New Requirements for Owner Move-In & Relative Move-In Evictions Under California Rent Control
California tenants protected under the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (“California Rent Control”) gain critical just cause for eviction protections and rent limitation provisions, provided they reside in a covered building. Under the law’s just cause for eviction protections, the landlord may not evict a tenant without asserting, in writing, a lawful just cause reason for the termination of tenancy. One reason under the TPA is that the owner seeks to recover possession of the California tenant’s rental unit so that the owner, or a qualified relative, may move into the rental unit as their principal residence.
What is an Owner Move-In/Relative Move-In Eviction Under California Rent Control?
Under California Rent Control, an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction occurs where the landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith for use and occupancy as a primary residence by the landlord, or the landlord’s spouse, domestic partner, children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents. California Civil Code § 1946.2(b)(2)(A)(i).
Why the California Legislature Enacted SB567 Modifying Owner Move-In Evictions & Relative Move-In Evictions Under California Rent Control?
While California Rent Control permitted a landlord to terminate a tenancy to for their or a relative’s occupancy, the law was sorely lacking in several key respects. First, the law failed to specify a deadline that the landlord or qualified relative had to move into the unit following the California tenant vacating it. Second, the law failed to state the required duration of the occupancy. These shortcomings necessitate further amendment, which became law last year through the signing of SB 567.
How Are Owner Move-In Evictions & Relative Move-In Evictions Under California Rent Control Modified by SB 567?
Landlords & Qualified Relatives Must Move Into a Recovered Rental Unit Within 90 Days & Reside in the Unit for Twelve Continuous Months
Beginning on April 1, 2024, a landlord recovering a California tenant by asserting an owner move-in/relative move-in termination of tenancy must move into the recovered unit within ninety (90) days of the California tenant vacating the unit. California Civil Code § 1946.2(b)(2)(A)(v). Further, the owner or qualified relative must reside in the recovered unit for at least continuous twelve months as their primary residence. Id.
Landlords and Qualified Relatives That Fail to Comply With the Occupancy Deadline & Duration Must Offer the Recovered Unit Back to the California Tenant at the Same Rent and Terms
Where the owner or qualified relative fails to take residence in the unit at all or remain in the unit for at least twelve (12) continuous months, the landlord must offer the unit back to the displaced tenant at the same rent and with identical lease terms. California Civil Code § 1946.2(b)(2)(A)(vi)(I). The landlord must also reimburse the California tenant for reasonable moving expenses incurred in excess of relocation assistance, as required under California Rent Control for owner move-in and relative move-in evictions. Id. Please note that this requirement does not apply to owners or relatives that perish while residing in the recovered unit before twelve (12) continuous months have elapsed. California Civil Code § 1946.2(b)(2)(A)(vi)(II).
The Landlord May Not Recover a California Tenant’s Rental Unit Through an Owner Move-In or Relative Move-In Eviction Where a Similar, Vacant Unit Exists at the Property
Now, California tenants are also protected from an owner move-in or relative move-in eviction where another similar unit is vacant at the property. California Civil Code § 1946.2(b)(2)(A)(iii). This means that any termination of tenancy notice based on an intent to occupy a California tenant’s home is invalid if a similar unit is available.
Termination of Tenancy Notices Under California Rent Control’s Owner Move-In/Relative Move-In Evictions Law Must Contain Required Information
For owner move-in and relative move-in evictions, the written notice of termination of tenancy must contain the name (owner move-in) or names and relationship (relative move-in) to the owner of the intended occupant. California Civil Code § 1946.2(b)(2)(A)(iv). The notice must also include notice that the California tenant may request proof that the intended occupant is an owner or relative. Id. Proof includes an operating agreement and other non-public documents.
California Tenants Wrongfully Evicted Pursuant to a Fraudulent Owner Move-In/Relative Move-In Eviction Under California Rent Control May Recover Punitive Damages
Finally, the new law modifies California Rent Control so that a landlord who wrongfully evicts a tenant via a fraudulent owner move-in or relative move-in eviction is liable to the wrongfully evicted tenant for triple actual damages, as well as punitive damages.
What is the Best Law Firm to Handle California Rent Control Owner Move-In and Relative Move-In Evictions?
Astanehe Law is the best landlord-tenant law firm to handle California Rent Control Owner Move-In and Relative Move-In Eviction wrongful eviction lawsuits. Astanehe Law has successfully resolved numerous landlord-tenant cases throughout California, including for wrongfully evicted tenants. The firm only represents California tenants, and never landlords. It is never too early to establish a relationship with an experienced California tenant attorney when the landlord hints that they may recover possession of the California tenant’s home through an owner move-in/relative move-in eviction under California Rent Control. Contact Astanehe Law to discuss your rights and options as a California tenant pertaining to owner move-in/relative move-in eviction under California Rent Control.