NEW! The Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (AB 3088)
The Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (AB 3088) protects qualifying tenants from eviction for non-payment of rent until February 2021. Under the law, tenants must pay back at least 25% of the rent they owe between September 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021 no later than January 31, 2021 to be protected from eviction. The law also provides mortgage relief to homeowners and landlords with four or fewer properties who have had difficulty making mortgage payments because of COVID-19. Property owners can find additional information from the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and should contact their mortgage servicer directly for more information.
NEW NOTICING REQUIREMENT
Landlords are required to provide a notice to Tenants by September 30, 2020, informing them of the new law. Please see Section 1179.04 of the California Civil Code of Procedure for additional information.
Physical Rent Program Office Closed Due to Shelter In Place Order Issued March 16, 2020
In accordance with the Shelter In Place Issued for Contra Costa County on March 16, 2020, the physical Rent Program office is closed for walk-in consultations and appointments.
Rent Program staff members remain available to assist members of the public by phone (510-234-RENT ) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) during Rent Program business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 AM - 12 PM and 1 PM - 4 PM.)
Laws & Regulations
Rent Program Mission Statement
The Rent Program was established in January 2017 following approval of the Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance by a majority of Richmond voters in November 2016. The mission of the Rent Program is to promote neighborhood and community stability, healthy housing, and affordability for Richmond tenants through the regulating of those Landlord/Tenant matters that reasonably relate to rents and evictions, while maintaining a Landlord's right to a fair return.
Rent Board Adopts 2020 Annual General Adjustment in the Amount of 2.9% (Effective 09/01/2020)
At their meeting on June 17, 2020, the Rent Board adopted Regulation 608, establishing the 2020 Annual General Adjustment (AGA) rent increase for Controlled Rental Units in the amount of 2.9%. Rent increases for the 2020 Annual General Adjustment may not take effect prior to September 1, 2020.
The 2020 AGA may only be applied to tenancies in effect prior to September 1, 2019 and according to the City Attorney's Office, pursuant to Contra Costa County Urgency Ordinance No. 2020-26, Landlords of rent-controlled units may not increase the rent through January 31, 2021, with certain exceptions. During this time, we are directing Landlords and Tenants to refer to the new state law AB 3088, specifically the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020, which currently protects qualifying tenants from eviction for non-payment of rent through January 31, 2021.
In addition, while keeping in mind the above information, to apply the 2020 Annual General Adjustment rent increase of up to 2.9%, Landlords must comply with State law requirements and file a notice of rent increase with the Rent Board within ten (10) business days after service on the Tenant, in accordance with Regulation 603.
Visit www.richmondrent.org/increase to access resources such as a notice of rent increase template, Maximum Allowable Rent Calculator, and more.
What’s the Annual General Adjustment?
The Annual General Adjustment (AGA) is an annual rent increase for Controlled Rental Units permitted by the Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance. The Annual General Adjustment is calculated based on the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index of the Bay Area, which includes San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.
Are Landlords Allowed to “Bank” Annual General Adjustment Rent Increases?
Yes, Landlords may apply deferred Annual General Adjustment rent increases; however, Rent Board Regulation 602 limits the amount of deferred increases that may be applied in any 12-month period.
Bay Area Legal Aid Richmond Housing Rights Clinic Cancelled Until Further Notice
Bay Area Legal Aid cancelled the Richmond Housing Rights Clinic until further notice due to Coronavirus Precautions. Please call 510-250-5270 if you need legal advice. More information available in the flyers below.
2020 Community Workshop Schedule
City of Richmond Rent Program Community Workshops are held one Saturday each month to inform community members about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance. Access the full schedule, as well as 2019 Community Workshop materials, on the Workshops page.
Rent Board and City Council Receive 2018-19 Rent Program Annual Report
At their meetings on November 20, 2019, and November 26, 2019, respectively, the Rent Board and City Council received a presentation of the 2018-19 Rent Program Annual Report. Section 11.100.060(e)(6) of the Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance requires the Rent Board to report annually to the City Council on the status of rental housing covered by the Ordinance.
Rent Board Approves New Policy on Excess Rent Refunds
On June 19, 2019, the Rent Board rescinded Subsection (C) of Regulation 605, eliminating the requirement for Landlords to return excess rent via a cashier’s check with 10 days. In lieu of this requirement, and upon agreement of the Tenant, excess rent may be returned to the Tenant through the execution of a repayment agreement between the Tenant and Landlord, a reduction of Tenant’s rent until the amount is satisfied, the Landlord's partial payment of the amount owed combined with a reduction in rent, or other calculable forms of repayment. Under Section 11.100.100 of the Richmond Municipal Code, Tenants may not waive any provisions of the Rent Ordinance, which means that under any repayment plan, Tenants cannot waive or modify the amount of excess rent owed. The Tenant may only agree to modify the method and form of repayment. As is prudent practice, Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to document any agreement in writing and may request mediation through the Rent Program to facilitate an excess rent repayment agreement. Tenants who choose not to agree to a repayment plan, or whose Landlord fails to adhere to a previously agreed upon repayment plan, may file an Excess Rent petition with the Rent Program to compel the Landlord to refund any excess rent owed.
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