San Leandro Rent Control &
The San Leandro Rent Review Ordinance
In response to rapidly rising rents, The City of San Leandro adopted the Rent Review Ordinance in 2001. Unlike the neighboring communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and other locales, the San Leandro Ordinance stopped short of establishing rent control. It did, however, create the Rent Review Board, whose stated goal is to review proposed rent increases and encourage landlords and tenants to arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution to proposed rent increases.
In 2016, the Ordinance was revisited by the city, concerned that the original ordinance was outdated, required clarification, and did not adequately address the needs of the evolving rental market. The city also wanted to modernize the capabilities of the Rent Review Board to properly administer the program and Rent Review Board hearings.
The result was an amended Rent Review Ordinance that went into effect March 17, 2016, with accompanying notices landlords must provide to tenants.
Specifically, the program attempts to mediate friction between landlords and tenants when rent increases exceed 7%, or there is more than one increase within a 12-month period. The Rent Review Board will examine the merits of the increase and convene a hearing, if need be, to air out the facts.
The Board is designed for neutrality in mind, composed of two renters, two landlords and one homeowner, a parallel we see in Alameda’s Rent Review Advisory Committee, also tasked with mediating landlord-tenant disputes. The distinction between the two panels is one of compulsory actions that could result – whereas Alameda’s findings may result in binding arbitration, San Leandro’s Review Board oversees a voluntary and non-binding arbitration.
That is not to say, however, that this is a trivial matter. There are a host of other legal perils that can await San Leandro rental housing providers if underlying issues are not addressed. Before these issues enlarge, you are well-advised to contact a landlord attorney specializing in rent control.