The RAP covers all property used for residential rental housing with several exceptions. The three most common exemptions from RAP are:

  1. that the unit is government subsidized housing.
  2. that the unit is newly construction units (built after January 1, 1983)
  3. the unit is a single family home or condominium exempt under the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Cal. Govt. C. §1954.50, et seq.)

If a property is exempt from RAP, none of the rules regarding Rent Adjustment apply. But, the rules about eviction controls (Just Cause for Evictions) may still apply.

For more information about exemptions from the Rent Adjustment Ordinance or the Just Cause for Evictions Ordinance, please see the Laws page

The following units are exempt from the RAP:

  • Subsidized Housing.
  • Motels, hotels if occupancy not more than 30 days.
  • Hospital, dormitory, extended care facility, etc.
  • Non-profit cooperative owned and occupied by majority of residents.
  • New construction (built after January 1st, 1983)
  • Substantial rehabilitation.
  • 3 units or less owner occupied properties.
  • The unit that an owner occupies in any building.
  • Non-profit facility-homeless/substance abuse treatment.
  • Unit in trust for developmental disabled.
  • Shared facilities with owner and tenants (bath/kitchen).
  • Costa Hawkins-Single family home or condominium.
  • Vacant units

What tenants can do

Best practices

Tenants are able to contest their units exemption from the Rent Adjustment Program through filing a tenant petition.

  • It is extremely important to communicate all issues with your property owner.
  • Keep record of all communication, along with the dates. Email is one good way.
  • If there is no response from your property owner, you can call the Oakland Code Compliance office at (510) 238-3381, Monday through Friday 9:00am-4:30pm.

To learn more about your rights regarding code violations contact a tenant right counselor or lawyer .


If a property owner has filed a petition

If your property owner has filed a petition against you, respond using the form that was mailed you to.
You may attach any relevant documents to your response or up until 7 days before a scheduled hearing.

Learn about the petition process Respond to a petition

What property owners can do

Best practices

  • If you believe your property is exempt, you must receive a Certificate of Exemption. If you do not have this certificate you must submit a petition to the RAP to receive this certificate. A Certificate of Exemption may be granted only for units that are permanently exempt from the Rent Adjustment Ordinance.
  • Owners can petition for the following claims for exemption:
    • New Construction: This may apply to individual units. The unit was newly constructed and a certification of occupancy was issued for it on or after January 1, 1983.
    • Substantial Rehabilitation: This applies only to entire buildings. An owner must have spent a minimum of fifty (50) percent of the average basic cost for new construction for a rehabilitation project. The average basic cost for new construction is determined using tables issued by the Chief Building Inspector. These tables are unique to the period when the rehabilitation was completed.
    • Single-Family or Condominium (Costa-Hawkins): Applies to Single Family Residences and condominiums only. If claiming exemption under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Civ. C.§1954.50, et seq.), owners will need answer the following questions:
      1. Did the prior tenant leave after being given a notice to quit (Civil Code Section 1946)?
      2. Did the prior tenant leave after being a notice of rent increase under Civil Code Section 827?
      3. Was the prior tenant evicted for cause?
      4. Are there any outstanding violations of building, housing, fire, or safety codes in the unit or building?
      5. Is the unit a single family dwelling or condominium that can be sold separately?
      6. Did the petitioning tenant have roommates when he/she moved in?
      7. If the unit is a condominium, did you purchase it? If so: 1) from whom? 2) Did you purchase
        the entire building?
      8. When did the tenant move into the unit?

    File a petition with the Rent Adjustment Program

    If you believe your unit is exempt from the RAP and need a Certification of Exemption, please complete the following form- “Landlord Petition for Exemption from the Rent Adjustment Ordinance”

    Learn about the petition process File a petition