Call us to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant or a landlord when it comes to navigating complicated housing issues. Our counselors can inform you about your options and help you take the steps needed to resolve your issue.
Access the Tenant Landlord Rights FAQ
California rent increase caps & eviction protections
Our staff and mediators can assist you and any other party in resolving your dispute. We remain neutral and keep all conversations confidential. In mediation, all parties meet either in person or via phone or video conferencing. A trained neutral mediator can help draft agreements that can be enforceable in Court.
Project Sentinel maintains a panel of professional arbitrators. Just like judges, arbitrators hear housing cases and issue legally binding decisions that explain the parties' respective responsibilities based on all applicable laws. We currently provide arbitration for the cities of Mountain View, Hayward, and Los Gatos.
We offer tailored mediation and facilitation courses on a regular basis. Our basic mediation class exceeds the mediation certification requirements.
Our facilitation classes help participants become successful facilitators, for their own meetings and for community meetings and other public events.
Project Sentinel and Legal Aid at Work have partnered up to launch a new project for workers’ rights in the Central Valley. Legal Aid at Work is a workers' rights non-profit that provides free legal services to low-wage workers throughout the state. The new project is aimed at serving workers, regardless of immigration status, who are facing workplace problems such as discrimination, retaliation, and harassment; wage theft; accommodations and leave; unemployment insurance; immigration-based retaliation; rights of survivors of domestic violence and stalking; LGBTQ workers' rights; and issues related to COVID-19. Workers can get connected with these services by calling Legal Aid at Work's Central Valley Helpline at 209-497-4399.
We are equipped to help during COVID
New California rent increase caps and eviction protections (AB1482)
These new statewide rental housing laws have been effective since 1/1/2020. Here's what changed:
Rent increase caps
In a 12-month period, total rent increases cannot exceed 5% plus the change in cost of living (CPI), or 10%, whichever is lower. The current rent increase cap for Santa Clara County, Stanislaus, and most other Bay Area counties is 10%, and 10% for San Mateo, SF, Alameda, Marin, and Contra Costa Counties.
Maximum of 2 rent increases in any 12 month period (the total of which cannot exceed the rent cap).
Applies to most units except for units built less than 15 years ago, single-family homes or condos with no corporate ownership, duplexes where owner resides in other unit, low income/BMR units, etc. (see flyer for full exemptions list)
"Just cause for eviction” means Landlords must specify a valid reason to evict or terminate a tenancy.
Just cause protections apply only after 12 months of tenancy or 24 months if new tenant added.
Allowed "at fault" causes: failure to pay rent, nuisance, damage to property, etc. (see flyer for full list)
Allowed "no-fault" causes: owner move-in, withdrawal of unit from rental market, government orders to vacate, intent to demolish or substantially remodel with permits
If "no-fault" of a tenant, landlord must pay relocation i.e. one month's rent within 15 days of the termination notice
Applies to most units except for units built less than 15 years ago, single-family homes or condos with no corporate ownership (notice of exemption required!), duplexes where owner resides in other unit, low income/BMR units, some owner-occupied properties, etc. (see flyer for full exemptions list)
Where permitted, rent increases over 10% require 90 days' written notice
Tenant may house a person at risk of homelessness as a "Lodger". Landlord approval required.
New anti-discrimination laws
Project Sentinel is currently offering services over the phone, in-person or by email. We provide assistance to individuals who experience tenant-landlord issues in the following geographic areas:
Counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo and Stanislaus.
City of Fremont.
1490 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050
We have Satellite Offices in Fremont (39155 Liberty St Suite D440), San Mateo County (1615 Hudson St, Ste. A, Redwood City), Stanislaus County (1231 8th St, Suite 425, Modesto), South County (8339 Church St #104, Gilroy) and Sacramento (1010 Hurley Way, Suite 500). Currently all services are being offered remotely.