City of Richmond Tenant Protections

The information below is provided by Tenants Together, based partially on research conducted by the Urban Displacement Project, and was last updated in October 2018. For complete information on the City's tenant protections, please visit their website here.

Disclaimer: This website is for general information and none of the information provided constitutes legal advice. In addition, please note that ordinances are periodically updated, modified, or interpreted by regulations. We recommend contacting the City for the official version of its law in the event that you intend to rely on this information.

Rent control is effective at keeping people in their homes. Rent control policies limit rent increases and provide greater housing stability for tenants. Rent control ordinances in California allow landlords to set the initial rent in any amount, but limit rent increases after a tenancy begins.

Rent control is often combined with eviction protections, known as "just cause for eviction," to make sure that landlords do not get around the rent increase limits by simply evicting tenants arbitrarily and bringing in new tenants. Just Cause protections provide basic fairness and prevent retaliation, discrimination, and harassment proactively.


Rating 1
What regulations does the City have? Just Cause and Rent Control Protections
Year Just Cause was Originally Adopted 2016
Year of Most Recent Just Cause Amendment 2016
Year Rent Control Originally Adopted 2016
Year of Most Recent Rent Control Amendment 2016

Just Cause Protections Summary

What causes for eviction are considered just cause - tenant at-fault?
  • Failure to pay rent
  • Breach of contract
  • Nuisance
  • Failure to give access
What causes for eviction are considered just cause - no-fault?
  • Temporarily vacate in order to undertake substantial repairs
  • Owner moves in
  • Withdrawal from rental market
  • Temporary tenancy
Key Eligibility and Exemption Summary
  • Rental Units exempt from rent control pursuant to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (California Civil Code § 1954.52) - single-family homes, built after 1995
  • Any permitted small, second housing unit built in compliance with the Small, Second Unit Ordinance of the City of Richmond (Richmond Municipal Code § 15.04.810)
  • Any units exempted by the Homeowner Protections in Section 11.100. 040.
Is there a minimum tenancy for coverage? No
Do protections apply to new construction? No, only applies to units built before 1995
What triggers the obligation to pay relocation assistance?
  • Owner move-in
  • Temporarily vacate in order to undertake substantial repairs
  • Withdrawal from rental market

Rent Control Protections Summary

What units are eligible for rent control and which are exempt? Exempt Units: rental units in hotels, motels, inns, tourist homes and rooming and boarding houses, hospitals, convent, monastery, extended medical care facilitiy, asylum, non-profit home for the aged, dormitory owned and operated by a higher education institution, government unit,
Additional Details
Banking Allowed Yes
Does the landlord have to petition for additional increases? Yes
On what grounds is the landlord allowed to petition for additional rent increases?
  • Increases or decreases in property taxes
  • Unavoidable increases or any decreases in maintenance and operating expenses
  • The cost of planned or completed capital improvements to the rental unit (as distinguished from ordinary repair, replacement and maintenance) where such capital improvements are necessary to bring the property into compliance or maintain compliance with applicable local code requirements affecting health and safety, and where such capital improvement costs are properly amortized over the life of the improvement
  • Increases or decreases in the number of tenants occupying the rental unit, living space, furniture, furnishings; equipment, or other housing services provided, or occupancy rules
  • Substantial deterioration of the controlled rental unit other than as a result of normal wear and tear

Rent Board Summary

Does the City have a Rent Board? Yes
Is the Rent Board appointed or elected? Appointed
Number of Units Covered by Rent Control 9,558
Number of Units Covered by Just Cause 20,018