COVID-19 Updates: See cityofberkeley.info/covid19 for news, information, and status of City services.

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

EVICTION PROTECTIONS FOR RENTERS STRUGGLING DUE TO COVID-19
Renters cannot be evicted for failure to pay rent during the State of Emergency

Berkeley, California (Friday, June 05, 2020) - If you're struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19, know that landlords in Berkeley cannot evict you for non-payment.

You are protected by Berkeley's emergency eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, which is still in effect. During the State of Emergency, landlords can only evict tenants for exceptional reasons.

Berkeley renters unable to pay due to COVID-19 related financial losses will have twelve months to repay any back rent after the local State of Emergency expires.

Landlords in Berkeley cannot charge late fees on the deferred rent and cannot evict for unpaid rent. The only exceptions are when necessary for health and safety reasons or pursuant to the Ellis Act.

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

Tenants cannot waive their rights under this protection, and landlords cannot offer incentives for tenants to waive their rights.

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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