Have you ever been in the situation where a landlord and a tenant disagree about a rent increase? Marin County has come up with a solution.

Today, we’re talking about the Marin County mediation law. This law was passed in December of 2017, and it took effect on January 11, 2018.

So, what does this ordinance address?

Rent Increases of 5 Percent or More in Marin County

This law addresses any rent increase of 5 percent or more. Those increases are subject to professional mediation between the landlords and the tenants. It’s required only if one or both parties request it. The mediation will take place as a pilot program through 15 unincorporated areas of Marin County. The list of those areas is here:

  • Bolinas
  • Dillon Beach
  • Forest Knolls
  • Greenbrae
  • Inverness
  • Kentfield
  • Lagunitas
  • Marshall
  • Nicasio
  • Olema
  • Point Reyes
  • San Geronimo
  • Stinson Beach
  • Tomales
  • Woodacre

Rental Increase Disputes and the District Attorney

The Marin County District Attorney’s office is running this program. With the use of trained mediators, the district attorney is helping to settle these disputes. A structured form is created, and the landlord can sit down with the mediator and the tenant to discuss why the rent needs to be increased. This also provides tenants with a way to question the increase and ask for something different.

Notifying Tenants of Their Rights

As part of the 2016 Fair Housing Ordinance, tenants must be notified as of February, 2018, that the mediation process is available in these areas. So, as a landlord, if you have not notified your tenants of this right, we suggest you do so as soon as possible.

Tenants and landlords who have questions can find answers through the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit. The number to that office is (415) 473-6495.

We hope this information has been helpful to you. Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, if you have questions about what we’ve discussed, please contact us at Bayside Management.