Rent & Eviction Control Guide / Oakland


It has been said that the oak tree and the cypress do not grow in each other's shadow. So as proud East Bay residents, Bornstein Law is thrilled to see the phenomenal growth of Oakland and earn the same respect as San Francisco.

Yet with the growing pains of Oakland comes increased calls for regulations in managing landlord-tenant relationships. We remember the days when San Francisco was the bastion of tenant protections and exported tenant protections to the East Bay. Now the role is reversed, with Oakland becoming the incubator of new initiatives aimed to stabilize housing.

For example, Oakland has limited the amount of late fees to 3% of rent, prohibited evictions based on more roommates if the landlord unreasonably refused them, and empowered the city attorney to file lawsuits on behalf of tenants if there is evidence of tenant harassment. Oakland was a pioneer in enacting the Oakland Fair Chance Housing Ordinance banning landlords from considering criminal record information and conducting criminal background checks during the initial rental application. Let's not forget about Measure W which imposes a vacancy tax. We can go on.

Most recently, the City Council changed the formula used to calculate the annual allowable rent increase to 60% of the change in CPI, or 3%, whichever is lower.

The Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance prohibits a property owner from evicting a tenant in good standing unless the owner can prove a violation of one of the eleven "just causes." Most tenants in Oakland are covered by this eviction protection law, known as Measure EE.

The owner or a close family member can move into the unit through an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction (OMI/RMI) unless the tenant is over 60 years old, disabled, or catastrophically ill, and has lived in the unit for at least five years. These no-fault evictions are highly regulated, making it imperative that owners first consult an attorney.

If a tenant is evicted through no fault of their own, it will come with a price in the form of hefty relocation payments that go up if any occupants are seniors, disabled, deemed low income, or there is a minor child living in the unit.

Oakland prescribes carefully choreographed steps for owners to take when endeavoring to remove a tenant through a voluntary vacancy in exchange for some sort of compensation and these regulations even before the parties come to the negotiation table; the owner must file a Property Owner Certification Prior to Move-Out Negotiations form with the Rent Adjustment Program prior to entering into move-out agreements.

Even if a tenant move-out agreement is done properly and legally with the assistance of Bornstein Law and a deal is reached, tenants have 25 days to rescind the move-out agreement after it has been signed unless both parties agree in writing to a shorter period no less than 15 days.


Learn more about allowable rent increases »

View the Rent Adjustment Petition Process »

Rent Adjustment Mediation Program flyer (PDF) »

Read the Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance »

Just Cause for Eviction regulations (PDF) »

Measure Y - Just Cause Amendment removing the just cause exemption for owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes (PDF) »

Tenant Move-Out Negotiations »


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