Owner Move-In Evictions in San Francisco

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Category: Uncategorized

Published 06/14/2019

by Andres Sanchez
Partner, McLaughlin Sanchez LLP

The San Francisco Rent Ordinance allows property owners to evict tenants so that the owner can move into the unit and use it as their primary residence. This type of eviction is known as an Owner Move-In eviction or “OMI.” There are a number of technical requirements and restrictions that apply to OMI evictions:

  • The landlord must have a minimum 25 percent ownership in the property and must have the honest intent to reside in the unit as his or her principal place of residence for at least three years. In addition, the landlord must move into the unit within 90 days of the date the tenant vacates.
  • The landlord may not evict the tenant under the OMI provisions if there is a comparable vacant unit available. Similarly, if the owner has a vacant, non-comparable unit available, he must offer that unit to the tenant. 
  • The landlord may not evict protected tenants (including seniors, disabled, catastrophically ill, or with children in school) unless the dwelling is the only dwelling owned by the landlord in the building, or if the landlord is also senior or disabled. 
  • The landlord must use a 60-day notice to terminate the tenancy, unless the tenant has resided in the unit for less than one year, in which case, a 30-day notice is sufficient. 
  • The notice must contain numerous disclosures and explanations of tenant's rights under the Rent Ordinance. The landlord must also pay each tenant monetary relocation assistance in the amount specified by the Ordinance (currently over $6,000 each). Additional payments must be made if the tenants are protected or if there are children in the home.

In an effort to crack down on perceived abuses of OMI evictions, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently added a number of additional restrictions and requirements that apply to OMI evictions.
Those new restrictions include:

  • The landlord must state in the notice under the penalty of perjury the reason why the landlord is moving from his or her current residence and that the landlord seeks to recover possession of the unit in good faith, without ulterior reasons and with honest intent, for use or occupancy as the principal residence of the landlord.
  • For five years, the landlord must also file regular Statements of Occupancy with the Rent Board stating under penalty of perjury whether the landlord has recovered possession of the unit and certifying that the landlord is using the property as his or her principal place of residence.
  • If the landlord vacates the unit within five years of moving in, the tenant has the right to re-rent the unit at the same rent plus any allowable increases.

OMI evictions are a powerful tool for those owners who seek possession from a rent-controlled tenant for the purpose of using the property as his or her principal place of residence. The notice requirements and restrictions are very complex, and owners should consult experienced attorneys to assist them.

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