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Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

BERKELEY MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 13.78, TENANT SCREENING AND LEASE FEES


Amended by the Berkeley City Council on April 28, 2020, to prohibit non-refundable application fees associated with existing tenancies and lease termination fees. 
 Amendments Effective May 30, 2020

 

 

The maximum tenant screening fee for 2020 is $52.68

Notification of state law limitation on tenant screening fees

When an owner of residential rental property or the owner’s agent receives a request to rent residential property in the City of Berkeley from an applicant and the owner charges that applicant a fee to purchase a consumer credit report and to validate, review, or otherwise process an application for the rent or lease of residential rental property, the owner shall provide, either in the rental application or in a separate disclosure prior to receipt of the fee, a clear and conspicuous tenant screening fee rights statement and a statement of the maximum fee cap permitted under California Civil Code Section 1950.6(b). 

The "Tenant Screening Fee Rights Statement" shall mean the following statement or a statement substantially similar to the following statement: 

"Pursuant to California law you have tenant screening fee rights, including the right to a copy of your consumer credit report if one is obtained with your screening fee, a refund of any unused portion of the fee and a receipt of the costs of the screening. For more information about your rights, please visit [URL to be provided by City]."

*This page will be updated once the URL is provided by the City. 

Prohibition of Non-refundable Application Fees Associated with Existing Tenancies

It is unlawful for an owner of residential rental property or the owner’s agent to charge a non-refundable fee to any existing tenant for the purpose of renewing a tenancy, in whole or in part, including any fee associated with the departure of a roommate or to request to add or replace a roommate in a pre-existing household. 

Prohibition of Lease Termination Fees 

It is unlawful for an owner of residential property, or the owner’s agent, to charge any fee for the termination of their tenancy prior to the expiration of a lease. 

Applicability to Existing Rental Agreements 

This chapter is applicable to all residential rental agreements regardless of any contractual language in any rental agreement or lease to the contrary. Any provision of an existing rental agreement or lease that violates the provisions of this chapter shall be null, void, and unenforceable.

Review the full text of ordinance number 7,697-N.S. and remedies for violation of this ordinance here: ORDINANCE NO. 7,697-NS AMENDING BERKELEY MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 13.78 TO PROHIBIT NON- REFUNDABLE APPLICATION FEES ASSOCIATED WITH EXISTING TENANCIES AND LEASE TERMINATION FEES

 

 

 

 

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