Residential Rental Security Measures
On December 3, 2019, the City Council passed the Residential Rental Security Measures ordinance (Municipal Code Chapter 7.70) finding that tenants have a right to a written lease and that a contractual relationship with a landlord may offer some needed assurances of stability to minimize displacement of tenants in a rental housing market affording tenants few and increasingly expensive options. In addition to minimum lease terms, the Residential Rental Security Measures ordinance includes mandatory discussion and/or mediation of rental unit disputes for landlords and tenants.
Please see Municipal Code Chapter 7.70 for specific provisions of the Residential Rental Security Measures ordinance. The following information provides a summary related to frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What type of rental units does the ordinance include?
The ordinance applies to most multifamily rental properties with two or more units.
Rental units not included in the ordinance:
1. A unit which is rented on or before the effective date of this section; provided, that:
a. If the unit is rented subject to a written lease with a minimum term of at least one year, when the lease in effect for such unit expires, the ordinance codified in this chapter shall then apply; and
b. If the unit is rented without a written lease, the landlord shall offer a written lease to the tenant in accordance with this section, at the time of lease renewal or any rent increase;
2. Transient hotel occupancy as defined in Section 3.12.020;
3. Housing accommodations in a nonprofit hospital, religious facility, extended care facility, licensed residential care facility for the elderly (as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 1569.2) or an adult residential facility (as defined in Chapter 6 of Division 6 of Title 22 of the Manual of Policies and Procedures published by the State Department of Social Services);
4. Dormitories owned and operated by an institution of higher education or a kindergarten and grades one to twelve, inclusive, school;
5. Rental units in which the tenant shares bathroom or kitchen facilities with the owner who maintains their principal residence at the residential real property;
6. Single-family owner-occupied residences, including a residence in which the owner-occupant rents or leases no more than two units or bedrooms, including, but not limited to, an accessory dwelling unit or a junior accessory dwelling unit;
7. A duplex in which the owner occupies one of the units as the owner’s principal place of residence at the beginning of the tenancy, so long as the owner continues in occupancy;
8. Housing that has been issued a certificate of occupancy within the previous fifteen years;
9. Residential real property that is alienable separate from the title to any other dwelling unit; provided, that the owner is not any of the following: (a) a real estate investment trust, as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 856; (b) a corporation, or (c) a limited liability company in which at least one member is a corporation;
10. Housing restricted by deed, regulatory restriction contained in an agreement with a government agency, or other recorded document as affordable housing for persons and families of very low, low, or moderate income, as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 50093, or subject to an agreement that provides housing subsidies for affordable housing for persons and families of very low, low, or moderate income, as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 50093 or comparable federal statutes;
11. A rental unit where the tenancy is an express condition of, or consideration for, employment under a written rental agreement or contract; or
12. A rental unit leased to an entity other than a natural person or persons.
What is required of the landlord/property owner/property management company?
A landlord shall offer a tenant or prospective tenant a written lease with a minimum term of one (1) year every twelve months.
The notice regarding minimum lease terms shall be provided prior to entering any lease, written or oral, and shall contain substantially the following language:
The Half Moon Bay Municipal Code may provide you with the right to minimum lease terms. In certain situations, landlords must offer tenants the option to enter into a one (1) year written lease. It is the tenant’s choice whether to enter into such a written lease with a landlord. Further information is available on the City’s website or from the Community Development Director.
May the landlord and tenant agree to terms shorter or longer than a one year lease?
Landlords must offer tenants a one year lease, but the landlord and tenant may agree to other rentals terms. Recommended practice is to ensure all terms are documented in writing and signed by both landlord and tenant.
What are the requirements of a rental housing dispute for landlords and tenants?
All landlords and tenants shall participate in the conciliation and mediation of rental unit disputes. A rental unit dispute means a fact-based grievance raised by any tenant or landlord regarding the occupancy or use of a rental unit limited to rental rate increases, deposits, repairs and maintenance, utilities, occupants, parking and storage facilities, privacy, quiet enjoyment, or use of common areas. See Municipal Code section 7.70.030 for procedure requirements.
The notice regarding the mediation program shall be provided prior to entering any lease, written or oral, and shall contain substantially the following language:
The Half Moon Bay Municipal Code may provide you the right to mediation of disputes between landlord and tenant. You must request mediation within 21 days of learning about the facts that created the dispute. Further information is available on the City’s website or from the Community Development Director.
Where do I find information about the Tenant Protection Act of 2019?
Use the link to find information regarding California Assembly Bill 1482 also known as the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which includes rent limits and just cause eviction protections for tenants.