Fully Covered Unit Registration
Property owners must register with the Rent Board rental units that are fully covered by Berkeley’s Rent Ordinance. These are units where rent control, registration, security deposit interest, and good cause for eviction requirements all apply.
- Unit registration--providing unit information and paying an annual fee for each unit
- Tenancy registration--registering each new tenancy in a unit within 15 days of the tenancy start date
ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEES OF $250 PER UNIT WERE DUE FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2022. Payments not received in our office or postmarked by the due date are assessed a 100% penalty. Rental units must be properly registered in order to take rent increases and/or evict tenants. See the Fees & Penalties section for more information.
Fees & Penalties
The elected Rent Board sets the annual registration fee. Bills are typically mailed to owners in May, and fees are due by July 1 each year (or the following Monday if July 1 falls on a weekend). Fees must be received in the Rent Board office or postmarked by the due date to be considered timely.
FY 2022-23 annual registration fees of $250 per unit were due Friday, July 1, 2022. Rental units must be properly registered in order to take rent increases and/or evict tenants.
The Rent Ordinance requires that payments not received in the Rent Board office or postmarked by the July 1 due date be assessed a 100% penalty. Another 100% penalty is assessed every six months, so it’s important to pay registration fees and resolve penalties as soon as possible. Owners can request a waiver of penalties, but must pay all outstanding registration fees before a waiver request will be considered.
Units that must be registered
- Most units in multifamily properties built before 1980
- Single-family homes with current tenancies that began prior to 1996
- Single-family homes with five or more rooms rented out individually with separate leases (each room is considered a unit)
Units that are owner-occupied, for owner’s use only, or occupied rent-free are exempt from the registration requirements. Some owner-occupied duplexes or tenancies on properties containing one single-family home and one accessory dwelling unit may also be exempt. Contact our Registration Unit if you have questions about whether a unit is exempt.
Unit status changes
If a unit changes from exempt to covered by the Rent Ordinance, the owner must register it within 60 days of the change and pay a prorated fee. If a unit becomes exempt, owners can claim most exemptions using the online rent registry portal.
Registration Fee Pass-Through
For tenancies that began prior to January 1, 1999, owners can pass through a portion of the registration fee as a rent increase. (Resolution 22-10.) For these units with long-term tenants, landlords can pass through up to $10.00 per month for 12 consecutive months after they pay their 2022-23 registration fees and provide their tenants and the Rent Board at least 30 days’ prior written notice of the rent increase. The pass-through cannot begin prior to July 1, 2022, and must terminate no later than December 31, 2023. The increase shall not result in a pass-through of greater than $10.00 per month to any tenant.
Tenants who meet certain income requirements can be reimbursed for this pass-through. Please see the Tenant Eligibility for Pass-Through Reimbursement page for more information.
Failure to Register Units
Rental units must be properly registered for owners to take rent increases and/or evict tenants. Proper registration includes filing all Rent Board forms, including all Vacancy Registration forms for current tenancies. Failure to fully comply with registration requirements can be a defense to an eviction lawsuit (unlawful detainer complaint). All eviction lawsuits are filed in superior court, and the Rent Board is unable to provide legal advice.
Owners must provide the Rent Board with tenancy information for each unit, including the tenancy start date, number of tenants, tenant contact information, initial rent, housing services included in the rent, number of bedrooms in the unit, and contact information for the owner and/or manager of the property.
New tenancies must be registered within 15 days of the tenancy start date. Register a new tenancy online.