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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Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Renters cannot be evicted for failure to pay rent before February 2021

Berkeley, California (Friday, September 04, 2020) - If you’re struggling to pay rent due to the pandemic, know that you cannot be evicted for non-payment before February 2021 - but you must notify your landlord in writing that you are unable to pay because of COVID-19.

You will still owe the unpaid rent to your landlord in the future, and will need to pay back some of the deferred rent by January 31.

Deferred rent payments are one of several relief options available to tenants struggling because of the pandemic. Berkeleyans at risk of losing their housing may also be eligible for a Housing Retention Grant.

Notify your landlord to qualify for eviction protection

A statewide eviction moratorium, signed into law August 31, prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who are unable to pay rent because of COVID-19 related hardship. To quality for protections, you must give your landlord a signed declaration of COVID-19 related financial distress.

The moratorium protects you from eviction for non-payment until February 2021. Under the law, tenants must pay back 25% of the rent they would have owed between September and January no later than January 31, 2021.

Preserve documentation of financial hardship

Keep documentation showing why you can’t pay the full rent. The new state law specifically allows landlords to require high-income tenants to prove that their income has fallen. No matter what your income, you may need to prove how you were financially impacted by COVID-19 in the future.

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 out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • reduction in number of tenants in a group living situation

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.

Housing Retention Grants

Berkeley residents at risk of losing their housing due to COVID-19 may be eligible a housing retention grant. Funds may be used to supplement rent for temporary or permanent housing, utility bills, or other housing-related expenses. Applicants will be required to submit documentation of their low-income status, rental agreement or lease, and other relevant information.

Landlord-tenant voluntary agreements for tenancies that began on or before September 1, 2020

Landlords may temporarily reduce or forgive rents to assist their tenants in coping with COVID-19 impacts without permanently reducing the amount of rent that can be charged for the unit. However, under the Rent Control Ordinance, this may only be done for tenancies that began on or before September 1, 2020. Please contact a Housing Counselor at the Rent Board at (510) 981-7368 for further information.

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. Rent that is reduced pursuant to this regulation is deemed permanently waived and may not be demanded as unpaid rent or debt at any time.

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 sign up for their email list, which is being used to contact people directly.


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