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 a Rent Board Administrative Law Judge issues a written decision after a hearing. However, any increase that is granted is retroactive to the date of the notice and tenants will have to pay the retroactive amounts owed in a lump sum shortly after the decision is mailed to the tenants.
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.
For more information, refer to Fact Sheet 5, “Landlord Petitions and Passthroughs.” To obtain a copy of the various petition forms and/or Fact Sheet 5, you can visit the Forms Center on our website. These documents are also available at our office.