Richmond Rent Board sets allowable rent increase

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Effective Sept. 1, landlords of about 10,000 rent-controlled units in Richmond will be able to increase rents by no more than 3.4 percent, and must file notice with the City’s Rent Board if they intend to do so, according to the June 30 City Manager’s report.

Tasked with administering the City’s relatively new rent control policy, the Richmond Rent Board released its 2017 annual general adjustment that caps rent increases to about 3 percent each year.

Landlords who did not increase rents last year can apply with the Rent Board for an up to 6.56 percent increase based upon rent in effect July 21, 2015, or the first time the tenant paid rent after July 2015, but before Sept. 1, 2015.

Richmond voters gave the thumbs-up to rent control last November 8, approving Measure L with a 64 percent backing—which instituted rent control and just cause for eviction. The rent portion of the law rolled back rents to July 2015 and limited their annual increases moving forward to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index. The rent control law applies to about 10,000 units in Richmond, and (per state law) exempts single-family homes, condos or units constructed after Feb. 1, 1995.

The just cause for eviction part of the law applies to all rental units in Richmond, and requires landlords to have a “just cause” to evict a tenant — such as failure to pay rent — whereas none was previously needed.

For information on how landlords must file notice with the city, visit www.ci.richmond.ca.us/3376/Rent-Increase.

For more information about Richmond’s rent control unit, visit www.richmondrent.org.

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