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Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

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“Berkeley property owners welcome the opportunity to help victims displaced by natural disasters. We should all lend a hand if we have units available.”

--Berkeley property owner Charles Hawkins

 
After Hurricane Katrina, the Berkeley Rent Board adopted Regulation 1017 to allow landlords to offer below-market rate housing to victims displaced by designated local and national disasters without risk of suffering long-term financial disadvantage. The Board must activate this Regulation and identify the specific disasters for which landlords may offer units at below-market rates. 
 
In response to hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the recent fires across California, the Rent Board has activated Regulation 1017.  Please read the press release issued by the Rent Board and the Mayor's Office
 

Disaster victims who sign a rental agreement that allows for a reduced rent may terminate that entire agreement (with no obligation to pay any of the remainder of rent identified in the lease agreement) if the tenant provides 30 days’ written notice to permanently vacate the unit during the interim period of reduced rent.

For more information regarding rules related to renting to disaster victims, including how to fill out the Vacancy Registration Form under these circumstances, please contact a Rent Board Housing Counselor at 510-981-RENT (7368) or see Regulation 1017.

The sample language below may be used in lease agreements to clarify the landlord and tenant’s agreement to rent a unit at a lower rate for a temporary period of time. 


Term and Rent:

Landlord and Tenant hereby agree that Landlord is offering the premises at a reduced rent for the initial term of this agreement due to the Tenant being displaced by [ NAME OF DISASTER ]. The Berkeley Rent Board has activated Regulation 1017 to allow landlords to rent to victims displaced by this disaster at a below market rate for a temporary initial period. Pursuant to Regulation 1017, after the interim period of reduced rent, Landlord is entitled to raise the rent to a market level that is identified in the clause below.

Reduced Rental Rate During Temporary Initial Term – The initial term of this lease shall begin on [ DATE ], and end on [ DATE] . During the initial term Landlord agrees to charge a reduced monthly rent of $[ AMOUNT OF RENT ]. Tenant may terminate this entire rental agreement during this initial term with at least 30 days’ written notice.

Rental Rate After Initial Term – Beginning on [ DATE ], Landlord and Tenant agree that the rent shall increase to a market rent of $[ AMOUNT OF RENT ]. Pursuant to Rent Board Regulation 1017(D), this amount shall be treated as the initial rent for purposes of Regulation 1013. This amount shall be considered the base rent ceiling.

The agreement to allow a reduced rent for a temporary period may only be extended by mutual agreement in writing.

All rental payments shall be sent or delivered to the following address:__________________________________________________________________. 


 

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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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