City Strengthens Tool to Mediate Rent Increases

New Law Took Effect October 1, 2015

The City of Alameda strengthened its procedures to help resolve landlord-tenant disputes over rent increases by adopting two new ordinances that went into effect on Thursday, October 1, 2015.  The first ordinance contains new noticing requirements for property owners when informing tenants of rent increases and requires property owner participation at a rent review hearing, if requested by the tenant.   

The second ordinance formalizes the duties and responsibilities of the Rent Review Advisory Committee (RRAC). Both ordinances, unanimously approved by the City Council on September 1, 2015, are the result of an extensive community-initiated dialogue between property owners and tenants. 

 “We have a serious problem with large rent increases in Alameda,” said Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer.  “These ordinances strengthen our public hearing process as a fair and reliable way to mediate disputes.  This approach is available to all renters and has proven to be successful.  We want more people to use it.”

Under the new ordinance, property owners will be required to let tenants know about the availability of the City’s rent review procedures and the public hearing process through the RRAC.  Tenants may request a rent review hearing, regardless of the amount of the proposed rent increase.  If the property owner, or an authorized representative, fails to appear at the hearing without good cause or fails to properly notice the tenant, the rent increase is void and may not be enforced by the property owner. 

The ordinances are posted on the City’s website at: 

http://alamedaca.gov/city-hall/rent-review-advisory-committee-rrac  

Editor’s Note:  NEW AOA FORMS for Alameda may be downloaded for FREE by members on www.aoausa.com. They are forms 102A – 30 Day Notice to Change the Terms of Your Tenancy – Alameda and 106A – 60 Day Notice to Change the Terms of Your Rental Agreement – Alameda.