The Rent Ordinance is codified in Chapter VI, Article XV, Alameda Municipal Code, Sections 6-58.10 to 6-58.155. The bulk of the regulations were passed in 2019 as Ordinance No. 3250(PDF, 3MB). They have since been amended, including by Ordinance No. 3315(PDF, 338KB) and Ordinance No. 3326(PDF, 828KB).
The following documents provide additional guidance, clarification, processes to follow, and examples:
Regulation 19-01: Rent increases that exceed Annual General Adjustment
View Regulation(PDF, 33KB)
Purpose: To inform the landlord and tenant community how the Rent Program will respond to notices of rent increases where the rent increase applies to a rental unit not exempt under State Law; takes effect after September 1, 2019; and exceeds 2.8% of the Base Rent.
Regulation 20-01: Registration requirements for fully regulated units
View regulation(PDF, 676KB)
Requirements for the following:
- When a registration statement must be filed
- Fee exemption requests
- Notice to tenants following the initial registration or the registration of a new tenancy
- Annual notice to tenants concerning the Annual General Adjustment and the Maximum Allowable Rent
- Notice to landlords following registration of a tenancy
- Annual notice to landlords concerning the Annual General Adjustment and Maximum Allowable Rent
- Landlord’s failure to meet registration deadline
- Procedures concerning petitions challenging the Base Rent, Household Services Included with Rent, and Maximum Allowable Rent
Regulation 20-02: Downward Rent Adjustments
View Regulation(PDF, 217KB)
- Grounds for Downward Rent Adjustments
- Calculation of corresponding Downward Rent Adjustment
- Effective date of rent reductions
- Termination of a Downward Rent Adjustment
- Time limits
- Tenant’s notice of housing service reduction
- Overlap of grounds for a Downward Rent Adjustment
Regulation 20-03: Dwelling units in the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program
View Regulation(PDF, 329KB)
- To define more specifically which dwelling units in the Section 8 Program are exempt from all or some provisions of the Rent Ordinance
- To clarify, in context of the Section 8 Program, what constitutes the landlord’s acceptance of rent for purposes of waiving the landlord’s right to pursue eviction for a tenant’s failure to pay rent
- To clarify the circumstances under which a landlord is obligated to make relocation payments to a tenant in a rental unit in the Section 8 Program and, if those payments are to be made, the amount thereof.
Regulation 20-04: Registration requirements for partially regulated units
View Regulation(PDF, 316KB)
Requirements for the following:
- When a registration statement must be filed
- Fee exemption requests
Regulation 20-05: Banking of Annual General Adjustments
View Regulation(PDF, 197KB)
Includes the following:
- Requirements for notifying the tenant and Rent Program of a rent increase that includes a banked Annual General Adjustment
- Example increase
- Clarification that landlords may file a petition for an Upward Rent Adjustment
Regulation 20-06: Adding/Removing Tenants
View Regulation(PDF, 1MB)
- Rent adjustments for adding and removing tenants in rental units that are not exempt from rent control under State Law.
- When a new occupant of the rental unit becomes an additional tenant.
- Entering into a revised rental agreement to include the additional tenant.
Regulation 20-07: Government orders to vacate
View Regulation(PDF, 305KB)
Purpose: To clarify the process to be followed when a governmental agency issues an order to vacate a rental unit as a result of Health or Safety Conditions or of Substandard Conditions
Regulation 20-08: Owner Move-In requirements
View Regulation(PDF, 202KB)
Purpose: To clarify the circumstances where the use of the Owner Move-In provisions are appropriate and to aid a Hearing officer or a court in interpreting such provisions
Regulation 20-09: Single Room Occupancy (SRO) properties
View Regulation(PDF, 369KB)
- Definition of an SRO
- When an SRO will be deemed to have “cooking facilities” and “bath facilities”
- Program fees for SROs, other rental units not subject to rent control under state law, and shared primary residences
Regulation 20-10: Providing program materials to prospective tenants
View Regulation(PDF, 309KB)
- Definition of a “prospective tenant” as that term is used in Section 6-58.25, Alameda Municipal Code (AMC)
- Materials that must be provided to a prospective tenant as set forth in Section 6-58.25, AMC
Regulation 22-01 - Rents for Berths at Floating Home Marinas
View Regulation(PDF, 74KB)
- Definitions for the purpose of implementing Ordinance 3326 concerning Rents at Floating Home Marinas
- Registration procedures for landlords of Floating Home Marinas
Regulation 22-02: Termination of the local emergency due to COVID-19
View Regulation(PDF, 182KB)
Clarifies rules involving local rental protections and their expiration following the termination of the City's Declaration of Local Emergency on October 18, 2022, including:
- Permissible rent increases, including the use of "banked" Annual General Adjustments that landlords were prevented from imposing during the moratorium on rent increases
- Resumption of "no fault" terminations of tenancy based on Owner Move-In or an approved Capital Improvement Plan
- Affirmative defense to an eviction action for nonpayment of rent due to a "substantial loss of income" arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for repayment under local and state law
- Restoration of base rent following a temporary reduction in rent
- The repeal of COVID-19 Urgency Ordinance Regulations 20-01 and 20-02
Additionally, Attachment 1 provides examples of the permissible use of "banked" amounts.
Regulation 23-01: Capital Improvement Plans
View Regulation(PDF, 232KB)
Implements the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) provisions of the Rent Ordinance and CIP Policy, consistent with Resolution 15138, passed in 2016, while reflecting the intents and purpose of Ordinance 3250, passed in 2019. It includes regulations concerning:
- What qualifies as a Capital Improvement
- When an application for a CIP must be field
- Calculation of the amount landlords may charge tenants to recover the cost of the improvements
- Required notices to tenants
- Supporting documentation
- What happens when a rental unit becomes vacant
- Relocation payments to displaced tenants
Note: On June 6, 2023, the Alameda City Council approved a moratorium on Capital Improvement Plans for properties with 25 or more rental units. The ordinance directs the Rent Program to suspend and not approve any such applications filed on or after July 12, 2022, and reject any such applications filed on or after April 27, 2023.
Regulation 23-02: Certificates of Occupancy Issued After February 1, 1995
View Regulation(PDF, 198KB)
Clarifies when the exemption to certain provisions of the Rent Ordinance will apply when a certificate of occupancy has been issued after February 1, 1995.
Regulation 23-03 - Conditions for Taking Annual General Adjustments
View Regulation(PDF, 187KB)
Purpose: Implementing regulations concerning conditions for taking AGA rent increases.
Guidance Concerning Fair Return on Property
View Guidance(PDF, 97KB)
Memo from City Attorney’s Office setting forth guiding principles as to what factors or criteria a Hearing Officer should consider when considering a landlord’s petition for an Upward Rent Adjustment
2. Fair Housing and Tenant Protections Ordinance(PDF, 5MB)
Ordinance No. 3251(PDF, 5MB) prohibits unlawful tenant harassment, disruption of housing services, and housing discrimination including source of income.
In March 2020 the City of Alameda declared a local emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently passed a series of protections for Alameda residents and businesses. These included a moratorium on rent increases for residential rental units subject to rent control and expanded eviction protections for all residential rental units. The protections were enacted and updated via several ordinances, including:
- Ordinance No. 3267(PDF, 4MB) established the Declaration of Local Emergency.
- Ordinance No. 3275(PDF, 8MB) initially established the rent-increase moratorium, as well as a substantive defense to evictions based on a) failure to pay rent due to "substantial loss of income," b) a foreclosure of a deed of trust, and c) following certain "no fault" terminations of tenancy.
- Ordinance No. 3284(PDF, 3MB) concerns the substantive defense to evictions based on failure to pay rent. It expanded the timeframe that the defense will be available to 395 days (13 months) after the end of the local emergency, although state law may create earlier deadlines and additional requirements for tenants.
- Ordinance No. 3315(PDF, 338KB) allowed rent increases to resume as long as they do not exceed the current Annual General Adjustment (AGA).
- Ordinance No. 3330(PDF, 171KB) and Resolution 15993(PDF, 126KB) terminated the Declaration of Local Emergency as of October 18, 2022.
Certain protections have expired at this time while others will continue until at least May 2023. Rent Regulation 22-02(PDF, 182KB) clarifies rules related to these local protections following the termination of the local emergency. See the FAQs on Local COVID-19 Protections for more information.
Beginning in April 2022, the City Council passed a series of ordinances with the intent of extending most of the tenant protections in the Rent Ordinance and the temporary COVID-19 protections to those rental units lawfully docked at a floating home marina. Ordinance 3326(PDF, 828KB), adopted in September 2022, codified several revisions to Alameda Municipal Code Article XV. Among other things, the amendments update the Rent Ordinance's definitions to address floating homes and other maritime residential tenancies, and make clear that these tenancies are subject to limitations on rent increases and terminations of tenancy, temporary relocation payment regulations, and the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Policy. The ordinance and registration procedures for floating home marinas are implemented by Regulation 22-01(PDF, 74KB).
Resolution 15138(PDF, 636KB) established the policy for Capital Improvement Plans (CIPs), the purpose of which is to encourage landlords to improve the quality of the City's rental housing stock. The policy is implemented by Regulation 23-01(PDF, 232KB). For more on capital improvements, see the FAQs and Form RP-214(PDF, 200KB).
Note: On June 6, 2023, the Alameda City Council approved a moratorium on Capital Improvement Plans for properties with 25 or more rental units.
Ordinance 3341(PDF, 530KB) established a moratorium on CIP applications for properties with 25 or more rental units. The ordinance directs the Rent Program to suspend and not approve any such applications filed on or after July 12, 2022, and reject any such applications filed on or after April 27, 2023.
California's Ellis Act permits owners of residential rental property to withdraw such property from rent or lease while permitting cities and other local entities to impose requirements, procedures, and restrictions on the property owner. Resolution 15517(PDF, 495KB) established the City of Alameda's regulations for terminating a tenancy based on grounds of "Withdrawal of the Rental Unit from the Rental Market." For more information, see the instructions for Form RP-202.
Resolution 15602(PDF, 870KB) established the current system for calculating relocation payments that are owed to a tenant following a permanent or temporary termination of tenancy. The payment amounts found in this document were for FY 2019-2020. Amounts are adjusted annually for inflation by the percentage change in the rent of the primary residence component of the CPI-W Index for the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area. For current amounts, please see the Permanent Relocation Schedule and Temporary Relocation Schedule.
Resolution 15771(PDF, 2MB) established the annual Rent Program fee for FY 2021-2022 and the method for annual increases going forward.
The Updated Fee Study for FY 2020-2021(PDF, 199KB) was prepared by SCI Consulting Group under contract with the City of Alameda and serves as the basis for the Rent Program Fee Resolution (see above). It provides the methodology and approach for calculating the fee, legal framework, findings, and recommendations.