Article 1    Purpose and Findings

4.30.102 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish a proactive rental property inspection program to protect the public health, safety and welfare through the identification, prevention, and correction of substandard housing conditions that adversely affect the quality of life for residents living in and around rental dwelling units.

(Sec. 1, Ordinance No. 16-14, adopted October 14, 2014)

4.30.104 Findings.

The City Council hereby finds that this Chapter is necessary to preserve the health, safety and general welfare of the community. Rental housing sometimes experiences a lack of adequate maintenance, or is allowed to create public nuisances, due to the fact that owners may not inspect the property often, may not make repairs or abate nuisances as necessary, or because tenants are not concerned with property conditions that may adversely affect property values. These regulations are also necessary to protect the right of tenants to safe and decent housing when the owner does not take reasonable steps to inspect, repair or maintain rental housing and to maintain the quality of life for residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

Article 2    General Provisions

4.30.202 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth below:

a.    "City" means the City of Oakley, California;

b.    "Director" means the City Manager or his/her designee;

c.    "Deficiency" means any failure of a rental property subject to this chapter to comply with applicable laws;

d.    "Enforcement officer" means a code enforcement officer or other employee designated by the Director to issue notices of violations and administrative citations for violations of applicable laws;

e.    "Property owner" means any person, persons, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or any other entity holding fee title, ownership or control of the rental property, and shall include:

1)    The above person(s) or entities who own, as shown on the last equalized assessment roll, the property where the violation(s) exist;

2)    The above person(s) or entities who have management control of the property where the violation exists;

f.    "Rental property" means any building or portion of a building in the City which is hired, rented or leased by a person or persons within the meaning of Civil Code Sec. 1940. A "rental dwelling unit" includes a single-family dwelling, either attached or unattached, a unit in a multifamily or multipurpose dwelling, or a unit in a condominium or cooperative housing project, or any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling forming a single unit with facilities that are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating. This definition applies whether or not the unit is legally permitted.

(Sec. 2, Ordinance No. 16-14, adopted October 14, 2014)

4.30.204 Application of Chapter.

(a)    This Chapter applies to all existing rental dwelling units, including units owned, operated and/or subsidized by public agencies. This Chapter also applies to premises on which these units are located, including parking lots, driveways, landscaping, accessory structures, fences, walls, swimming pools, hot tubs and spas.

(b)    The provisions of this Chapter are supplementary and complementary to other provisions of this Code and applicable statutes. Nothing contained in this Chapter shall be construed to limit any existing right of the City to abate nuisances or to enforce any provisions of applicable law, statute, or this Code.

4.30.206 Exemptions.

The following types of rental dwelling units are exempted from the application of this Chapter:

(a)    All mobile homes, manufactured homes, recreational vehicles, and other dwelling units located in a mobile home park.

(b)    Hotels and motels.

(c)    Units that are unavailable for rent as indicated by a statement that the property owner has submitted to the Director that the unit is not available for rent, and that prior to offering the unit available for rent, the property owner will notify the Director and register the units as described in this Chapter.

4.30.208 Administration.

This chapter shall be administered and enforced by the City Manager.

(Sec. 3, Ordinance No. 16-14, adopted October 14, 2014)

4.30.210 Registration.

Every owner of real property not exempted by this chapter who offers property for rent shall register the rental property with the City by submitting a rental application and property use verification affidavit annually and pay the accompanying rental registration fee. It shall be unlawful to rent or lease a rental property without registering the rental property with the City on an annual basis. The rental registration fee shall be established from time to time by the City Council’s adoption of a resolution.

(Sec. 4, Ordinance No. 16-14, adopted October 14, 2014)

Article 3    Standards

4.30.302 Responsibility for Property Maintenance.

Every property owner of a rental dwelling unit located in the City of Oakley shall:

(a)    Maintain the unit and the site on which it is located so that no substandard condition or violation of this Code exists at the unit or site;

(b)    Correct all substandard conditions identified during a City inspection, before re-inspection occurs; and

(c)    Be liable and responsible for violations of this Code irrespective of any contract or agreement with any third party concerning the rental dwelling unit and/or its premises.

4.30.304 Site Maintenance Standards.

All rental properties shall be in compliance with all provisions of the Oakley Municipal Code, including adopted uniform housing and building codes, at all times. Additionally, the City Manager shall promulgate, from time to time, a compliance checklist, listing the standards for site maintenance for rental properties. All rental properties shall also be in compliance with the then-current adopted checklist.

(Sec. 5, Ordinance No. 16-14, adopted October 14, 2014)

Article 4    Enforcement

4.30.402 Inspections of Rental Housing Units.

(a)    Unless otherwise exempt under this chapter, every rental property shall be subject to periodic inspection to determine whether any substandard condition exists at a rental dwelling or its premises, to determine whether there is a violation of this code or the checklist, and to ensure compliance with the requirements described in this chapter.

(b)    If a rental dwelling unit or its premises fails to pass an inspection, the Director or designee will provide the Property Owner with written notice of any deficiencies noted during the inspection and/or re-inspection of the dwelling unit or its premises.

(c)    A rental dwelling unit shall be subject to re-inspections as frequently as necessary to ensure that all deficiencies are corrected.

(d)    Inspections by the City pursuant to this program shall be exterior inspections only, unless an interior inspection is authorized by the owner or tenant. Nothing herein shall prevent the City from obtaining an inspection warrant for an interior inspection without the consent of the owner or tenant, nor from conducting an emergency inspection under exigent circumstances. Nothing herein shall prevent the City from conducting any other property inspection or taking any other enforcement action authorized by federal, state, or local law.

(Sec. 6, Ordinance No. 16-14, adopted October 14, 2014)

4.30.404 Notice and Order to Correct.

(a)    If any substandard condition or violation exists, the Director or designee may provide the property owner with a written "Notice and Order to Correct" that describes the substandard condition or violation. The notice will provide a reasonable period of time for correction, depending on the severity of the condition, from 24 hours to 60 days from the date of the notice.

(b)    If the property owner applies in writing to the Director for an extension within the original correction period, the Director may extend the period for correction if the Director determines that the property owner has established that the correction has been diligently pursued but could not be completed within the original correction period.

(c)    The Notice and Order shall be mailed first class mail to the property owner at the property owner’s last address as it appears on the latest equalized tax assessment roll of Contra Costa County.

4.30.406 Permits.

Before beginning any correction of the substandard condition or violation, the property owner shall obtain all necessary permits and pay all required fees for the permits, including, without limitation, any penalty imposed by this Code by reason of any repair, improvement, or maintenance which had been done in the past without a required permit, inspection or final approval.

4.30.408 Re-Inspections.

One or more re-inspections may be conducted to verify that the substandard condition(s) or violation(s) identified in the Notice and Order have been corrected. Following the expiration of the correction period and any extensions, the property owner shall pay a re-inspection fee and associated penalties, if any, and arrange with the Director for re-inspection of the property. If the owner does not contact the Director, the City may cause a re-inspection to be made at its own discretion. The property owner shall pay any re-inspection fees and/or costs, including attorneys’ fees for the City if legal services were utilized, for the re-inspection(s). Any substandard condition or violation not discovered in the initial inspection but discovered during a re-inspection may be the subject of a subsequent Notice and Order.

4.30.410 Relocation of Tenants.

If it becomes necessary in the opinion of the Director to vacate any rental dwelling unit because of an unsafe or unsanitary condition, or to carry out the correction of any Notice and Order, the costs and expenses of any tenant shall be the responsibility of the property owner. The owner may appeal such costs and expenses to the City Manager, whose decision shall be final.

4.30.412 Remedies.

Failure to correct the substandard condition or violation after a Notice and Order within the time specified in the Notice and Order, may result in the issuance of administrative citations, abatement of any nuisances using any remedy allowed under this Chapter, this Municipal Code, uniform codes adopted by reference, state law, a proceeding in equity, criminal and/or civil penalties, recordation of a notice of pending action, and/or any other enforcement method permitted by law. Remedies may include the

City notifying the state Franchise Tax Board of the Property Owner’s noncompliance for the purposes of disallowing state income tax deduction of interest, depreciation, taxes or amortization deductions, pursuant to California Revenue and Taxation Code Sections 17274 and 24436.5, and related statutes. Conducting the business of renting dwelling units in violation of this Chapter or without making corrections shall also constitute an unfair business practice subject to enforcement provisions authorized by state law.

4.30.414 Appeals.

The Property Owner may appeal any determination of the Director or designee in the same manner as an appeal is taken from the issuance of an administrative citation as described in this Code.

Article 5    Licenses, Fees and Costs

4.30.502 Annual Fee.

All Property Owners of residential rental units subject to a rental dwelling unit inspection shall pay a fee in an amount established by resolution of the City Council. The fee shall represent the estimated average time and the actual cost and expense of maintaining the rental dwelling units and providing the annual inspection, and will be used to finance the cost of the Rental Dwelling Unit Inspection program. Should the property owner fail to pay the required inspection fee, the City will recover it, in addition to accrued interest and penalties, utilizing any remedies provided by law including, but not limited to, nuisance abatement or municipal tax lien procedures established by Ordinance or state law. Penalty amounts shall be as designated by the Council by resolution and, for Building Code violations, shall reflect penalty amounts contained in the Uniform Building Code for violation of that Code.

4.30.504 Re-Inspection Fee.

Upon inspection, the Community Development Director or designee may instruct the owner to perform work, take action, or refrain from action to verify compliance with said codes. If the Community Development Director or designee discovers upon re-inspection that the work, action, or inaction requested was not performed, the cited party shall be charged a re-inspection fee in an amount established by Resolution of the City Council. Should the cited party fail to pay the required re-inspection fee, the City will recover it, in addition to accrued interest and penalties, utilizing any remedies provided by law including nuisance abatement or municipal tax lien procedures established by Ordinance or state law.

(Sec.1, Ordinance No. 07-08, adopted April 22, 2008)