Ok. Let’s see if the increase amount is legal or not.
Rent cannot be increased more than 5% + your CPI (Consumer Price Index) or 10%, whichever of these is lower. The annual CPI rate for Oakland, through June 30, 2023, is 3%. This means that rent cannot be increased more than 8%.
If the increase is illegal you can write a letter addressed to the landlord informing them that the rent increase attempt is illegal. You have the right to continue paying your current rent (before this new increase).There’s always a chance that your landlord will try and continue to pursue that invalid rent increase.
So if you do receive a 3-day notice based on the increased amount it’s important to talk to a community legal clinic or a private attorney for next steps. The reason is that if you pay the amount in the three day notice, the landlord may believe you’re accepting the new amount. If you don’t pay the notice, you might get an unlawful detainer. So as you can see, if can be a confusing situation. A lawyer would be able to advise you best in this situation given your particular case.
Helpful tip: If the rent increase is illegal and you have repairs issues, this is the perfect time to cite those. A good way to enforce your rights to a habitable unit is to ask for repairs. When responding to a rent increase, you can include repair issues. To address this, you can write a letter about the invalid rent increase notice that includes a list of repair issues that need to be fixed and a desired timeline of when you would like those repairs completed by.
If the increase is valid. Paying the amount stated is recommended. If you cannot pay, you can try to negotiate with your landlord in writing but note that they can say no. Remember that the notice has to at least be a 30-day written notice.