Rent Review Program
Rent Review Ordinance
On October 3, 2017, the Fremont City Council adopted the Rent Review Ordinance, effective January 1, 2018. The ordinance covers all residential rental units in Fremont, including single family homes. The Rent Review Program provides for a review and, if necessary, a formal hearing for proposed rent increases in excess of 5 percent in any 12-month period.
New Rent Increase Notice Requirements
The Rent Review Ordinance has new requirements for all rent increase notices that are provided to tenants. All rent increase notices must:
- be in writing
- show the contact information of the landlord or responsible party
- if the increase is over 5%, provide an explanation of why the increase is needed
- include the ordinance language about the availability of rent review.
Under California Civil Code Section 827(b), a Landlord must provide a Tenant with 30 days notice prior to a rent increase of 10 percent (10%) or less and 60 days notice of a rent increase greater than 10 percent (10%). In addition, Chapter 9.60 of the Fremont Municipal Code requires that a Landlord must at the same time provide and serve this written notice of the City’s Rent Review Program. This program provides a procedure for Landlords and Tenants to meet to discuss issues related to rent increases. Information about this program and a copy of Chapter 9.60 are available on the City’s website at www.Fremont.gov/RentReview; at the City of Fremont Family Resource Center located at 39155 Liberty Street in Fremont, California; at the Development Services Center located at 39550 Liberty Street in Fremont, California; and at other locations designated by the Human Services Director. Copies are also available in English and the most commonly used languages within the City as determined by the Human Services Director.
You are encouraged to contact the owner or manager of your rental unit whose name is ___________________(Landlord to insert the name of the Responsible Party) at _________________(Landlord to insert email address and telephone number) to discuss this rent increase for your rental unit. In addition, if you have received notice of a rent increase of more than five percent (5%) in the last 12 months, you are also entitled to a review by the City’s Rent Review Board. To initiate the rent review process, you must request rent review by contacting (510) 733-4945 within 15 days of the date of the notice of the rent increase. Your Landlord will be notified of your request and you will be contacted by a housing professional to discuss the rent increase. Please note that petitioning for rent review does not guarantee a reduction in the rent increase.
Under California Civil Code Section 1942.5, it is illegal for a Landlord to retaliate against a Tenant for lawfully exercising his or her legal rights.
Rent Increase Notice Form
A landlord may use a Notice of Availability of Rent Review form provided below to accompany their existing rent increase notice. The form includes the required ordinance language, as well as space to include the other items required.
Rent Review Process
A tenant challenging a rent increase will first be encouraged to reach out to their housing provider directly to resolve the issue. However, if no agreement was reached, or if the tenant chooses not to speak with their housing provider first, the first step in the Rent Review process is to resolve the matter through consultation which may include mediation. In the event the rent dispute is not resolved through consultation and/or mediation, either a landlord or a tenant may ask for a hearing before a Rent Review Board IF the proposed rent increase is over 5%.
Both landlords and tenants are required to participate in the process at no charge to the participants. While the recommendations of the Rent Review Board are not binding, the City believes that by providing a neutral setting for discussion led by a trained Rent Review Board, the rent review process will result in fair and equitable resolutions to both parties.
Rent Review Program Forms
Request for Rent Review
In order to request to initiate the Rent Review process, please fill out the Request for Rent Review form and submit it via email, mail, or in person along with a copy of the Rent Increase Notice. Please note that a request must be made within 15 calendar days from the date on the Rent Increase Notice.
Response to Rent Review Request
Once a request form is received, our office will contact the opposing party and request that they complete the Response to Rent Review form and submit it via email, mail, or in person along with the requested documents in the form. Please note that a response form must be submitted within 5 business days, or else the Rent Increase Notice is invalid.
Responsible Party Declaration
If a landlord does not want to participate in the Rent Review process themselves, they may designate someone to participate on their behalf. The designee must have the authority to adjust rents and resolve tenant disputes on the landlord's behalf.
* Please note: this form only needs to be submitted when submitting a response form.
The City will be conducting extensive community outreach on the new ordinance for both tenants and landlords. Information will be provided in multiple languages. Outcome data will be collected on the new ordinance, and a report will be provided to the City Council in early 2019.
|Tabling||June 7, 2018||Fremont Senior Center||10 a.m. - 12 p.m.|
Rent Review Board
The purpose of the Rent Review Board is to evaluate the reasonableness of proposed rent increases at the request of either a landlord or tenant. Requests for a Rent Review Board hearing may be made if a proposed rent increase is over 5%, and if no agreement was made during consultation and/or mediation.
Hearing are publicly noticed and open to the public. For more information, visit the City's Rent Review Board webpage.