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Each tenant should receive a “Notice to Tenants” (or RAP Notice) when they move in. This notice explains the existence of the Rent Board and tenant’s rights under the rent law. If the owner does not give that notice, the landlord cannot increase the rent until 6 months after the tenant receives the notice.

A tenant has the right to request a written summary of the justifications for the rent increase. The tenant must submit this request within 30 days of receiving the rent increase notice. The owner must send a written response with justifications within 15 days of the tenant’s request.

Either the tenant or owner can file a petition for a rent increase. You must file a response to a petition within 35 days of the petition being mailed. This mailing date can be found on the “Proof of Service” included with the notice. You can resolve this petition by having the dispute resolved through a hearing or mediation.

If all the tenants in the unit are new tenants, the owner can set the rent to market rate. If there are tenants in the unit who were original occupants under a prior tenancy, the owner is limited to following the Oakland Rent Adjustment Ordinance for allowable increases.