San Francisco’s Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance allows landlords of rent-controlled units to legally evict their tenants without cause, if said eviction is intended to allow the landlord or landlord’s family to occupy the apartment as their principal place of residence. Landlords can legally evict as long as some Eviction Lawyers are involved in the process.
Under the terms of an Owner Move-In (“OMI”) eviction, the unit is expected to remain off the rental market for at least three years. And if the unit is re-rented within 36 months of the previous tenant being evicted, it can’t be rented for more than the original tenant would have paid.
While not a loophole per se, the existing law is ripe for abuse, with limited accountability following an OMI-based eviction, including a landlord’s “good faith intent” to comply with its terms and a one-year statute of limitations for any wrongful eviction claims. This is why it is important to understand the law when it comes to what a landlord can and can not do. Websites similar to https://www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/landlord-tenant-laws/florida/ have a wealth of information that may be helpful to both landlords and tenants alike, providing much-needed assistance when trying to understand both sides of the spectrum.
But as drafted and working its way towards San Francisco’s full Board of Supervisors, the existing law would be amended to require landlords to file a legal declaration, under penalty of perjury, stating their intent to occupy any apartment to be emptied by way of an OMI eviction as their principal place of residence for at least three years.
In addition, landlords would be required to file annual proof of occupancy for three years following an OMI following an eviction under penalty of perjury, a copy of which would be forwarded to the evicted tenant; San Francisco’s Rent Board would be required to notify the current occupants of any OMI effected unit as to the maximum allowable rent for the unit on an annual basis for the three years following an eviction; and the statute of limitations for wrongful eviction claims would be extended from one to three years. Changes like this makes it important to have a lawyer for landlords in place so that property owners are not caught out by accident.
The proposed amendments are expected to be recommended by the Board’s Land Use and Transportation Committee this afternoon and could be passed by the full Board tomorrow. If you’re a Landlord and you’d like some help in understanding this new legislation, contact an Eviction Attorney who will help you to unpick what this might mean for you.