Oakland has strong rent and eviction control designed to protect tenants in certain units from unreasonable rent increases and arbitrary evictions.
Oakland’s rent control ordinance protects certain tenants from unlimited rent increases, allowing landlords to increase the rent only in specific circumstances. All rental units in Oakland are covered by the rent control ordinance unless specifically exempted. These exemptions include units whose rents are controlled by a government agency, units constructed after January 1, 1983, certain units that have undergone substantial rehabilitation and units that are exempt from local rent controls by the state Costa-Hawkins Act, among others.
Oakland also has eviction protections which prohibit landlords from evicting certain tenants unless the landlord has an allowable “just cause” reason. Some of these “just cause” reasons include non-payment of rent, breach of lease and owner-move-in eviction. Certain rental units in Oakland are exempt from the eviction protections and these include units in which an owner resides as his or her principal place of residence and shares kitchen and bath facilities with the tenants and units constructed on or after December 31, 1995, among others.
The Oakland rent and eviction control ordinances allow tenants to sue their landlords for violations of the tenant protections. For example, a landlord who wrongfully evicts a tenant covered by the “just cause” eviction protections or who causes a tenant to move out without a proper “just cause” reason can be liable to the tenant for three times the damages the tenant incurred, as well as money for emotional distress and recovery of attorneys’ fees.