Topic No. 213: Evictions to Demolish or Permanently Remove a Unit From Housing Code

General Information

A landlord may evict a tenant pursuant to Ordinance Section 37.9(a)(10) if the landlord seeks in good faith and without ulterior motive to demolish or to otherwise permanently remove the rental unit from housing use. The landlord is required to have obtained all the necessary permits before serving the eviction notice, including any permits necessary to remove an “illegal” dwelling unit. Further, California Civil Code 1940.6 requires the landlord to give notice to the tenant prior to applying to any public agency for a permit to demolish a residential unit.

Notice Requirements

In addition to general eviction notice requirements, there are specific requirements for eviction notices where the landlord seeks to demolish or permanently remove the unit from housing use, including:

  • The landlord must obtain all necessary permits for the work before giving the eviction notice to the tenant.
  • The eviction notice must state the current lawful rent for the unit.
  • The notice must advise the tenant of their right to receive relocation payments, including a statement describing the additional relocation expenses available for eligible tenants who are senior or disabled and for households with children. A copy of Rent Ordinance Section 37.9C regarding a tenant’s right to relocation payments must also be attached to the notice.
  • The notice must include a warning that the tenant must advise the landlord in writing within 30 days if the tenant is claiming a protected status pursuant to Rent Ordinance Section 37.9(j), and that the failure to do so will be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected.
  • The notice must be filed with the Rent Board, accompanied by a proof of service on the tenant, within ten days of service of the notice on the tenant.

Relocation Payments

Landlords are required to pay relocation expenses to tenants who are being evicted for the landlord to demolish or permanently remove the unit from housing use. Pursuant to Ordinance Section 37.9C, each authorized occupant, regardless of age, who has lived in the unit for at least one year is entitled to a relocation payment of $4,500.00, with a maximum payment of $13,500.00 per unit. In addition, each elderly tenant who is 60 years or older, and each disabled tenant, and each household with one or more minor children, is entitled to an additional payment of $3,000.00. Each year commencing March 1, 2007, the amount of these relocation payments, including the maximum relocation expenses per unit, is adjusted for inflation.

If the landlord seeks to demolish an unreinforced masonry building pursuant to Building Code Chapters 16B and 16C, the amount of relocation costs is governed by Ordinance Section 37.9A(e) and not Ordinance Section 37.9C. The relocation costs required by Ordinance Section 37.9A(e) are similar but not identical to the relocation payments required under Ordinance Section 37.9C.

Information regarding current relocation payment amounts are available in the Forms Center of the Rent Board’s website. A list of relocation payment amounts is also available at the Rent Board’s office.

The landlord is required to give all occupants of the unit written notice of relocation rights on or before the date of service of the eviction notice and shall also provide a copy of Ordinance Section 37.9C. Such notification shall include a statement describing the additional relocation expenses available for eligible tenants who are senior or disabled and for households with children. The landlord must file a copy of this notification with the Rent Board within 10 days after service of the notice, together with a copy of the eviction notice and proof of service upon the tenant. Within 30 days of receiving a tenant’s claim for the additional payment because of age, disability, or having children in the household, the landlord must inform the Rent Board in writing of the tenant’s claim and whether or not the landlord disputes the claim. However, the Rent Board does not have authority to accept or decide petitions regarding a tenant’s claim for additional relocation expenses based on age, disability or having children in the household. Such disputes must be resolved in another forum.

Half of the required relocation payment must be paid at the time the notice to vacate is served, and the second half must be paid when the unit is vacated. Any additional payments required due to a tenant’s age or disability, or due to a household with a minor child, must be paid within fifteen calendar days of the landlord's receipt of written notice from the tenant of entitlement to the additional relocation payment along with supporting evidence, and the second half must be paid when the unit is vacated.

Protected Status During the School Year for Households with Minor Children and School Employees

The landlord may not evict a tenant from the unit for the landlord to demolish or permanently remove the unit from housing use during the school year if a child under 18 or a person who works at a school in San Francisco (an “educator”) resides in the rental unit, is a tenant in the unit or has a custodial or family relationship with a tenant in the unit, and the tenant has resided in the unit for 12 months or more.

Any tenant who claims to have protected status must notify the owner of the tenant’s protected status within 30 days of receiving either an eviction notice or a written request from the owner to declare the tenant’s protected status. The tenant must also include evidence supporting the claim of protected status. The tenant’s failure to submit a statement within the 30-day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant does not have protected status. The landlord may contest a tenant’s claim of protected status either by filing a petition with the Rent Board or through eviction proceedings in court.

For the purpose of determining whether a tenant has a protected status, the following definitions apply:

Custodial relationship” means, with respect to a child and a tenant, that the tenant is a legal guardian of the child, or has a court-recognized caregiver authorization affidavit for the child, or has provided full-time custodial care of the child pursuant to an agreement with the child’s legal guardian or court-recognized caregiver and has been providing that care for at least one year or half of the child’s lifetime, whichever is less.

Educator” means any person who works at a school in San Francisco as an employee or independent contractor of the school or of the governing body that has jurisdiction over the school, including, without limitation, all teachers, classroom aides, administrators, administrative staff, counselors, social workers, psychologists, school nurses, speech pathologists, custodians, security guards, cafeteria workers, community relations specialists, child welfare and attendance liaisons, and learning support consultants.

Family relationship” means that the person is the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, or uncle of the child or educator, or the spouse or domestic partner of such relations.

School” means any state-licensed child care center, state-licensed family day care, and/or any public, private, or parochial institution that provides educational instruction for students in any or all of the grades from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

School year” means the first day of instruction for the Fall Semester through the last day of instruction for the Spring Semester, as posted on the San Francisco Unified School District website for each year.

Rent Limitations For Five Years

Pursuant to Ordinance Section 37.3(f), effective November 9, 2015, for five years after the expiration of the eviction notice to demolish or permanently remove a rental unit from housing use, the initial base rent for the subsequent tenancy cannot exceed the lawful rent in effect at the time the previous tenancy was terminated, plus any annual rent increases available under the Rent Ordinance.

 

November 2018