Rent Adjustment Program

The Oakland City Council adopted the Rent Adjustment Program (RAP) Ordinance in 1980. The program handles disputes between residential renters and residential property owners.

The purpose of this program is to encourage investments in Oakland’s residential housing market that foster affordable, fair housing for a diverse population of renters. We believe community begins with where you live, and we’re committed to fostering healthy relationships between property owners and renters.

The current version of the Ordinance is codified as OMC Chapter 8.22. The Rent Adjustment Ordinance sets the maximum annual rent increase based on the annual CPI increase.

Our role

The Rent Adjustment Program addresses concerns between owners and tenants. Renters may challenge a rent increase if they believe it is more than the allowable amount. Rent increases above the allowable amount must meet the criteria of the ordinance. Renters may also petition for a decrease in rent paid due to a loss of service. Disputes will be settled through mediation or a hearing. Hearing Officers make decisions based upon review of information from both tenants and property owners. The Rent Adjustment Program allows property owners to petition for pre-approval of a rent increase. Property Owners may petition for an exemption from the Rent Adjustment Program for qualifying properties. Property Owners may apply to remove a property from the rental market as allowed by the Ellis Act.


Petition Process

Renters must submit a petition to contest a past or present rent increase.

Learn more about the petition process

The team


Program Manager

The Program Manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the Rent Adjustment Program. The manager staffs Rent Board meetings and presents agendas and annual reports to City Council.


Program Analyst

Program Analysts are the RAP’s first line of contact with the public. Analysts are available by telephone and drop-in hours at the Housing Assistance Center. Analysts help explain to property owners and renters the process and obligations under the Rent Ordinance. An analyst is assigned to each case and will be the point of contact for all questions or concerns you may have with your case.


Housing Residential Rent-Relocation Board

The Rent Board hears appeals in response to Rent Adjustment staff decisions. They also recommend regulations and changes to the Rent Adjustment Ordinance.


Administrative Assistant

The administrative assistant provides support to staff in the day-to-day operation of the Rent Adjustment Program. The administrative assistant is often the first point of contact when the public calls the RAP or has questions about the program. The assistants route incoming calls and mail to the appropriate staff. Other duties include opening new cases, processing public records requests, and conducting file reviews.


Hearing Officer

Hearing officers conduct hearings and mediations. The hearing officer reviews all evidence submitted. After review, the hearing officer issues a decision or mediation agreement. Hearing officers often do not communicate directly with people in a case until the hearing itself.