Vacancy Decontrol

Landlords who have met investment criteria in a vacated rental unit may apply for vacancy decontrol for the unit. The decontrol is only valid for the next lease period. The new decontrolled rent becomes the base rent for calculating annual allowable increases in subsequent years.

Application for decontrol can be submitted to the Rent Control Office prior to occupancy of the unit by the new tenant.

Types of Decontrol:

Market Decontrol:

  • Unit must be voluntarily vacated by the tenant.
  • Landlord must document a qualifying investment over the past 5 years equal to at least 15% of the current year’s annual rent  (Monthly Rent x 12 x 15%)
  • Unit has not been approved for decontrol in the past 5 years.
  • New rent can be established at market rates

Vacancy Adjustment:

  • Unit must be voluntarily vacated by the tenant.
  • Can not be approved in consecutive years, i.e., if the unit was approved for a vacancy adjustment last year, it is not eligible for an adjustment in the current year, even if it is vacated.
  • Rent can be increased by 4% points above the allowable annual increase for the year (Ex. 2.5% allowable annual increase + 4% points = 6.5% vacancy adjustment)

Landlords can NOT exceed the allowable annual increase unless a vacancy decontrol application is approved.

Notices:

TWO NOTICES are required to be filed as part of every decontrol application:

(1) New Tenant Notice: Notice by certified and regular mail to the new tenant that a decontrol application has been filed;

(2) Notarized statement by the landlord that notice has been provided to the new tenant; and

The decontrol does not become valid until the Rent Control Office has issued an approval notice that is sent to both the landlord and the new tenant.

See the Rent Control Ordinance 5.80.140 for the specific ordinance requirements.