Can a landlord evicta tenantjust because he wants to putthe rentalon the market?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a landlord evicta tenantjust because he wants to putthe rentalon the market?

He says he wants to go out of the landlord business; that he wants to sell.  Mentioned Ellis Act if I am not out by end of next month and offered a bit of money. I have this in writing. Suddenly, the house has been having problems (right before this no heat for 2 weeks, water turned off without warning, etc).

Asked on February 23, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The "Ellis Act" is a CA law which states that landlords have the unconditional right to evict tenants to "go out of business." For an Ellis eviction, the landlord must remove all of the units in the building from the rental market. In other words, the landlord must evict all the tenants and cannot single out 1 tenant and/or remove just 1 unit from the rental market.  When a landlord utilizes this Act, apartments cannot be re-rented, except at the same rent the evicted tenant was paying, for 5 years following the evictions.  While there are restrictions on ever re-renting the units, there are no such restrictions on converting them to ownership units (e.g., tenancies in common or condos).

Bottom line, Ellis Act evictions typically are used to change the use of a building.  Most such evictions are used to convert rental units to condominiums.  Tenants can be evicted under the Ellis Act anywhere in CA, but local law can impact the procedures and requirements.

As for cutting off utilities, that is all together different matter.  Landlords cannot do this ever. You may have a cause of action here. 

At this point, since the Ellis Act has certain requirements that must be met for an eviction to be lawful and your landlord may have been using "self-help" measures to get you to move (i.e. no heat/hot water), you really should consult with a tenants right organization or a real estate attorney that specializes in landlord/tenant matters.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption