Below is a summary of City of Berkeley lease requirements. This list does not include all state or federal lease language or disclosure requirements.
Current Berkeley-specific lease requirements:
- Notice of Tenant Protection Ordinance: This disclosure notice is required to be provided at the inception of any tenancy beginning after April 2017, and must be included with any eviction notice. Failure to include this notice is a defense to unlawful detainer (eviction).
- Smoking ban in apartments. To ensure that rental units remain smoke free, landlords should always include a smoking prohibition clause in a lease agreement for a new tenancy. To enforce an addendum prohibiting smoking when none previously existed, landlords must make expressly clear that the parties entered into this agreement voluntarily. To that end, the Board has drafted language that landlords and tenants may use to append their existing lease agreements.
- The Rent Board has created a form in response to California Civil Code 1954.603 regarding bed bugs. The law requires landlords to incorporate this information into all new leases that were drafted beginning July 1, 2017, and further required that the information be sent to tenants of existing tenancies by January 1, 2018. The bed bug notification must be in at least 10-point type and substantially in this form: Information About Bed Bugs.
- Fair Chance Ordinance: Housing providers must include the Notice to Rental Applicants and Tenants (which can be found on our Fair Chance Ordinance page) prominently on their application materials, on websites, and at any locations under their control that are frequently visited by applicants.