Starting in May 2021, the City of San Leandro's Rent Review Program provides mediation and arbitration when disputes arise over rent increases. A five-member panel airs out these differences between the parties.
Specifically, a Rent Review Hearing can be convened when there is a rent increase of more than 7% or at least 2 rent increases in a 12-month period for a rental unit in a parcel with at least 2 rental units.
Notably, single-family homes, condominiums, and townhome rental units are not subject to review.
The Board will take into account the hardship to the tenant facing the rent hike, the history of any prior rent increases, the mortgage payments that the owner is obligated to pay, costs associated with maintaining the rental property, and the landlord's interest in earning a reasonable rate of return, among other factors.
Although the Board's recommendations are non-binding, we want to admonish landlords to show up to the hearing. If the tenant appears but the landlord is not present, any rent increase will be void and unenforceable.
If the tenant does not appear, or if both parties are absent, the case will be dismissed and the tenant will be barred from subsequently challenging the rent increase before the Board.