City Strengthens Tool to Mediate Rent Increases

New ordinances take effect Oct. 1

The city has adopted two new ordinances to help resolve landlord-tenant disputes over rent increases. The ordinances go into effect Oct. 1.

The first ordinance contains new noticing requirements for property owners when informing tenants of rent increases. It requires property owner participation at a rent-review hearing, if requested by the tenant, according to a city news release.

The second ordinance formalizes the duties and responsibilities of the Rent Review Advisory Committee (RRAC).

Both ordinances, unanimously approved by City Council Sept. 1, are the result of community-initiated dialogue between property owners and tenants. 

"We have a serious problem with large rent increases in Alameda," said Mayor Trish Spencer. "These ordinances strengthen our public hearing process as a fair and reliable way to mediate disputes. This approach is available to all renters and has proven to be successful. We want more people to use it."

Under the new ordinance, property owners will be required to let tenants know about the availability of the city’s rent-review procedures and the public hearing process through the RRAC.

Tenants may request a rent-review hearing, regardless of the amount of the proposed rent increase. If the property owner, or an authorized representative, fails to appear at the hearing without good cause or fails to properly notice the tenant, the rent increase is void and may not be enforced by the property owner.

The ordinances are posted on the City’s website at www.alamedaca.gov/city-hall/rent-review-advisory-committee-rrac.

Contact Sun Staff at editor@alamedasun.com.