner, with two separate ADU rental units.

Answer 3: It is a good question, and the answer is not completely certain. The section in question  – 1946.12 – exempts the following properties, as you likely know – single family homes and condos, as described below, and duplexes where the owner resides in a unit at the time the other unit was rented to the tenant.

A review of the statute, copied in part below, does not indicate whether ADUs would be included as part of the single-family home exemption, and so, my initial conclusion is that they are not, unless built within the last 15 years (a separate exemption basis). The single ADU property would likely fall under the duplex exemption.

Exempt Properties (in part):

  • Housing that has been issued a certificate of occupancy within the previous 15 years.
  • A duplex in which the owner occupied one of the units as the owner’s principal place of residence at the beginning of the tenancy, so long as the owner continues in occupancy.
  • Residential real property that is alienable separate from the title to any other dwelling unit, provided that both of the following apply:

(A) The owner is not any of the following:

(i) A real estate investment trust, as defined in Section 856 of the Internal 

     Revenue Code.

(ii) A corporation.

(iii) A limited liability company in which at least one member is a corporation.

(B) (i) The tenants have been provided written notice that the residential real property is exempt from this section using the following statement:  

“This property is not subject to the rent limits imposed by Section 1947.12 of the Civil Code and is not subject to the just cause requirements of Section 1946.2 of the Civil Code. This property meets the requirements of Sections 1947.12 (c)(5) and 1946.2 (e)(7) of the Civil Code and the owner is not any of the following: (1) a real estate investment trust, as defined by Section 856 of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) a corporation; or (3) a limited liability company in which at least one member is a corporation.”


Question 4: The master tenant of our lease wants to add another tenant. We want to have both the master tenant and new tenant sign a new lease. Is there a specific document or any advice to proceed with this process (agreement to terminate previous lease to have them sign a new one). The reason for this is we want to use the AOA lease instead of the California Association of Realtors lease (that they are currently signed to). The property is not subject to local rent or eviction control.
Answer 4: It is always a question for the landlord when to add new persons on the rental agreement. While it is good to have everyone who occupies the unit identified in and subject to the lease, as it makes them all responsible for the rent and other obligations of the rental agreement, that approach runs the risk that the new person will be considered an ‘original occupant’, in the event the original tenant moves out. In that case, the possibility of a ‘Costa Hawkins’ rent increase to market rate may be lost. But if the unit is not subject to local rent control, but rather the state version, that is not such an issue, as rent increase for such units are much more generous than units subject to local rent control. In that case, and assuming the existing lease is month to month, a new lease can be entered into with all current tenants.


Question 5:  Was there a legal decision as to whether the Oakland AOA three-day notice to pay rent or quit that was being challenged by tenants valid?

Answer 5: As reported in the last issue, a tenant defense firm had filed a request to dismiss an unlawful detainer case on the basis that the language used in AOA form was insufficient and thus fatally defective.  The AOA form provides “Advice regarding the notice terminating tenancy is available from the Rent Board. The Rent Board is located  at 250  Frank J. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 5313, Oakland CA 94612, telephone (510) 252-3015.”  That attorney indicated that the notice should incorporate what is known as a ‘safe harbor’ provision to ensure the notice complies with the Oakland ordinance. The Oakland regulation states:

“This regulation sets out the preferred language Landlords must insert into notices terminating tenancy or notices to cure or quit regarding advice from the Rent Program. As preferred language, the language used in this regulation is “safe harbor” language that, if used by a Landlord in applicable notices, cannot be challenged by the Tenant as being not in compliance with the O.M.C. 8.22.360 B.6.b. Other language imparting the same information may also be acceptable. i. The following statement must be included in notices terminating tenancy or notices to cure or quit regarding advice from the Rent Program. “Information regarding evictions is available from the City of Oakland’s Rent Program. Parties seeking legal advice concerning evictions should consult with an attorney. The Rent Program is located at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 3315, Oakland, CA 94612, (510) 238-3501, website: (as of January 2004)”

The court rejected the tenant’s argument and allowed the case to proceed. However, because another judge could rule differently, and so to avoid the issue, the ‘safe harbor’ language should be in the notice, and I anticipate AOA amending its notice to make that change.


Question 6: Our tenant just died in her unit. What do we have to do as landlords?

Answer 6: As a general rule, a month to month tenancy expires at the end of the last month the tenant paid rent or if the tenant dies during the month. That part of the law is clear. Issues of  holdover occupants, often relatives or caregivers, and arranging for the deceased tenant’s personal property can be tricky. Each holdover case must be evaluated separately, and carefully, particularly where the property is subject to local eviction control laws that try to define every occupant as a ‘tenant’ subject to the applicable ‘just cause’ requirement for termination of the tenancy and which do not include, specifically, the death of the primary tenant.

As to disposition of the deceased’s personal property, there is a statutory procedure that applies, as it does when a tenant is evicted, or voluntarily moves out but leaves personal property behind. However, if there are known relatives who will take responsibility for removing the property, that may be the most practical route. Ideally, the deceased has a legally appointed representative who would take possession of those items, thereby avoiding any claim by other relatives that they did not get their inheritance, etc. But that process typically takes much longer than the statutory procedure, and it would be up to the property owner to decide whether to wait, assuming he or she received some indication that the ‘probate’ process was underway.


Question 7:  What is going on with SB 567?

Answer 7: Probably not a household term yet, but in February, the California legislature introduced a new bill, SB 567, which seeks to overhaul the existing Tenant Protection Act of 2019, also known as AB 1482.  The original version of the bill had significant changes to AB 1482, as it aimed to lower the rent cap and extend protections to previously exempt single-family rental homes, extend  “just cause” for eviction protections to day 1 of the tenancy and add significant requirements to removing a unit from the rental market. Currently, under AB 1482, landlords are not required to have a “just cause” to evict tenants unless the tenant has lived in the rental property for more than 12 months. Another notable change originally proposed by SB 567 was the inclusion of single-family rental homes under the rent cap. Currently, single-family homes are exempt from AB 1482 (assuming proper notice to the tenant has been provided).

However, due undoubtedly to industry pressure (including from AOA members), the current version of the statute has removed most of the more significant changes, including those mentioned above. The current version changes the ‘owner move in’ ground to require the owner to occupy the rental unit at least 12 months, and to provide additional information to the tenant. For removal of the unit from the rental market, it would now require that all units on the property be removed, rather than just the targeted unit. It adds remedies for tenants who have been wrongfully evicted, i.e. by a process that did not comply with the statute, and allows tenants to sue for amounts of rent that were paid that exceeded the permitted amount, with treble damages, if the owner acted in willful violation.

So, all in all, it would not be a property owner’s worst nightmare if this legislation passes as currently drafted. According to the state legislative site, it passed the Senate May 31st and is currently before the Assembly. Stay tuned…


Richard Beckman, of Beckman Feller & Chang P.C., has been practicing landlord-tenant law for over 26 years, primarily in rent-controlled jurisdictions such as San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. He represents clients in a broad range of real estate-related disputes, including partition of co-ownership interests, purchase contract disputes, insurance coverage analysis and land use. Mr. Beckman also specializes in all aspects of landlord-tenant issues, representing landlords and tenants in residential and commercial matters. He can be reached at 510-548-7474; email [email protected] or by visiting the website