Recent Developments in Landlord/Tenant Law


* Buy-Outs of Residential Tenancies - New law effective March 2015 requires landlords to provide tentants with disclosures, provides tenants with at 45-day right of recision and requires lanlords to notify the Rent Board of buyout details. This law is not popular with landlords or tenants and will likely face legal challenge and/or be amended. S.F. Administrative Code § 37.9E.

* Short Term Rentals - New section of the S.F. Planning Code effective February 2015 regulates short term vacation rentals such as Airbnb and VRBO. Regulates rentals listed by property owners and tenants. [S.F. Ordinance No. 218-14]

* Ellis Relocation Payments - The 2014 legislation increasing Ellis relocation payments has not been upheld in Superior Court and is subject to appeal.

* Sunday Opens - This hotly-contested issue has finally been decided. Landlords and their real estate agents are entitled to hold open houses on weekends. See Dromy v. Lukovsky (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 278.

* Right To Reoccupy After Fire or Disaster - If a tenant is forced to vacate her/his unit due to fire or other disaster, the landlord shall, within 30 days of completion of repairs to the unit, offer the same unit to that tenant under the same terms and conditions as existed prior to her/his displacement. Rent Board Rule 12.19 [September 2013]

* S.F. Subdivision Code § 1396.4 - Most tenants of condo-converted buildings are entitled to a rent-stabilized lifetime lease or to purchase their unit. These are valuable new tenant rights! [June 2013]

* Civil Code § 1946.1 - has been made permanent. This law requires that in order to terminate a residential tenancy of one year or more, the owner must provide the tenant with at least 60 days written notice. Only 30 days notice is required if the tenant has lived in the property for less than one year. Tenants may terminate by giving written notice “for as long as the period of the tenancy prior to the date of proposed termination.”

* Protecting Tenants At Foreclosure Act - effective nationwide, purchasers at a foreclosure sale who want to evict a bona fide residential tenant must provide the tenant with at least 90 days notice. If the bona fide tenant resided in the premises under a lease, the foreclosure purchaser must honor the lease, unless the purchaser intends to occupy the unit as a primary residence.

* SB 1137 – tenant or subtenant in possession of a rental housing unit that has been sold through foreclosure is entitled to a 60-day written notice to quit, not just 30 days. [C.C.P. § 1161b] This new law does not affect rent-controlled tenancies where the tenants are entitled to keep renting on the same terms as before and the foreclosure purchaser cannot evict without “just cause.”

Under this new law the lender, trustee, or authorized agent posting a notice of foreclosure sale must also post and mail notice of the tenant's right to a 60-day eviction notice from the new owner. This requirement to notify tenants of their rights applies to loans secured by residential real property where the borrower has a billing address other than the subject property.