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Ask AttyHeather Your Own Question
AttyHeather
AttyHeather, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 546
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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We own two single family homes in Oakland that we are trying

Customer Question

We own two single family homes in Oakland that we are trying to sell. Both are occupied by section 8 tenants one of which we believe to be "protected" we want to sell the properties and have been told this will be much easier if they are empty so we want to evict what can we do?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 7 months ago.
Hi, My name is*****'m an attorney with 15 years vigorous courtroom practice experience, and I would like to assist you in answering your question. My response is for information and education, and not as legal advice and we do not form an attorney/client relationship. In order to evict your tenants, you will have to have a different reason rather than you can get a better price for the property if the tenant is not there. There was a recent court decision concerning Section 8 housing. A tenant rented a house and received federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments. The rental was also located in Los Angeles which has a local rent ordinance. The tenant began renting the home in 2003 and lived there without any rent problems for seven years.In 2010, the landlord served the tenant with a 90-day notice terminating her lease. The tenant’s lease was being terminated for “good cause” because of “business and economic reasons.” The landlord did not want to deal with the Section 8 paperwork requirements, among other alleged problems regarding the federal payments. The tenant did not leave. The landlord then gave the tenant a 3-day notice to pay at the full monthly rent of $950 or quit. The tenant attempted to pay only her share of the rent, but it was refused. The landlord also returned the Section 8 share of the rent that automatically had been put into the landlord’s bank account. The landlord then filed an unlawful detainer (an eviction action) against the tenant.The case was tried before a judge. The judge ruled that the landlord’s reason for terminating the tenancy based “business and economic reasons” did not fall within the just cause reasons for evictions under the Los Angeles rent ordinance. The landlord appealed. In its decision, the court agreed federal regulations, which control Section 8, had a lower protection level against evictions. But local laws can provide greater protection. Under the Los Angeles rent ordinance, the landlord’s reason for giving the tenant a 90-day notice was inadequate. Thus, the landlord failed to properly terminate the tenancy. This case can be helpful in jurisdictions that have rent control such as San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.This case brief can be obtained here: http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/eviction/a-section-8-housing-tenant-can-only-be-evicted-for-good-cause/In Oakland, you have to have just cause to evict your tenants. Just cause is described as follows:Oakland is a Just Cause city, which prohibits a landlord from evicting tenants without good or just cause. This ordinance was established under the guiding notion that “Oakland’s prolonged affordable housing crisis disproportionately impacts low-income and working-class households, senior citizens, people of color and people with disabilities,” as stated in Section 8.22.300 of the Oakland Municipal Code. As such, there are only 11 just causes for eviction:1. Failure to pay rent. If you fail to pay rent that is legally due, the landlord must first issue a written request for you to pay and give you a period of no less than three days to do so. However, if you are withholding rent in compliance with an applicable law, you’re in the clear.2. Breach of the lease. It is important to note here that any terms in your lease that are contrary to the law are unenforceable and void. So if there’s a clause in your lease that says you must vacate the unit whenever your landlord says so, this is illegal and will not hold up in court.3. Failure to sign a lease extension that is materially the same as the original lease.4. Willful and substantial damage beyond normal wear and tear. If this is the case, you still have the right to live there. You will only be evicted if you don’t cease the damage, repair it yourself or pay for repairs after receiving written instructions from your landlord to do so.5. Disorderly conduct that destroys the peace and quiet of other tenants and continues after written notice to stop.6. Use of the premises for an illegal purpose including the manufacture, sale, or use of illegal drugs. Recently, sex work was controversially added to this list.7. Continued denial of landlord access to the premises in accordance with state law, Civil Code section 1954.8. The owner wants to repossess the house to live there. This is a tricky one, and there are many clauses that go along with it, including rights to tenants over the age of 60, those with serious illness and long-time residents. If you find yourself in this situation, be sure to read this section carefully.9. The owner wants to repossess the house for his or her spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, or grandparent to live there. Again, this is a tricky one. Read closely!10. Temporary relocation for three months for substantial repairs. These repairs cannot simply be cosmetic. They must be necessary to bring the property into compliance with codes and laws affecting health and safety, and the owner must have received all permits before a notice to vacate is given.11. The owner seeks to permanently remove the unit from the housing market. This is also known as an Ellis Act eviction and has its own slew of legalities.The full information can be obtained here: http://oaklandlocal.com/2015/01/know-your-housing-rights-part-2-eviction/ So, you need to look at your situation and see what reason of the 11 above your situation best falls under, and attempt to evict for that reason, rather than your business/financial reason that you articulated in the question. I hope that I have answered your question. Please help me out by replying that you are satisfied that I answered your question and issuing me a positive rating.Best,Heather S, Attorney

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