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Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

Fully Covered Rental Unit Registration


Overview

Property owners must register rental units that are fully covered by Berkeley’s Rent Ordinance. In fully covered units, all four sections of the ordinance -- rent control, registration, security deposit interest, and good cause for eviction protections -- apply.  Registration includes: 

  1. Unit registration—providing unit information and paying an annual fee for each unit
  2. Tenancy registration—registering each new tenancy in a unit within 15 days of the tenancy start 
Annual registration fees were due July 1, 2021.  Payments not received in our office or postmarked by the due date are assessed a 100% penalty.  See the Fees & Penalties section for information and to learn about penalty waivers, including full waivers for late payments due to the financial impacts of COVID-19.
Fully Covered Button  

Measure MM implemented new registration requirements for partially covered units. Those units have a different registration portal. See the Measure MM Registration page for more information. 


Fees & Penalties

Registration fees:
The elected Rent Board sets the annual registration fee. Bills are typically mailed to owners in May, and fees are due by July 1 each year (or the following Monday if July 1 falls on a weekend). Fees must be received in the Rent Board office or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely.  Annual registration fees of $250 per unit were due Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Penalties:
The Rent Ordinance requires that payments not received in the Rent Board office or postmarked by the July 1 due date be assessed a 100% penalty.  Another 100% penalty is assessed every six months, so is important to pay registration fees and resolve penalties as soon as possible. Owners can request a waiver of penalties, but must pay all outstanding registration fees before a waiver request will be considered.

Penalty waiver:
Under Berkeley Rent Board Resolution 21-19, owners whose late payments are due to financial impacts of COVID-19 are eligible for a full waiver of penalties if they pay all outstanding registration fees by September 30, 2021.  Owners must also submit a declaration stating that the late payment was due to the financial impact of COVID-19. Financial impacts caused by COVID-19 include: 

  • A material decrease in business income caused by a reduction in opening hours or consumer demand
  • A material decrease in household income caused by layoffs or a reduction in the number of compensable hours of work.
  • A material decrease in household income caused by caregiving responsibilities.
  • Material out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

Resolution 21-19 also extends the Regulation 883 deadline for an administrative waiver of all or part of the penalties based on prior payment history to September 30 2021.  Please contact our registration unit at (510) 981-7368 Ext. 2 for more information.  


Unit Registration

Units that must be registered:

  • Most units in multifamily properties built before 1980
  • Single-family homes with current tenancies that began prior to 1996
  • Single-family homes with 5 or more rooms rented out individually with separate leases (each room is considered a unit)

Exemptions:
Units that are owner-occupied, for owner’s use only, or occupied rent-free are exempt from the registration requirements. Some owner-occupied duplexes or tenancies on properties containing one single family home and one ADU may also be exempt. Contact our Registration Unit if you have questions about whether your unit is exempt.

Unit status changes:
If a unit changes from exempt to covered by the Rent Ordinance, you must register it within 60 days of the change, and pay a prorated fee. If a unit becomes exempt, you can claim most exemptions using the online portal


Registration Fee Pass-Through

For tenancies that began prior to January 1, 1999, owners can pass through a portion of the registration fee as a rent increase. For these units with long-term tenants, landlords can pass through up to $10.00 per month for 12 consecutive months after they pay their 2021-22 registration fees and provide their tenants and the Rent Board at least thirty days’ prior written notice of the rent increase. The pass-through cannot begin prior to July 1, 2021 and must terminate no later than December 31, 2022. The increase shall not result in a pass-through of greater than $10.00 per month to any tenant.

Tenants who meet certain income requirements can be reimbursed for this pass-through. Please see the Tenant Eligibility for Pass-Through Reimbursement page for more information. 


Failure to Register Units

Rental units must be properly registered in order to take rent increases and/or evict tenants. Failure to fully comply with registration requirements can be a defense to an eviction lawsuit (unlawful detainer). All eviction lawsuits (unlawful detainer complaints) are filed in superior court, and the Rent Board is unable to provide legal advice. 


Tenancy Registration

Owners must provide the Rent Board with tenancy information for each unit, including: the tenancy start date, number of tenants, tenant contact information, the initial rent, the housing services included in the rent, the number of bedrooms in the unit, and the contact information for the owner and/or manager of the property.

New tenancies must be registered within 15 days of the tenancy start date.  Register a new tenancy online


Forms & Documents

Forms:

Documents:


Contact Us

Call the Registration Unit at (510) 981-7368 (RENT) Ext. 2 for more information, or email us at rent@cityofberkeley.info.

Sign up for our Billing & Registration email list to receive outreach updates and information.

 

Home | Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
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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