The Oakland Rent Adjustment Program and
Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance
There are two sets of rules revolving around Oakland rent control, one pertaining to tenant rights and another that spells out the reasons why a tenant can be legally evicted.
A fundamental question is whether your rental units are subject to any component, or both. Oakland rent stabilization law is somewhat convoluted, and the first algebraic equation to solve is where your rental property fits into this scheme.
The Oakland Residential Rent Adjustment Program applies to buildings with two or more units in Oakland that have a certificate of occupancy prior to January 1, 1983.
Similarly, most Oakland buildings that have a certificate of occupancy prior to December 31, 1995, are subject to the rules and regulations of the Oakland Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance.
A common exemption is made for single family homes and condominiums under the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Cal. Govt. C. §1954.50, et seq.).
The Rent Adjustment Program affords tenants substantial rights, and these rights begin no sooner than when the tenant moves in. Per the program’s requirements, landlords are to give incoming residents formalized notice of tenant rights, known as the Oakland RAP notice. When in doubt, tenants can file a petition to determine whether their unit falls within the protections of Oakland rent control.
Oakland’s Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance allows an owner to evict a tenant only for “just cause”, meaning the landlord needs a legally recognized cause to evict, based on one of the enumerated grounds in the Ordinance. These reasons include:
The tenant has failed to timely pay their rent.
The tenant continues to violate a provision of the lease after written notice to stop..
The tenant has refused to sign a new lease that is identical to the old one (when the old one expires.).
The tenant has substantially damaged the unit and refused to stop damaging it or pay for repairs after written notice..
The tenant continues to disturb other tenants and neighbors after written notice to stop (nuisance)
The tenant uses the unit for illegal purposes such as drug trafficking.
The tenant will not let the owner into the apartment, even with a 24 hours’ written notice.
The owner wants to move back into the unit, if allowed by a written agreement with the tenant
The owner or family member wish to move into the unit.
The owner wants to remove the unit from the market through the Ellis act.
The owner wants to perform substantial upgrades to the unit which cannot be completed with the tenant living there.
Oakland landlords can only raise the rent once per year, and then only based on the annual CPI increase.
The Oakland Rent Adjustments and Evictions Ordinance (O.M.C. 8.22) is a particularly complicated set of rules that is not for the layperson. To stay compliant with the Ordinance, it is imperative to seek a competent real estate attorney that is familiar with the notices, forms, procedures, deadlines, exceptions, and processes of Oakland rent control and regulation. Since so many protections are given to tenants under the Ordinance, landlords must make sure that their responsibilities are followed to the letter.
When disputes arise, they will be settled through mediation or a hearing. Appearing before the Oakland Rent Board can be especially intimidating for rental property owners. Bornstein Law makes regular appearances in front of this body, and can make sure your rights as a property owner are protected in this venue.
For experienced-driven advice on navigating the complex rules related to Oakland rent control, contact the landlord lawyers at Bornstein Law today.
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.