Topic No. 351: Tenant Petitions - Overview

There are several types of claims that a tenant may assert against his or her landlord by filing a Tenant Petition at the Rent Board. There is no charge for filing the petition. In many cases, the petitions are resolved after a mediation session, although sometimes an arbitration hearing before an Administrative Law Judge is required.

The tenant may combine more than one type of claim in a Tenant Petition. The types of claims that may be included in the petition are:

  • Substantial Decrease in Housing Services;
  • Failure to Repair and Maintain;
  • Unlawful Rent Increase or Request for Determination of Lawful Rent;
  • Improper Utility Passthrough;
  • Improper Water Revenue Bond Passthrough;
  • Improper General Obligation Bond Measure Passthrough;
  • Failure to Discontinue a Capital Improvement Passthrough;
  • Section 6.15C(3) Proportional Rent Claim by a Subtenant Against a Master Tenant; and

Unlawful Initial Rent Claim by a Subtenant.

The following types of claims may also be filed at the Rent Board, although they may not necessarily be scheduled for a hearing or mediation:

  • Tenant Summary Petition Based on Receipt of Invalid Notice of Rent Increase
  • Report of Alleged Wrongful Eviction

Please note that the Rent Board cannot decide matters that are not covered by the Rent Ordinance. For example, we do not adjudicate issues that are not related to the amount of rent charged, such as harassment, discrimination and retaliation. We also do not adjudicate issues involving security deposits. Such matters must be decided in court or another forum.


June 2006