Loss of Service

City and state laws regulate requirements for all rental units. Rental units in Oakland need to stay up to date with laws from the City of Oakland, Alameda County, and the State of California's Department of Consumer Affairs.


When a property owner does not meet these requirements, this may be called a loss of service. There are two issues that can described as a loss of service:

  • Decreased housing services
  • Change in lease terms

When the property owner does not fix problems in a timely manner, this represents decreased housing services. Problems such as a broken dishwasher and a broken window may be considered a loss of service.

When the tenant must pay for services previously paid by the property owner, this represents a change in lease terms. Examples include:

  • Paying for utilities (water, gas, electricity)
  • Paying for more maintenance work in the unit
  • Signing a year-long lease instead of a month-to-month like before

A loss of service is a rent increase. If you are a tenant experiencing a loss of service, follow these steps to address the issue.

  1. Communicate all issues with your property owner.
  2. If any items need repair, make your request in writing to your property owner.
  3. Keep records of all communication, along with the dates. Email is one good way.

If the property owner does not respond, you have two options.

  1. You can report a code violation to Code Compliance Office.
  2. You can file a petition with the Rent Adjustment Program.

The City will send an inspector out. If inspections confirms violations, the inspector issue a Notice of Violation to the property owner. If you are a tenant reporting about your rental unit, be sure you get the inspector’s name and phone number and call back to get a copy of the Notice of Violation. If property owner does not complete the repair within 30 days, call the inspector and request a re-inspection.

A tenant can submit a Rent Adjustment Program petition based on a loss of service. This loss of service can be a service originally provided or a serious problem with the condition of the rental unit. The tenant’s petition must specify the service(s) that has decreased or been lost.