Tenant Protection Ordinance

The Tenant Protection Ordinance (“TPO”) provides tenants legal recourse if they are harassed by the property owner. The TPO is meant to deter harassment by property owners. The TPO provides civil remedies for violations. The Rent Board is creating regulations, which will be posted November, 2020.

TPO Amendments adopted July 21, 2020
Read Online
TPO ordinance (as of September 17, 2020)
Regulations (as of September 14, 2017)

Posted: August 31st, 2018 3:44 PM

Last Updated: July 10th, 2023 12:18 PM

The TPO defines harassment as the owner doing one of the following in bad faith:

1. Threaten to or interrupt, terminate, or fail to provide housing services.

2. Fail to perform repairs and maintenance.

3. Failing to perform due diligence when completing repairs. For example, not minimizing exposure to noise, dust, lead paint, mold, asbestos, or other building materials with potentially harmful health impacts.

4. Abuse the Owner’s right of access to the rental unit.

5. Remove personal property, furnishings, or any other items without the prior written consent of the tenant.

6. Influence a tenant to vacate a rental unit through fraud, intimidation, or coercion, including threatening to report the tenant to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

7. Offer payments to a Tenant to vacate more than once in six (6) months after the Tenant notifies the Owner in writing that they do not want to receive future offers.

8. Attempt to coerce a Tenant to vacate with offer(s) of payments to vacate in addition to threats or intimidation.

9. Threaten the tenant, by word or gesture, with physical harm.

10. Substantially and directly interfere with a Tenant’s right to quiet use and enjoyment of the rental unit.

11. Refuse to accept or acknowledge receipt of a Tenant’s lawful rent payment.

12. Refuse to cash a rent check for over thirty (30) days unless a written receipt for payment has been provided to the Tenant.

13. Interfere with a Tenant’s right to privacy including taking pictures or videos inside a tenant’s rental unit without a lawful purpose or unreasonably enquiring into a tenant’s relationship status or criminal history.

14. Request information that violates a Tenant’s right to privacy.

15. Commit repeated acts to substantially interfere with or disturb the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of any tenant.

16. Remove a housing service for the purpose of causing the Tenant to vacate the rental unit.

17. Impose a new lease term unilaterally unless the change is authorized by the law.

18. Misrepresent that a tenant must move out of their rental unit.

19. Commit unlawful lockouts, civil rights violations, elder financial abuse, or force a hotel guest to check in and out so as to appear that they are not a tenant.

20. Remove amenities and services such as parking without good cause.

21. Charge a late fee when the rent is not five days late, or a late fee that is more than 3% of the monthly rent.

The TPO requires owners to post a notice of the TPO in rental units located in a building with an interior common area. The notice must be placed in at least one such common area in the building using the form prescribed by the City Staff. Notices can be found in the Additional Documents pages.

Before a Tenant may file a lawsuit for certain violations of the TPO concerning repairs and refusal to accept rent, the Tenant may be required notify the Owner of the problem and allow fifteen (15) days for the owner to correct the problem. The owner can notify the tenant that repairs will take more than fifteen (15) days. In this case, the owner must provide a reasonable time period for completion. If the repair takes more than fifteen (15) days, the tenant may file if the owner does not take steps to start addressing the problem. The tenant may also file if the owner does not follow through to complete the repairs with reasonable diligence.