Some of the major requirements that an owner must follow when attempting an owner move in eviction in San Francisco are listed below, with a brief description of each requirement.  A lawyer should be consulted to determine the exact requirements of the owner move in statute and to determine all applicable rules that must be followed: 

  • The owner must have a minimum ownership interest in the property:
    • For interests purchased before February 1991, an owner needs at least a 10% interest in the property to utilize the owner move in eviction statute.
    • For interests purchased after February 1991, an owner needs at least a 50% interest in the property.  A recent court ruling held that the ¿Bierman¿ amendment raised the ownership percentage required to evict from 25% to 50%, although different courts are treating this matter differently.  Any tenant subject to an owner move in eviction where the owner holds less than a 50% interest in the property should consult a lawyer and fight the eviction.
    • Married couples or domestic partners may combine their ownership interests in reaching the interest percentage
  • The owner must give the tenant and the rent board an owner eviction notice:
    • Generally, the notice must be 60 days notice unless:
      • The tenancy has been less than a year
      • Escrow has been completed on a property, then the buyer must give 120 days notice after the sale is complete
      • The unit is a single family home
  • Only one owner move in eviction is allowed per building, except in the case of hardship
    • If an owner has recovered possession of a unit in a building pursuant to the owner move in eviction statute, then no other owner, current or future, may recover possession of any other rental unit in the same building.  All future owner move in evictions must occur in the same unit as the original owner move in eviction.
  • Owner move in evictions for relatives are limited to the same building in which the owner has his principal place of residency, or to the same building in which the owner is currently seeking a unit under the owner move in eviction statute.
  • If a vacant, comparable unit in any building in San Francisco owned by the owner becomes available at any time before the eviction process is complete, then the owner cannot successfully use the owner move in eviction process.
  • Any non comparable unit that becomes available before the eviction process is complete is to be offered to the tenant being evicted, although the owner can make adjustments in the rent charged.
  • The owner must move into the unit within 3 months after the eviction or the court presumes (although the presumption can be rebutted) that the owner acted in bad faith.
  • The owner must intend to use the property as a primary residence for a certain 36 months (3 years).  The owner¿s intent must be honest and in good faith.  The owner cannot have ulterior motives for the eviction, such as re-renting the unit for more money.
  • The owner must also actually use the unit as a primary residence for a certain 36 continuous months (3 years), or the court presumes (although the presumption can be rebutted) that the owner acted in bad faith.
  • The tenant receives relocation costs of a minimum of $1,000, provided the tenant has lived on the premises more than one year.
    • $500 is non refundable and must be paid at the time of the eviction notice
    • $500 is to be paid when the tenant vacates the premises
      • Tenants can always try to negotiate that higher relocation cost be paid
  • Owner move in evictions are prohibited under the following circumstances if the tenant:
    • Is 60 or older and has resided in the unit for 10 years are more
    • Is disabled and has resided in the unit for 10 years are more
    • Is terminally ill and has resided in the unit for 5 years are more
      • These protections do not apply under certain circumstances, like if the unit is a single family residence
  • An owner who re-rents a unit after an owner move in eviction but before the 36 month time period has expired must offer the unit back to the displaced tenant.  The owner must also charge a rental rate as if the evicted tenant had continuous possession of the unit under the rent control ordinance.
    • Owner's who rent within this 36 month period may also be subject to a lawsuit for an unlawful eviction.
  • An owner who fails to follow any of the requirements above may be subjected by the tenant to an unlawful eviction lawsuit.

The San Francisco Rent Board may be able to provide the specific statutes regarding owner move in evictions as well as other valuable information.

Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer for an Owner Move in Eviction?

Landlord tenant law is very complex, varies by city, and is constantly undergoing changes.  A real estate lawyer will be able to advise you of the exact rules your cities has regarding owner move in evictions and can protect your rights, whether you are an owner trying to utilize the owner move in eviction statute or a tenant fighting an owner move in eviction.