City Council expands eviction protections and approves freeze on rent

Published on May 27, 2020

Rent Increase Freeze
City Council adopted an urgency ordinance on April 21, 2020, imposing a freeze on rent increases for residential rent controlled units in Alameda (generally, multi-family units built before 1995). The freeze on rent increases does not apply to rental units exempt from local rent control (generally, single-family homes, condominiums, and privately owned rental units participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 program). Landlords of rental units subject to the rent increase freeze are now prohibited from increasing rents until January 1, 2021. Click here to review the implementing regulation and learn more.

Expanded Eviction Protections
The urgency ordinance also expands eviction protections to prohibit no fault evictions based on an owner move-in or capital improvement project for all residential rental units. These protections are in addition to prohibiting evictions for failing to pay rent due to financial impact arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants are encouraged to inform their landlord if they have experienced a financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be unable to pay all or a portion of the rent. The ordinance does not relieve the tenant from the obligation to pay the full rent and provides the tenant 180 days to catch up on any deferred rent that was not paid during the period of March 1, 2020 to 30 days following the end of the Declaration of Local Emergency. A sample letter is available for residential tenants to provide to a landlord if the tenant will not be able to pay the full rent due to financial impact from COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to access the sample letter.

Emergency Rent Relief
The City of Alameda has also launched an emergency rent relief program to assist low-income families and individuals who are suffering a temporary financial setback due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and need help with up to one month's rent payment. For more information please click here.

Learn More
This new urgency ordinance is part of a series of protections for Alameda residents and businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through income loss, child care needs, and medical expenses. Click here to view the ordinance.

For details about these new protections, please review the ordinance and implementing regulations at www.alamedaca.gov/tenantresources

For additional information on the rent increase freeze or expanded eviction protections, please contact the Alameda City Attorney’s Office at emartinez@alamedacityattorney.org or 510-747-4772.

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