#AskMarcAnything | On June 23, 2017, Concord’s Residential Rent Review Program took effect giving tenants the right of non-binding mediation when they receive a rent increase of more than 10 percent in a 12 month period. Here are a few things you need to know about this program if your rental property is located within the City of Concord, California.
Concord Residential Rent Review Program
On June 23, 2017, Concord’s Residential Rent Review Program took effect giving tenants the right of non-binding mediation when they receive a rent increase of more than 10 percent in a 12 month period.
The more than 10 percent threshold is based on comparison to the rent charged twelve months prior, rather than being limited to the percentage of increase in any single notice.
For example, a tenant who receives notice of a 5 percent increase has a right to non-binding mediation it they have received another increase of more than 5 percent in the past 12 months.
This applies only to residential rent properties with the City of Concord with three or more units. Section 8 or other government subsidized rentals are exempt.
The ordinance requires owners to include a Notice of Availability of Rent Review with every rent increase notice, within any new lease agreement or renewal of a lease agreement.
The notice is required to be served even if the amount of the increase or lease renewal does not entitle the tenant to mediation.
Rent increases that do not include the Notice of Availability of Rent Review are automatically VOID.
The Notice of Availability of Rent Review must be provided in both English and Spanish regardless of language spoken by tenant.
A tenant has 15 calendar days after receipt of the notice of rent increase to petition for rent review. The owner will be contacted shortly afterwards to begin the process. A property manager can negotiate on behalf of the landlord if the proper paperwork is completed.
Mediation is done face-to-face in a neutral location with a professional mediator where each party will have the opportunity to provide documents and evidence and express their position.
If an agreement is not reached, either party may request a non-binding hearing before a rent review panel.
Since non-binding, my opinion is that this is a waste of resources and time. Of course harassment and retaliation is prohibited, but this was the case even before this program was passed.
The program requires all landlords to register and pay $16 per unit annually.