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What Tenants Should Know About Owner Move-In Evictions

What Tenants Should Know About Owner Move-In Evictions

What Tenants Should Know About Owner Move-In Evictions


What Tenants Should Know About Owner Move-In Evictions

An owner move-in eviction (OMI) occurs when a landlord takes possession of a rental unit for themselves or a close relative to move in. An owner’s request to move into an occupied property can be lawful grounds for eviction, but the landlord must follow a strict process. If your landlord evicts you via an owner move in eviction and then fails to follow the process, you may have claims for substantial damages for a wrongful eviction. As a tenant, you should know your rights and how to spot a fraudulent owner move-in.

Fraudulent owner move-ins happen when a landlord uses the OMI process to evict a tenant from a rent-controlled unit and fails to follow the rules. For example: if your landlord evicts you for an owner move-in and then re-rents it to a new tenant instead of moving in. This would suggest that the owner move-in was done in bad faith and that they never intended to move in. When scenarios like this happen, and the landlord acts in bad faith, you can take legal action against them.

If you think you’ve been the victim of an illegal OMI that resulted in a wrongful eviction, the attorneys at Wolford Wayne can help. We represent tenants in bogus owner move-in eviction lawsuits in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.

Tenants Are Entitled to Proper Notice Before an Owner Move-In Eviction 

In cities like San Francisco, landlords must follow very specific rules to evict a tenant for an owner move-in eviction. This includes giving them written notice of either 30 or 60 days, depending on whether the tenant has been in the unit for at least a year. The notice must also provide information about other properties they own, and who intends to move into the tenant’s home. Depending on where the tenant lives, local laws may provide additional legal protections.

Tenants May Be Entitled to Relocation Payments 

Depending on the city, tenants who are evicted via an owner move-in may be entitled to relocation assistance payments. For units covered by the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, each authorized occupant, regardless of age, is entitled to relocation payments if they’ve lived there for twelve months or more. Senior residents and those who are disabled or have minor children may be entitled to additional compensation. This amount is updated annually, and the information is available on the San Francisco Rent Board’s website.

An Owner Can Only Evict a Tenant if There is No “Comparable” Unit Available

There are specific situations where a landlord in San Francisco can do an OMI eviction. For example, an owner may not be able to evict a tenant if a comparable vacant unit is available. For example, if a tenant lives in a two-unit building and both units have the same layout, and one is vacant, a landlord may be hard-pressed to claim they need to evict the remaining tenant.

The Owner or Relative Must Live in the Unit Once a Tenant Vacates

If a tenant is evicted via an owner or relative move-in, the landlord must move in and live there as their principal residence for at least three years. If they re-rent the unit or never move in, the displaced tenant may have grounds to sue for what is known as a wrongful eviction. The attorneys at Wolford Wayne routinely help tenants who have been wrongfully evicted for bogus owner move-ins. If you think you were wrongfully evicted, contact us today to discuss your options.

How Wolford Wayne Can Help

If you’ve been forced to move out under false pretenses, we can help. We can investigate the situation and help you strategize on how to gather evidence of a fraudulent owner move in eviction. This sometimes includes hiring a private investigator to determine whether your landlord is living in your former home. If there is evidence of wrongdoing, we will work with you to put together a lawsuit and help you seek justice for being forced out of your home under false pretenses. Tenants who have been wrongfully evicted may be entitled to substantial financial damages.

  • Rent differential damages
  • Relocation expenses
  • Overpayment of rent
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Emotional distress

Call the Tenant’s Rights Attorneys at Wolford Wayne Today to Discuss Your Case 

Wolford Wayne has helped many tenants get compensation following a wrongful eviction, including bad-faith OMI evictions. Call our team today or contact us online if you’ve been wrongfully forced out of your rent-controlled unit. Our firm is passionate about advocating for victims of wrongful eviction in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley.

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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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