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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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My landlord is trying to raise my rent from $1550 to $1750.

Customer Question

Hello,My landlord is trying to raise my rent from $1550 to $1750. The original 12 month lease was from Nov. 1, 2015-Oct.31, 2016. He sent me an email on Nov. 6th informing me of the rent increase.My question is if this property falls under the Oakland Housing association for rent control. It is a 1bdrm/1bth condo. The building was built in 1966, date sold into condos is unknown to me.Thank you.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 8 months ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 8 months ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of your rent increase.

In most cases, condominiums in Oakland are exempt from rent control under the "Costa Hawkins Act" (see: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/government/o/hcd/s/LandlordResources/DOWD008759).

You can find a summary of this Act (as well as a discussion of the few exceptions to this exemption - located in footnote 1) here: http://www.sfaa.org/pdf/CAA-Insights-Costa-Hawkins-Rental-Housing-Act.pdf

Assuming that your unit does not fall within these narrow exceptions, your landlord is then required to follow the rent increase rules for California - described in detail (with examples of calculations) here: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/legal_guides/lt-2.shtml

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I don't understand :(ii) A condominium dwelling or unit that has not been sold separately by the subdivider to a bona fide purchaser for value. The initial rent amount of such a unit for purposes of this law is the lawful rent in effect on May 7, 2001, unless the rental amount is governed by a different provision of this chapter. However, if a condominium dwelling or unit has (1) a certificate of occupancy issued after February 1, 1995, or (2) it has already been exempt from the residential rent control ordinance of a public entity on or before February 1, 1995, pursuant to a local exemption for newly constructed units, or (3) if all the dwellings or units except one have been sold separately by the subdivider to a bona fide purchaser for value, and the subdivider has occupied that remaining unsold condominium dwelling or unit as his or her principal residence for at least one year after the subdivision occurred, then the unsold unit is exempt from rent control. (Civil Code Section 1954.52 (a)(3)(B)(ii)).
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 8 months ago.

That provision is when a subdivider holds ownership of multiple condominiums - they have not sold the units to individual owners.

So, roughly, if your landlord was the developer that constructed the condos - this would apply.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Okay so since he only owns one of the condos, it doesn't apply.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 8 months ago.

Correct - and in most cases condominiums are not covered by Oakland rent control.

You are still protected by CA Rent Increase laws (so this limits how quickly they can raise rent - the amount of notice you are entitled to).

And, there are many tenant advocacy organizations both in Oakland and San Francisco that can help look over your rental agreement and check to see if maybe there is some exception to the Costa-Hawkins Act that would apply that doesn't show up on its face (there may be something specific to your unit or your landlord that would allow this to be removed), it may be worth at least contacting them despite the fact that most condos are exempt.

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