FY 2014-2015 REGISTRATION INFORMATION
ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEES ARE DUE TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014.
At its meeting on Monday, May 12, 2014, the Rent Stabilization Board approved Resolution 14-02 establishing an unchanged 2014-2015 annual registration fee of $194 per unit and approving guidelines for the 2014-2015 fiscal year operating budget. Please contact the Rent Stabilization Board at 510-981-7368 (981-RENT) for more information.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MAY 23, 2014 LETTER TO PROPERTY OWNERS
Important Reminder - Over the past few years, we’ve attempted to increase our ability to communicate with owners via e-mail. It is cheaper, quicker and a clearer form of communication. In the winter we hope to be able to allow owners that have provided valid e-mail addresses to be able to pay bills and transact business online. If you have not already done so, please provide your e-mail address and phone number on the enclosed Unit Status Form.
May 23, 2014
Enclosed is the 2014/15 registration material for Berkeley residential rental units. This material includes a billing statement, fact sheet, return envelope, and a Unit Status Form with instructions. The annual registration fee remains unchanged at $194 for each unit covered by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. For units where the tenancy commenced prior to January 1, 1999, the Board has once again authorized a direct pass-through of a portion of the registration fees under certain conditions and with proper notice (please see the reverse side of this letter).
Registration fees are due no later than Tuesday, July 1, 2014. The Rent Stabilization Ordinance requires that payments not received in the Rent Board Office or postmarked by the due date will be assessed a 100% penalty. Please return the bottom half of the billing statement with your payment in the enclosed return envelope on or before July 1st. In an effort to accommodate all property owners, our offices will remain open until 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 1, 2014.
The billing statement is based on the most recent information provided to our office. Please review the enclosed Unit Status Form carefully. If any information on this form is incorrect, cross it out and write the correct information directly on the form. Please see the sample on the reverse side of the Registration Fact Sheet. The Unit Status Form has a space to provide your e-mail and phone number. This information is voluntary, but I encourage you to provide it as it may allow us to contact you earlier regarding important Rent Board information.
If a prior year’s fee or late penalty appears on your statement, it is important to resolve this account immediately. An outstanding balance may adversely affect your eligibility to impose Annual General Adjustment increases or to effectuate an eviction for any unit on the property and may result in a collection action.
You may pay by check, cash or charge registration fees to your MASTERCARD or VISA by fully completing the credit card section of the billing statement. If you pay by credit card, you must provide your daytime telephone number, the V-Code (the last three numbers on the signature line on the back of your credit card) and credit card billing address zip code. If you do not provide the V-Code or any of the other required credit card information by the due date, your payment may be late and may subject you to a 100% penalty.
If you have any questions concerning the enclosed bill, please call our Registration Unit at (510) 981-7368.
2014- 2015 REGISTRATION FACT SHEET
Office hours during registration period
Our office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and noon to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. As a service to property owners, we will also remain open until 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 1st to receive registration payments. Envelopes postmarked by July 1st that contain the correct registration fee will be considered timely.
Who needs to pay the registration fee?
The vast majority of residential rental units in Berkeley are subject to an annual registration fee. The “vacancy decontrol” law has no effect on this long-standing registration requirement for virtually all residential rental properties. Units that are advertised or otherwise available for rent, even though they are not yet rented, are required to register by July 1st this year.
When to file Vacancy Registration form?
For each new tenancy started on or after 1/1/96, landlords must file a Vacancy Registration form. The new rent level and, for tenancies started on or after 1/1/99, the housing services reported by the landlord are entered into the Rent Board database. A property is not properly registered if required Vacancy Registration forms are not filed. If you have a current tenancy that has not yet been reported, you must file a Vacancy Registration form within 15 days of the date it is rented even if there is no change in the rent charged. You may pick up a blank form in our office or download one from our website here.
Non-compliance = No rent increases and defense to an eviction
Properties not in full compliance with registration requirements for all units are not eligible to implement any rent ceiling increases for any unit on the property. Non-compliance may also be used as a defense in an eviction action.
Paying by credit card?
If you pay by credit card, you must include your daytime phone number, the credit card V-Code and credit card billing address zip code. Please see cover letter for further information. Failure to include the V-Code or any other required information may subject you to penalties if the payment is delayed.
Upcoming Landlord Seminars and Workshops for 2014
Wednesday, August 13th
5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Berkeley Rent Board
2125 Milvia St.
|Landlord in Berkeley 101 Seminar. The basics of owning rental property in Berkeley (great for new landlords). Good opportunity for Q &A with an expert on Berkeley rental laws.
|Tuesday, September 9th
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Berkeley Public Library
2900 Kittredge St., 3rd Floor
Community Meeting Room
|Owning Rental Property in Berkeley Workshop: A crash course on owning rental property in Berkeley. This comprehensive workshop will provide a detailed overview of registration, rent regulation, subletting, security deposit interest, and eviction.
|Friday, September 26th
Berkeley Rent Board
2125 Milvia St.
|Landlord in Berkeley 101 Seminar: The basics of owning rental property in Berkeley (great for new landlords). Good opportunity for Q &A with an expert on Berkeley rental laws.
|Wednesday, October 15th
5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Berkeley Rent Board
2125 Milvia St.
|Wed., Oct. 15th - Landlord Rights & Responsibilities: Eviction. Great opportunity for Q &A with an expert on eviction laws in Berkeley.
Please call (510) 981-RENT for more information on Landlord Seminars and Workshops.
Instructions to Pass Through Increased Registration Fees to Tenancies Commenced Prior to 1/1/99
Pursuant to Rent Stabilization Board Resolution 14-03, after landlords have paid the 2014-2015 registration fee, they may pass through a portion of this year’s fee to their tenants in the form of a $4.00 per month rent increase for 12 consecutive months only for tenancies that commenced prior to January 1, 1999. The $4.00 increase does not become part of the permanent rent ceiling for purposes of calculating next year’s Annual General Adjustment. The $4.00 rent increase allowed by Resolution 14-03 is not automatic, and landlords will only be eligible to pass it through to their tenants after they have paid the 2014-2015 Registration Fee as well as all outstanding fees and penalties and have given their tenants at least thirty (30) days’ prior written notice of the increase. (A sample notice containing all necessary information is included below.) If landlords have already been taking a pass-through pursuant to prior Board resolutions, additional rules may apply (for example, the sum of all pass-throughs cannot exceed $4.00 per month at any time), and they should contact our office for further advice. Additionally, landlords must serve notice to initiate the increase allowed by Resolution 14-03 on or before December 1, 2014, in order to receive their full pass-through. For simplicity and ease of tracking, we recommend that landlords begin taking this pass-through in January 2015 along with their Annual General Adjustment for the year. Unless subsequently extended by the Rent Board, the rent increase authorized by Resolution 14-03 must be terminated and the rent reduced by $4.00 twelve months after it is imposed or December 31, 2015, whichever is earlier. Finally, landlords must send a copy of the notice to pass through charges permitted by Resolution 14-03 to the Rent Board.
Sample Thirty-Day Notice of Rent Increase
(For tenancies that started prior to 1/1/99)
(tenant(s) in possession)
___________________________________________________, Berkeley _________
(address, unit number) (ZIP code)
Pursuant to Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Resolution 14-03, adopted on May 12, 2014, you are hereby notified that thirty days after serving you with this notice the monthly rent for the premises you now occupy will be increased for the next twelve months.
The present rent on your unit is $____________________ per month.
Your rent will increase by $4.00 pursuant to Rent Board Resolution 14-03.
Your new rent will be $_____________ per month beginning ___________________. (This date must be at least 30 days after service of the Notice of Rent Increase.) This increase is temporary – it will only be collected for the next 12 months – and is not included in the unit’s permanent rent ceiling.
The undersigned hereby verifies that the 2014-2015 City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board registration fees, as well as all past fees and penalties, for this property were paid in full prior to service of this notice and a copy of this notice has been sent to the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board.
Advice concerning this Notice and the rental history of the unit is available from the Rent Stabilization Board Public Information Unit, 2125 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 12:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, (510) 981-7368.
EXAMPLE: HOW TO UPDATE A UNIT STATUS FORM