My landlord has given me multiple rent increases in the past year
Landlords cannot increase your rent within a year lease. They can only increase the rent after your lease is over or in a month to month lease. And your rent can only go up 2.7% (the CPI – Consumer Price Index, the exact percentage changes every year in July).
You can write a letter to the landlord to inform them that the rent increase attempt is illegal. You do not need to tell your landlord why it’s illegal or the correct amount. If you have repairs issues, this is the perfect time to cite those. In your letter about the invalid rent increase notice, you can include a list of repair issues that need to be fixed and a desired timeline of when you would like those repairs completed by. For more information, visit our repairs section [Repairs].
At the same time or shortly after the letter, we recommend filling a petition with the Rent Adjustment Program in Oakland. This petition will pause the rent increase and will start a process towards a hearing. During that hearing both the tenant and landlord can argue their case and present evidence. It sounds intimidating and it can be but you don’t need a lawyer and the Rent adjustment Program has lots of resources to help you through the process. You can reach them at (510) 238-3721.
If your landlord does believe the amount is valid, submitting a Rent Adjustment program petition can help clarify for both you and the landlord what’s actually valid.
You can continue paying the current rent (before the increase). However, if you receive a 3-day notice based on the increased amount, then it’s important to pay the increased amount to avoid legal proceedings. You may be able to get that money back if the Rent Adjustment Program determines that the increase amount was illegal.
You can complete a Rent Adjustment Program Petition within 90 days of receiving the rent increase notice or 120 days if your landlord did not include a RAP notice with your rent increase.