Tuesday, August 18, 2015

City of Richmond, CA, enacts Rent Ordinance

Our neighbor city across the Bay became the latest municipality to enact a rent ordinance. It was adopted on August 5, 2015, and is codified as Richmond Municipal Code, Article XI, Section I, Chapter 11.000, named the "Rent Control and Just Cause for Eviction" ordinance. It goes into effect on September 4, 2015, 30 days after its adoption.
[UPDATE 10-1-2015: the ordinance is suspended while placed on the referendum ballot for voting]

Richmond's page on the subject with the relevant links and documents is here. The text of the Ordinance is offered in a scanned PDF file. I OCR-ed and optimized the file so it can be searched by keywords, you are welcome to download a copy here.

Just causes for eviction are listed starting page 18 of the document, Section 11.100.060(a). There are 12 causes, most of which resemble the San Francisco list. However, the list is shorter, and also includes a cause, which I feel will be soon reworked to avoid ambiguity, it is the cause No. 12:

"The landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental unit to comply with a contractual agreement or government regulation relating to the qualifications of tenancy with a governmental entity, where the tenant is no longer qualified."

The exceptions from the eviction control coverage are significantly different. Sec. 11.100.060(c). Relocation payments are measured by the market level rents. Id. This may create a challenge down the road, depending on how the City will be defining what the market level is. At least at this initial stage, the lease can be terminated on its expiration date. Sec. 11.100.060(c)(ii)(e). Large portion of the eviction control provisions are focused on vacating properties per governmental orders, this most likely reflects the specifics of rental housing in Richmond.

More real property posts

Your options and available strategies will depend on your case's particular facts. If you want to learn on your options, rights, and obligations in a similar situation, make your first step toward taking control over the circumstances, and call my office at (415) 987-7000. I will be glad to assist in guiding you through the jungle. The only thing you can't afford is to stay put and uninformed. My office provides a confidential assessment of your particular scenario, free of charge, and I will share with you the results of the analysis along with my thoughts on available solutions.

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