Tenants Rental Resources

Navigating the rental housing market can be confusing, we are here to help! We have put together information about rent increases, rent review processes, petitions, and tenant protections to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as renters in Hayward.

A blue leather book with gold text that says: Renters Rights

If you need further assistance, please contact our staff at the Rent Review Office. Staff is available to assist by e-mail, housing@hayward-ca.gov or phone at (510) 583-4454. Para español llamar (510) 583-5547.

Resources and information

The Affordable Housing Ordinance (17-20), set forth in Chapter 10, Article 17 of the Hayward Municipal Code, was adopted on November 28, 2017 and became effective on February 1, 2018.

The Ordinance applies to all new residential development projects consisting of two (2) or more dwelling units.

 

Learn more

The Affordable Housing Dashboard is a tool to provide a comprehensive look at affordable housing development within the City of Hayward. The dashboard allows community members to review summary and specific information about upcoming affordable housing developments in a visual way, including affordability levels, geographic locations around the City, City investment and more.

 

Explore the dashboard

Alameda County Housing Secure: The Alameda County Housing Secure Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ACHS-ERAP) will help income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for past due and future payments. 

 

Learn more

ENGLISH:

 

Compliance Documents:

 

 

Petition Documents:

 

Fact Sheets:

 

 

​Other Resources:

 

SPANISH:

 

Documentos de cumplimiento (Compliance Documents):

 

 

Documentos de petición (Petition Documents):

 

Hojas informativas (Fact Sheets):

 

 

CHINESE:

 

合規文件 (Compliance Documents):

 

 

請願文件 (Petition Documents):

 

情況說明書 (Fact Sheets):

 

The Residential Rent Stabilization Rent Ordinance (RRSO) creates the following tenant protections: harassment and retaliation protections, just cause for eviction, and prohibition of discrimination of sources of income (including Section 8 vouchers).  

Harassment and Retaliation Protections:

Tenant harassment and retaliation protections give tenants remedies in court if they are harassed or retaliated against by landlords. Tenant protections applies to almost all rentals.

 

Getting Help: Get legal advice from a lawyer. See list of legal resources. As a tenant, you have the option to file a complaint in court if they have a problem related to retaliation or harassment. The RRSO sets a minimum fine of $1,000. If the tenant is a senior citizen. veteran or an individual with a disability the minimum fine is $5,000. Before you file a complaint in court, you must tell your landlord about the problem. 

 

As a tenant, you must allow the landlord 15 days to correct problems related to:

  • A loss of housing services;
  • Maintenance and repairs;
  • Refusal to accept rent; and
  • Direct interference with a tenant's enjoyment of rental unit. 
For more information on tenant protection, please click here

The Residential Rent Stabilization Rent Ordinance (RRSO) creates the following tenant protections: harassment and retaliation protections, just cause for eviction, and prohibition of discrimination of sources of income (including Section 8 vouchers).  

Just Cause for Eviction:

 

At the time of eviction, the landlord must include a legal reason in order to evict a tenant. The reason must be stated on the notice of termination of tenancy. This applies to almost all rental units. If the landlord does not state the reason for eviction on the notice of termination of tenancy, as the tenant, you can use this as defence against an eviction. 

 

Getting Help: Get legal advice from a lawyer. See list of legal resources

 

For more information on just cause for eviction, please click here

A tenant in a covered unit starts the rent review process by filing a petition with the City of Hayward's Rent Review Office.

 

The petition must be filed within 30 days after receiving a notice of any of the following: 

  • An annual rent increase above 5%;
  • A banking increase applied;
  • An increase in utility costs of more than 1% of the tenant's current rent; and/or
  • To seek help regarding decreases in housing services, and;
  • If the property has health, safety, fire, or repairs that the landlord will not fix. 

To file a petition, contact the Rent Review Office of the Housing Division.

777 B Street, Fourth Floor

Hayward, CA 94541;

Telephone: (510) 583-4454

Email: housing@hayward-ca.gov

 

After filing a petition, the City will provide a copy of the petition to the landlord. The tenant should try to contact the landlord regarding the disagreement. This can sometimes resolve the problem. If it does not, the City will set a date for mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached at mediation, the City will schedule a date for arbitration.

 

*Please be advised that a petition form will soon be available on the website.*

 

To view the steps of the rent review process for tenants, please click here

The Residential Rent Stabilization Rent Ordinance (RRSO) creates the following tenant protections: harassment and retaliation protections, just cause for eviction, and prohibition of discrimination of sources of income (including Section 8 vouchers).  

Prohibition of Discrimination Related to Sources of Income (including Section 8 vouchers):

 

Landlords cannot refust to rent a unit to a household because of their source of income which include rental assistance such as Section 8 vouchers. This means landlords must accept rental applications from tenants using rental assistance. The rental assistance shall be considered as a source of income when the landlord is determining whether a tenant can afford the rent. Furthermore, landlords cannot advertise that they will not accept applications from people who use rental assistance. This applies to almost all rental units. 

 

Getting Help: Get legal advice from a lawyer. See list of legal resources. As a tenant, you have the option to file a complaint in court if have been discriminated against related to your source of income. If the court finds that a violation occurred, you could be awarded three times the monthly rent or advertised rent, plus damages and attorney's fees and costs. 

 

For more information on Section 8, please click here

Hayward City Council voted on July 21, 2020, to adopt a new Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance, which took effect on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Read the new Ordinance here.

 

Learn more about the program

A rent increase is any additional rent requested by the landlord from the tenant. This includes any increase in housing service costs or a reduction in housing services.

 

Housing services include: Insurance, repairs, replacement, maintenance, painting, lighting, heat, water, elevator service, laundry facilities, janitorial service, garbage removal, furnishings, parking, security service, and/or employee services. 

Covered Units

 

Rent increase limits only apply to certain housing units (covered units).  A covered unit is a housing unit that was built before July 1, 1979.

 

Major exceptions include:

  • Single unit properties that are exempt due to state law (Costa Hawkins);
  • Owner occupied properties with a legal accessory dwelling unit such as a converted garage;
  • Affordable housing units with other rent controls;
  • Hospitals, care facilities, convalescent homes, and transitional housing;
  • Motels, hotels, inns, and boarding houses, and;
  • Non-profit cooperative units owned or occupied by most of the owners.

Allowable Rent Increases

 

The following are allowable increases:

  • Annual rent increase up to 5% of tenant's current rent;
  • Banked rent increase inclusive of annual rent increase up to 10% of tenant's current rent;
  • Capital improvements inclusive of annual rent increase up to 10% of tenant's current rent;
  • Fair return rent increase in the amount necessary for the landlord to cover their costs and get a fair return on their investment;
  • Rent increase after non-voluntary vacancies up to 5% of previous tenant's rent, and;
  • Rent increase after voluntary vacancies can be set without limitations.
For more information about the allowable rent increases, please click here and see Section II: Rent Increase. 

Utility Costs

 

Utilities that are charged by the landlord and is separate from rent as stated in the lease, is not considered rent.  As a tenant, you have the option to request from the landlord information that explains the increase in utility costs.

Search the database to find out what parts of the City's Residential Rent Stabilization Ordinance and Tenant Protection Ordinance (RRSO) apply to your rental unit.

 

Use our database to search for your unit or property Based on multiple public sources, including the County Assessor's Office and City address data, the City has identified what sections of the RRRSO apply to the unit. If you believe there is an error in the database or you do not see the rental property on the list, please contact our office at housing@hayward-ca.gov or (510) 583-4454.

 

Review the database

The Residential Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RRSO) provides a process to resolve disagreements about allowable rent increases (rent review). Rent review involves multiple steps. Tenants and landlords start the rent review process by filing a petition with the City of Hayward's Rent Review Office. After a petition is filed, the disagreement is resolved in one of two ways. 

 

Mediation:  Mediation is a voluntary meeting with the landlord and tenant and a trained mediator. The mediator will help the tenant and the landlord discuss the problem and possible solutions.  If the tenant and the landlord agree upon a solution, the mediator will write an agreement for the tenant and landlord to sign and the case ends.   If the tenant and landlord cannot reach an agreement in mediation, an arbitration hearing will be scheduled.   

 

Arbitration:  During an arbitration hearing, the landlord will have to show that the rent increase follows the RRSO.  An arbitrator will set the amount of the rent increase based on proof and statements given by both the tenant and the landlord.

 

Mediation is usually the first step to determine the allowable rent increase.  If the tenant and the landlord do not want to participate in mediation, this step can be skipped, and the case can be scheduled for arbitration. 

 

Who does it apply to?

 

This applies to housing units that were built prior to July 1, 1979, major exceptions include:

  • Rental properties consisting of only one unit;
  • Owner occupied homes with a legal accessory dwelling unit such as a converted garage; and
  • Affordable housing units with rent restrictions imposed by other government agencies.

How do I get help?

 

Contact the Rent Review Office. Submit a petition to the City of Hayward to request rent review.

 

*Please be advised that a petition form will soon be available on the website.*

 

Address: 777 B Street, Fourth Floor, Hayward, CA 94541

Telephone: (510) 583-4454

Email: housing@hayward-ca.gov

 

For more information on the rent review process (mediation and arbitration), please click here and see Section III: Rent Dispute Resolution Process (Rent Review).

Upon notification by the City, owners of a rental property in the City of Hayward are subject to rental housing inspections. During an inspection, inspectors conduct indepth reviews of rental property conditions to assure compliance with applicable codes. Rental properties are inspected for interior/exterior code violations and issued corrective notices for compliance.

 

To learn more about the program, associated fees and how to request an inspection, visit our Residential Rental Inspection Program (RRIP) page. 

 

Residential Rental Inspection Program (RRIP)

The Residential Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RRSO) aims to help with housing problems caused by lack of housing and rising rents.

The RRSO creates laws about:

 

Rent protections:

  • Allowable rent increase
  • Dispute resolution process (Rent Review)

Tenant protections:

  • Harassment and retaliation
  • Just cause for tenant eviction
  • Stopping bias about sources of income (including Section 8 vouchers) 
To view the City's Residential Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RRSO) (Ordinance No. 19-12), please click here to be directed to the City's Municipal Code. Select Chapter 12, Article 1 once you have been directed to the website.  For a summary of the RRSO, please click here