The Berkeley Rent Board Mailbag

Capital Improvements

Q: I am planning to make improvements on my duplex that include a new roof and complete exterior paint job. Are these improvements considered capital improvements? Would I have to petition for a rent increase? I would prefer to work out an increase with my tenant. 

A new roof and exterior painting that covers all or substantially all of a building qualify a landlord for a rent adjustment. In order to receive the adjustment, however, it is necessary to file a petition with the Board. You may not simply work out an arrangement with your tenant. The rent you collect would be considered an overcharge regardless of the agreement you have with the tenant, and the monies may have to be refunded. Your interests will be better protected if you obtain the rent increase by following the standard petition procedure.

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