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Owner Move-In Evictions
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Wrongful Owner Move In  Eviction Lawsuit in San Francisco?

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Wrongful Owner Move In  Eviction Lawsuit in San Francisco?

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Wrongful Owner Move In  Eviction Lawsuit in San Francisco?


How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Wrongful Owner Move In  Eviction Lawsuit in San Francisco?

San Francisco landlords can end a tenant’s tenancy through a relative or owner move-in (OMI) eviction. An OMI eviction is one of the 16 just causes for eviction listed in the San Francisco rent ordinance and is a common reason for eviction. The landlord may attempt to evict a tenant to move into the unit themselves or to move in a close relative.

This form of “no-fault” eviction is frequently abused by landlords to remove tenants from rent-controlled units under false pretenses. If a landlord fails to actually move into the unit as their principle place of residence following an owner move in eviction, the evicted tenant may have grounds for a wrongful eviction lawsuit.

Losing your home can be a distressing experience, especially if you believe your landlord was not honest with you during the process. Below, we review what tenants should know about wrongful evictions based on a fraudulent OMI and how long they have to file a lawsuit. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully removed from your home, a San Francisco wrongful eviction attorney at Wolford Wayne LLP can discuss the specific factors impacting your case.

Timeframe for Filing Your Wrongful OMI Eviction Lawsuit 

When imposing an OMI eviction, the landlord must provide a 60-day written notice to tenants who have resided in the their home for more than one year and a 30-day notice if the tenant has lived in their unit for less than one year. The landlord is then required to move into the unit within ninety days of recovering possession and then has to remain there as their principle residence for no less than 36 months.

Once a tenant has been evicted via an OMI eviction notice, tenants may have up to five years to file a lawsuit for a wrongful eviction. However, as soon as a tenant becomes aware that the landlord may not be living in the unit, it is time to contact a qualified wrongful eviction attorney. And, since every circumstance is highly dependent on facts it is important to discuss your options and filing deadlines with a wrongful eviction attorney to ensure you do not miss your opportunity to file a lawsuit due to a statute of limitations issue.

Are Tenants Protected from OMI Evictions? 

Owner move-ins are subject to several restrictions, and certain tenants may have some protections from an OMI eviction. These groups include:

  • Senior and Disabled Tenants. While landlords can evict most tenants using an OMI eviction, there are some exceptions. Specifically, tenants over the age of 60 who have resided in their unit for ten years or more, disabled tenants who have lived in their homes over ten years, and “catastrophically ill” tenants of at least five years cannot be evicted for OMI except in specific circumstances. For an OMI eviction to be allowed in this case, the landlord themselves, or their relative who is moving in must also be over 60 and/or disabled. If tenants are exempt from an OMI they have to notify their landlord within 30 days of receiving written notice to assert their rights. 
  • Children. If a tenant with children under the age of 18 has lived in the rental property for over 12 months, then an OMI is prohibited during the school year.
  • School Workers. In San Francisco, school workers and their families cannot be evicted for an OMI during the school year if the tenant has resided there for over 12 months.

It’s also important to note that only one OMI eviction is allowed per building. Once a landlord has undertaken an owner move in eviction in a given unit, they cannot use the OMI process on another unit in the building. For relative move in evictions, the landlord must already reside in the building. If these conditions are not fulfilled, the eviction is illegal.

While OMI laws require a landlord or relative to move in and reside in their unit for no less than three years as their principle residence, all to often landlords fail to follow the law.  In those situations, displaced tenants may be entitled to substantial financial compensation for a wrongful eviction. If you have been wrongfully evicted, you will need to work alongside an experienced San Francisco tenant lawyer to file your lawsuit and protect your rights. A wrongful eviction lawsuit requires diligence and attention to detail only provided by an experienced lawyer, and our team at Wolford Wayne LLP is prepared to assist you.

Discuss Your Wrongful Eviction Lawsuit with an Attorney 

While there are certain protections in place, wrongful owner move-in evictions still happen all the time. In this situation, you will need to reach out to a knowledgeable lawyer at Wolford Wayne LLP as soon as possible to begin preparing your case.

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