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Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

What is Rent Control? ... and How Does It Affect Me?

In general, "rent control" refers to the regulation of the amount charged to tenants for their rental housing. Rent control in the City of Berkeley is governed by the Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance. This ordinance was passed by Berkeley voters in June of 1980 and it applies to most residential units in Berkeley. 

Units that are "fully covered" by Berkeley's Rent Ordinance are subject to the rent control, good cause for eviction, and security deposit interest sections of the Ordinance.  Units that are "partially covered" by Berkeley's Rent Ordinance are subject to the good cause for eviction and security deposit interest sections, but NOT the rent control section of the Ordinance.  

The Rent Stabilization Board's mission is to protect against unwarranted rent increases and evictions and to provide a fair return to property owners. 

Find Out More about the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board

 
In a rising rental market, rent control provides stability

How Does Rent Control Affect Me?

Property Owners (and managers) must register and pay an annual fee for units fully covered by the Rent Ordinance, and most units partially covered by the Rent Ordinance.  Tenants can only be  evicted for good cause.  Owners of fully covered units may only charge rents at or below the lawful rent ceiling. Owners of fully covered units may submit a petition to determine the status of a unit, adjust the individual rent in certain circumstances, or certify a rent ceiling.    

Tenants should know their rights under the Ordinance, including their lawful rent ceiling (if they are in a unit that is fully covered by the Rent Ordinance), eviction protections, and right to interest on their security deposit as stated in the Ordinance.  

Realtors should know about Berkeley’s rental registration requirements, that foreclosure is NOT a good cause for eviction in Berkeley, and how to find the lawful rent ceiling for a unit that is fully covered by the Rent Ordinance. 

Prospective Buyers should always contact the Rent Stabilization Program in person, at rent@cityofberkeley.info or at 510.981.RENT (7368) to find out the registration status of a unit and/or property they are considering for purchase.

Stabilization Is Our Middle Name 

In a rising rental market, rent control provides stability that benefits both older, long term tenancies and newer tenancies:

Stabilized Rents vs. Market Rents Over Time
 Median rent for new tenancies, published annually by the Rent Board, is used to compare market rents to the rent paid by tenancies under rent control. 

The graph above compares market rents for 2 bedroom units with rent controlled tenancies that began in 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2012 and shows that even tenancies that started within the past few years benefit significantly from a stabilized rent. 

  

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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