Is Relocation Assistance Available To California Tenants?

What Is Relocation Assistance?

Relocation assistance is compensation landlords must pay to tenants when they are displaced from their units through no fault of their own. In California, the events triggering the right to relocation assistance include: the owner’s plan to move himself or a family member into the residence, withdrawal of the unit from the rental market, substantial remodel, or compliance with a government order.

What Is The Notice Procedure?

If an owner issues a notice to terminate a tenancy for one of these reasons, he is required to notify the tenant of the tenant’s right to relocation assistance. The actual payment can take the form an amount equal to one month’s rent or a waiver of the right to collect the last month’s rent. If the owner elects to waive the rent for the final month of the tenancy the notice must state the amount of rent waived and that no rent is due for the final month of the tenancy. If the assistance is in the form of a payment of one month’s rent, it must be paid within 15 calendar days of service of the notice.

What Are The Consequences Of Non-Compliance?

If a tenant fails to vacate after the expiration of the notice to terminate the tenancy, the actual amount of any relocation assistance or rent waiver is recoverable as damages in an action to recover possession of the property. If the landlord fails to comply with this procedure, the Notice of Termination is rendered void and cannot be enforced.

What Properties Are Exempt?

Single family home rentals are generally exempt from the requirement to provide relocation assistance. Specifically, an exemption exists for owner-occupied single family homes or duplexes, and any single family home owned by an individual. In addition, housing built within the last 15 years is exempt from having to provide relocation assistance to tenants. In addition, several California cities and counties have their own relocation assistance ordinances which landlords must comply with when evicting tenants for no fault reasons.

Please call 888-441-2355 with any questions regarding these issues or if you are ready to start a case. Our evictions specialists are standing by to answer any inquiries you may have.

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