Relocation Expenses – San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley Rent Ordinances

Bay Area Tenant Attorneys

In cities with rent ordinances, such as San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland, tenants may be entitled to relocation expenses in certain no-fault evictions. For example, where a tenant is forced to move out because of an owner move-in eviction ("OMI eviction") or because the landlord is going to perform substantial repairs, the tenant may be entitled to relocation expenses.

San Francisco Relocation Expenses

As of March 1, 2011, San Francisco tenants who have lived in their rent-controlled unit for one year or longer are entitled to relocation expenses of $5,101.00 each, up to a maximum of $15,304.00 per unit for certain no-fault evictions. Tenants that are over the age of 60, disabled, or households with children are entitled to an additional $3,401.00. However, the maximum of $15,304.00 per unit still applies. More information can be found on the San Francisco Rent Board's website at www.sfrb.org or you can contact a SF tenant's lawyer at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C. today for a free consultation.

Berkeley Relocation Expenses

As of March 1, 2011, Berkeley tenants in rent-controlled units who are low income and who have lived in their units for one year or longer are entitled to $4,500.00 each in relocation expenses for owner move-in evictions. To be considered low income for purposes of the Berkeley Rent Ordinance, a one person household cannot exceed $46,350.00 in income; a two person household cannot exceed $53,000.00 in income; a three person household cannot exceed $59,600.00 in income; a four person household cannot exceed $66,250.00 in income; and a five person household cannot exceed $71,550.00 in income.

Tenants who are over the age of 60 or disabled may only be asked to leave under very specific conditions. If you fall within this category and are subject to eviction, you should contact a tenant attorney as soon as possible.

Oakland Relocation Expenses

An Ellis Act eviction is where the landlord decides to remove units from the rental market entirely (usually turning them into condos.) In Ellis Act evictions in rent-controlled units in Oakland, low income tenants are entitled to relocation expenses equal to two months of their rent. In order to qualify for the relocation expenses, a tenant must be low income and must give timely written notice to the landlord of low income status after notice of the Ellis Act eviction is served.

Low income Oakland tenants may also be entitled to relocation expenses under Oakland's Code Enforcement Relocation Program when rent-controlled buildings are red-tagged or when substantial repairs are required.

Criteria for entitlement to relocation expenses under the San Francisco, Berkeley or Oakland rent ordinances can be complicated, and you should always consult an experienced Bay Area tenant's attorney to ensure that you understand the law and your rights.

If you have been served notice of a no-fault eviction in a Bay Area rent-controlled apartment or home and wish to negotiate a buy-out agreement or relocation, call a SF tenant's lawyer at Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C. today for a free consultation.