Berkeley tenants with very low-income levels can get reimbursements if their landlord charged them Rent Registry fees the city mandated in 2022.
Landlords in Berkeley had to pay the Rent Stabilization Board to register in a city database of rental properties as part of Measure MM, which voters approved in 2020. The annual fees were $40 to $150 per unit and were due last summer.
The Rent Board allowed landlords to pass the fees on to their tenants by rent increases of up to $10 a month for a year but is now offering reimbursements for tenants fully covered by rent control, who began living in the property in 1999 or before. Landlords had to submit a rent increase notice to the Rent Board if they used the “pass-through” fee.
Tenants can apply for reimbursements by contacting Ollie Ehlinger, city attorney for the Rent Board, by calling (510) 981-4924, or by emailing Ehlinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each household is eligible for one reimbursement. The Rent Board has posted income limits for up to eight people in a home, aligning with the “very low” income scale from the federal Housing and Urban Development department.
Anyone who wants to apply for reimbursement has to have the following documents ready:
- Notice of rent increase
- Government ID
- Proof of income
- Proof of residency, like a utility bill or an ID with your name and address on it
Featured photo: The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board building downtown. Credit: Frances Dinkelspiel