"Good faith participation" requires each party or their authorized representative to personally participate in the dispute resolution program. A representative of a party authorized to participate in lieu of the landlord or tenant must possess decision-making authority regarding the subject of mediation.
To participate in good faith, landlords are prohibited from harassing the tenant by engaging in behavior prohibited by ordinance section 5.95.060 and guidelines section 9. Many of the behaviors and activities prohibited by this ordinance are also precluded by State law. Prohibited behaviors include:
- Interrupt, fail to provide, or threaten to interrupt or fail to provide any housing service under a lease or rental agreement, including but not limited to utility services and other amenities and services agreed to by contract;
- Fail to perform repairs or maintenance required by contract or by State, or County housing, health, or safety laws;
- Fail to exercise due diligence to complete repairs and maintenance once undertaken, including the failure to follow industry-appropriate safety standards and protocols;
- Abuse or otherwise improperly use landlord’s right to access the property;
- Remove personal property of the tenant(s) from the dwelling unit;
- Influence or attempt to influence the tenant(s) to vacate the unit by means of fraud, intimidation, or coercion (including but not limited to threats based on immigration status in violation of California Civil Code section 1940.3);
- Offer payment or any other consideration, in return for the tenant(s) vacating the dwelling unit, more often than once every six months;
- Threaten the tenant(s) by word or gesture with physical harm;
- Interfere with the tenants(s) right to quiet use and enjoyment of the dwelling unit;
- Refuse to accept or acknowledge receipt of lawful rent from the tenant(s);
- Interfere with the tenant(s) right to privacy;
- Request information that violates the tenant(s) right to privacy;
- Other repeated acts or omissions of such significance as to substantially interfere with or disturb the tenant(s) comfort, repose, peace, or quiet enjoyment, and that cause, are likely to cause, or are intended to cause the tenant(s) to vacate the dwelling unit; or
- Retaliate against the tenant(s) for the tenant(s) exercise of rights under the ordinance or State or federal law.
In addition, landlords engaged in the dispute resolution program may not commence an unlawful detainer proceeding other than for those actions authorized by subsections (3) and (4) of the California Code of Procedures Section 1161 or any successor provisions.
Tenants are required to continue to pay all rent legally due to the landlord and to comply with the terms of their rental agreement throughout the dispute resolution process.
For details, see Ordinance 3680 § 5.95.050(d) and 5.95.060 and Guidelines section 7.