Mission Statement

“As representatives of ASUC Renters’ Legal Assistance, we endeavor to provide correct and comprehensive counseling, to continually improve knowledge of rent law, and to maintain the high caliber of service that has earned us the respect of the Berkeley community and students of the University.”

ASUC Renters’ Legal Assistance (RLA) is an undergraduate student organization at UC Berkeley that provides information to the community regarding rental issues. If you have a problem with your landlord, your lease, or anything concerning your rights as a renter, we are here to help! Around 20 student interns have been carefully trained in California rent law to help you out.

Our area of specialty is the city of Berkeley, but we are also familiar with rent laws of nearby cities (e.g. Oakland, Emeryville, San Francisco) as well as of the state of California as a whole.

ASUC Renters’ Legal Assistance was established in 1981 under the name Renter’s Assistance Project for Students (RAPS). RAPS was a product of a joint project among ASUC, CALPIRG, and the Municipal Lobby. RAPS was established to help educate students about their rights and responsibilities, the resources available to them, and the skills to exercise those rights in present and future rental situations. RLA continues this mission by offering free assistance through counseling, education, and public interest research. We have handled thousands of cases, so we are familiar with many different issues — if we cannot provide you assistance specific to your case, we will refer you to sources who can.

Current Directors:

Justin Som (asucrla@gmail.com)

What We Can Do For You:

  • We can offer you friendly and knowledgeable suggestions on the most effective ways to handle your rent-related problems.
  • We can give you resources for legal counsel, including attorney referral services.
  • We can provide you with the California Civil Code to assist you in defending your rights.
  • We help you free of charge.


  • We cannot provide legal advice or counsel.
  • We cannot aid you in preparation of any legal instruments or contracts by which legal rights are secured.
  • We do not express any opinion as to what action, if any, you should take.