The Berkeley Rent Board offers free mediation services to Berkeley landlords and tenants in units that are fully covered by the Rent Ordinance or registered under Measure MM.
Mediation is a relatively quick, non-adversarial, and informal method of dispute resolution where a neutral third party helps the landlord and tenant resolve problems. Mediation can cover a wide variety of topics, but both sides must agree to mediate. The process is voluntary, and any resolution requires the parties to agree; no decision is imposed on them. If no agreement is reached, the parties may pursue other remedies.
Typical issues or problems that can be addressed through the mediation process
Issues that can be mediated include, but are not limited to:
- Habitability issues
- Security deposit disputes
- Noise complaints
- Rent ceiling disputes for fully covered units
- AB 1482 rent cap disputes for Measure MM units
- Move-out agreements
- Lease issues
- Relocation for repairs
Benefits of mediation
The mediation process greatly benefits those in an ongoing landlord-tenant relationship since both parties participate in creating a mutually agreeable solution. This process fosters a better long-term relationship.
How mediation works
Call or visit our offices to speak to a housing counselor. They can assess whether your case qualifies for Rent Board mediation. If it does, you will be asked to submit a one-page information sheet summarizing the disputed matters.
The Rent Board will then contact the other party and, if they are agreeable, will schedule a date for the mediation that is convenient for both parties. Most mediations take place within two to four weeks from the date the parties agree to mediate. The mediation will take place at the Rent Board's offices. Parties can also participate via phone or an internet-enabled device. The mediation will be conducted by a Rent Board staff member, who will listen to each party's concerns. The staff member will help the parties try to work out a mutually agreeable solution and develop ways to communicate more effectively. If an agreement is reached, it will be written up for the parties to sign.