On July 15, 2023, the City of Oakland’s COVID-19 pandemic-related eviction moratorium will sunset. The City is conducting an educational campaign to provide tenants and property owners with the information they need to understand how this policy change affects them, what their rights are, and how they can access support.
Some of the City’s key messages to tenants include:
- If a tenant was unable to pay rent between March 9, 2020, and July 14, 2023 because they experienced a significant decrease in income or increase in expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tenant can never be evicted over that unpaid rent. That doesn’t change with this policy sunset.
- Starting on July 15, 2023 (August 1, 2023, for most tenants), tenants can be evicted for non-payment of rent that became due on or after that date, even if still financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Property owners can still take tenants to court over any unpaid rent accrued between March 9, 2020, and July 14, 2023 (although they cannot evict those tenants who were unable to pay because of financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic).
- Currently, if a tenant lives in a rent-controlled unit, the property owner cannot raise the rent over the annual allowable CPI amount, unless the owner is approved by the Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) for an increase based on Fair Return. As of August 1, 2023, the annual allowable CPI rent increase is 2.5%. This means no “banked” or petition-based rent increases are allowed except for petitions based on Fair Return. These restrictions on rent increases will be in effect until June 30, 2024.
“As a renter myself, I understand the need for strong tenants’ rights and protections, and I am proud of the strong protections the City put in place during the pandemic,” Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said. “This moratorium was effective in giving renters the protection they needed during an incredibly challenging time. Now that it’s winding down the City and county have resources in place to protect renters, including funding for legal aid organizations that support renters facing eviction.”
Many permanent tenant protections remain in place in Oakland. The City recently amended the Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance, which prohibits a property owner from terminating a residential tenancy without just cause. Examples of just cause for eviction include non-payment of rent, substantial damage to the property and refusal to pay for those damages, failure to provide access to the owner upon proper notice of entry, and if the owner seeks to move into the property to use as their primary residence. Additionally, the budget recently adopted by the City Council includes $1 million in funding for organizations that provide eviction protection services to tenants.
The City’s Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) is offering information and services to guide tenants and property owners through these changes. Details and additional resources are available at www.oaklandca.gov/RAP. This includes email newsletters and printed postcard mailers. RAP’s upcoming workshops that provide information on the eviction moratorium sunset are as follows:
- Weds, July 19th: tenant-focused
- Weds, July 26th: property owner-focused
- Weds, August 2nd: tenant-focused
- Weds, August 16th: property owner-focused
- Weds, September 6th: tenant-focused
- Weds, September 20th: property owner-focused
- Weds, October 4th: tenant-focused
- Weds, October 18th: property owner-focused
- Weds, November 1st: tenant-focused
- Weds, November 15th: property owner-focused
All workshops are offered virtually (on Zoom) from 5:30-7pm. Full registration information can be found here.
Need Rental Assistance?
- Check out Alameda Housing Secure: www.ac-housingsecure.org
Need Eviction Defense Services?
- Bay Area Legal Aid: 800-551-5554
- Centro Legal de la Raza: 510-437-1554
- East Bay Community Law Center: 510-548-4040, ext. 201
- Eviction Defense Center: 510-452-4541
- Legal Assistance for Seniors: 510-832-3040
For more information, please visit www.oaklandca.gov/RAP.