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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10215
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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I own a home in Oakland Ca and have to sell, it is under

Customer Question

I own a home in Oakland Ca and have to sell , it is under section 8. She ( tenant) is a senior as am I, financially I can't keep the home anymore. I can not physically or financially do repairs or afford to hire someone to do the work. I need to sell ! I can't do the Ellis act and There is no " Just Cause" for eviction . So how can I get her out, so I can sell. We gave her a 90 day notice to vacate but according to section 8 IT IS ONLY A SUGGESTION , not just cause. Please advice. Thank you Bill Vershay
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 7 months ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

It is possible to sell your property with a Section 8 tenant in place, your buyer is going to discount the value of your property based on the fact that they can only collect rent based on the current rental value (a Section 8 tenant living in the unit that is entitled to Oakland rent control/protections).

You can also look into an "OMI" (Owner Move In) eviction, where you move into the unit as your primary residence with an intent to reside there for a minimum of 3 years. (See: for a discussion). This will of course delay the sale of your unit for at least 3 years due to the fact that you are going to have to use it for a principle residence for the next 3 years, but it will give you a basis to terminate your tenant's lease and then sell.

You can try negotiating a lease buy out with your tenant, but given the fact that she is currently enjoying both rent control AND Section 8 benefits, you are going to have to come up with a very enticing deal (your post implies that this is not something you are financially capable of offering at this time, but I am trying to give all of the options available).

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No help what so ever. It is hard for me to believe that a tenant has that much power over an owner. Couldn't a landlord claim " just cause'" maintaining hardship as a justifiable option it should work both ways. But apparently not, just screwed !!!!!!
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 7 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Unfortunately you are renting out a unit in Oakland, one of several jurisdictions in California that have considerable rent control protections (SF, Berkeley, LA City proper being the other ones).

Outside of these enclaves a landlord can terminate a lease relatively easily.

I am very sorry that you are faced with this situation, but you are dealing with what is a very onerous local regulation. While I have identified 3 different approaches to this (I understand none of them are ideal), you may want to consider speaking with a local attorney for more nuanced advice and counsel, but do understand going into this that the landlord/tenant system in the Bay Area has considerable protections for tenants in general (not just singling out your tenant for particular rights and protections).

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