The City of Fairfax has enacted a Rent Control Ordinance that limits evictions to the reasons listed in the Ordinance. Here is a summary of the allowable reasons for eviction under the Ordinance, and the relocation assistance benefits provided when a tenant is displaced through no fault of his own.
Most rental units are protected by the Ordinance’s just cause eviction protections, except the following:
- Hotels, motels, and inns, where the occupant resides in the room for fewer than thirty one days;
- Hospitals, convents, monasteries, extended medical care facilities, non-profit homes for the aged, or dorms owned by a higher education institution;
- Units owned, operated, and managed by the government, provided the applicable law or regulation exempts such units from municipal rent stabilization laws;
- Units that are part of an affordable housing agreement or regulation, as defined by California Health & Safety Code section 50053.
Just Cause Reasons for Eviction under the Ordinance
There are nine just cause reasons to evict, which are:
- Failure to pay rent;
- Continued breach of a material lease term despite written warning to stop;
- Continued nuisance or causing substantial damage to the unit, after receiving written notice to stop;
- Failure to provide reasonable access, after receiving landlord’s written notice of entry;
- Temporary eviction for substantial repairs;
- Owner/relative move-in eviction;
- Ellis Act Eviction;
- Acceptance of a buyout from the landlord; and,
- The landlord terminates a temporary tenancy.
Right to Re-Occupy
Fairfax tenants have a right to reoccupy the rental unit when if/when it is returned to the rental market. The new rental contract must include the same terms as the original tenancy and the rent must be the same as the rent the tenant paid at the time of the notice of termination of tenancy.
Protections for Students and Educators
The Ordinance protects a broadly defined list of “educators” and students. A notice of termination of tenancy for an owner/relative move-in eviction or temporary eviction for substantial repairs is invalid where a child or teacher resides at the premises for a year and the termination notice expiration date falls on a date during the school year.
Notice Content Requirements
Where the just cause for eviction is based upon an alleged breach of the lease, nuisance, or failure to provide access to the unit, the notice of termination of tenancy must include the following information:
- The tenant’s failure to cure the alleged violation may result in the commencement of an eviction action;
- The tenant has a right to request a reasonable accommodation for disability;
- The Fairfax Town Manager’s contact number;
- Sufficient details allowing a reasonable person to comply and cure the alleged violation; and,
- Any information necessary to determine the date, time, place, witnesses present, and other circumstances concerning the reason the tenant received the written warning.
Where the just cause for eviction is based upon a temporary displacement to allow substantial repairs, the notice of termination of tenancy must include:
- Notice informing the tenant of their right to relocation payments under the Fairfax Rent Ordinance;
- The statement, “When the needed repairs are completed on your unit, the Landlord must offer you the opportunity to return to your unit with a Rental Agreement containing the same terms as your original one and with the same rent;”
- A description of the repairs to be completed and the approximate expected duration of the repairs.
Generally, the written termination of tenancy notice must minimally include:
- The just cause reason for the termination;
- The unit address;
- The name of all tenants;
- 3/30/60/120 day of notice period;
- For Ellis Act demolition evictions & temporary eviction for substantial repairs, all applicable demolition permits;
- For owner move-in evictions, the name and address of the owner who will occupy the unit;
- For relative move-in evictions, the qualified relative’s name, address, and relationship to the landlord;
- For temporary evictions for substantial repairs, all necessary permits;
- For nuisance and breach of lease evictions, all prior written warning notices
For owner move-in evictions, relative move-in evictions, Ellis Act evictions, and temporary evictions for substantial repairs, landlords must pay tenants relocation money, which is set by the Fairfax Rent Ordinance.
Fairfax tenants displaced under a no-fault cause for eviction reasons, except when temporarily displaced for thirty (30) days or fewer, must be provided with relocation assistance equal to two (2) months’ rent. The landlord must provide the relocation assistance when serving the notice of termination of tenancy. If the tenant fails to vacate their home, they must return the relocation assistance.
Senior, minor, disabled, and terminally ill tenants are entitled to collect an additional $3,000 in relocation assistance. Under the Fairfax Rent Ordinance, a senior is anyone that is sixty-two (62) years of age or older. A minor is anyone that is seventeen (17) years of age or younger. A terminally ill tenant must be certified as such by their treating physician.
Please contact Lynx Legal with any questions regarding the above, and for all your eviction needs. We can be reached at 888-441-2355 or email@example.com. You can also schedule a telephonic consultation on our website. Our experienced professionals are standing by to answer any questions or complete the intake if you are ready to start a case.