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About Rental Housing Mediation Task Force

Objectives of the Program

  1. Provide information on the California Rules and Regulations pertaining to Landlord/Tenant rights and responsibilities to parties in a residential rental housing situation.
  2. Offer mediation services to Landlords, Tenants, Roommates and Neighbors regarding disputes pertaining to residential rental housing.

Who We Are

The City of Santa Barbara through the Community Development Department Administration, Housing and Human Services Division operates the Rental Housing Mediation Task Force Program (RHMTF). The purpose of the program is to resolve rental housing disputes by offering mediation services, and information on residential Landlord-Tenant rights and responsibilities. Our contracted areas of service are: City of Santa Barbara, City of Goleta, City of Carpinteria, and the Unincorporated Areas of Santa Barbara County. 

Services

Services provided by the program are:

  • Mediation
  • Information on Landlord/Tenant rights and responsibilities
  • Staff consultations
  • Referrals to social service agencies
  • Outreach and education

Disputes are mediated between any combination of parties:

  • Landlord-Tenant
  • Roommate-Roommate
  • Property Manager-Tenant
  • Sublessor-Sublessee

Clients include, Spanish-speaking residents, seniors, disabled persons, single parents, students etc.

The RHMTF services are delivered in the following manner:

  1. Mediations, by telephone, with consenting parties to resolve rental housing disputes, conducted by staff
  2. Mediations, with consenting parties to resolve rental housing disputes, conducted by staff, two mediators and a mediator trainee
  3. Dissemination of information and printed materials relating to rental housing disputes and mediation
  4. Staff consultations
  5. Referrals to Social Service Agencies. Collaborative interaction with social service agencies for the prevention of homelessness
  6. Public speaking, outreach and education on mediation as an alternative to costly legal resolutions to rental housing disputes

Donate & Help

Click here to donate to RHMTF in partnership through Second Story Associates.

Note: 100% of your tax-exempt donations will go to the RHMTF Program. Second Story takes no administrative fee from your donation.

History

The Rental Housing Mediation Task Force (RHMTF) was established in 1976 out of a "Grass Roots" effort to resolve Landlord/Tenant disputes. The RHMTF is composed of Staff and a Task Force of fifteen trained community volunteers who are appointed by the Santa Barbara City Council. Click here for more information about the Task Force. The RHMTF program is dedicated to resolving rental housing disputes by offering mediation services and information on Landlord-Tenant rights and responsibilities. The Program, therefore, establishes an effective and efficient alternative to formal court proceedings for the resolution of rental housing disputes. Consequently, the direct effect is the reduction of civil cases that would normally be processed by the county court system.