Summary of the City of East Palo Alto’s Eviction Protection Ordinance

Summary of the City of East Palo Alto’s Eviction Protection Ordinance

The City of East Palo Alto has adopted rent control limitations and protections against eviction in a 2010 Ordinance that applies to almost all residential rental units, including new construction and single-family dwellings.  Here is a summary of the eviction-related provisions of the ordinance. 

Filing Requirement

All eviction notices served on a tenant must be filed with the City’s Rent Stabilization Boad within five days of service.   If the eviction proceeds to a lawsuit, the summons and complaint must be filed with the rent board within five days of service on the tenant. 

Limitations on Reasons for Eviction

Evictions are only permitted for the specific reasons cited in the Ordinance. Evictions not meeting these requirements can be contested in any action to recover possession of a rental unit in court. Landlords must specify at least one of the permitted grounds for eviction listed in the Ordinance in a notice of termination of tenancy or an unlawful detainer action filed with the court. Permitted grounds for eviction include:

•             Failure to pay rent

•             Continuous violations of the rental agreement, following a written notice to cease

•             Willful or substantial damage to rental unit. 

•             Tenant refuses to sign substantially the same rental contract when prior one expires

•             A tenant’s continued disorderly conduct

•             A tenant’s refusal to allow the landlord access to the unit

•             The landlords undertaking of substantial, necessary and permitted repairs to the unit. 

•             Removal of rental unit from the market by demolition. 

•             Ellis Act evictions

•             The landlord’s or family member’s intention to occupy the unit as primary residence. 

•             The tenant’s failure to vacate the unit under a temporary rental agreement

•             The landlord’s need to recover possession to comply with an order to vacate

•             Landlord seeks to regain possession to comply with contract/governmental regulations

•             The Tenant at the end of the lease term is a subtenant not approved by the landlord

For property damage and disorderly conduct-based evictions, an ordinary Unconditional Three-Day Notice to Quit is not allowed. Only a three-day notice that gives the tenant the option of ceasing to cause damage or ceasing to engage in the disorderly conduct is allowed.

For evictions based on the need to undertake substantial repairs/remodel of the unit, the Landlord must first obtain all permits required for the remodeling, must provide alternative housing for the tenant if he or she has other vacant units in city, and must give the tenant right of first refusal to re-rent after remodeling is finished.

Tenants may also have a defense to an eviction action filed in court if the rental property is not in compliance with warranty of habitability requirements. Tenants may also have a defense to an eviction if their landlord does not comply with the City’s rent increase limitations or registration requirements.

Please contact Lynx Legal with any questions regarding the above or evictions in general.  We can be reached at 888-441-2355 or  You can also schedule a telephonic consultation on our website.  Our experienced professionals are standing by to discuss your specific needs and an overall strategy to get rid of a problem tenant.

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