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Oakland Tenant Law

Oakland Tenant Law

Oakland Tenant’s Rights Attorneys

Oakland tenants have many of the same tenant’s rights as tenants living in San Francisco. However, there are key differences that Oakland tenants need to be aware of. Oakland has its own Rent Ordinance, Measure EE.

Be sure to consult with an attorney or tenant’s rights advocate to understand how these rules apply to your housing situation.



years of experience in representing tenants.

What Are My Rights as an Oakland Tenant?

The laws are constantly changing and can be quite complex. Pursuant to the Oakland Ordinance and similar to San Francisco, landlords can only evict tenants living in a rent ordinance protected unit for one of eleven reasons or “just causes.” Before a landlord can evict a tenant they must provide them with a notice and allege one or more “just causes.”

Oakland Rent Adjustment Program (RAP)
Just Causes for Eviction in Oakland

Oakland Rent Adjustment Program (RAP)

The RAP covers all properties utilized for residential rental housing. However, there are several exceptions. These exemptions include but are not limited to:

  1. Units subsidized by federal or local government;
  2. Units built after January 1, 1983;
  3. Single-family homes and condominiums are exempt under the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act (Cal. Govt. C. §1954.50, et seq.).

Just Causes for Eviction in Oakland

In the City of Oakland, landlords can only evict tenants living in a rent ordinance-protected unit for one of eleven reasons or “just causes.” Before a landlord can evict a tenant, they must provide them with a notice and allege one or more “just causes. These are as follows:

  • Failure to pay rent;
  • Breach of a material lease term;
  • Refusal/failure to sign a materially similar or identical lease upon expiration of the existing lease;
  • Waste/damage: where a tenant has substantially damaged the unit and refused to stop damaging it or repair;
  • Nuisance;
  • Illegal use;
  • Refusing to allow a landlord access as required by state law;
  • Owner Move-in Eviction* where the owner seeks in good faith, without ulterior motive, to occupy the unit as their principal residence where he or she has previously occupied the rental unit as his or her principal residence and has the right to recover possession for his or her occupancy as a principal residence under a written rental agreement with the current tenants.”
  • Owner or relative Move-in Eviction*
  • Ellis Act eviction*
  • Temporary eviction for substantial repairs*

*Just causes 8, 9, 10, 11 are considered no-fault evictions

Navigating the Eviction Process in Oakland, California

If your landlord claims just cause for eviction, it marks the beginning of a formal process that must be meticulously followed before you can be legally removed from your residence. Here’s an overview of the eviction process your landlord must follow if you are renting in Oakland:

  • Issuance of Eviction Notice
    The process begins when your landlord gives you a written eviction notice. The length of notice depends on the grounds cited for eviction. A three-day notice is required for issues like non-payment of rent, lease violations, or unlawful activities. Conversely, no-fault evictions, such as an Owner Move-in, necessitate a sixty-day notice period.
  • Decision During Notice Period
    After receiving an eviction notice, you have several options: you can vacate the property, rectify the issue if the notice allows for it (“cure” the violation), or remain in place. The best course of action will depend on your specific circumstances.
  • Filing an Unlawful Detainer
    If issues like unpaid rent aren’t resolved, or if the tenant remains past the notice period without curing the violation, the landlord can proceed to file an eviction lawsuit, known as an Unlawful Detainer.
  • Service of Summons and Complaint
    The next step involves the tenant being served with the summons and complaint once the landlord initiates the eviction lawsuit.
  • Tenant’s Legal Response
    You have five calendar days to respond to the lawsuit, typically by filing an Answer. Failure to respond can result in a default judgment in favor of the landlord. It’s important to note that weekends and public holidays might affect this timeframe.
  • Court Proceedings
    If you submit an Answer, the court will schedule a trial date along with a mandatory settlement conference. If a settlement isn’t reached, the court will decide through a jury or bench trial whether the eviction will proceed.
  • Appeal Process
    You can attempt to delay or overturn the eviction by appealing the court’s decision, though this doesn’t automatically halt the eviction process unless a stay is granted.
  • Writ of Possession and Lockout
    Should the landlord prevail, they will receive a Writ of Possession from the court, granting you a few days to vacate voluntarily. If you don’t leave, the sheriff will issue a final notice and then perform a lockout, physically removing you from the property.

Understanding Wrongful Evictions in Oakland

Wrongful evictions are distinct from lawful ones and often involve a landlord removing a tenant without adhering to the proper legal steps or just cause criteria. Common unlawful eviction tactics include landlords making fake owner move-in claims, evicting without proper notice, or not using the property as their primary residence after eviction.

  • Why Do Wrongful Evictions Happen?
    Reasons for wrongful evictions range from financial incentives in rent-controlled areas to ignorance of legal responsibilities, retaliatory motives, or discrimination. It’s crucial for tenants to recognize these illegal practices.

Legal Recourse: If you suspect a wrongful eviction, it’s essential to consult with a lawyer for renters in Oakland. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and potentially contest the eviction, ensuring you’re not unjustly displaced from your home.

Expert Legal Defense for Wrongful Evictions in Oakland

As a tenant in Oakland, California, you belong to a community bolstered by some of the most stringent tenant protections in the nation. It’s not merely about adhering to the law; understanding your rights is essential for maintaining a secure and respectful living environment. This information delves deep into tenants’ rights, with a special focus on wrongful evictions and the specific legal frameworks unique to Oakland.

Knowledge is Your Strongest Ally

Being well-informed about your rights and the available resources is crucial in safeguarding yourself against unfair treatment. Whether it’s combating a wrongful eviction or grasping the details of constructive evictions, this information empowers you to make knowledgeable decisions and safeguard your interests.

Legal Representation for Evictions Matters

Encountering disputes with your landlord can be challenging. Securing legal counsel is not only your right but a wise move. Lawyers specializing in tenant rights, particularly those experienced in wrongful eviction cases in Oakland, offer invaluable support by navigating complex legal landscapes and championing your cause.

Stability in a Dynamic City

Oakland’s vibrant nature means constant change, but your right to a stable and secure home remains paramount. By understanding your rights and recognizing when to seek professional legal assistance, you can tackle the challenges of renting in Oakland with confidence and security. Remember, as a tenant in Oakland, you’re part of a legally protected community, and defending your rights within this community is crucial.

Wolford Wayne Defends Renters, Not Landlords

At Wolford Wayne LLP, we take pride in defending Oakland renters who have been unjustly evicted. Our commitment is to fight for justice on behalf of tenants, not landlords. If you’re dealing with a potential wrongful eviction or have already been unjustly removed from your home, we’re here to help. Our team is dedicated to supporting you through your wrongful eviction lawsuit against your landlord.

Our Renters’ Attorneys at Wolford Wayne specialize in defending renters’ rights. If you’re searching for a lawyer for renters in Oakland to sue your landlord for wrongful eviction, contact our team to discuss your situation and ensure your rights are upheld.

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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.

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