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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Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

COVID-19 Tenant & Landlord Resources

 This is an evolving situation with measures being taken at the state, county, and local levels, and rapidly changing information. This page was last updated:  September 14, 2021.
  Items with new or updated information are noted.
Visit our Rent Board Services during COVID-19 page for the latest information on office hours and services, including the availability of in-person services.

COVID-19 Related Eviction Protections

There is a state law, the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act, and a local law, Berkeley’s Eviction Moratorium, that give Berkeley tenants eviction protections during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources below advise Berkeley landlords and tenants on their rights and responsibilities under these laws.
The links below will take you to resources from the State of California about the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act:
Lease Breaking

City Ordinance No. 7,720-N.S. allows tenants to end leases early without penalties for COVID-19 related financial reasons, or if the tenants are students at a school that has cancelled or limited in-person classes. This right does not end any liability under state law, particularly Civil Code Section 1951.2, but tenants may negotiate with their landlords to end liabilities.

Discounted Rent 

Under Regulation 1013(A)(2), reduced, free, or discounted rent must be factored into the base rent ceiling for a new tenancy. For example, if a landlord and tenant agree to a rent of $2,000 per month for a new tenancy with a 12-month term, but the tenant receives one month of free rent, the base rent ceiling for the unit would be $1,833.33, which is the average of the monthly rent payments made for the initial lease term ($22,000/12 months). Therefore, in this example, the month following the expiration of the initial lease term, the maximum rent the landlord could charge would be $1,833.33.

Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the elected Rent Board created one exception to this rule. For tenancies that began on or before September 1, 2020, landlords and tenants could agree in writing to a reduced rental amount without affecting the base rent ceiling for the unit. There are specific requirements for these agreements. See below.

You can use My Rent Ceiling to check the rent ceiling we have on record for your unit. If you received free, discounted, or reduced rent during the initial term of your tenancy and have questions about your rent ceiling, please contact us.

Some landlords are making discounted rent offers that may be confusing even if they are legal. For example, some offers state that you can exit the lease at any time without paying a penalty. This does not necessarily mean your responsibility to pay rent stops in cases where the landlord is unable to re-rent the unit right away. Relevant state and local law would still apply to these scenarios, and the landlord may still bring a claim for unpaid rent. It’s important to clearly understand what you are agreeing to before accepting the terms of a lease agreement. While sometimes only the landlord can clarify what a proposed lease term means, we can help identify issues associated with a discounted rent offer so that you can ask the right questions.
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Rent Stabilization Board, 2125 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: rent@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7368
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