Rental Housing


There are approximately 4,000 rental properties in El Cerrito. Nearly all residential rentals properties in El Cerrito, including single-family homes and condominiums, are subject business license, Rent Registry, and Residential Rental Inspection Program (RRIP) requirements.   To ensure that your rental property is meeting all requirements, please review the information below. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

1. Business License: Requires anyone doing business within city limits (including rental property operation) to obtain a business license and pay the license tax annually. 

Click to apply for a new business license and follow the directions under NEW BUSINESS LICENSES or click to renew your license.

2. Rent Registry: Requires all residential rental property owners to register their rents and other occupancy data with the City annually. 

Click here to view details and instructions about the process.

3. Residential Rental Inspection Program (RRIP): All rental properties, with some exceptions, are subject to the RRIP to ensure the property meets health & safety requirements to provide safe and quality housing. 

Click to review Residential Rental Inspection Program information.

These requirements are designed to promote health, safety, and habitability as well as responsible management and operation.  Failure to comply with any of these requirements may result in enforcement actions, including fines and penalties. Short-term rentals, defined as less than 30 days, are not allowed in the City of El Cerrito except for in accordance with the City’s Bed and Breakfast requirements. Click to view the El Cerrito Bed and Breakfast requirements.

Registration Process

Step 1: Complete the Business License Application Form and mail or email to staff, as listed in the application. Checks and credit cards (subject to 3.5% fee) are acceptable forms of payment.

Step 2: Once your Business License Application is processed, City staff will provide instructions to complete the Rent Registry through the City’s online portal.

Step 3: Request a rental inspection by completing the online Form. Upon submission, staff will contact you to schedule the inspection and discuss requirements.  Please note: A separate invoice for the rental inspection will be provided once your date is scheduled.

Schedule of Fees

For 2023-2024, the program fees are as follows:

Business License
(per property)
Business Tax
(per unit)
Rent Registry
(per unit)
*Residential Rental Inspection
(per unit)
$88.00 new applications
$29.00 renewal applications
$4.00 AB 1379
$129.00 $43.00 $285.00 single-family
$250.00 multi-family
$142.00 additional multi-family
*Due at time inspection is scheduled