Rental Dispute Resolution

The City of Mountain View provides two dispute resolution programs. The Rental Housing Dispute Resolution Program provides a mandatory dispute resolution process for certain tenant/landlord disputes. The Voluntary Mediation Program provides assistance with resolving other types of disputes in the community without the burden and expense of going to court. Both programs are administered by Project Sentinel and provided to participants at no charge. For inquiries about either program, contact: 

Project Sentinel at (650) 960-0495 or mediate4mv@housing.org.

Landlord Workshops as well as Tenant Workshops are being held throughout the months of June and July to explain the new Rental Housing Dispute Resolution Program as well as the Right to Lease Ordinance and the Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance.

The Rental Housing Dispute Resolution Program

On April 26, 2016, the City Council for the City of Mountain View adopted a Rental Housing Dispute Resolution Program (RHDRP) Ordinance. This Ordinance became effective May 26, 2016.

Download the Rental Housing Dispute Resolution Program Ordinance

RENTAL PROPERTIES COVERED:

The RHDRP applies to rental properties in the City of Mountain View with three or more dwelling units in a single structure.

RENTAL DISPUTES COVERED:

The RHDRP provides a mandatory dispute resolution process for the following rental housing disputes:

  • Rent Increases exceeding 7.2% within a one year period
  • Service Reductions, defined as reduction in level of services or a failure to provide habitable premises
  • 30/60 day Notices of Termination
  • Maintenance/Repairs
  • Security Deposits
  • Termination by tenant prior to end of lease term

Download a Written Request for Dispute Resolution

Disputes involving rent increases greater than 7.2% within a one year period and Service Reduction issues may also be subject to nonbinding mandatory arbitration.

LIMIT ON NUMBER OF RENT INCREASES:

The Ordinance limits the number of rent increases to two within a 12 month period.

NOTICE REQUIREMENTS: Download text of the required RHDRP notice

Landlords are required to provide notice to tenants upon leasing, renewal of lease or with a rent increase notice that the rental unit is subject to the City's Rental Housing Dispute Resolution Program.

LANDLORD REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS: www.mountainview.gov/rhdrp

Landlords are required to register any rental apartment complex in the City of Mountain View containing three or more rental units in a single structure.

MORE INFORMATION: Download Frequently Asked Questions

BROCHURE: Download the RHDRP Brochure

Voluntary Mediation Program


The City of Mountain View also funds a voluntary Mediation Program, for any disputes in the community not covered by the RHDRP. Rather than putting a dispute in the hands of a judge who has limited knowledge of the people and the situation, mediation allows disputing parties to explore all of the possibilities, after hearing each other's views, and to choose a mutually acceptable outcome for themselves. For those who have agreed to participate in mediation, the program has helped them to reach a satisfactory resolution over 70% of the time. 

Mediation involves a confidential meeting between parties who have a disagreement, facilitated by trained, neutral mediators who guide a discussion of issues toward a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator does not give legal advice, voice opinions or decide who is wrong or right, but is rather a facilitator of dialogue.

EXAMPLES OF MEDIATION CASES:

  • A neighbor's dog barks late into the night and has caused damage to common fence
  • A couple has a dispute with a local merchant regarding a purchased product or services
  • An employee at a local company has an ongoing personality conflict with a co-worker
  • A consultant claims a business owes her additional fees for work performed on a project
  • A roommate wants to move out of a shared apartment

BECOME A VOLUNTEER MEDIATOR:

The City of Mountain View annually recruits and trains volunteers from the community to become mediators for the program. Volunteer mediators are your neighbors and peers from all professions and backgrounds.  If you are interested in becoming a mediator or learning more about the training, please call (650) 960-0495 or email mediate4mv@housing.org.

VOLUNTEER MEDIATOR APPLICATION: Available February 2017.

Project Sentinel can be reached at (650) 960-0495 or mediate4mv@housing.org.

 

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