For legal assistance, please contact Bay Area Legal Aid 800-551-5554 or Contra Costa County Superior Court Self-Help Center here.
Assembly Bill 1110: Rent Increases: Noticing. Effective January 1, 2020
This law amends Civil Code § 827(b), requiring a 90-day notice, rather than a 60-day notice, if the landlord serves a residential tenant with a notice of rent increase of more than 10 percent. Please visit the California Legislative Information website here for details and legal requirements.
Senate Bill 329: Discrimination: housing: source of income. Effective January 1, 2020
Discrimination: housing: source of income. This bill adds federal, state or local public assistance or federal, state or local housing subsidies (such as Section 8) to the definition of source of income. The bill makes it illegal to reject a prospective tenant solely based on the applicant’s use of a Section 8 federal housing choice voucher or any other federal, state or local public assistance or housing subsidies. It will require landlords to treat voucher holders like any other applicant, except that when qualifying the applicant for income you can only use the applicant’s portion of the rent to determine whether the applicant meets the rent-to-income ratio. The law also prohibits “No Section 8” and similar advertisements. Please visit the California Legislative Information website here for details and legal requirementsGovernor Newsom Declares Statewide Emergency Due to Fires, Extreme Weather Conditions
On October 27, 2019 Governor Newsom declared a statewide emergency as a result of the wildfires that have burned throughout the state. During this state of emergency, under CA Penal Code Section 396, it is illegal to increase the costs of housing, gas, food and other essential supplies more than 10% for 180 days following the date of declaration. Violations of this law may include fines and other civil penalties. For more information, please visit the California Office of the Attorney General Office, Price Gouging in California – Frequently Asked Questions or California Legislative Information - California Penal Code Section 396.
Other Housing Updates
For a summary of other new housing laws signed by the Governor, please visit: https://www.gov.ca.gov/newsroom and www.el-cerrito.org/housingupdates.
RENT REGISTRY ORDINANCE EFFECTIVE JUNE 20, 2019 - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
tenant protections task force
just cause for eviction
However, on June 10, 2019, a referendum petition was filed with the City Clerk related to the Ordinance. This process, allowed by California Elections Code, suspends implementation of the ordinance. On June 27, 2019, the Contra Costa County Elections Office notified the City and determined that petition contained the required valid voter signatures. As required by the California Elections Code, the City Council will take action at upcoming meetings to certify the results of the petition and then either repeal the ordinance or call an election for the purpose of submitting it to the voters. Please click here to access current/future City Council Agenda items.
At the May 21, 2019 City Council meeting, the Council adopted both the Rent Registry and Just Cause for Eviction Ordinances. The ordinances will take effect in 30-days on June 20, 2019. Both ordinances will be implemented by the Community Development Department.
The , El Cerrito Municipal Code Chapter 10.100 (Ordinance 2019-03), establishes an annual reporting requirement for all residential rental property owners to submit data into a City database regarding rents and other relevant information. The data collected will be used to inform the City Council about the rental market and trends in El Cerrito. The City Council has not, at this time, provided any direction for the Rent Registry to be used to regulate rents in the City. However, participation in the program is mandatory.
The , El Cerrito Municipal Code Chapter 10.300 (Ordinance2019-04), establishes enumerated reasons for which a landlord can terminate tenancy for multi-family properties with five (5) or more units that received a Certificate of Occupancy issued before January 1, 2015.
There are new annual registration fees for associated with each program. The Rent Registry is set at $44.00 per unit, and $35.00 per unit for Just Cause to recover administrative costs to implement both programs. The Community Development Department is working with the Finance Department to utilize the City’s annual business license renewals, which begins in late-June, to invoice property owners for these fees that are due by July 31, 2019. At the same time, the City will also provide property owners with additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions, regarding the specific requirements for each ordinance.
In addition, on May 21st the City Council directed staff to form a Tenant Protections Task Force of eight (8) members made up equally of landlords and tenants. The purpose of the Task Force is to bring together landlords and tenants to find common ground in order to make policy recommendations to the City Council for their consideration. The Task Force will be led by a professional facilitator/mediator and staffed by the City’s Housing Analyst as the staff liaison. The Task Force will meet a minimum of 3 times and sunset after 6 months. Please sign up to the Community Development Department E-News at www.el-cerrito.org/CommDev to learn more about the application process and how to apply.
At the May 7, 2019 City Council meeting, the City Council held the first reading of two proposed ordinances: a Rent Registry Ordinance; and Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance. The second reading of these ordinances will return to the City Council on May 21, 2019, and when adopted will take effect in 30-days on June 20, 2019. The Rent Registry Ordinance establishes an annual reporting requirement for all residential rental property owners to submit data into a City database regarding rents and other relevant information. The Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance establishes enumerated reasons for which a landlord can terminate tenancy for multi-family properties with five (5) or more units that received a Certificate of Occupancy issued before January 1, 2015.
On February 19th, City Council held a Study Session to discuss several tenant protection policies. The Council continued the Study Session on March 5. At that session, the Council passed a series of motions directing staff to:
- Return with a proposed Rent Registry ordinance that will allow the City to collect data regarding rents for all residential rental properties;
- Return with a proposed Just Cause for Eviction ordinance that applies to buildings with five or more units, built prior to January 1, 2015, including looking at definition of property owner;
- Research whether the existing Minimum Lease ordinance voted on in December needs revision in association with other ordinances, and bring back for consideration; and,
- Return with possible options for a multi-stakeholder “task force”, to collaborate and identify good El Cerrito-specific options to address the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy policy To reduce the risk of displacement and help stabilize at-risk populations. The options are to include potentially using an independent collaborator, with associated costs. The group should be equally made of landlords and tenants with multitude of building sizes, with a goal of presenting a series of recommendation that would be desirable by both as a working model.
On February 19th City Council held a Study Session to discuss three tenant protection policies:
- Tenant Relocation Assistance;
- Just Cause for Evictions; and
- Rent Registry.
- Rent Review Program;
- Minimum Lease Term;
- Termination of Tenancy; and
- Tenant Relocation Assistance triggered by demolition, remodel, renovation or re-purposing of a property.
August 15, 2017: The El Cerrito Affordable Housing Strategy (Strategy) was adopted by City Council (Resolution 2017-61). The Strategy was developed based upon an evaluation of the City’s existing affordable housing programs and resources and it aimed to proactively identify programs and policies that could be advanced in the near- and medium-term to meet the City’s housing goals, as articulated in the City’s 2015-2023 Housing Element and San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan. The goals of the Strategy set the framework over the next five years to ensure that the City advances policies and programs to produce, protect and preserve housing at all income levels.
The Strategy identified the following four policy pillars to guide the City’s affordable housing efforts:
- Leverage Private Development to Address Affordable Housing Needs
- Reduce the Risk of Displacement and Help Stabilize At-Risk Populations
- Encourage Development of Missing Middle Housing Types
- Increase Local Funding to Continue Support of Low Income and Special Needs Housing Development