Evicting a Tenant in LA for Owner or Family Member Move In

Los Angeles eviction for owner family member move in JCO RSO

The new Los Angeles Just Cause Ordinance (JCO) regulates most evictions including evictions for the property owner or family member to move in.

During the past several weeks, I’ve talked a lot about new laws in the city of Los Angeles that really harm landlords. These new LA city rules include imposing just cause eviction restrictions on properties that have historically been exempt from rent control, forcing landlords to pay tenants who decide to move after receiving certain rent increase noticesdisallowing non-payment of rent evictions until a tenant owes more than one month of the fair market rent, requiring LA city landlords who serve a tenant with a notice of termination of tenancy to also provide a copy of the notice to LAHD, and requiring landlords to provide a copy of a new renter protections notice the their tenants.

This article will discuss a sub section of the new just cause eviction restrictions in the city of LA focusing on JCO evictions that are the result of the property owner or proper owner’s family member wanting to move in to the property. Believe it or not (probably nothing surprises you at this point, right?!), the city of LA “allows” owners to evict a tenant for the landlord or their family member to move in to the property that they own only after strict requirements are met, including the requirement to pay the tenant “relocation assistance” to move.

Ordinance 187737

Ordinance 187737 is the LA city ordinance that established the new just cause tenant eviction protections, including evictions due to owner or family member moving in to the property. I’ve discussed other aspects of Ordinance 187737 in prior articles, so I won’t rehash that here. Rather, I will focus on the section of Ordinance 187737 that discusses evicting a LA tenant for owner or family member move-ins.

Caution: If your property is subject to the LARSO and not the JCO, you should follow the LARSO rules.

Authorization to Evict a Tenant in the City of LA for Owner or Family Member Move In: LAMC 163.03(H)

Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) 165.03(H) authorizes evictions under the JCO for owner or owner family member move-in when (emphasis italicized):

H. The landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of residential real property for use and occupancy as a primary place of residence by:

(1) The landlord; or

(2) The landlord’s spouse, domestic partner, grandchildren, children, parents, or grandparents; or

(3) A resident manager when a residential manager, janitor, housekeeper, caretaker, or other responsible person is required to reside upon the premises by law or under the terms of an affordable housing covenant or regulatory agreement.

Landlords seeking to recover possession under this subdivision must comply with the restrictions and requirements of Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 151.30.

LAMC 163.03(H)

You’ll notice that the JCO doesn’t allow the landlord to evict a tenant for any family member to move in. Rather, this type of eviction can only proceed if the eviction is for the landlord or their spouse, domestic partner, grandchildren, children, parents, or grandparents. Sorry, aunts, uncles, cousins, and others are out of the picture. The landlord or family member moving in must intend to occupy the unit as their primary residence.

Notice Requirements in the City of LA for Owner or Family Member Move In: LAMC 165.05(B)(2)

LAMC 165.05(B)(2) explains the notice requirements that LA city landlords must abide by when terminating a tenancy and evicting a tenant so that the landlord or their family member can move in to the unit.

(2) When the termination of tenancy is based on the grounds set forth in Section 165.03(H), the landlord shall file with the Department a declaration on a form and in the number prescribed by the Department identifying the person to be moved into the residential real property, the date on which the person will move in, the rent presently charged for the residential real property, and the date of the last rental increase. This declaration shall be served on the tenant in the manner prescribed by Code of Civil Procedure Section 1162. When filing the declaration, the landlord shall pay an administrative fee in the amount of $75. The fee shall pay for the cost of administering and enforcing the provisions of Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 151.30.

LAMC 165.05(B)(2)

This means that the landlord who seeks to evict for owner or family member move in under the LA JCO will need to also file a declaration of intent to evict for owner or family member move in form with the LAHD and pay a fee. The form must disclose relevant details about the person being evicted, the rental unit, and the person (owner or family member) moving in.

A copy of any written notice terminating a tenancy must also be filed with the LAHD within three business days of service on the tenant.

Relocation Assistance Paid to LA City Tenant for Owner or Family Member Evictions

Landlords who fall under the scope of the JCO must pay the tenant to move out of the home in order to evict for owner or family member move ins. The amount of the relocation assistance money varies depending on several factors including whether the tenant being evicted for owner or family member move in has resided at the property for less than 3 years, more than 3 years, whether the tenants household income is 80% or below of the Area Median Income (AMI), whether the landlord is a “mom and pop,” and whether the rental property is a single family dwelling and the owner is a natural person.

(1) For tenants who resided at the residential real property for fewer than three years: $19,400 to qualified tenants and $9,200 to all other tenants;

(2) For tenants who resided at the residential real property for three years of longer: $22,950 to qualified tenants and $12,050 to all other tenants;

(3) For tenants whose household income is 80% or below Area Median Income (AMI), as adjusted for household size, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, regardless of length of tenancy: $22,950 to qualified tenants and $12,050 to all other tenants.

LAMC 165.06(A)(1) through LAMC 165.05(A)(3)

The least amount of relocation assistance due to a tenant when being evicted for owner or family member move in will apply when the property is a single family dwelling and the owner meets certain requirements as follows:

(6) When the residential real property is a single-family dwelling and the owner is a natural person, including natural persons who hold properties in a trust or registered legal entity controlled by that natural person, who owns no more than four dwelling units and a single-family home on a separate lot in the City of Los Angeles: one month’s rent that was in effect when the landlord served the written notice to terminate the tenancy, as either a monetary payment or credit. Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 151.30(E) shall not apply.

LAMC 165.06(A)(6)

When these requirements are met, the relocation assistance amount will be just one month’s worth of rent.

Relocation assistance payments should be paid to the tenant within 15 days of service of a written notice of termination. This raises a potential problem because notices to terminate a tenancy for owner or family member moving into the LA city property require either a 30 day or a 60 day notice. If the landlord has to pay the tenant within 15 days of serving the tenant with the notice of termination of tenancy notice, the tenant will not yet have moved out. The scenario could happen where a landlord serves the termination notice, pays the tenant, and then the tenant doesn’t move.

A landlord can generally offset the tenant’s accumulated rent against any relocation assistance.

How Do I Evict a Tenant in Los Angeles for Owner or Family Member Move in?

Here are the basic steps to evict a tenant in the city of Los Angeles if you are subject to the new Just Cause Ordinance (JCO) in LAMC 165.05 and Ordinance 187737.

  1. Ensure that the tenancy is subject to the JCO.

    You make this determination by following our step-by-step guide on LA city rent control. The steps to evict a tenant for owner or owner family member move in will be different if the tenancy is not subject to the JCO.

  2. Determine if you, as landlord, meet the requirements to evict for owner or family member move in.

    You have to be the owner of the rental unit and the person moving in must be either the landlord or the landlord’s spouse, domestic partner, grandchildren, children, parents, or grandparents.

  3. Determine the amount of relocation assistance that will need to be paid to the tenant.

    Landlords subject to the JCO seeking to evict a tenant for owner or family member move in will need to pay the tenant money to move out — something the LAHD calls “relocation assistance.”

  4. Provide notice to the tenant.

    The tenant should receive a 30 day notice to terminate tenancy if the tenant has lived at the property for less than a year, or a 60 day notice to terminate tenancy if the tenant has lived at the property for more than a year. The landlord must also provide the tenant with a new renter protections fact sheet.

  5. Provide notice to the LAHD.

    Within three days of serving the tenant with the notice to terminate tenancy, the landlord must also provide a copy of the notice to terminate tenancy to the LAHD. Additionally, the landlord must complete and provide to both the LAHD and the tenant a declaration to evict for owner or family member and other supporting documents. These forms can be retrieved from the LAHD.

  6. Provide the relocation assistance payment to the tenant.

    The relocation assistance payment should be paid to the tenant within 15 days of service of a written notice of termination on the tenant.

  7. If the 30 or 60 day notice period has expired…

    Hopefully the tenant will have moved out by the expiration of the 30 or 60 day notice, in which case nothing else needs to be done. But if the tenant fails to move by the end of the notice period, the landlord will need to commence an unlawful detainer (eviction) case against the tenant.

FAQ on Owner or Family Member Move In Evictions in the City of LA

Can a landlord who is subject to the JCO evict a tenant in the city of LA for owner or owner family member move in?

Yes, evicting a tenant in the city of Los Angeles is an allowable just-cause reason for eviction under the JCO.

What type of termination of tenancy notice is a landlord who is subject to the JCO in the city of LA required to serve on the tenant?

Landlords will serve either a 30 day notice or a 60 day notice to terminate tenancy. Furthermore, landlords must also serve the tenant with the new LA city tenant protections notice on the tenant.

Can any family of the owner move in under the LA JCO?

No. To satisfy the LA JCO requirements for owner or family member move in, the person moving in can be either the landlord or their spouse, domestic partner, grandchildren, children, parents, or grandparents.

Does a landlord who is subject to the JCO have to provide paperwork to the LAHD when terminating a tenancy for owner or family member move in?

Yes. The landlord must provide a copy of the termination of tenancy notice to the LAHD within three business days of serving the tenant with the notice. The landlord is also required to fill out and submit to the city of LA a declaration of intent to vacate due to owner or family member move in.

Does a landlord who is subject to the JCO have to pay the tenant relocation assistance money when evicting for landlord or family member moving in?

Yes, landlords subject to the JCO must pay the tenant relocation money when evicting for landlord or family member wanting to move in to the property.

When does the landlord have to pay the relocation money to the tenant?

Within 15 days of serving the tenant with the notice of termination of tenancy.

What is the ordinance that created these new laws?

Ordinance 187737.

What if I don’t like these laws?

Contact the LA city council and the mayor’s office to voice your opposition. Vote for landlord-friendly government officials.

Additional Information

Disclaimer

The information in this article and blog are not meant to be legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. The laws change frequently and this article may not be updated to reflect current rules. Do not rely on this article when making legal decisions. Consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case before taking any action. It is important for landlords to understand what jurisdiction the rental property is located in, and whether or not there are any special tenant protections or rent control applicable to the property.

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This article is courtesy of the Law Office of David Piotrowski, a California law firm representing landlords with eviction matters.

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