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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Local

City of Richmond
Measure L - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passed

21,380 votes yes (65.27%)

11,378 votes no (34.73%)

100% of precincts reporting (53/53).

37,082 ballots counted.

Establish Rent Control Measure
— undefined

Shall the Ordinance to establish rent control, a rent board, and just cause for eviction requirements in the City of Richmond be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Summary

City of Richmond web site

This measure proposes to amend the City of Richmond’s Municipal Code to add a new ordinance that would set a maximum allowable rent charged on rent controlled residential units in the City of Richmond. The measure would also prohibit landlords from terminating tenancies for reasons that are not specifically listed in the proposed ordinance. In addition, certain temporary rentals, small second units, and rental of certain rooms, as further described in the ordinance, would be exempt from requirements of the ordinance. The proposed ordinance would set maximum allowable annual rental increases for all residential units except for certain exempt units. Units exempt from rent control would include, for example, units that are exempt from rent control under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and certain small second dwelling units. The maximum allowable annual rent increase would be 100% of the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index. The ordinance would also establish a Richmond Rent Board composed of five members appointed by the City Council. No more than two Board members would be permitted to own or manage rental property or be realtors. Landlords and tenants would be permitted to petition the Rent Board for an upward or downward adjustment of the maximum allowable rent. In making a downward adjustment, the Board could consider decreases in living space, substantial deterioration of the rental unit, or failure of the housing to comply with housing, health and safety codes. Upward adjustments could be made by the Board only if the landlord demonstrates that such adjustments are necessary to provide the landlord with a fair return on investment, as defined in the ordinance. The ordinance provides that the Board’s decision may be challenged in court, and that a landlord could be liable in a civil action for damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs as determined by the court, and a civil penalty. A landlord who violates the ordinance would be guilty of a misdemeanor under the proposed ordinance. Under the ordinance, a landlord could only terminate a tenancy for one of the following reasons: 1) if the tenant fails to pay rent; breaches the lease; commits or permits a nuisance; or fails to give the landlord access to the premises in certain situations; or 2) if the landlord needs to undertake substantial repairs to the unit; seeks to use the unit as a primary residence by the landlord, or the landlord’s spouse, children, parents or grandparents; or the landlord seeks to withdraw all units of an entire property from the rental market. The ordinance requires relocation payments to be made under certain circumstances in an amount to be determined by the City Council through a Relocation Ordinance to be adopted by the Council.

 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Contra Costa Registrar of Voters

California Election Code Section 9280 requires the City Attorney to prepare an analysis of any proposed City ballot measure, showing the effect of the measure on existing law and describing the operation of the measure.

 

Existing Law

Currently, the City of Richmond (“City”) Municipal Code does not set maximum allowable rents nor establish limitations on the termination of tenancies (except for certain limitations on evictions for properties in foreclosure). Existing state law provides specific notice requirements and procedures for termination of a tenancy.

Proposed Measure

Measure L proposes an ordinance that would establish a rent board and set a maximum allowable rent for rent controlled residential units in the City. Landlords would be prohibited from charging above the maximum allowable rent. Measure L would also prohibit landlords from terminating tenancies, unless done for reasons that are specifically listed in the ordinance. Certain types of rentals, such as certain small second units, would be exempt from the ordinance requirements.

Measure L would set maximum allowable annual rent increases for all residential units in the City, except for certain exempt units. The maximum allowable annual rent would be based on the rent in effect on July 21, 2015, subject to certain annual increases based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index. The maximum allowable annual rent would be subject to a petition and hearing procedure for upward and downward adjustments.

Measure L would prohibit a landlord from terminating a tenancy for reasons not specified in the ordinance; and would require landlords to make relocation payments to tenants under certain circumstances.

Measure L provides that a landlord violating the ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and also provides for liability in a civil action, which could potentially include money damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and a civil penalty.

Administration

Measure L would establish a Rent Board composed of five members appointed by the City Council. The Rent Board would finance its expenses by charging landlords annual registration fees.

Effect of Measure

Measure L was placed on the ballot by initiative petition that was signed by a legally sufficient number of registered voters of the City. To be adopted, Measure L must be approved by a simple majority of the ballots cast in this election.

Measure L would add an ordinance to the City Municipal Code to impose rent control, establish a rent board, and to establish limits on evictions. A “Yes” vote is a vote to approve rent control, to approve a rent board, and to impose limits on evictions. A “No” vote is a vote against rent control, against a rent board, and against limits on evictions.

Respectfully submitted,
Bruce Reed Goodmiller, City Attorney

THE ABOVE STATEMENT IS AN IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE L. IF YOU DESIRE A COPY OF THE MEASURE, PLEASE CALL THE RICHMOND CITY CLERK’S OFFICE AT 510-620-6513 AND A COPY WILL BE MAILED AT NO COST TO YOU.

Financial effect

Belinda Warner Finance Director City of Richmond

Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction and Homeowner Protection Ordinance

Measure L proposes an ordinance (the Ordinance) that, among other outcomes, would establish a Rent Board to set a maximum allowable rent for rent controlled residential units in the City; issue regulations and conduct hearings; make studies, surveys and investigations; and perform other duties necessary to administer the Ordinance.

The Rent Board is required to adopt an annual budget prior to July 1 of each year. The City Council and the City Manager have no authority to oversee, supervise, or approve this budget. The annual budget is to be funded by a Residential Rental Housing Fee to be charged to landlords. The City Council determines the amount of the Residential Rental Housing Fee based on the recommendation of the Rent Board.

The fiscal impact to the City of Richmond cannot be specifically determined. Costs incurred under the Ordinance may vary depending on the total number of petitions, notices, reports, hearings, and studies necessary to administer its provisions. If the annual budget established by the Rent Board includes the full cost to reimburse the City of Richmond General Fund for all services provided by the City that are necessary to implement the Ordinance, and if the Residential Rental Housing Fee established by the City Council on an annual basis, and subsequent collection of these fees, is sufficient to provide funding for the annual budget established by the Rent Board, there would be no fiscal impact to the City’s General Fund.

If the City General Fund is not reimbursed by the Rent Board for the full cost of all services provided by the City that are necessary to implement the Ordinance, or if the Residential Rental Housing Fee established by the City Council on an annual basis, and subsequent collection of these fees, is not sufficient to provide funding for the annual budget established by the Rent Board, then there would be a fiscal impact to the City’s General Fund of an amount equal to this insufficiency. State law precludes the City Council from adopting a Residential Rental Housing Fee that generates revenue that exceeds the cost of services under the Ordinance.

Belinda Warner
Finance Director
City of Richmond

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote Yes on Measure L for a Fair and Affordable Richmond.

 

For a thriving future, Richmond needs housing that working people and seniors can afford. Measure L will help keep thousands of renters in their homes while we continue to build more affordable housing.

Measure L keeps neighbors in their homes and that makes our communities safer and our schools better. It is based on similar laws in other cities

Measure L will:

  • Mandate that rents of apartments built before 1995 cannot be raised more than 3% annually, based on the Consumer Price Index.
  • Establish a Rent Board that would ensure rent increases and eviction notices are in compliance with the ordinance and allow rent increases for major improvements or special situations.
  • Protect tenants from landlords who are gouging them or serving evictions just to clear units for others who can afford to pay more.

Renters who abide by their leases and follow the law should not have to live in fear of eviction notices or outlandish rent increases.

Measure L protects renters and is fair to homeowners by guaranteeing their rights to rent all or part of their home or an in-law unit on their property without getting stuck living with a problem tenant. It also allows homeowners to end a tenancy when personal or family circumstances change—like needing to move in an aging parent or adding a new baby to the family.

This balanced approach is good for the economy and good for families in our community. Measure L will protect tenants while also allowing landlords to evict genuinely bad tenants and to make a fair profit on their rental properties.

Please join us,

The Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition
http://www.fairandaffordablerichmond.com

Gayle McLaughlin, Richmond City Councilmember
Chris Finn, Richmond Landlord
Rev. T. Marc Gandy, Pastor Miracle Temple APC
Wendy Gonzales, Educator
Contra Costa Labor Council, Margaret Hanlon-Gradie

— City of Richmond

Arguments AGAINST

The Contra Costa Taxpayers Association strongly opposes this measure, which will not provide the benefits proponents promise.

 

Proponents of this measure argue that rental prices are driven upward by the greed of large-scale property owners, but the truth is that most rental properties are owned by small-scale investors, often as part of their post-retirement plans. Owners of these properties face rising costs, including taxes on their income, rising maintenance and repair costs, and ballooning property assessments and resultant taxes. Those seeking to develop new rental properties also face enormous developer fees and permitting costs, which are passed on to consumers.

At some point, if they cannot at least break even, small-scale investors are driven out of the market. This tends to concentrate rental housing stock ownership into corporate real estate firms, which is not beneficial to the community.

The major factor in the rental market is competition. Most rental owners price their properties in order to keep them occupied. Rent control measures invariably lead to cut-backs in maintenance and repairs, and deterioration of housing stocks and neighborhood quality of life.

Richmond has not shown the ability to manage housing very well, as witnessed by the scandals in the city’s Housing Authority. Prevent them from further complicating the rental housing market.

Vote NO on Measure L.
Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, Jack Weir, President

— City of Richmond

Replies to Arguments FOR

Measure L is a poorly written measure that could cost Richmond millions of dollars, and will not create affordable rental housing for those most in need.

 

MEASURE L DOESN’T HELP THOSE IN NEED

  • The goal of Measure L is to have apartment owners subsidize the rents of their tenants. However, Measure L lacks critical language that would limit rental subsidies to only those families who actually need housing subsidies. Measure L would force local apartment owners to subsidize the rents of even those tenants with high-paying jobs, making it even more difficult for struggling families in need of housing.

MEASURE L WILL COST MILLIONS

  • Measure L gives authority to an unelected board of political appointees to take money from Richmond’s General Fund in order to pay for an unknown number of additional staff people for the new rent control bureaucracy. City budgets such as senior services, public safety, and Parks & Recreation budgets could be put at risk in order to fund the Measure L bureaucracy.

MEASURE L DOESN’T CREATE AFFORDABLE HOUSING

  • The State of California recently published a report showing rent control is not effective at creating affordable housing. A true solution would be to build more affordable housing in Richmond. If Measure L passes, fewer apartments will be built because builders will simply avoid Richmond.

Failing to prioritize those truly in need of housing, and giving blank-check authority to an unelected board only increases the bureaucracy at City Hall.

Vote NO on Measure L.

Irma L. Anderson, Former Mayor
Oscar Garcia, Community Member
Joe L. Fisher, Small Business Owner
John Zeisenhenne, Former Vice Mayor
Gerald S. Feagley, Small Business Owner


— City of Richmond

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Protect Tenants Vote Yes on Measure L

 

Renters at 2001 Gaynor Avenue had units infested with mold and had problems with electricity and plumbing, but instead of repairs, these renters received a rent increase. According to rentjungle.com the average 2-bedroom is now over $2,200 a month a rents are rising at the rate of almost 20% per year.

We need Measure L to create a Rent Board that will stand up for renters and make sure landlords follow the law.

The overheated rent and real estate markets in San Francisco and Oakland are being felt here in Richmond. We cannot let our community face the crisis of displacement that other cities are now dealing with.

We need housing working people and seniors can afford. Measure L will keep people in their homes while more affordable housing is built. More stable communities are safer for residents and contribute to better schools for our children.

Measure L is a balanced approach that allows a reasonable return on investment for landlords, protections for homeowners and security for tenants. We are aware that many small landlords and homeowners are dependent on the values of their properties, that is why we included protections and ways of dealing with special circumstances. Single family homes are exempt from control.

We have a chance by passing Measure L, to make sure Richmond is fair and affordable for everyone.

Please join us and Vote Yes on Measure L.

Gayle McLaughlin, Richmond City Councilmember
Commieolla Duncan, Richmond Tenant
Mary Dollar, Richmond Tenant
Sharron SK Williams, Richmond Tenant & Immigration Rights Attorney

— City of Richmond

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF RICHMOND ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

 

 

 

THE RICHMOND FAIR RENT, JUST CAUSE FOR EVICTION AND HOMEOWNER PROTECTION ORDINANCE

 

 

Chapter 11.100

 

 

 

11.100.010  Title and Purpose.

 

11.100.020  Findings.

 

11.100.030  Definitions.

 

11.100.040  Homeowner Protections.

 

11.100.050  Just Cause for Eviction Protection; Family Protections.

 

11.100.060  Richmond Rent Board.

 

11.100.070   Rent Control; Right of Reasonable Return for Landlords.

 

11.100.080  Non-waiverability.

 

11.100.090  Judicial Review.

 

11.100.100  Remedies.

 

11.100.110  Injunctive and Other Civil Relief.

 

11.100.120  Partial Invalidity.

 

11.100.130  Majority Approval, Effective Date, Execution.

 

 

 

11.100.010          Title and Purpose.

 

This Ordinance shall be known as The Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction and Homeowner Protection Ordinance. The purpose of this Ordinance is to promote neighborhood  and community  stability, healthy housing,  and affordability  for renters  in the





City of Richmond by controlling excessive rent  increases  and  arbitrary  evictions  to  the  greatest extent allowable under California law, while ensuring Landlords a fair and reasonable return  on their  investment  and protecting homeowners.

 

11.100.20           Findings.

 

The People of Richmond find and declare as follows:

 

(a)                There is a shortage of decent, safe, affordable, and sanitary housing in the City of Richmond ("the City").

 

(b)                Tenants who play by the rules should not have to worry constantly about losing their home for no reason. Common-sense  protections  against unfair  evictions are needed  in the City to protect  long-time and low-income  residents  from landlords  that try to game the system to  take advantage  of all-time  high rents.

 

(c)                The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley recently published a research brief entitled "Belonging and Community Health in Richmond: An Analysis of Changing Demographics and Housing." Itfound that displacement is a danger in the City; that median household income in the City has decreased by 15% from 2000 to 2013, twice the rate of Oakland and far more severe than El Cerrito and Berkeley; and that the decrease in homeownership in the City is only exceeded by two other local cities, Vallejo and Antioch.

 

(d)                Given the increased housing cost burden and poverty faced by many Richmond residents, excessive rent increases threaten the public health, safety, and welfare of Richmond residents, including seniors, those on fixed incomes, those with very low, low, and moderate income levels, and those with other special needs, to the extent that such persons may be forced to choose between paying rent and providing food, clothing, and medical care for themselves and their families.

 

(e)                According to RealFacts (March 20, 2015), the monthly rent and occupancy rates of market-rate units in apartment buildings of fifty or more units in the City have increased every year since 2010; the average asking rent of market-rate rental units has increased by 24.3% between 2010 and 2014.

 

(f)                According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2009-2013 American Community Survey, 15.6% of families in the City live below the poverty level, and the number of persons living below the poverty level in the City has increased since 2000. According to the same survey, 54.9% .of Richmond tenant households are "overpaying households," meaning the h.ousehold pays 30% or more of its income on housing costs. Nearly half of Richmond's residents are Tenants.

 

(g)                The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society memorandum entitled "Data on Richmond Rental Housing Issues," citing the American Community Survey, U.S. Census, found that during the 2011-2013 period, large portions of the City were made up of low­ income tenants; approximately 6,740 tenant households (37% of the total tenants) are low­ income, earn less than  $35,000  annually,  and spend more than  30% of their income  on






housing; and certain central and southern Richmond areas have more than 80% rental households.

 

(h)               The problem of rent increases has reached a crisis level, with examples of rents rising at rates more than ten (10) times that of inflation or average wage growth.

 

(i)                 The City of Richmond currently does not restrict rental increases or grounds for eviction. Residents have been unfairly evicted so that landlords can take advantage of the current Bay Area housing shortage and raise rents. Tenants are provided little information regarding their rights in the case of eviction and how to get help if they believe their rights have been violated.

 

(j) In light of the numerous concerns noted herein, including, but not limited to, the current and immediate threat t-0 the health, safety, and welfare of the City's residents and the adverse impacts that would result from a substantial decrease of affordable housing within the City, the People of Richmond determine that it is in the interest of immediately preserving the public health, safety and general welfare to adopt this Ordinance in order to put into place, among other things, regulations to protect homeownership, just cause for eviction, rent stabjlization, and _a _simpJe process to ensure that JandJords continue to recejve _a reasonable return on their investment.

 

11.100.30                                Definitions.

 

The following words or phrases as used in this Ordinance shall have the following meamngs:

 

(a)               Annual Allowable Rental Adjustment: Annual Allowable Rental Adjustment refers to the limit on the Maximum Allowable Rent increase, which a Landlord may charge on any Controlled Rental Unit each year without order from a hearing officer.

 

(b)               Board: The term "Board" refers to the Richmond Rent Board established by this Chapter.

 

(c)                Disabled: The term "Disabled" shall have the same meaning as in Section 12955.3 of  the Government  Code.

 

(d)                Controlled Rental Units: All Residential Rental Units in the City of Richmond, except those Rental Units exempt under one or more of the following provisions:

 

(1)    Rental Units in hotels, motels, inns, tourist homes and rooming and boarding houses which are rented primarily to transient guests for aperiod of fewer than fourteen (14) days.

 

(2)    Rental Units in any hospital, convent, monastery, extended medical care facility, asylum, non-profit home for the aged, or dormitory owned and operated by an accredited institution of higher education.

 

(3)    Rental Units which a government unit, agency or authority owns, operates, manages, or in which governmentally subsidized Tenants reside only if applicable






federal or state law or administrative regulation specifically exempt such units from municipal rent control.

 

(4)     Rental Units exempt from rent control pursuant to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (California Civil Code § 1954.52).

 

(5)     Any permitted small, second housing unit built in compliance with the Small, Second Unit Ordinance-of the City of Richmond (Richmond Municipal Code § 15.04.810).

 

(6)       Any units exempted by the Homeowner Protections in Section 11.100.040.

 

(e)                Housing Services: Housing Services include, but are not limited to, repairs, maintenance, painting, providing light, hot and cold water, el-evat-0r service, window shades and screens, storage, kitchen, bath and laundry facilities and privileges, janitor services, utilities that are paid by landlord, refuse removal, furnishings, telephone, parking, the right to have a specified number of occupants, and any other benefit, privilege or facility connected with the use or occupancy of any Rental Unit. Housing Services to a Rental Unit shall include a proportionate part of _servjce.s provided to common facjJjties of the buiJding fo which the Rental Unit is contained.

 

(f)                 Landlord: An owner, lessor, sublessor or any other person entitled to receive rent for the use and occupancy of any Rental Unit, or an agent, representative or successor of any of the foregoing.

 

(g)                Maximum Allowable Rent. The maximum allowable rent which may be charged on any Controlled Rental Unit covered by this chapter.

 

(h)               Primary Residence: Occupancy of a Primary Residence does not require that the individual be physically present in the unit at all times  or continuously, but the unit must be  the  individual's  usual place  of return.  Indicia  of Primary  Residence include:

 

(1)     the individual carries on basic living activities at the subject premises for extended periods;

 

(2)     the subject premises are listed with other public agencies, including Federal, State and local taxing authorities as their primary residence;

 

(3)       Utilities are billed to and paid by the individual at the subject premises;

 

(4)     Homeowner'stax exemption for the individual has not been filed for a different property;

 

(5)        The occupant is not registered to vote at any other location;

 

(6)     Ownership must be held in the name of the individual claiming Primary Residence and not held by a Limited Liability Corporation or Gther corpmate structure;






(7)        Other relevant  factors  illustrating Primary Residence.

 

(i)                 Property: All Rental Units on a parcel or lot or contiguous parcels or contiguous lots under  common ownership.

 

(j)                 Rent: All periodic payments and all nonmonetary consideration including, but not limited to, the fair market value of goods, labor performed or services rendered to or for the benefit of the Landlord under a Rental Housing Agreement, as defined in this Section, concerning the use or occupancy of a Rental Unit and premises, including all payment and consideration demanded or paid for parking, utilities, pets, furniture, subletting and security deposits for damages and cleaning.

 

(k)                Rental Housing Agreement:  An agreement, oral, written or implied, between   a Landlord and Tenant for use or occupancy of a Rental Unit and for Housing Services.

 

(1)       Rental Housing Fee: The fee described in Section 11.100.060(1)(1).

 

(m)              Rental Unit: Any building, structure, or part thereof, or land appurtenant thereto, or any-0ther rental property rented or offered for rent for residential purposes, together with all Housing Services connected with use or occupancy of such property such as common areas and recreational facilities held out for use by the Tenant.

 

(n)                Recognized  Tenant Organization:   Any group of Tenants residing in Rental Units  in the same building or in different buildings operated by the same management company, agent or Landlord, who choose to be so designated.

(o)                Rounding: Numbers will be rounded using the "half away from zero" method. (p)Single-Family Home:  A detached building containing a single residential dwelling

unit separately alienable from any other dwelling unit.

 

(q)                Temporary Tenancy. The tenancy in a Single-Family Home, which is the primary residence of the Homeowner and does not last any longer than 12 consecutive months. A written contract must be provided to Tenant at the inception of the tenancy, which includes a notice that the tenancy shall terminate in no more than 12 months when the owner shall return to the Single Family Home to reoccupy.

 

(r)                 Tenant: A Tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee or any other person entitled under the terms of a Rental Housing Agreement to the use or occupancy of any Rental Unit.

 

(s) Utility Charges: Any charges for gas, electricity, water, gas, cable or internet.

 

11.100.40                                Homeowner Protections.

 

(a)                Homeownership is of great importance to the residents of the City of Richmond. The following protections for Homeowners shall be part of this ordinance:

 

(1)     Temporary  Rentals Allowed.  A homeowner who is the Primary Resident of   a single-family home may create a temporary tenancy.  The temporary Tenant must be


class=Section6>

provided, in writing at the inception of the tenancy, the length of the tenancy and a statement that the tenancy maybe terminated at the end of the temporary tenan-ey (pursuant to Section 11.100.050 (8) below) and relocation shall not be required.

 

(2)    Small, Second Units Unregulated. A unit that is lawful and in compliance with the Small Second Unit Ordinance of the City of Richmond (Richmond Municipal Code § 15.04.810.) will be exempt from this Chapter if the owner is the Primary Resident of the first, larger single-family home.

 

(3)    Renting of a Room Unregulated. The tenancy where the Tenant shares a bathroom or kitchen with the homeowner shall be exempt from this Chapter if the home is the Primary Residence of the homeowner.

 

11.100.50            Just Cause for Eviction Protections; Family Protections.

 

(a)                No Landlord shall take action to terminate any tenancy, including but not limited to making a demand for possession of a Rental Unit, threatening to terminate a tenancy verbally or in writing, serving any notice to quitor.other eviction notice, or.bringing any action to recover possession or be granted recovery of possession of a Rental Unit unless:

 

(1)    Failure to Pay Rent. The Tenant has failed to pay the Rent to which the Landlord is legally entitled under the Rental Housing Agreement, this Chapter, state and any other local law.

 

(2)   Breach of Lease. The Tenant has continued, after written notice to cease, to substantially violate any of the material terms of the rental agreement, except the obligation to surrender possession on proper notice as required by law, and provided that such terms are reasonable and legal and have been accepted in writing by the Tenant or made part of the rental agreement; and provided further that, where such terms have been accepted by the Tenant or made part of the rental agreement subsequent to the initial creation of the tenancy, the Landlord shall have first notified the Tenant in writing that he or she need not accept such terms or agree to their being made part of the rental agreement.

 

(i)         Notwithstanding any contrary provision in this Section, a Landlord shall not take any action to terminate a tenancy based on a Tenant's sublease of the unit if the following requirements are met:

 

a.     The Tenant continues to reside in the Rental Unit as his,  her

-0r their primary residence.

 

b. The sublease replaces  one  or more  departed  Tenants  under the Rental Housing Agreement  on a one-for-one   basis.

 

c. The Landlord has unreasonably withheld the right to  sublease following written request by the Tenant. Ifthe Landlord fails-to respond to the Tenant in writing within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the Tenant's written request, the Tenant's request  shall be deemed  approved by the  Landlord.  A Landlord's  reasonable  refusal  of the






Tenant's written request may not be based on the proposed additional occupant's lack of creditworthiness, if that person will not be legally  obligated to.pay  some or  all  of the  Rent t-0 the Landlord. A Landlord's reasonable refusal of the Tenant's written request  may be based  on, but is not limited to, the ground that the total number of occupants in a Rental Unit exceed the maximum number of occupants as determined under Section 503(b)  of the Uniform  Housing Code as incorporated  by California Health & Safety Code  Section   17922.

 

(ii)         Protections for Families. Notwithstanding any contrary  provision in this Section, a Landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a Rental Unit as a result of the addition to the Rental Unit of a Tenant's child, parent, grandchild, grandparent, brother or sister, or the spouse or domestic partner (as defined in California Family Code Section 297) of such relatives, or as a result of the addition of the spouse or domestic partner of a Tenant, so long as the number of occupants does not exceed the maximum number of occupants as determined under Section 503(b) of the Uniform Housing Code as incorporated by California Health & Safety Code 17922. The Rent Board shall promulgate regulations that will further protect families and promote stability for school-aged children.

 

(3)    Nuisance. The Tenant has continued, after the Landlord has served the Tenant with a written notice to cease, to commit or expressly permit a nuisance in, or cause substantial damage to the Rental Unit.

 

(4)     Failure to Give Access. The Tenant has continued to refuse without good cause, after the Landlord has- served the Tenant with a written notice, to- grant the Landlord reasonable access to the Rental Unit for the purposes of showing the unit to prospective purchasers or mortgagees or making necessary repairs or improvements required by the laws of the United States, the State of California or any subdivision thereof This shall include inspections by the Richmond Residential Rental Inspection Program and any other inspections.needed so that the landlord may comply with such laws. The Board shall promulgate regulations for the repair and improvement of Rental Units to ensure the least amount of disruption for the Tenant. Unless due to a documented emergency affecting a Tenant's health and/ or safety, all repair or improvement work will be scheduled in compliance with applicable Board regulations. To terminate a tenancy under this Subsection (a)(4), a Landlord must show that written notice was provided to the Tenant and all necessary repair or improvement work was scheduled in compliance with this Section and all applicable Board regulations. Landlords may not use lock boxes on occupied units.

 

(5)        Temporarily  Vacate  in Order  to Undertake  Substantial Repairs.

 

(A)          The Landlord, after having obtained all necessary permits from the City of Richmond, seeks in good faith to undertake substantial repairs which are necessary to bring the property into compliance with applicable codes and laws affecting the health and safety of Tenants of the building or where necessary under an outstanding notice of code violations affecting the health and safety of Tenants of the building, and where such repairs cannot be completed while the Tenant resides on the premises.






(B)         Where such repairs can be completed in a period  of  60  or  fewer  days, and the Tenant, within 30 days  after  the  service  of  a  notice  of termination of his or her tenancy,  agrees  in  writing  to  vacate  the premises during the period  required  to complete the repairs  at no  charge to the Landlord, other  than  abatement  of the  obligation  to  pay  rent  for the premises during the period required to complete the repairs, the  Landlord _may _not rncover possess.ion pur.suant to thi.s sub.section 5 unless the Tenant shall fail or  refuse  to  vacate  the  premises  in accordance  with  such agreement.

 

(C)          Where the Landlord owns any other residential rental units in the City of Richmond, and  any  such unit  is vacant  and  available  at the  time  of service of the written notice terminating the tenancy, or at any time thereafter until the earlier of the Tenant's vacating the premises or the entry of a judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction awarding possession of the premises to the Landlord, the Landlord shall, as a condition of obtaining possession pursuant to this subsection 11.100.050

(a)            (5) notify Tenant in writing of the existence and address of each such vacant rental unit and offer Tenant the right, at the tenant's option:

 

(i)          To enter into a rental agreement (to be designated as a "temporary rental agreement") on any available rental unit which the Tenant may choose, at a rent not to exceed the lesser of the lawful rent which may be charged for such  available rental unit or the lawful rent in effect, at the time of the notice of termination of tenancy, on the unit being vacated, said rental agreement to be for a term  of the lesser of ninety days    or until

. completion of repairs on the rental  unit being vacated by tenant;  or

 

(ii)          To enter into a new rental agreement or lease for such available rental unit at a rent not to exceed the lawful rent which may be charged  for such available rental unit

 

(D)           Where           the           Landlord           recovers           possession           under           this           subsection

11.100.050 (a) (5) the Tenant must be given the right of first refusal to re-occupy the unit upon completion of the required work. In the event the Landlord files an application for an individual rent adjustment within six months following the completion of the work, the Tenant shall be a party to such proceeding the same as ifhe or she were still in possession, unless the Landlord shall submit, with such application, a written waiver by the Tenant of his or her right to re-occupy the premises pursuant to this subsection.

 

(6)      Owner Move-InThe Landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith for use and occupancy as a Primary Residence by the Landlord, or the Landlord's spouse children, parents or grandparents.






(A)         Landlord, as used in this Subsection (a)(6), shall only include a Landlord that is a natural person who has at least a fifty (50} percent recorded ownership interest in the Property.

 

(B)         No eviction may take place for an "owner move-in" if the  same Landlord or enumerated relative already occupies a unit on the property, or if a vacancy already exists on the property. At all times a Landlord may request a reasonable accommodation if the Landlord or enumerated relative is Disabled and another unit in Richmond is necessary to accommodate the person's disability.

 

(C)         The notice terminating tenancy shall contain the name, address and relationship t-0 the Landlord of the person intended to occupy the Rental Unit.

 

(D)         The Landlord or enumerated relative must intend in good faith to move into the Rental Unit within ninety (90) days after the Tenant vacates and to occupy the Rental Unit as a primary residence  for at least   Thirty-Six

(36) consecutive months. The Board may adopt regulations governing the determination of good faith.

 

(E) If the Landlord or relative  specified on the notice terminating  tenancy fails to occupy the unit within ninety (90) days after the Tenant vacates, the Landlord shall:

 

1.         Offer the unit to the Tenant who vacated it; and

 

11.                                Pay to said Tenant all reasonable expenses incurred in moving to and from the unit.

 

(F) Eviction Protection for Elderly or Disabled Tenant. A Landlord may  not evict a Tenant pursuant to this Subsection if the Tenant (1) has resided in the Rental Unit for at least five (5) years and is either at least 62 years old or Disabled; or (2) is certified as being terminally ill by the Tenant's treating physician. For the purposes of this Subsection, Notwithstanding the above, a Landlord may evict a Tenant who qualifies for the exemption if the Landlord or enumerated relative who will occupy the unit also meets the criteria for this exemption and no other units are available.

 

(7)      Withdrawal  from Rental Market. The Landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession to withdraw all Rental Units of an entire property located in the City of Richmond. The Landlord has filed the documents with the Board initiating the procedure for withdrawing Units from rent or lease under Government Code Section 7060 et. seq. and all regulations passed by the Board, with the intention of completing the withdrawal process and going out of the rental business or demolition of the property.  Ifdemolition is the purpose of the withdrawal then the Landlord must have received all needed permits from the City of Richmond before serving any






notices Terminating a tenancy based on 11.100.50 (a) (7). Tenants shall be entitled to a 120-day notice or one (l)year inthe case tenants are defined as senior or Disabled under Govt. Code Section 7060.4 (6). Tenants will also have a right of return if the unit is placed back on the market.

 

(8)     Temporary Tenancy.  A landlord or lessor seeks in good faith to recover _possession ofthe Single-Family Home for his/her/their occupancy as a primary residence, where the landlord has previously occupied the rental unit as his/her/their principal residence and has the right to recover possession of the unit for his/her occupancy as a principal residence under an existing rental agreement with the current tenants for no more than twelve (12) consecutive months. No relocation is required. To be-used only in reference to tenancies as listed in I l J 00.040 (a)(l ).

 

(b)         Relocation. A landlord seeking to recover possession under Sections 11.100.050(a)(5), (6) or (7) above shall make relocation payments to each Tenant. These amounts shall be determined by the City Councilthrough a Relocation Ordinance.

 

(c)         Right of Return and First Right of Refusal.  All Tenants that are displaced based on Sections 11.100.050(a)(5), (6) or (7) shall have the first right of refusal to return to the unit if it should ever be returned to the market by the Landlord or successor Landlord. Rent shall be the Rent lawfully paid by the tenant at the time the Landlord gave notice of basis listed in Sections 11.100.050(a)(5), (6) or (7).

 

(d)         Written Warning Notice Requirements. Any written notice as described in Subsections 11.100.050(a)(2), (3) or (4) shall be served by the Landlord within a reasonable period prior to serving a notice to terminate tenancy and shall inform the Tenant that a failure to cure may result in the initiation of eviction proceedings, of the right to request a reasonable accommodation and the contact number for the Board. The notice shall also include sufficient details allowing a reasonable person to comply. The notice shall also include any information necessary to determine the date, time, place, witnesses present and other circumstances concerning the reason for the notice.

 

(e)         Retaliation is Barred. Notwithstanding the above provisions, possession shall not be granted if it is determined that the eviction is knowingly in retaliation for the Tenant reporting violations of this Chapter, for exercising rights granted under this Chapter, including the right to withhold Rent under common, state or local law or for forming a Recognized Tenant Organization with-other Tenants.

 

(f) In any notice purporting to terminate a tenancy the Landlord shall state the cause for the tennination, and in any action brought to recover possession of a Rental Unit, the Landlord shall allege and prove compliance with this Section. All notices described in Subsection 11.100.050(d) shall be attached to any notices that purport to terminate a tenancy for which they correspond.

 

(g) Failure to comply with any requirement of this Chapter may be asserted as an affinnative defense in an action brought by the Landlord to recover possession of the Unit. Additionally, any attempt to recover possession of a Unit in violation of this Chapter shall






render the Landlord liable to the Tenant for actual damages, including damages for emotional distress, in a civil action for wrongful eviction. The Tenant or the Rent Board may seek injunctive relief and money damages for wrongful eviction. A Tenant prevailing in an action for wrongful eviction shall recover costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

 

11.100.60           Richmond  Rent Board

 

(a)                Composition. There shall be in the City of Richmond a Rent Board. The Board shall be made up of Richmond residents. The Board shall consist of five Board Members appointed by the City Council. The Board shall elect annually as chairperson one of its members to serve in that capacity.

 

(b)                Eligibility. Duly qualified residents of the City of Richmond are eligible to serve as Members of the Board. There shall be no more than two members that own or manage any rental property or are realtors. Anyone nominated to this board must be in compliance with this Chapter and all other local, state and federal laws regulating the provision of housing.

 

(c)                Full Disclosure of Holdings. Nominees for the position of Board Member shall submit a verified statement listing all of their interests and dealings in real property,. including but not limited to its ownership, sale or management, during the previous three (3) years. The Board may promulgate additional regulations.

 

(d)                Term of Office. Board Members shall serve terms of two (2) years and maybe reappointed for a total of four (4) full terms for a total of fewer than ten (10) years.

 

(e)  Powers and Duties. The Board shall have the following powers and duties:

 

(1)                 Establish a Base Rent under Section 11.100.070 (a).

 

{2)        Make adjustments -in the Rent Increase and Decreases ·in accordance with Section 11.100.070.

 

(3)     Set Rents at fair and equitable levels in order to achieve the intent of this Chapter.

 

(4)     Issue orders, rules and regulations, conduct hearings and charge fees as set forth below.

 

(5)     Make such studies, surveys and investigations, conduct such hearings, and obtain such information as is necessary to carry out its powers and duties.

 

(6)     Report annually to the City Council of the City of Richmond on the status of rental housing covered by this chapter. Reports shall include a summary of the numbers of notices served, the basis upon which they were served, the amount of the Rent increases and the addresses for which they were served.

 

(7)        Charge and collect registration fees, including penalties for late payments.






(8)     Collect and/or receive copies of notices of termination of tenancy and changes in terms of tenancy.

 

(9)     A searchable database will be created so that service of notice may be determined as well information for the reports described above.

 

(10)  Administer the withdrawal process for the removal of Rental Units from rental housing market under sections 11.100;050 (a)(6) and (7).

 

(11)    Administer oaths and affirmations and subpoena witnesses.

 

(12)  Establish rules and regulations for deducting penalties and settling civil claims under Section 11.100.100.

 

(13)  Refer violations of this Chapter to appropriate authorities for prosecution. (14)  Seek injunctive and other civil relief under Section 11.100.100 - 110.

(15)  Any other duties necessary to administer and enforce this Chapter.

 

(t) Rules and Regulations. The Board shall issue and follow such rules and regulations, including those which are contained  in this Chapter,  as will  further the purposes  of the  Chapter. The Board  shall publicize  its rules and regulations  prior to promulgation  on its website  and any other appropriate  medium.  All rules  and regulations,  internal  staff memoranda, and written correspondence explaining the decisions, orders, and policies of the Board shall be kept in the Board's. office and shall be available to the public for ins.pection and copymg.

 

(g)                Community Education. The Board shall publicize this Chapter so that all residents of Richmond will have the opportunity to become informed about their legal rights and duties under this Chapter. The Board shall prepare a brochure which fully describes the legal rights and duties of Landlords and Tenants under The Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction and Homeowner Protection Ordinance. The brochure shall also include helpful information for homeowners. The brochure will be available to the public, and each Tenant of a Rental Unit shall receive a copy of the brochure from his, her or their Landlord. Landlords shall provide the brochure at the commencement of the tenancy and with each notice of rent increase. This brochure will be made available for download from the City of Richmond website and/or other appropriate technology. Information about the Ordinance shall be made available in all other languages that are requested by the community.

 

(h)                Meetings. The Board shall hold such regularly scheduled meetings as are necessary to ensure the timely performance-of its duties under this Chapter. All regular and special meetings shall be called and conducted in accordance with state law. There shall be minimally one (1) meeting a year so that the Board may comply with 11.100.070.

 

(i)  Quorum. Three (3) Members shall constitute a quorum for the Board.

 

G) Voting. The affirmative vote of three (3) Members of the Board is required for a decision, including all motions, regulations, and orders of the Board.






(k)  Dockets. The Board shall maintain and keep in its office all hearing dockets.

 

(1)                                  Financing. The Board shall finance its reasonable and necessary expenses by charging Landlords annual registration fees in amounts deemed reasonable by the Board. The Board is also empowered to request and receive funding when and if necessary from any available source for its reasonable and necessary expenses.

 

(1)     Residential Rental Housing Fee. All Landlords shall pay a business license fee if required by Richmond Municipal Code plus a Residential Rental Housing Fee. The City shall charge the Residential Rental Housing Fee at the same time as the business license fee. The amount will be determined by the City Council after a recommendation by the Board is provided to the City Council. The City Council will vote on the recommendation at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The budget shall be funded by the Rental Housing Fee.

 

(2)     This fee shall become due within thirty (30) days of inception of new tenancy if no fee was paid the prior year. Ongoing tenancies shall have fees collected at the sametime as the City business license each year.

 

(m)              Integrity and Autonomy of Board. The Board shall be an integral part of the government of the City, but shall exercise its powers and duties under this Chapter independent from the City Council, City Manager, and City Attorney, except by request of the Board. The City shall provide infrastructural support on an ongoing basis as it would with any other department. Doing the transition period before the Board Members are appointed and an Executive Director is hired, the City shall take whatever steps necessary to perform the duties of the Board and implement the purpose of this Chapter.

 

(n)                Budget. The Board shall, prior to July 1 of each year, hold a public hearing on a proposed budget and- adopt an annual - budget for the ensuing fiscal year. At least thirty-five days prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, the Board's Executive Director shall submit to the Board the proposed budget as prepared by the Executive Director. After reviewing the same and making such revisions as it may deem advisable, the Board shall determine the time for the holding of a public hearing thereon and shall cause to be published a notice thereof not less thanten days. prior to said hearing,_ by atleast one. insertioninthe official newspaper. Copies of the proposed budget shall be available for inspection by the public in the office of   the Board at least ten days prior to said hearing. The City Council and the City Manager shall have no authority to oversee, supervise, or approve this budget. Upon final adoption, the budget shall be in effect for the ensuing fiscal year and the amounts stated therein shall be and become appropriated by the Board for the respective objects and purposes therein specified. At any meeting after the adoption of the budget the Board may amend or supplement the budget by the affirmative votes of at least three members. Copies of the adopted budget and any amendments or supplements shall be filed with the City Clerk, and City Manager. Necessary adjustments to city administrative procedures shall be made.

 

(o)                Personnel. The Board shall review and assess yearly that sufficient number of staff are employed, including an Executive Director, hearing examiners, housing counselors and legal staff, as may be necessary to perform its function efficiently in order to fulfill the purpose of this Chapter. The Executive Director shall be hired by the Board. All employees of






the Board shall be hired, terminated, suspended, and demoted in accordance with the Charter and implementing provisions of the Municipal Code.

 

(p)                Board Legal Work. Legal staff hired by the Board shall represent and advise the Board, its Members, and its staff in any civil matters, actions, or proceedings in which the Board, its Members, or its staff, in or by reason of their official capacity, are concerned or are a party. The Board may_, in its sole discretion, and without approval of the City Council, retain private attorneys to furnish legal advice or representation in particular matters, actions or proceedings.

 

(q)                Contracts and Purchases. The Board shall procure goods and services as do other City agencies using existing support services within the City as would any other department,

i.e. Finance, Information Technology, and Public Works among others. Provided, however, that the Board shall have sole and final authority to employ attorneys, legislative lobbyists, and other professionals, and to approve contracts for such professional services.

 

(r)                 Conforming Regulations. Ifany portion of this Chapter is declared invalid or unenforceable by decision ofa court. of competentjurisdiction or rendered invalid or unenforceable by state or federal legislation, the Board and not the City Council shall have authority to enact replacement regulations consistent with the intent and purpose of the invalidated provision and applicable law. Such replacement regulations shall supersede invalidated or unenforceable provisions of this Chapter to the extent necessary to resolve any inconsistency. The subject matter of suchreplacemen1 regulatiDns shall be limited to rem control matters as enumerated in this Chapter.

 

(s)   Reporting and Fee Payment Requirements.

 

(1)     Within sixty (60) days after the adoption of this Chapter, all Landlords shall be required to filea copy of all rental increase.notices, change of terms of tenancy and tenancy termination notices with the Board before serving the tenant the notice. A proof of service with time and date of service of notice shall be included with notice filed with the City.

 

(2)     Ifthe Board, after the Landlord has proper notice and after a hearing, determines that a Landlord has willfully and knowingly failed to properly report, as described above, any rental increase notices, change of terms of tenancy or tenancy termination, or pay the Rental Housing fee, the Board may authorize the Tenant of such a non-reporting unit or where the Rent housing fee is unpaid to withhold all or a portion of the Rent for the Rental Unit until such time as the Rental Housing fee is paid or notice .filed. After _anoticeis properJy filed or Jee paid, tbe.Board .shalJ determine what portion, if any, of the withheld Rent is owed to the Landlord for the period in which the notice was not properly filed or fee paid. Whether or not the Board allows such withholding, no Landlord who has failed to properly report or pay the fee shall at any time increase Rents for a Rental Unit until such fee or notice is reported. This shall go into effect thirty (30) days after determination of the Board.






(3)     Further, failing to pay the fee or filing a copy of a notice before the filing of an unlawful detainer is a complete defense to an unlawful detainer. No Board action is required for defenseto be alleged or litigated in an unlawful detainer.

 

(t)                In the event the establishment of the Board under this Section is adjudged to be invalid for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, the City Council shall designate one or more City departments, agencies, boards, or commissions to perform the duties of the Board prescribed by this Chapter.

 

11.100.70            Rent Control; Right of Reasonable Return for Landlords

 

(a)                Establishment of Base Rent. Beginning the effective date of this Chapter, no Landlord shall charge Rent for any Controlled Rental Units in an amount greater than the Rent in effect on July 21, 2015 except for increases expressly allowed under this Chapter. The Rent in effect on that date is the Base Rent. Ifthere was no Rent in effect on July 21, 2015, the Base Rent shall be the Rent that was charged on the first date that Rent was charged following July 21, 2015. For tenancies commencing after the adoption of this Chapter, the Base Rent is the initial _rental xate .in effect on the date the tenancy commences. As used inthis Subsection, the term "initial rental rate" means only the amount of Rent actually paid by the Tenant for the initial term of the tenancy. The Base Rent is the reference point from which the Maximum Allowable Rent shall be adjusted upward or downward in accordance with Section 11.100.070 (c).

 

(b)                Annual General Adiustment. No later than June 30 each year, the Board shall announce the percentage by which Rent for eligible Rental Units will be generally adjusted effective September 1 of that year.

 

(1)    The Annual General Adjustment shall be equal to one hundred (100%) percent of the percentage increase inthe Consumer Price Index (All Urban Consumers, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose region, or any successor designation of that index that may later be adopted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) as reported and published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the 12- month period ending as of March of the current year.

 

(2)    Subparagraph 1of this Subsection notwithstanding, in no event shall the Annual General Adjustment be less than zero percent (0%).

 

(3)    For the period between the effective date of this Charter and the first Annual General Adjustment announced September 1, the landlord may increase the Maximum Allowable Rent to include one Annual General Adjustment for September 2016.

 

(c)                Petitions. Upon receipt of a petition by a Landlord and/or a Tenant, the Maximum Allowable Rent of individual Controlled Rental Units may be adjusted upward or downward in accordance with the procedures set forth elsewhere in this- Section. The petition shall be on the form provided by the Board and shall include a declaration by the Landlord that the Rental Unit meets all requirements of this Chapter. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the Board or hearing examiner may refuse to hold a hearing and/or grant a Rent






adjustment if an individual hearing has been held and decision made with regard to the Maximum Allowable Rent withinthe previous twelve  (12)months.

 

(d)                Hearing Procedure. The Board shall enact rules and regulations governing hearings and appeals of individual adjustment of Maximum Allowable Rents which shall include the following:

 

(1)        Hearing Examiner. A hearing examiner appointed by the Board shall conduct a hearing to act upon the petition for individual adjustment of Maximum Allowable Rent and shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations.

 

(2)    Notice. The Board shall notify the Landlord, if the petition was filed by the Tenant, or the Tenant, if the petition was filed by the Landlord, of the receipt of such a petition and provide a copy thereof

 

(3)    Time of Hearing. The hearing officer shall notify all parties as to the time, date and place of the hearing.

 

(4)    Records. The hearing examiner may require either party to a Rent adjustment hearing to provide it with any books, records and papers deemed pertinent in addition to that information contained in registration statements. The hearing examiner shall conduct a current building inspection and/or request the city to conduct a current building inspection if the hearing examiner finds good cause to believe the Board's current information does not reflect the current condition of the Controlled Rental Unit. The Tenant may request the hearing examiner to order such an inspection prior to the date of the hearing. All documents required under this Section shall be made available to the parties involved prior to the hearing at the office of the Board. In cases where information filed in a petition for Maximum Allowable Rent adjustment or in additional submissions filed at the request of the hearing examiner is inadequate or false, no action shall be taken on said petition until the deficiency is remedied.

 

(5)    Open Hearings. All Maximum Allowable Rent adjustment hearings shall be open to the public.

 

(6)    Right  of  Assistance.  AU parties  to a hearing  may  have  assistance  in presenting evidence and developing their position from attorneys, legal workers, Recognized Tenant Organization representatives or any other persons designated  by said parties.

 

(7)    Hearing Record. The Board shall make available for inspection and copying by any person an official recor-d which shall constitute the exclusive record for decision on the issues at the hearing. The record of the hearing, or any part of one, shall be obtainable for the cost of copying. The record of the hearing shall include: all exhibits, papers and documents required to be filed or accepted into evidence during the proceedings; a list of participants present; a summary of all testimony accepted in the proceedings;.a statement of allmaterials offICially noticed;. all recommended decisions, orders and/or rulings; all final decisions, orders and/or rulings; and the reasons for each final decision, order and/or ruling. All hearings shall be recorded.






Any party may receive a copy of the audio that was made. Reasonable costs may be charged. The Board shall notbe responsible for. transcribing such audio.

 

(8)     Quantum of Proof and Notice of Decision. No individual adjustment shall be granted unless supported by the preponderance of the evidence submitted at the hearing. All parties to a hearing shall be sent a notice of the decision and a copy of the findings of fact and law upon which said decision is based. At the same time, parties to the proceeding shall also be notified of their right to any appeal allowed by the Board and/or to judicial review of the decision pursuant to this Section and Section 11.100.090 of this Chapter.

 

(9)     Consolidation. All Landlord petitions pertaining to Tenants in the same building will be consolidated for hearing, and all petitions filed by Tenants occupying the same building shall be consolidated forhearing unless there is a showing of good cause not to consolidate such petitions.

 

(10)  Appeal. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the hearing examiner may appeal to the Board. On appeal, the Board shall affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the hearing examiner.

 

(11)  Finality of Decision. The decision of the hearing examiner shall be the final decision of the Board in the event of no appeal to the Board. The decision of the hearing examiner shall not be stayed pending appeal; however, in the event that the Board on appeal reverses or modifies the decision of the hearing examiner, the Landlord, in the case of an upward adjustment in Rent, or the Tenant, in the case of a downward adjustment of Rent, shall be ordered to make retroactive payments to restore the parties to the position they would have occupied had the hearing examiner's decision been the same as that of the Board.

 

(12)  Time for Decision. The rules and regulations adopted by the Board shall provide for final action on any individual Rent adjustment petition within a reasonable time.

 

(13)  Decisions decreasing Rents shall remain ineffect until the Board finds that the Landlord has corrected the defect warranting the decrease. The Board shall, by regulation, establish procedures for making prompt compliance determinations. Upon a determination of compliance the Landlord shall be entitled to reinstatement of the prior Rent level, retroactive to the date that the Landlord corrected the defect which warranted the decrease. This shall be in compliance with California Civil Procedure Section 1942.4. If the Landlord.is found to be.in violation of California Cjvil Procedure Section 1942.4 then no rent shall be charged for the period during which the Landlord was in violation.

 

(e)lndividual Adjustment Rent Increase. In making individual adjustments of the Annual Adjustable Rent Increase, the Board shall consider the purposes of this Chapter and the requirements of law. Inmaking an individual downward adjustment, the Board may consider decreases in living space, furniture, furnishings, equipment, or services; substantial deterioration of the Controlled Rental Unit other than as a result of ordinary wear and tear; or






failure on the part of the Landlord to provide adequate Housing Services or to comply substantially with applicable housing, health and safety codes.

 

(f) The Landlord may not charge for utilities unless the utility is separately or individually  metered.

 

(g)                Landlords Have the Right to a Reasonable Return on Their Investment. In making individual adjustments of the rent ceiling, the Board or hearing examiner shall consider the purposes of this chapter and shall specifically consider all relevant factors, including (but not limited to):

 

(1)                 Increases or decreases in property taxes;

 

(2)    Unavoidable increases or any decreases in maintenance and operating expenses;

 

(3)    The cost of planned or completed capital improvements to the rental unit (as distinguished from ordinary repair, replacement and maintenance) where such capital improvements are necessary to bring the property into compliance or maintain compliance with .applicable local code requirements affecting health and safety, and where such capital improvement costs are properly amortized over the life of the improvement;

 

(4)    Increases or decreases in the number of tenants occupying the rental unit, living space, furniture, furnishings, equipment, or other housing services provided, or occupancy rules;

 

(5)    Substantial deterioration of the controlled rental unit other than as a result of normal wear and tear;

 

(6)    Failure on the part of the Landlord to provide adequate housing services, or to comply substantially with applicable state rental housing laws, local housing, health and safety codes, or the rental agreement;

 

(7)        The pattern of recent rent increases or decreases;

 

(8)    Itis the intent of this chapter that individual upward adjustments in the rent ceilings on units be made only when the Landlord demonstrates that such adjustments are necessary to provide the landlord with a fair return on investment.

 

(h)               No upward adjustment of an individual rent ceiling shall be authorized by the Board under this Section if the Landlord:

 

(1)    Has continued to fail to comply, after order of the Board, with any provisions of this chapter and/or orders or regulations issued thereunder by the Board, or

 

(2)    Has failed to bring the rental unit into compliance with the implied warranty of habitability.






G) Allowable rent increases pursuant to an individual upward adjustment of the rent ceiling shallbecome effective only after the Landlord gives the Tenant atleast a thirty (30} day written notice of such rent increase and the notice period expires. Ifthe Board makes a downward individual adjustment of the rent ceiling, such rent decrease shall take effect no sooner than thirty (30) days after the effective date set by the Board for the downward adjustment.

 

(k) No provision of this chapter shall be applied so as to prohibit the Board from granting an individual rent adjustment that is demonstrated by the Landlord to be necessary to provide the Landlord with a fair return on investment. Necessity shall be defined in regulations promulgated by the Board. Limits on the total increase per month and length of monthly increase shall be promulgated by the Board through regulations.

 

11.100.080         Non-waiverability.

 

Any provision, whether oral or written in or pertaining to a Rental Housing Agreement whereby any provision of this Chapter for the benefit of the Tenant is waived, shall be deemed to be against public policy and shall be void.

 

11.100.090         Judicial Review.

 

A Landlord or Tenant aggrieved by any action or decision of the Board may seek judicial review by appealing tothe appropriate court within the jurisdiction. No action or decision by the Board shall go into effect until thirty (30) days have expired to allow for such appeal.

 

11.100.100        Remedies.

 

(a)         Any Landlord who demands, accepts, receives, or retains any payment of Rent in excess of the Maximum Allowable Rent, inviolation of the provisions of this Chapter or any rule, regulation or order hereunder promulgated, including the provisions ensuring compliance with habitability standards and registration fee requirements, shall be liable in a civil action to the Tenant from whom such payments are demanded, accepted, received or retained, for reasonable attorney's fees and costs as determined by the court, plus damages in the amount by which the payment or payments demanded, accepted, received orretained exceeds the Maximum Allowable Rent. A civil penalty of treble the amount by which the payment or payments demanded, accepted, received or retained exceeds the Maximum Allowable Rent shall be awarded against the Landlord upon a showing that the Landlord has acted willfully or with oppression, fraud or malice. No administrative remedy need be exhausted prior to filing suit pursuant to this Subsection.

 

(b)                In lieu of filing a civil action, a Tenant may file an administrative complaint. The Board shall establish by rule and regulation a hearing procedure similar to that set forth in Section  11.100.070.

 

(1)    The rules and regulations adopted by the Board shall provide for final Board action on any complaint for excess Rent within one-hundred twenty (120) days following the date of filing of the complaint.






(2)    In any administrative hearing under this Section, a Landlord who demands, accepts, receives or retains any payment of Rent in excess of the Maximum Allowable Rent shall be liable for damages in the amount by which the payment or payments demanded, accepted, received or retained exceeds the Maximum Allowable Rent.

 

(3)    Ifthe Tenant from whom such excessive payment is demanded, accepted, received or retained in violation ofthe foregoing provisions  of this  Chapter  or any rule or regulation or order hereunder -promulgated fails to bring a civil or administrative action as provided for in Sections 11.100.1OO(b) within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of occurrence of the violation, the Board may settle the claim arising out of the violation or bring such action. Thereafter, the Tenant on whose behalf the Board. acted is barred. from also bringing an action against the Landlord in regard to the  same violation  for which the Board has made  a settlement or brought  action. In the event  the Board  settles said claim, it shall be entitled to retain the costs it incurred in settlement thereof, and the Tenant against whom the violation  has been  committed  shall be entitled to the remainder.

 

(c)                The appropriate court in the jurisdiction in which the Controlled Rental Unit affected is located shall have jurisdiction over all actions brought under this Section.

 

(d)                Any Landlord violating this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished in accordance with Section 1.04.100 of the Richmond Municipal Code

 

11.100.110         Injunctive and Other Civil Relief.

 

The Board, and Tenants and Landlords of Rental Units, may seek relief from the appropriate court within the jurisdiction within which the affected Rental Unit is located to enforce any. provision of this Chapter or.its implementing regulations. or to restrain or enjoin any violation of this Chapter and of the rules, regulations, orders and decisions of the Board.

 

11.100.120          Partial  Invalidity.

 

Ifany provision of this Chapter or application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, this invalidity shall not affect other pmvisions or applications of this Chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Chapter are declared to be severable. This Chapter shall be liberally construed to achieve the purposes of this Chapter and to preserve its validity.

 

11.100.130          Majority Approval, Effective Date, Execution.

 



This Ordinance shall be effoctive only if approved by a majority of the voters voting thereon and shall go into effect ten (10) days after the vote is declared by the City Council. The Mayor and City Clerk are hereby authorized to execute this Ordinance to give evidence of its adoption by the voters.

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