Topic No. 301: Landlord Petitions and Passthroughs - Overview

For certain types of rent increases, landlords must file a petition at the Rent Board before serving the tenants with a notice of the increase. The tenants are not required to pay the increase unless and until the Rent Board approves it after a hearing.

There are five types of rent increases that require the filing of a landlord petition. These are:

  • Capital Improvement Passthrough;
  • Operating And Maintenance Expense Increase;
  • Special Circumstances Increase Based on Rents for Comparable Units;
  • Rent Increase Based on the Past Rent History of a Proposition I Affected Unit; and
  • Utility Passthrough.

A landlord is also required to file a petition for a Rent Board determination of:

  • Substantial Rehabilitation Exemption;
  • Extension of Time to Complete Capital Improvement Work; and
  • Tenant in Occupancy Status under Rules and Regulations Section 1.21

In addition, the landlord may elect to file a petition requesting the Board to determine whether a rent increase under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and/or Rules and Regulations Section 6.14 is justified.

Landlords are not required to file petitions for Rent Board approval of rent increases based on general obligation bond measure passthroughs or water revenue bond passthroughs. However, the landlord must use the worksheet forms provided by the Rent Board to calculate these rent increases.

There is no charge for filing petitions. In certain capital improvement or substantial rehabilitation cases, if it is determined that an independent estimator's report is needed, the Rent Board does collect an estimator's fee from the landlord.

Please note that the Rent Board cannot arbitrate matters that are not part of the Rent Ordinance. For example, we do not have jurisdiction to adjudicate alleged breaches of a rental agreement. Such matters must be decided in court.


June 2006