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Translation Disclaimer

Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

FY 2015-2016 REGISTRATION INFORMATION

ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEES ARE DUE TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2015.  

At its meeting on Monday, May 11, 2015, the Rent Stabilization Board approved Resolution 15-01 establishing a 2015-2016 annual registration fee of $213 per unit and approving guidelines for the 2014-2015 fiscal year operating budget.  Please contact the Rent Stabilization Board at 510-981-7368 (981-RENT) for more information. 


  TABLE OF CONTENTS  


MAY 22, 2015 LETTER TO PROPERTY OWNERS 

Important Reminder - The Rent Board expects to provide a method for online payment of registration fees by the fall of 2015.  We also continue to communicate with property owners via e-mail regarding important updates and notifications. Last November, we used e-mail to provide advanced notice of the 2015 AGA.  If you have not already done so, please provide your e-mail address and phone number on the enclosed Unit Status Form.

May 22, 2015

Dear Property Owner:

Enclosed is the 2015/16 registration material for Berkeley residential rental units.  This material includes a billing statement, fact sheet, return envelope, and a Unit Status Form with instructions.

The Berkeley Rent Board has determined that the fee for the 2015/2016 registration year is $213 for each unit covered by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance.  This represents the agency’s first registration fee increase since 2009, and is less than the increase in inflation since that year.  The Rent Board has worked hard for the past six years to maintain a level registration fee while at the same time providing improved services;  and although staff levels have not increased and benefits have not changed, associated costs continue to rise.  For units where the tenancy commenced prior to January 1, 1999, the Board has again authorized a direct pass-through of the portion of the registration fees not already included as part of AGA’s approved between 1980-2005.  The pass-through may be taken after proper notice and under certain conditions (see reverse side of this letter).

Registration fees are due no later than Wednesday, July 1, 2015.  The Rent Stabilization Ordinance requires that payments not received in the Rent Board Office or postmarked by the due date will be assessed a 100% penalty.  Please return the bottom half of the billing statement with your payment in the enclosed return envelope on or before July 1st.   Our offices will be open from 9:00 a.m. to      6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.

The billing statement is based on the most recent information provided to our office.  Please review the enclosed Unit Status Form carefully.  If any information on this form is incorrect, cross it out and write the correct information directly on the form.  Please see the enclosed sample.  If a prior year’s fee or late penalty appears on your statement, it is important to resolve this account immediately.  An outstanding balance may adversely affect your eligibility to impose Annual General Adjustment increases or to effectuate an eviction for any unit on the property and may result in a collection action.    

You may pay by check, cash or credit card. To charge registration fees to your MASTERCARD or VISA fully complete the credit card section of the billing statement and provide your daytime telephone number, the V-Code (the last three numbers on the signature line on the back of your credit card) and credit card billing address zip code.  If you do not provide the V-Code or any of the other required credit card information by the due date, your payment may be late and subject you to a 100% penalty.

If you have any questions concerning the enclosed bill, please call our Registration Unit at(510) 981-7368. 

Sincerely,

Jay Kelekian
Executive Director 


 2015 - 2016 REGISTRATION FACT SHEET

Office hours during registration period
Our office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and noon to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. We will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1st to receive registration payments. Envelopes postmarked by July 1st that contain the correct registration fee will be considered timely.

Who needs to pay the registration fee?
The vast majority of residential rental units in Berkeley are subject to an annual registration fee. The “vacancy decontrol” law has no effect on this long-standing registration requirement for virtually all residential rental properties. Units that are advertised or otherwise available for rent, even though they are not yet rented, must be registered by July 1st this year.

When to file Vacancy Registration form? 
For each new tenancy started on or after 1/1/96, landlords must file a Vacancy Registration form. The new rent level and, for tenancies started on or after 1/1/99, the housing services reported by the landlord are entered into the Rent Board database. A property is not properly registered if required Vacancy Registration forms are not filed. If you have a current tenancy that has not yet been reported, you must file a Vacancy Registration form within 15 days of the date it is rented even if there is no change in the rent charged. You may pick up a blank form in our office or download one from our website here.

Non-compliance = No rent increases and defense to an eviction
Properties not in full compliance with registration requirements for all units are not eligible to implement any rent ceiling increases for any unit on the property. Non-compliance may also be used as a defense in an eviction action.

Paying by credit card?
If you pay by credit card, you must include your daytime phone number, the credit card V-Code and credit card billing address zip code. Please see cover letter for further information. Failure to include the V-Code or any other required information may subject you to penalties if the payment is delayed.

Upcoming Landlord Seminars and Workshops for 2015

Upcoming RSB 2015 Workshops Screen Capture

Please call (510) 981-RENT for more information on Landlord Seminars and Workshops.


PASS-THROUGH INSTRUCTIONS


Instructions to Pass Through Increased Registration Fees to Tenancies Commenced Prior to 1/1/99


Pursuant to Rent Stabilization Board Resolution 15-02, after landlords have paid the 2015-2016 registration fee, they may pass through a portion of this year’s fee to their tenants in the form of a $6.00 per month rent increase for 12 consecutive months only for tenancies that commenced prior to January 1, 1999. The $6.00 increase does not become part of the permanent rent ceiling for purposes of calculating next year’s Annual General Adjustment. The $6.00 rent increase allowed by Resolution 15-02 is not automatic, and landlords will only be eligible to pass it through to their tenants after they have paid the 2015-2016 Registration Fee as well as all outstanding fees and penalties and have given their tenants at least thirty (30) days’ prior written notice of the increase. (A sample notice containing all necessary information is included below.) If landlords have already been taking a pass-through pursuant to prior Board resolutions, additional rules may apply (for example, the sum of all pass-throughs cannot exceed $6.00 per month at any time), and they should contact our office for further advice. Additionally, landlords must serve notice to initiate the increase allowed by Resolution 15-02 on or before December 1, 2015, in order to receive their full pass-through. For simplicity and ease of tracking, we recommend that landlords begin taking this pass-through in January 2016 along with their Annual General Adjustment for the year. Unless subsequently extended by the Rent Board, the rent increase authorized by Resolution 15-02 must be terminated and the rent reduced by $6.00 twelve months after it is imposed or December 31, 2016, whichever is earlier. Finally, landlords must send a copy of the notice to pass through charges permitted by Resolution 15-02 to the Rent Board.

                        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sample Thirty-Day Notice of Rent Increase
(For tenancies that started prior to 1/1/99)


To:  ___________________________________________________________________
        (tenant(s) in possession)
       ___________________________________________________, Berkeley _________
        (address, unit number)                                                                                   (ZIP code)


Pursuant to Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Resolution 15-02, adopted on May 11, 2015, you are hereby notified that thirty days after serving you with this notice the monthly rent for the premises you now occupy will be increased for the next twelve months.


The present rent on your unit is $____________________ per month.


Your rent will increase by $6.00 pursuant to Rent Board Resolution 15-02.


Your new rent will be $_____________ per month beginning ___________________. (This date must be at least 30 days after service of the Notice of Rent Increase.) This increase is temporary – it will only be collected for the next 12 months – and is not included in the unit’s permanent rent ceiling.


The undersigned hereby verifies that the 2015-2016 City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board registration fees, as well as all past fees and penalties, for this property were paid in full prior to service of this notice and a copy of this notice has been sent to the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board.

                           ________________________________________________           _____________________________
                                                     Landlord/Manager                                                                               Date


Advice concerning this Notice and the rental history of the unit is available from the Rent Stabilization Board Public Information Unit, 2125 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 12:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, (510) 981-7368.
 


EXAMPLE:  HOW TO UPDATE A UNIT STATUS FORM

 

 

Updating the USF

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Rent Stabilization Board, 2125 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: rent@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7368
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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