Five Take Aways From the New San Francisco Owner Move-In Laws 

In August of last year the San Francisco Rent Ordinance was amended to further restrict the laws regulating a landlord’s right to owner move-in evictions. Some of these changes came into effect in August 2017, while others did not take effect until January. Below is a brief rundown of the changes to owner move-in laws that you need to know about.

1. Extends statute of limitations for bogus owner move-in eviction lawsuits from one year up to five years

Until the new law tenants who were evicted for an owner move-in eviction had one year to bring a lawsuit against a landlord that failed to move in. The new change gives displaced tenants five years to bring a lawsuit. This reduces the amount of pressure on tenants to keep a close watch on their former homes and take immediate action, while also discouraging landlords from filing bogus owner move-in notices and then never moving in.

2. Landlords cannot charge a new tenant more rent than the amount the evicted tenant was paying for a five year period

This is designed to discourage landlords from using an owner move-in eviction as a pretext to evict a tenant in order to charge higher rent to a subsequent occupant.

3.  Landlords must submit a declaration under penalty of perjury of their intention to live in the premises

This one is pretty self explanatory. The new version of the ordinance ups the ante on landlords to honor their word.

4.  Institutes a Reporting Requirement for Landlords 

Landlords now have an obligation to submit information to the Rent Board after the initial filing of an owner move-in eviction notice. Landlords are required to submit an updated statement of occupancy every 90 days after the date of service of an OMI notice until they move in, and then file one once a year for five years after recovering possession.

5. Extends Landlord’s Obligation to Offer Unit Back to Displaced Tenant from 3 years to 5 years

Landlords are only required to reside in a unit pursuant to an owner move-in eviction notice for 36 consecutive months. However, where before, they could then rent the unit out to a new tenant, owners now have an obligation to offer their displaced tenant/s the ability to move back in if the owner doesn’t stay for five years after issuance of the owner move-in eviction notice.

For the full text of the changes check out the SF Rent Board: https://sfrb.org/sites/default/files/OMI%20Amendments%208.27.17.pdf

As always, this information is not to be construed as legal advice and is general in nature only. For an evaluation of how these laws effect your situation contact our office or another tenant’s rights organization.