File a Tenant Petition

Download
Download PDF Version of Tenant Petition (New Version as of 5/21/2021) includes Required Notice to Property Owner and Proof of Service
Complete Online
Complete and File Petition Online

Contact a Housing Counselor to have your Petition reviewed before filing

To make an appointment, please email RAP@oaklandca.gov or call (510) 238-3721.

There are 3 ways for tenants to file petitions with the Rent Adjustment Program

Due to the local emergency, we are no longer accepting in-person petitions and related materials in our office. All new petitions and petition-related documents can be submitted via email, by mail or online (see below). Please number sequentially all pages submitted (other than the petition). In order for your petition to be considered complete, the petition MUST be filed with a proof of service form, which is included in the Tenant Petition.

1.) By Email: To file your petition, please send petition and petition related documents to hearingsunit@oaklandca.gov. Once received, you will be sent a confirmation email.

2.) By Mail:

To file your petition, please mail to the Rent Adjustment Program at the following address:

250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 5313 Oakland, CA 94612

3.) Online Petition Filing: We also offer an online portal where you can complete and submit your petitions and all petition-related forms online. To complete and file a Tenant Petition online, click here. (Note: New Version includes required Notice to Property Owner and Proof of Service).

Available Tenant Claims

Tenants can file petitions contesting rent increases, seeking a rent decrease (for a loss of housing services, changed conditions since move-in, habitability problems in the unit, and/or being required to pay for utilities where meters are not separated). Tenants may also file a petition where a prior capital improvement pass-through has not been reduced after the proper time; contest an exemption from the RAP; and/or file a claim that the owner set the tenant's initial rent in violation of the law.

Contest a Rent Increase: A tenant can contest a rent increase that is greater than the CPI, that is not served properly, or that was served when the unit has been cited by a governmental agency (for serious health, safety, fire, or building code violations).To challenge a rent increase, a tenant must file a petition:

  • Within 90 days of receiving the notice of rent increase with a Notice to Tenants of the Residential Rent Adjustment Program (RAP Notice);
  • Within 120 days of receiving the notice of rent increase if the tenant did not receive the RAP Notice with the Notice of Rent Increase;
  • OR, at any time if the tenant was never served with the RAP Notice.

Decrease in Housing Services: A tenant can file a claim where a property owner has taken away a previously provided service (e.g. parking); where the tenant is being charged for services previously paid for by the owner; where the conditions in the unit have changed since the tenant moved in; where there are habitability problems in the unit; and/or where the tenant is being required to pay for utilities when there is no separate meter.

Other: A tenant can file a claim when a prior capital improvement pass through was not reduced; when the tenant wishes to contest an exemption based on fraud or mistake, and when the tenant believes the property owner was not allowed to set the tenant's initial rent without restriction.

Tenant Petition Checklist: Here’s a checklist of what you, as a tenant, will need to file this petition:

  • Contact information for the property owner or property manager.
  • Reasons you are filing the petition.
  • Your rental history, including date of rent increase(s), if known.
  • If applicable, description of lost housing services, the date when the housing service loss began, and estimated dollar value of housing service loss.

**COVID-19 Related Service Update**

Due to the Shelter In Place Order issued on March 16, 2020, in person counseling has been canceled. Housing Counselors are available by phone Monday through Thursday, 9:30am to 4:30pm to answer any RAP or housing-related questions you might have. Topics can be, but are not limited to, tenant and property owner issues and concerns, Oakland rental housing laws, or how to file petitions or responses with RAP. Calls are generally limited to 10 minutes per person. You may also email us at rap@oaklandca.gov.