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Emeryville Rent Ordinance

EmeryvilleRentOrdinance

The Emeryville Rent Ordinance, officially called the Emeryville Residential Landlord & Tenant Relations Ordinance, has two principal components, eviction control, and an anti-harassment provision. Codified at Emeryville Municipal Code Chapter 40, the Emeryville Rent Ordinance’s eviction controls require a landlord to have just cause to evict a tenant in a rental unit covered by the ordinance. The Emeryville Rent Ordinance’s anti-harassment provisions protect Emeryville tenants from landlord harassment. Emeryville tenants whose Emeryville Rent Ordinance rights were violated have actionable claims against their landlords and property managers.

Although the Emeryville Rent Ordinance lacks rent control, Emeryville tenants may be protected by California Rent Control. Click here to learn about the tenant rights provided by California Rent Control (AB 1482).

To learn more about the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, continue reading or Contact Astanehe Law to discuss your rights and options with a tenant attorney.


 

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The Emeryville Rent Ordinance’s Eviction Protections

The Emeryville Rent Ordinance’s eviction protections keep Emeryville tenants housed by limiting evictions to instances where the landlord has an enumerated just cause reason to terminate a tenancy. Emeryville landlords shall not terminate a tenancy unless they fulfill their Emeryville Rent Ordinance obligations. When terminating a tenancy, the landlord must inform the tenant, in writing, which just cause reason for eviction they are asserting, and file a copy of the notice with the Emeryville City Clerk. A termination of tenancy that does not comply with the Emeryville Rent Ordinance’s just cause for eviction protections is unlawful and void.

What are the Just Cause Reasons for Eviction Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance?

The Emeryville Rent Ordinance lists fourteen reasons a landlord can terminate a tenancy. The just cause reasons for eviction are:
1. Tenant’s unlawful non-payment of rent;
2. Tenant’s breach of a material contract term;
3. Tenant’s use of the rental property for an illegal purpose;
4. Tenant’s failure to abate or repair dangerous and unsanitary conditions, which the tenant created;
5. Tenant’s failure to provide lawful access to the unit, after receiving landlord’s written notice of entry;
6. Tenant’s refusal to execute a written extension of an existing rental agreement that is substantially and materially similar to the prior rental agreement;
7. Tenant violating occupancy restrictions imposed by law;
8. Landlord returning from sabbatical to occupy unit;
9. Landlord returning from United States Armed Forces deployment;
10. Landlord lawfully converting the unit into a condominium;
11. Landlord will demolish the rental unit or perform an Ellis Act eviction;
12. Owner move-in or relative move-in eviction;
13. Temporary eviction for substantial repairs necessary to make the unit fit for human habitation; and,
14. Temporary eviction for substantial renovation. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.03.

What Obligations Must A Landlord Satisfy to Terminate an Emeryville Tenancy?

Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, a landlord may not terminate a tenancy unless:
1. The landlord has a valid residential landlord business license;
2. The landlord has provided the tenant with a notice of tenant rights;
3. The landlord served a written notice of termination of tenancy in a form required by the City of Emeryville, and delivered a copy of the notice to the Emeryville City Clerk within ten days of service on the tenant; and,
4. The landlord has not, and will not, accept rent or any other consideration in return for the continued use of the unit beyond the term of the terminated tenancy; and,
Asserts a valid just cause reason to terminate the tenancy. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.03.

What Rental Units Are Covered Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance?

All rental units within the City of Emeryville are protected by the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, except:
1. Units in hotels, motels, lodging houses, and group residential rentals, where the tenant does not reside in a unit for more than thirty consecutive days;
2. Single owner-occupied residences, where the owner rents two or fewer bedrooms to one or more lodgers;
3. Units in nonprofit cooperatives, owned, occupied, and controlled by a majority of the residents;
4. Units with rent-controlled, regulated, or restricted by the government where such regulation preempts local regulation of landlord and tenant relations;
5. Nonprofit hospital, convent, monastery, extended care facility, asylum, elderly care housing accommodations; and,
6. Units owned by the government. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.02(a).

The Emeryville Rent Ordinance covers single-family homes and condominiums.

What Documents Must A Landlord Provide to Terminate an Emeryville Tenancy?

Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, landlords must serve the following documents on Emeryville tenants:
1. Written termination of tenancy notice asserting a valid just cause reaction for termination;
2. Notice of Tenants Rights;
3. California Civil Code § 1946 Notice; and,
4. List of rents charged throughout the tenancy.

Emeryville landlords must deliver a copy of the termination of tenancy notice to the Emeryville City Clerk within ten days of serving the notice on the tenant. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.08(b).

What Documents Must Emeryville Landlords Provide to Tenants?

The Emeryville Rent Ordinance requires landlords to serve a Notice of Tenant Rights to each tenant in a covered unit when entering into a lease agreement, renewing a lease agreement, when the City of Emeryville amends the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, and when serving a notice of termination of tenancy on a tenancy. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.07.

The content of the Notice of Tenant Rights must be in substantially similar form as follows:

The City of Emeryville regulates the relationship between most landlords and tenants within the City. Generally, landlords may not terminate your tenancy without cause or explanation, and may not reduce or stop providing services agreed to in the rental contract, so long as you pay rent on time as agreed in the rental contract.

In addition to State and Federal Laws, the Residential Landlord and Tenant Relations chapter of the Emeryville Municipal Code creates certain rights for landlords and tenants, which may include the right to relocation assistance or the right to return to your rental unit if you are evicted. Visit the City of Emeryville website for more information: http://www.emeryville.org

Owner Move-In & Relative Move-In Evictions Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance

Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, landlords are permitted to terminate a tenancy to perform an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction, which requires the owner or qualified relative to reside in the unit following the termination of tenancy. Despite being a lawful just cause for eviction, the owner, or their qualified relative, must follow strict rules following the termination of tenancy. Their failure to comply with the Emeryville Rent Ordinance following and owner move-in or relative move-in eviction may result in the tenant possessing a wrongful eviction claim.

Owner Move-In & Relative Move-In Defined Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance

An owner move-in eviction occurs where the landlord seeks to recover possession of the rental unit for themselves or their qualified relative, and will imminently move into and reside in the housing as their permanent residence no less than ten months of any calendar year. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.03.

To perform an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction, the owner who will reside in the unit, or qualifies a relative to reside in the unit, must possess an at least 50% ownership interest in the unit. Emeryville Eviction & Harassment Protection Ordinance Regulations, Regulation 8.1. For purposes of qualifying under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, ownership interest includes owning a majority of the stock in a corporation that owns the rental unit, as either the sole member or one of two members of an LLC, or possessing no less than 50% partnership interest in a partnership that owns the covered unit. Id.

What Relatives Are Permitted to Effectuate A Relative Move-In Eviction?

Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, the owner’s parents or children are permitted to move into a unit under a relative move-in eviction. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.03.

Following an Owner Move-In or Relative Move-In Eviction, How Long Must an Owner or Qualified Relative Reside in a Unit?

Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, an owner or qualified relative must reside in a unit where a tenant vacated due to an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction for no less than two years from the termination of tenancy. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.03.

What Must the Landlord Do if the Landlord or Qualified Relative No Longer Intend to Move into a Vacant Unit?

If the landlord or qualified relative specified in the owner move-in/relative move-in termination of tenancy notice no longer intends to reside in the unit as their principal residence, the landlord must offer the unit back to the tenant. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.02(i).

Emeryville Rent Ordinance Relocation Payments

Are Emeryville Tenants Entitled to Relocation Payments?

Yes, Emeryville tenants, regardless of the duration of the tenancy, are entitled to relocation payments for no-fault evictions. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.4. A no-fault eviction occurs where the tenancy is terminated through no fault of the tenant. However, relocation payments are not required where the genesis of the no-fault eviction is due to natural disaster or a naturally occurring phenomenon beyond the landlord’s control. Id.

For purposes of relocation payments, the Emeryville Rent Ordinance divides Emeryville landlords into small and large landlords. Large landlords are defined as landlords who own more than four units within the City of Emeryville covered by the Emeryville Rent Ordinance. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.02(d)(1). Small Landlords are landlords who own four or fewer units within the City of Emeryville covered by the Emeryville Rent Ordinance. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.02(d)(2).

Emeryville Rent Ordinance Relocation Payments Made by Large Landlords

For no-fault evictions performed by large landlords, Emeryville tenants are entitled to a relocation payment equal to the great of either:
1. Five times the most current fair market rents, as set by HUD for the Oakland-Fremont, California HUD Metro FMR Area; or,
2. Four times the tenant’s monthly rent at the time the notice of termination of tenancy is delivered. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.04.

Emeryville Rent Ordinance Relocation Payments Made by Small Landlords

For no-fault evictions performed by small landlords, Emeryville tenants are entitled to a relocation payment equal to the great of either:
1. One month of the most current fair market rents as set by HUD for the Oakland-Fremont, California HUD Metro FMR Area; or,
2. One month of the monthly rent at the time the notice of termination of tenancy is delivered. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.04.

Alternatively, a small landlord may waive the final month of rent instead of providing a relocation payment. Emeryville Eviction & Harassment Protection Ordinance Regulations, Regulation 10.1. The small landlord must notify the tenants that they are waiving the last months’ rent in lieu of a relocation payment concurrently with delivery of the notice of termination of tenancy. Id.

What are the Applicable Current Fair Market Rents set by HUD?

Efficiency One-Bedroom Two-Bedroom Three-Bedroom Four-Bedroom
$1,488 $1,808 $2,239 $3,042 $3,720

The relocation payment is divided equally amongst all tenants occupying the unit at the time the landlord serves the notice of termination of tenancy. Id.

Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, landlords must pay relocation money on or before the last day of the tenancy. Id.

Emeryville tenants in SRO’s or shared living quarters with more than one room or unit sharing a kitchen and/or bathroom offered on a weekly or longer basis are not entitled to relocation payments. Id.

Emeryville Rent Ordinance’s Right to Return for No-Fault Evictions

For Which Evictions Do Emeryville Tenants Have A Right to Return?

The Emeryville Rent Ordinance defines a right to return as the landlord’s obligation to offer a unit back to a temporarily evicted tenant. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.02(i). Emeryville tenants temporarily evicted due to a temporary eviction for substantial renovation or substantial repairs have a right to return when the unit becomes ready for re-rental. Id. Additionally, where a landlord evicts a tenant to demolish the unit, effective an Ellis Act eviction, an owner move-in eviction, or a relative move-in eviction, but no longer intends to complete their obligations under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, such as moving into the unit, the tenant has a right to return. Id.

How Do Emeryville Tenants Qualify for the Right to Return?

To qualify for the right to return to a rental unit, the tenant must:
1. Provide their landlord a current mailing address at which to receive an offer to return to the unit;
2. Landlord must return the unit to the rental market within two years of terminating the tenancy; and,
3. The tenant delivers to the landlord an affirmative written acceptance of the offer to return to the unit within thirty days of the landlord placing the offer to return in the mail. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.02.(i).

Emeryville Tenants Right to Subtenants Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance

Yes. The Emeryville Rent Ordinance implies a right to subtenants of up to the total of two persons per bedroom in the unit, plus one additional person. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.03(e)(vii). To exert the right to have subtenants, the tenant must:
1. Notify the landlord of the subtenant in writing; and,
2. Gain approval from the landlord. Emeryville Eviction & Harassment Protection Ordinance Regulations, Regulation 7.2.

Emeryville landlords cannot unreasonably withhold approval of new subtenants. Id. This means that the landlord likely cannot deny a tenant’s request for subtenants that do not violate occupancy limits set by law, or will not cause a nuisance or danger at the property. Emeryville Eviction & Harassment Protection Ordinance Regulations, Regulation 73.

Before exercising this implied right, please contact a tenant attorney at Astanehe Law to discuss your options.

The Emeryville Rent Ordinance’s Anti-Harassment Provisions

The Emeryville Rent Ordinance seeks to formalize and regulate landlord & tenant relations by prohibiting landlord harassment of tenants. Landlords that harass or retaliate against tenants face civil remedies.

What Types of Harassment Are Prohibited Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance?

Under the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, landlords may not, in bad faith, with ulterior motive, or without honest intent, do any of the following:
1. Interrupt, fail to provide, or threaten to interrupt or fail to provide any housing services under the rental agreement;
2. Fail to perform repairs or maintenance;
3. Fail to properly complete repairs and maintenance once started;
4. Abuse or otherwise improperly use landlord’s right to access the property;
5. Remove a tenant’s personal property from the rental unit;
6. Influence or attempt to influence the tenant(s) to vacate the unit by means of fraud, intimidation, or coercion (including but not limited to threats based on immigration status);
7. Offer payment or any other consideration, in return for the tenant(s) vacating the unit, more often than once every six (6) months;
8. Threaten the tenant(s) by word or gesture with physical harm;
9. Interfere with the tenant(s) right to quiet use and enjoyment of the rental unit;
10. Refuse to accept or acknowledge receipt of lawful rent from the tenant(s);
11. Refuse to cash a rent check for over thirty (30) days;
12. Interfere with the tenant(s) right to privacy;
13. Request information that violates the tenant(s) right to privacy;
14. Other repeated acts or omissions of such significance as to substantially interfere with or disturb the tenant(s) comfort, repose, peace, or quiet enjoyment, and that cause, are likely to cause, or are intended to cause the tenant(s) to vacate the unit; or,
15. Retaliate against the tenant(s) for the tenant(s) exercise of rights under this chapter or State or Federal law. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.05.

What Damages May Emeryville Tenants Recover for Landlord Violations of the Emeryville Rent Ordinance?

The Emeryville Rent Ordinance contains a private right of action for landlord violations. Emeryville Municipal Code § 5-40.06. A landlord who violates the Emeryville Rent Ordinance’s eviction protections notice requirements is liable for the tenant’s attorney fees in a civil action. Id.

To discuss the Emeryville Rent Ordinance, Emeryville Ellis Act evictions, Emeryville owner move-in or relative move-in evictions, Emeryville wrongful eviction, or California Rent Control (AB 1482), contact Astanehe Law to speak with a tenant attorney.

Last updated: March 22, 2020.

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