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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I've received a notice that my house has been identified as

Customer Question

I've received a notice that my house has been identified as a "possible" rental property. I do have a roommate. How can I find out exactly what they know and what are the penalties? City of Oakland, CA.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** have over 16 years experience in the law. Should you like to chat on the phone I am happy to for a nominal cost. Let me know at any time during our question and answer session if you are interested I am happy to give you more details.

sorry...I do not understand the context. Generally speaking there is no problem with renting your home. What is going on?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The notice says that I have been identified as a possible rental property and that since I have not obtained a business license, I am subject to taxes and penalties. Is that more clear?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Your prior expert has opted out. I am a new expert, and practice law in CA, including in the Bay Area.

Unfortunately, the answer to your question is pretty straight forward, and is addressed on the City of Oakland's Finance and Management Department website:

  • "I rent a room in my house. Do I need a business tax certificate? A. Yes, all persons who rent or sublet rooms must obtain a business tax certificate. The tax is based gross rental income at a rate of $13.95 per $1,000 of gross rental income."
  • Q. Is there any penalty and/or interest assessed if I don't pay or if I underpay my business tax?
    A. Any tax (or portion thereof) that remains unpaid after March 1st is subject to penalty and interest. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Q. I was unaware of Oakland's business tax requirements. Consequently, I never obtained a business tax certificate. My business activity has been in operation for some time. Am I subject to any late fees?
    A. Yes. All delinquent business taxes are subject to full penalty and interest assessments. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • To calculate your penalty, Contact the Business Tax Office at(###) ###-####

(All emphasis (*all caps, and bold*) is in original, not mine).