Hayward Rent Ordinance
Hayward rent ordinance &
Residential rent stabilization
Rental housing has always lagged job growth throughout the Bay Area, leading many municipalities to impose their own rules concerning rent stabilization. Halfway down the East Bay, the city of Hayward has not experienced as severe a shortage of housing as some other communities. Relatively speaking, then, the mid-sized city of 150,000 is more affordable than other Bay Area cities but still, it has not escaped rent control.
The Hayward Rent Ordinance differs in several respects from rent control in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and some other cities, giving landlords more latitude to remove tenants. Its laxed eviction standards notwithstanding, the Ordinance prescribes detailed instructions that rental property owners must follow to the letter.
The first question that must be resolved is whether your rental unit is subject to Hayward rent control. As a backdrop, Hayward’s housing market is more diverse than other cities, nearly evenly split between homeowners and renters. These demographics and the demand for denser housing are reflected in the Ordinance.
If you a landlord that owns five or more rental units, the Hayward Rent Ordinance applies. The equity stake does not matter - if you own any part of the property, it is governed by the Ordinance. Some have attempted to mask common ownership by setting up LLC’s or corporations, and this subterfuge is discouraged.
Buildings constructed after July 1, 1979 are exempt from the Ordinance, as are motels and certain other lodgings.
If your unit is in fact subject to Hayward rent control, generally, you are permitted to raise the rent five percent (5%) in a 12-month period. If you have a compelling reason to increase the rent further, you need to provide documentation to justify the increase beyond five percent.
If a landlord has not raised the rent in prior years, the landlord is allowed to “bank” those deferred increases and raise the rent more than five percent the next increase cycle. Even then, however, the bump in rent may not exceed ten percent in any 12-month period.
The Hayward Rent Ordinance requires landlords to provide detailed notices with any rent increases, so caution is urged. If the rent increase is less than five percent, the landlord must provide a statement that the landlord considers the rent increase consistent with the limits set forth in the Ordinance.
It gets a bit more complicated if the rent increase is north of 5%. In that instance, the notice should include:
» The rental history of the unit, if the rent increase is based upon banking; or
» A summary of the unavoidable increases in maintenance and operating expenses, a statement of the cost, nature, amortization, and allocation among rental units of any substantial rehabilitation or capital improvement; or
» A summary of the increased cost of the landlord's debt service and the date and nature of the sale or refinancing transaction; or
» Other relevant information that supports the level of rent increase desired.
The consequences for violating the Hayward Rent Ordinance can be quite stiff – liabilities can be three times the amount of any rent increase that was improperly and willingly imposed and the aggrieved tenant can be entitled to additional compensation.
With the stakes so high, it is imperative for landlords to navigate Hayward rent control with the experienced landlord lawyers at Bornstein Law.
Rent control applies in some form or fashion in the following locales.
For informed advice when controversies arise in your rent controled unit, reach out to Bornstein Law.