Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Renters must notify landlords in writing to protect themselves from eviction

Berkeley, California (Friday, May 01, 2020) - If you're struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19, you are protected by Berkeley's emergency eviction moratorium - but you must notify your landlord no more than 7 days after your rent is due.

A simple written notification via email or mail is sufficient, but you may be required to provide details at a later date. The Berkeley Rent Board has created a template you can use for this letter.

Renters who notify landlords on time would be allowed to pay back their rent within six months after the local State of Emergency expires. Landlords would not be able to charge late fees on the deferred rent and cannot evict for unpaid rent.

Preserve documentation of financial hardship

In the future, you may need to prove how you were financially impacted by COVID-19. Make sure to keep documentation showing why you can't pay the full rent.

Common ways people have been impacted include:

  • Decrease in household income due to layoffs or reduction of hours
  • Decrease in household income due to caregiving responsibilities, including child care needs arising from school closures
  • Substantial material out-of-pocket medical expenses

Examples of supporting documentation include:

  • termination notices
  • payroll checks or pay stubs
  • bank statements
  • letters, emails, or texts from an employers or supervisor
  • documentation of caregiving responsibilities, including those related to school closures
  • medical bills

If the tenant notifies the landlord of their hardship within the 7-day timeline, landlords cannot evict tenants financially affected by the COVID-19 during the local State of Emergency. Tenants should notify the landlord as soon as possible.

A landlord may request that the City Manager or their designee waive or modify the prohibition on evictions if they can prove hardship or that not being able to evict would be an unconstitutional taking, under guidelines developed by the City Manager's Office.

Landlord-tenant voluntary agreements

Landlords may temporarily reduce or forgive rents to assist their tenants cope with the COVID-19 crisis without permanently reducing the amount of rent that can be charged for the unit.

Landlords and tenants must have a written agreement that must state that the reduction is temporary, and is not related to market conditions, habitability, or a reduction in housing services.

Written agreements entered into during the local State of Emergency may extend beyond the expiration of the local State of Emergency where the landlord and tenant expressly agree to the duration in writing. These agreements would not permanently reduce the rent an owner can charge at the end of the agreement.

For questions, contact the Rent Board at 510-981-7368 (RENT) or rent@cityofberkeley.info. You can also see their COVID-19 page and sign up for their email list, which is being used to contact people directly.


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