Minimum lease terms, relocation assistance in Redwood City

Redwood City takes an inventive approach to tenant protections. Without any appetite for rent and eviction controls in their narrowest sense, the city waves carrots and stick to prolong the life of the tenancy.

The entertainment hub of the San Francisco Peninsula has passed two renter protection ordinances requiring landlords to offer minimum lease terms, and in certain circumstances help pay for the relocation of displaced, low-income tenants.

Although the owner must offer a written lease of at least one year, there is some bargaining room at the discretion of the tenant. If the tenant refuses a one-year lease and enters into a shorter arrangement, the tenant must state in writing that he or she is fully aware of the terms.

The minimum one-year lease term rule applies to properties with three or more units, but the Relocation Assistance Ordinance is trickier. Determining under what circumstances relocation payments are triggered, and the prescribed dollar amounts to pay out to eligible households is best journeyed with an attorney who handles landlord-tenant issues on a daily basis.

Critics of the rules described the ordinances as confusing and convoluted, but Bornstein Law can help rental property owners in Redwood City make sense of it all.