Just Cause Reasons to Evict a Tenant in the City of LA

Allowable reasons to evict a tenant in the city of LA

Evicting a tenant in the city of Los Angeles has become extremely difficult and complex. This article will detail the allowable just cause reasons to evict residential tenants in the city of Los Angeles under both LARSO and the JCO.

Is Your Property Subject to LARSO or the JCO in Los Angeles?

This article will assume that you have already read our article outlining how to determine if your rental property in the city of LA is subject to LARSO or the JCO. You’ll need to know if your property is subject to LARSO or the JCO first and once you make this determination, you’ll be able to apply to correct law to establish the allowable reasons to evict a tenant in the city of LA.

LARSO Just Cause Reasons to Evict a Tenant in the City of LA

If you have determined that your residential rental property is subject to LARSO, here are the just cause reasons to evict a tenant in the city of LA. This expands on a previous article I wrote on the Legal Reasons for Eviction under Los Angeles Rent Control.

At Fault Just Cause Reasons for Eviction in Los Angeles (LARSO)

The following are considered allowable “at fault” just cause reasons to evict a tenant in Los Angeles. When evicting a Los Angeles tenant for an at fault just cause reason, no relocation assistance payments need to be made to the tenant. You’ll notice that at fault just cause reasons to evict in Los Angeles are reasons that the tenant is doing something that they should not be doing, hence the “at fault” language.

Non-Payment of Rent

This means the tenant has failed to pay the rent. Non-payment of rent is an allowable at fault just cause reason to evict a tenant under LARSO in the city of Los Angeles. However, a new LA city law will now require a landlord to wait to pursue a non-payment of rent case until the tenant owes more than one month of the fair market rent. This will have the effect of incentivizing landlords in the city of LA to ensure that their rents are at or above the fair market rent. Otherwise, landlords will have to wait until the tenant falls behind by two months or more before beginning a non-payment of rent eviction case. LAMC 151.09(A)(1).

Landlord Tip: Make sure you raise the rent the maximum amount and ensure that your rent is at least at the Fair Market Rent level.

Violating a Term of the Rental Agreement

An allowable at fault just cause reason for evicting a tenant under LARSO is when the tenant violates a term of the rental agreement. For example, the lease might say no smoking. If the tenant smokes, this would be a violation of the rental agreement. There are some exceptions to this rule that are outside the scope of this article. LAMC 151.09(A)(2).

Nuisance or Damage

An allowable at fault just cause reason for eviction in the city of LA is when the tenant is causing a nuisance (the bigger nuisance, the better), or if the tenant is causing damage to the property or is creating an unreasonable interference with the comfort, safety, or enjoyment of any of the other residents of the rental complex or within a 1,000 foot radius extending from the boundary line of the rental complex. LAMC 151.09(A)(3).

Using the Rental Property for an Illegal Purpose

A tenant under LARSO can be evicted for an at fault just cause reason if they are using the rental property for an illegal purpose. LAMC 151.09(A)(4).

Tenant Refuses to Execute a Written Extension or Renewal

Another at fault just cause reason under LARSO to evict a tenant in the city of LA occurs when a tenant refuses to sign a new extension or renewal of a lease of similar term and similar provisions. If a landlord makes a written demand for a tenant to sign a new lease of similar duration and term and the tenant says no, then this is an allowable reason for eviction in the city of LA. LAMC 151.09(A)(5).

Denial of Access

This is a popular at fault just cause reason for eviction in the city of LA. If a landlord goes to enter a residential rental property and the tenant denies access, the tenant can be evicted. LAMC 151.09(A)(6).

Person in Possession at End of Lease is Not Approved by Landlord

If the person in possession of the rental unit at the end of a lease term is a subtenant not approved by the landlord, the landlord can use this as an allowable at fault just cause reason to evict a tenant under LARSO. LAMC 151.09(A)(7).

No Fault Just Cause Reasons for Eviction in Los Angeles (LARSO)

Next, we turn to the allowable “no fault” just cause reasons for evictions in the city of Los Angeles for properties subject to LARSO. The landlord is required to pay the tenant relocation assistance money when evicting for an allowable no fault just cause eviction reason under LARSO in the city of LA.

No fault is when the tenant isn’t doing anything wrong but the landlord wants the property back for some other reason. A landlord cannot come up with any no fault reason for eviction in the city of LA. The no fault reason has to be an allowable no fault reason for eviction. If a landlord cannot qualify the no fault just cause reason as one of the allowable reasons, then the landlord will be unable to evict the LA city tenant. One particular example is that wanting to sell the property would be considered a no fault reason for eviction if it was an allowable reason, but it’s not an allowable reason. You heard that right — wanting to sell your own property vacant is not an allowable no fault just cause reason for eviction in the city of LA. Here are the allowable no fault just cause reasons for evicting a tenant under LARSO in the city of Los Angeles.

Owner or Family Member Use

A common allowable no fault just cause eviction reason under LARSO is when the owner or the owner’s family member wants to move in to the residential rental unit in Los Angeles. There are several restrictions to invoke this reason for eviction. LAMC 151.09(A)(8); LAMC 151.30.

Primary Renovation Work

This no fault just cause reason is when the owner is going to undertake Primary Renovation Work in accordance with a Tenant Habitability Plan (THP). LAMC 151.09(A)(9).

Demolish or Permanently Remove the Rental from Rental Housing Use

This type of no fault just cause reason for eviction in the city of Los Angeles is often referred to as an Ellis Act eviction. There are substantial requirements to satisfy this no fault reason for eviction. LAMC 151.09(A)(10); LAMC 151.22 through LAMC 151.28.

Government Order

Unfortunately for landlords, this is a common no fault just cause reason for evicting a tenant in the city of LA. This often comes up when the landlord has decides to rent a non-permitted, or illegal unit, to a tenant. If the government gives an order to the landlord to remove the tenant, the landlord will use this reason to evict the tenant. LAMC 151.09(A)(11).

Government is Owner

This no fault just cause reason for eviction is when the government is both the owner and the plaintiff. LAMC 151.09(A)(12).

Residential Hotel

This no fault just cause reason for eviction in Los Angeles is when the rental unit is in a residential hotel and the landlord seeks to recover possession of the rental unit in order to convert or demolish the unit in certain circumstances. LAMC 151.09(A)(13).

Convert to Affordable Housing

This is when the landlord seeks to recover possession of the rental unit to convert the subject property to an affordable housing accommodation. LAMC 151.09(A)(14).

JCO Just Cause Reasons to Evict a Tenant in the City of LA

A new law requires that landlords have an allowable reason to evict a tenant in the city of LA, even for properties that are exempt from LARSO. The JCO, outlined in LA city ordinance 187737, applies to even single family homes and condos. If you have determined that your residential rental property is subject to the JCO, you’ll have to follow the JCO rules and have an at fault or no fault just cause reason to evict a tenant in the City of Los Angeles.

More information on the JCO can be found on a prior blog article discussing just cause evictions in the city of LA. You will see that the allowable reasons to evict a tenant under the JCO in the city of Los Angeles closely resemble the allowable reasons to evict a tenant under LARSO (discussed above).

At Fault Just Cause Reasons for Eviction in Los Angeles (JCO)

The following are considered allowable “at fault” just cause reasons to evict a tenant in Los Angeles under the JCO. When evicting a Los Angeles tenant for an at fault just cause reason, no relocation assistance payments need to be made to the tenant. You’ll notice that at fault just cause reasons to evict in Los Angeles are reasons that the tenant is doing something that they should not be doing, hence the “at fault” language.

Non Payment of Rent

This is a very common reason for eviction and starts with a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit. But, under another new LA city law, the tenant needs to owe more than one month of the Fair Market Rent before a landlord can evict for non-payment of rent. LAMC 165.03(A).

Landlord Tip: Make sure you raise the rent the maximum amount and ensure that your rent is at least at the Fair Market Rent level.

Violating a Term of the Tenancy

This is when the tenant violates a lawful obligation of the tenancy. A landlord would use a 3 day notice to cure or quit in these types of cases and is a common at fault just cause reason to evict a tenant in the city of LA. However, there are several restrictions. LAMC 165.03(B).

Nuisance or Damage to Property

This allowable at fault just cause reason for eviction in the city of LA under the JCO is when the tenant causes nuisance or damage to the property. LAMC 165.03(C).

Using the Property for an Unlawful Purpose

A landlord may legally evict a tenant under the JCO in the city of Los Angeles when the tenant is using the rental property for an illegal or unlawful use such as using it for making or distributing drugs. LAMC 165.03(D).

Tenant Refuses to Sign a Renewal

An allowable at fault just cause reason for eviction in Los Angeles occurs when a tenant refuses to sign a written extension or renewal of the lease so long as the extension has similar terms. LAMC 165.03(E).

Denial of Access

This is another common at fault just cause reason for eviction in the city of LA. Oftentimes, tenants will deny the landlord lawful access. When this happens, a landlord can evict the tenant. LAMC 165.03(F).

Person in Possession at End of Lease is Not Approved by Landlord

This allowable at fault just cause reason to evict is when the person possessing the rental unit at the end of the lease is a subtenant not approved by the landlord. LAMC 165.03(G).

No Fault Just Cause Reasons for Eviction in Los Angeles (JCO)

No fault just cause reasons for eviction in the city of Los Angeles requires that the landlord pay to the tenant what is known as relocation assistance. If a landlord cannot qualify the no fault reason into one of the allowable reasons, then the landlord will not be able to evict for a no fault reason. For example, wanting to sell the property vacant is not an allowable reason to evict. Here are the allowable no fault just cause reasons for evicting a tenant under the JCO in the city of Los Angeles.

Owner or Family Member Use

A common allowable no fault just cause eviction reason under the JCO is when the owner or the owner’s family member wants to move in to the residential rental unit in Los Angeles. LAMC 165.03(H).

Demolish or Substantial Renovation

The landlord can evict for an allowable no fault just cause reason in Los Angeles if the reason is to demolish the property or to substantial remodel the property. Substantial remodel requires that the landlord secure permits for the substantial renovation work. The renovation work must be substantial enough to require at least 30 days to complete and the work cannot be performed in a safe manner with the tenant in place. LAMC 165.03(I).

Withdraw the Rental Permanently from Rental Housing Use

This is when the landlord wants to withdraw all residential real property on the same parcel from rental housing use. LAMC 165.03(I).

Government Order

This is a common no fault just cause reason for eviction and includes, for example, illegal units or non-permitted units when a government agency gives the landlord an order that requires the tenant to vacate. LAMC 165.03(J).

Government is Owner and Wants to Sell

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development seeks to recover possession to vacate the property prior to sale and has complied with all tenant notification requirements under federal law and administrative regulations. LAMC 165.03(K).

Residential Hotel

This allowable no fault just cause reason to evict a tenant under the JCO in LA is when the property is a hotel and the landlord wants to convert or demolish the unit. LAMC 165.03(L).

Convert to Affordable Housing Accommodations

This no fault just cause reason to evict in LA is when the landlord seeks to recover possession of residential real property for conversion to affordable housing accommodations. LAMC 165.03(M).

Convert to Non Residential Use

A landlord has an allowable no fault just cause reason to evict a tenant under the JCO in the city of Los Angeles when the landlords wants to recover possession to convert the property to non residential use. LAMC 165.03(N).

Additional Information

* 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.

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.

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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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The Law Office of David Piotrowski

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