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San Francisco Personal Injury

City of Alameda Rent Ordinance

The City of Alameda has a rent ordinance that provides certain protections for tenants. One of the key features is the “Just Cause” eviction provision. It means that tenants cannot be evicted unless the landlord has a valid reason.

Generally, an Eviction Will Only be Allowed If:

  1. The tenant failed to pay rent.
  2. The tenant violated a material and substantial portion of the lease agreement.
  3. The tenant has committed or allowed substantial damage to the rental unit or interfered with the safety and comfort of other tenants.
  4. The tenant has, after receiving written notice, refuses the landlord access to the property as required by law.
  5. The landlord seeks in good faith to move him/herself into the unit, or a close family member, provided the landlord owns at least 50% ownership of the property.
  6. The landlord, after having obtained the proper permits, seeks in good faith to demolish the unit.
  7. The landlord seeks in good faith to carry out an approved Capital Improvement Plan.
  8. The landlord, in compliance with the City’s Ellis Act Policy, seeks in good faith to withdraw from the rental market permanently.
  9. The landlord, after having obtained the proper permits, seeks in good faith to perform repairs incompliance with a government order. However, once the repairs are complete, the tenant must be given the option to re-occupy the unit.

What Units Are Not Covered by the Alameda Rent Ordinance:

  • Units in which rent is subsidized or regulated by federal law
  • Units owned by the housing authority
  • Units that are rented/leased to guests for 30 days or less
  • Short-term rentals, such as in hotels, motels, inns, tourist homes, etc.
  • Commercial units, such as office buildings and commercial storage units
  • Rooms in any hospital or facility which provides medical care
  • Rooms in a facility that provides services, including but not limited to: meals, continuing care, medication management, counseling, transportation, etc.
  • Rooms in convent, monastery, fraternity or sorority house
  • Rooms in a rehabilitation center which treats alcohol and/or substance abuse
  • Rooms in a center which provides the formerly homeless with tools and resources to live independently in permanent housing
  • Mobile homes/mobile home lots
  • Houseboats
  • Community cabins
  • Units in which the landlord owns and primarily occupies, and shares common areas with at least one other tenant
  • Any person residing in a unit that does not meet the terms of ‘tenant’ as defined in the Alameda Rent Ordinance.

Limits on Rent Increases

Landlords cannot increase rent more than once in a 12-month period. Landlords may increase rent only according to the percentage of the Annual General Adjustment, which is provided by the City and varies each year. Landlords cannot increase rent more than 3 times during a tenancy using any banked Annual General Adjustments. If a landlord raises rent by over 10% and the tenant decides to vacate the unit instead of agreeing to the increased amount, the landlord must provide relocation payments as described in the Rent Ordinance.

COVID-19 URGENCY ORDINANCE

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Alameda has instituted an ordinance which outlines the protections for tenants that have been impacted financially-tenants that have lost 20% or more of their monthly gross income due to the pandemic. Said tenants are entitled to substantive eviction defense if an unlawful detainer is received for the following reasons:

  • Non-payment of rent
  • Foreclosure on mortgage
  • “No fault” evictions

Landlords are prohibited from shutting off utilities unless it is an emergency situation or necessary repairs are being made. In addition, landlords are prohibited from increasing rents in fully regulated residential units until January 1, 2021. This freeze on rent increases does not apply to units that are not under rent control.

One of the experienced tenant attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., is available to discuss your case, the options available to you and how we can assist you. We offer a free initial consultation, after which you are under no obligation to retain us as your attorneys. We commonly handle cases against landlords on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid unless you recover.

For a free consultation concerning your Alameda Rent Ordinance case, please contact Michael Bracamontes at 415.835.6777, extension 101 or Ryan Vlasak at 415.835.6777, extension 102. You can also email us.

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