After four months of counting and controversy, Berkeley officials declared Monday that Ricardo Noguera had been elected to the city's Rent Board by a one-vote margin out of more than 40,000 cast.

Noguera received 20,241 votes to 20,240 for his opponent, Richard Holt.It was originally announced that Holt had beaten Noguera by 13 votes last Nov. 8, but a lawsuit led a Superior Court judge to order a recount of 369 provisional ballots and 46 uncounted ballots that should have been included.

Observers said that four of the other members of the nine-member board generally leaned to tenants' rights and the other four were more favorable to landlords.

Noguera's one-vote election gave the pro-tenants members a 5-4 majority.