Rules and Regulations §12.19 Amended, Effective 9/17/13

The Rent Board Commission amended Rules and Regulations Section 12.19 effective September 17, 2013 to state how landlords must notify tenants who were displaced by fire or other disaster that the unit is ready for re-occupancy. Pursuant to the amendment, the landlord must send the offer for re-occupancy to the address provided by the tenant. If the tenant has not provided an address, the offer must be sent to the unit from which the tenant was displaced and to any other known addresses of the tenant, including email addresses. In addition, Section 12.19(c) was amended to require landlords who seek to pass through capital improvement costs for repairing damage caused by fire or other disaster to serve a notice of rent increase on the tenants in accordance with California Civil Code Section 827.

The following paragraphs constitute the full text of Rules and Regulations Section 12.19, as amended effective September 17, 2013:

Section 12.19 Other Displacements

    (a)   If a tenant is forced to vacate her/his unit due to fire or other disaster, the landlord shall, within 30 days of completion of repairs to the unit, offer the same unit to that tenant under the same terms and conditions as existed prior to her/his displacement. The landlord’s offer shall be sent to the address provided by the tenant. If the tenant has not provided an address, the offer shall be sent to the unit from which the tenant was displaced and to any other address of the tenant of which the landlord has actual knowledge, including electronic mail (e-mail) addresses.

    (b)   The tenant shall have 30 days from receipt of the landlord's offer to notify the landlord of acceptance or rejection of the offer and, if accepted, shall reoccupy the unit within 45 days of receipt of the landlord's offer.

    (c)   However, the cost of capital improvements which are necessary before rerenting a unit which was damaged or destroyed as set forth in subsection (a) above, which cost was not reimbursed by insurance proceeds or by any other means (such as a satisfied judgment) may be passed through to the tenant by utilization of the capital improvement petition process as set forth in Part 7 above. Any rent increase under this section would require that a notice be served upon the tenant(s) pursuant to Civil Code Section 827.

    (d)   The landlord who attempts to rerent a unit, but refuses to allow a tenant to return to her/his home under this section shall have wrongfully endeavored to recover or wrongfully recovered said tenant's rental unit in violation of Section 37.9 of the Ordinance and shall be liable to the displaced tenants for actual and punitive damages as provided by Ordinance Section 37.9(f). This remedy shall be in addition to any other remedy available to the tenant under the Rent Ordinance.