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A. The City may issue an Administrative Citation under Chapter 1.28 to any Person who violates any provision of this Chapter.

B. The City Attorney may bring an action on behalf of the City seeking injunctive relief to restrain or enjoin any violation of this Chapter.

C. Any Aggrieved Person who believes that the provisions of this Chapter have been violated shall have a private right of action for injunctive relief, and actual damages or statutory damages up to three times the amount of one month’s rent that the Housing Provider charged for the unit in question at the time of the violation. In addition to actual or statutory damages, a court may award punitive damages where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that a violation of this Chapter has been committed with oppression, fraud, or malice. In any action brought under this Chapter, the court may award reasonable attorneys’ fees and cost of action pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5. The right to file an action under this Paragraph is independent of the right to file an administrative complaint under Section 13.106.090 and does not require an Applicant to have filed a prior complaint with the City of Berkeley.

D. When permitted by law, an award of actual damages under this Chapter may include an award for mental and/or emotional distress and/or suffering. The amount of actual damages awarded to a prevailing plaintiff shall be trebled by the court if a defendant is found to have acted in knowing violation of, or in reckless disregard of, the provisions of this Chapter.

E. In an action brought by the City Attorney pursuant to this Section, a court of competent jurisdiction may order that a civil penalty be assessed against the Housing Provider to vindicate the public interest, which penalty shall be payable to the City of Berkeley. The civil penalty assessed against a Housing Provider shall be at least one thousand dollars ($1,000) and shall not exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation of this Chapter. A defendant shall be liable for an additional civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation of this Chapter committed against a person who is disabled within the meaning of California Government Code section 12926 et seq., or is aged sixty-five (65) or over.

F. An attorney who represents an Applicant in litigation against a Housing Provider brought under this Chapter shall provide notice to the City within ten (10) days of filing court action against the Housing Provider, and inform the City of the outcome of the court action within ten (10) days of any final judgment. (Ord. 7692-NS § 1 (part), 2020)