MySB
Close Panel

Rental Housing Mediation Program

For Dispute Resolution Services, including information about landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, contact our office.

Phone: (805) 564-5420 
or Email Staff: 

Andrea BifanoSenior Rental Housing Mediation Specialist
ABifano@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

Alba MarshallRental Housing Mediation Specialist (Se Habla Español)
AMarshall@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

Raymond RengoRental Housing Mediation Specialist
RRengo@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

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.
  3. Prevention of Homelessness, by settling rental housing disputes out of court through the provision of Dispute Resolution Services.

Who We Are

The City of Santa Barbara through the Community Development Department Administration, Housing and Human Services Division operates the Rental Housing Mediation Program (RHMP). The purpose of the program is to resolve rental housing disputes by offering mediation services, and information on residential Landlord - Tenant rights and responsibilities. The  RHMP services are provided to residents within the city limits of the following jurisdictions only:  City of Santa Barbara, City of Goleta and City of Carpinteria.

Services

Services provided by the program are:

  • Mediations
  • 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 RHMP services are delivered in the following manner:

  1. Mediations, by telephone, with consenting parties to resolve rental housing disputes, conducted by staff
  2. Mediations, Face-to-Face (in-person) or Virtual (via zoom) with consenting parties to resolve rental housing disputes, conducted by two appointed City Council Board Mediator Members and staff; 
  3. Dissemination of information and printed materials relating to rental housing disputes and mediation via staff consultations; 
  4. Referrals to Social Service Agencies. Collaborative interaction with social service agencies for the prevention of homelessness; and 
  5. 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 RHMP in partnership through Second Story Associates.

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

History

The Rental Housing Mediation Program (RHMP) was established in 1976 out of a "Grass Roots" effort to resolve Landlord/Tenant disputes. The RHMP is composed of three full-time  Staff and a Board of fifteen trained community volunteers who are appointed by the Santa Barbara City Council. Click here for more information about the Board. The RHMP 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.

For more information click on the appropriate language to read our Rental Housing Mediation Program brochure in English or in Spanish.

Last Updated: Apr 8, 2022
Top of Page