Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Yes. As a landlord in California, you have to pay the tenant relocation fees when carrying out a no-fault just cause eviction.
In today’s blog, you’ll learn everything you need to learn in this regard. Including, what is a no-fault just cause eviction, what reasons qualify as no-fault just cause, the amount of notice to serve the tenant, and even how much you have to pay the tenant for relocation.
What is a No-Fault Just Cause Eviction in California?
Under California law CA Civil Code 1940-1954.06, a landlord can only carry out two types of evictions. That is, “at fault/just cause” evictions and “no-fault/just cause” evictions.
At fault just cause evictions are based on the tenant’s actions. For example, failing to pay rent, violating a term of the lease such as illegal subletting, or breaching a material term of the lease.
For these types of evictions, a landlord doesn’t have to pay the tenant any relocation assistance for the displacement or relocation.
However, when displacing a tenant in California for no-fault just cause evictions, a tenant is entitled to some relocation fees. But first things first, what is a no-fault just cause eviction?
Now, a no-fault just cause eviction is where the tenant hasn’t done anything wrong. It results from the landlord’s actions or the owner’s compliance with a government entity. The following are instances where a landlord can carry out a no-fault just cause eviction in California.
- If the owner or their family member is looking to move into the property. The family members can include the owner’s spouse, children, domestic partner, parents, or grandparents.
- If the owner is no longer looking to continue renting out the property.
- If the owner is looking to substantially remodel the unit. (Here is a guide on tenants’ rights during renovations in California).
- If the owner is complying with a court order, a local ordinance, or other government entity requiring the tenant to move out.
How much do Landlords Have to Pay for Relocation Fees in California?
The amount of relocation fees to pay a tenant during a displacement or relocation in California will depend on various factors. Including, the city where the property is located, as well as the size of the unit and the tenant’s income.
For instance, in Los Angeles, if evicting the tenant for owner move-in, demolition, or condominium conversion, you must pay the tenant one month’s rent in relocation fees.
Additionally, you may also need to pay the tenant the moving expenses. These are also determined by the city or county. In general, the relocation assistance is pegged to 3X the fair market rent plus $1,411 in moving costs.
So, if the monthly rent amount is, say, $2,500, then you may have to pay the tenant $8911 in relocation fees. ($2,500×3=$7500, plus $1,411=$8911).
You must pay the tenant such fees within 15 days of vacating the unit.
Please note, however, that these are general guidelines. For specific requirements, please be sure to check with the local housing authority to know the exact requirements.
How much Notice do you Have to Provide a Tenant During a No-Fault Just Cause Eviction in California?
The amount of notice to give the tenant in a no-fault just cause eviction in California will depend on the length of time they have been renting your property.
If the tenant has been living on the property for less than a year, you must provide them a notice of at least 30 days to vacate. If they have been renting for a year or more, you must provide them with a notice of at least 60 days.
For tenants living in Section 8 subsidized housing, the landlord must provide them with a notice of at least 90 days.
In the written notice, you must state the reason for the displacement. You must then deliver the notice to the tenant personally or by certified mail.
Can a Tenant Contest a No-Fault Just Cause Eviction in California?
Yes. California renters have certain rights during displacement, including the right to contest a no-fault just cause eviction. To contest the eviction, the tenant must file a response with the court within 15 days of receiving the eviction notice.
In their response, the tenant may allege that the landlord doesn’t have a valid reason for the eviction or that they aren’t in compliance with the law.
So, do landlords have to pay for relocation in California? Yes, if you are carrying out a no-fault just cause evictions. The amount of fees will depend on various factors, including the property’s location.
However, you don’t have to pay the tenant any relocation fees when carrying out an at-fault just cause eviction. Either way, you must strictly follow the proper procedures for a proper eviction process.
Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.
Hi, I’m Kelvin Nielsen, an experienced landlord and accomplished real estate lawyer. My focus is on answering your questions about renting in the hopes of making your life as a renter or a landlord a bit easier.