As a property owner, it’s incumbent upon you to know the ins and outs of owner move-ins. Typically owners are forbidden from taking possession of a residential rental unit other than in the event of a “just cause” such as wanting the property for personal use or use by a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, or grandparent.
For an owner to take possession under a just cause, several conditions must be met. These include the following:
- The property must be used as the principal residence of the owner or the owner’s relative(s). An owner move-in in good faith will take place after other residences are sold or existing tenancies are terminated.
- To be eligible for an owner move-in, you must be an owner of record. This excludes silent partners or beneficiaries under a living or revocable trust. According to Measure EE, Oakland’s Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance, an owner of record holds interest equal to or greater than 33 percent in the property at the time of eviction notice up to and including the tenant’s surrender of possession of the unit.
- Three-year occupancy is required under Measure EE unless there is a good-faith reason for said occupancy failing to last this entire time. Under good faith, owners may be advised to offer the unit back to the evicted tenant due to such circumstances.
- Only one owner move-in is permitted every three years. Additionally, should a similar vacant unit come online before or during the eviction process and an owner decide not to occupy it, this could create a presumption of bad faith – and a possible court case.
- Occupancy must be taken within three months of the tenant vacating the premises. That said, if the eviction is done on behalf of a relative, that person does not fall under the same requirement.
- Protected groups cannot be evicted under an owner move-in. Specifically, if a tenant has resided in the unit five or more years and is either 60 years of age or older, disabled, or catastrophically ill, they fall under this category.
- Only one owner move-in is permitted per building. Once this occurs, no other unit may be subject to an owner move-in unless disability or hardship is proven to the proper authorities.
Owner move-in notices must:
- Be 60-day notices at minimum
- Disclose all property owned by the intended future occupants
- Disclose any homeowner’s tax exemption claimed by the intended occupants.