Tenant Buyout Ordinance
The Berkeley Tenant Buyout Ordinance adds tenant protections for buyout agreements.
Effective April 30, 2016, the City of Berkeley has enacted new rights and obligations to tenants and landlords entering into buyout agreements. Such agreements include any promise from a tenant to permanently vacate a controlled rental unit in Berkeley for compensation from the landlord. Under the Buyout Ordinance law, landlords must provide tenants with a written disclosure of tenants' rights. Landlords must use the disclosure form prepared by the Rent Board and must give it to tenants prior to making any buyout offer. Tenants have the right to rescind any buyout agreement at any time during the first 30 days after all parties sign.
Landlords must include in the agreement itself mandatory language regarding the right to rescind. After the 30-day window to rescind has expired, the landlord must file the buyout agreement with the Rent Board no later than 60 days after all parties have signed. Failure to comply with any of the provisions above renders the agreement voidable at the option of the tenant at any time.
While the Rent Board will maintain buyout agreements as public records available for review, the agreements will have personally identifying information kept confidential. Periodically, the Board will publish data regarding buyouts. These provisions do not apply to an agreement to settle a pending unlawful detainer case.