The Richmond Rent Ordinance’s eviction protections keep Richmond tenants housed by limiting evictions. Under the Richmond Rent Ordinance, a landlord may only evict a tenant with just cause for eviction.  Just cause for eviction means that a landlord can only terminate a tenancy for reasons listed in the Richmond Rent Ordinance. When terminating a tenancy, the landlord must inform the tenant, in writing, which just cause reason they are asserting.  A termination of tenancy that does not comply with the Richmond Rent Ordinance’s just cause for eviction protections is unlawful and void.

Under the Richmond Rent Ordinance, What Are The Just Cause Reasons A Landlord Can Terminate A Tenancy?

The Richmond Rent Ordinance lists eight just cause reasons to terminate a tenancy.  The just cause reasons are:

  1. Tenant’s failure to pay rent;
  2. Tenant’s continued breach of a material lease term, after receiving written notice to stop;
  3. Tenant’s continued nuisance, after receiving written notice to stop;
  4. Tenant’s failure to provide reasonable access, without good cause, to the landlord, after receiving landlord’s written notice of entry;
  5. Temporary eviction for substantial repairs;
  6. Owner move-in or relative move-in eviction;
  7. Ellis Act Eviction; and,
  8. Landlord seeks to recover possession from a temporary tenancy at a single-family home that the landlord previously occupied as their principal residence and has the right to recover possession under the lease for no more than twelve months. Richmond Municipal Code § 11.100.050.

Additionally, a government agency can order a tenant to vacate their rental unit due to health or safety conditions.  Richmond Municipal Code § 11.102.030(c).

Is My Unit Covered Under the Richmond Rent Ordinance’s Eviction Protection Provisions?

Nearly every unit within the City of Richmond is protected by the Richmond Rent Ordinance’s eviction protections.  Further, eviction protections extend to any “ rental property rented or offered for rent for residential purposes,” which means the unit need not be permitted or zoned for residential use.  Richmond Municipal Code § 11.100.030(m).

What Documents Must My Landlord Provide to Terminate My Tenancy Under the Richmond Rent Ordinance?

Under state law and the Richmond Rent Ordinance, a landlord may only terminate a tenancy by serving the tenant with written notice.  For tenants who have resided in their home for less than a year, the landlord need only provide 30 days written notice.  California Civil Code § 1946.   For tenants who have resided in their home for a year or more, the landlord must provide 60 days written notice.  Id. However, where a tenant is at fault, for example by committing nuisance, not paying rent, or remaining in breach of the lease, the landlord need only provide a three-day notice to cure or quit.  California Code of Civil Procedure § 1161.  If, at the expiration of the three-day notice, the landlord believes the tenant has not cured the defect, the landlord may initiate an unlawful detainer or eviction action in court.

The landlord must also state the just cause reason for the termination on the termination of tenancy notice.  Richmond Municipal Code § 11.100.050.  Where the termination of tenancy notice is based upon the tenant’s alleged breach of the lease, nuisance, or failure to provide reasonable access, the landlord must attach all prior written warnings to the termination of tenancy notice. Richmond Municipal Code § 11.100.050(d). For such notices, the landlord must also include:

  1. Language informing the tenant that their failure to cure the alleged violation may result in the initiation of an eviction action;
  2. Information regarding the tenant’s right to request reasonable accommodation;
  3. The Richmond Rent Board’s contact information;
  4. Sufficient details to allow the tenant to cure the alleged violation; and,
  5. Any information necessary to determine the date, time, place, witnesses present, and other circumstances concerning the alleged reason for the notice. Id.

Generally, the written termination of tenancy notice must minimally include:

  • The just cause reason for the termination;
  • The unit address;
  • The name of all tenants;
  • 3/30/60/120 day of notice period;
  • For Ellis Act demolition evictions & temporary eviction for substantial repairs, all demolition permits;
  • For owner move-in evictions, the name and address of the owner who will occupy the unit;
  • For relative move-in evictions, the qualified relative’s name, address, and relationship to the landlord;
  • For temporary evictions for substantial repairs, all necessary permits;
  • For nuisance and breach of lease evictions, all prior written warning notices; and,
  • For temporary eviction notices, a completed notice of entitlement to a temporary relocation payment form that includes a summary of intended substantial repairs and a notification of the tenant’s right of first refusal to return to the completed unit, a rent differential payment form, and a permanent relocation payment form.

My Landlord Violated the Richmond Rent Ordinance, Do I Have A Claim?

Yes, you may have a claim for unlawful rent increase or wrongful eviction, which could entitle you to money damages.  Unscrupulous Richmond landlords often increase rent to an amount in violation of the Richmond Rent Ordinance, or in lieu of performing a Richmond Ellis Act eviction, or Richmond owner or relative move-in eviction.  Contact Astanehe Law to discuss the Richmond Rent Ordinance, Richmond Rent Control, or California Rent Control with an attorney today.