Written by attorney Scott Robert Rights

"Just Cause Eviction" law of San Diego -

San Diego, California Landlord-Tenant Eviction Guidance - "Just Cause Eviction" law of San Diego

California has been one of the more proactive states in protecting tenant rights. There are many different laws that effect the lease or rental agreement for landlords in San Diego. A sampling of laws include everything from federal laws controlling lead disclosures to state laws mandating lease or rental agreement disclosures about the state database for registered sex offenders. As far as tenant rights, many times the state laws in California go well beyond the federal laws. In 2004, San Diego passed the first ever tenant rights legislation for that city.

What is known as a “Just Cause" eviction law, the San Diego Municipal code §98.0730 impacts the requirements for a landlord seeking to terminate a tenancy. This can impact eviction proceedings and any resulting unlawful detainer lawsuit in San Diego. The goal of the legislation was to “promote stability in the San Diego rental housing market and limit adverse impacts on long-term residential tenants displaced and forced to find replacement housing in the expensive and limited San Diego housing market. The regulations protect the rights of long-term residential tenants by limiting grounds for their eviction and requiring landlords to provide notice of such grounds. The rights conferred by these regulations are in addition to any provided in state or federal law."

The long and the short of it, if a landlord in San Diego wants to terminate a residential tenancy of more than two years, they must state the reason for terminating a tenancy. Generally, once a tenancy becomes a month-to-month tenancy, a landlord can terminate the tenancy for any reason. There are still restrictions, and a tenancy cannot be terminated for the wrong reasons. Discrimination, retaliatory eviction, and a few other points control the ability of a landlord to terminate the tenancy. In California, if a tenant has been in the premises for a year or more, they must be given a 60 days notice of the intent to terminate the tenancy. So if the San Diego “Just Cause" eviction law comes into play, the landlord will have to give a 60-day notice and that notice is required to state the reason the tenancy is being terminated.

What would a law be without exceptions? There are nine exceptions to the San Diego eviction law where the landlord will not be required to state the reason for terminating the tenancy.

Nonpayment of Rent.

Violation of Obligation of Tenancy. The tenant has violated a lawful and material obligation or covenant of the tenancy, except that the following may not be grounds for termination or nonrenewal of a tenancy:

(1)The failure to surrender possession of the rental-unit upon the expiration of a specified term, except as provided insection 98.0730(e);

Nuisance. The tenant is committing a nuisance or permitting a nuisance in, or is causing damage to, the rental-unit or to the appurtenances thereof or to the common areas of the housing complex containing the rental-unit, or is creating an unreasonable interference with the comfort, safety, or enjoyment of any of the other residents of the housing complex.

Illegal Use. The tenant is using or permitting the rental-unit to be used for an illegal purpose.

Refusal to Renew Lease. The tenant who had a written lease or rental agreement which terminated on or after April 26, 2004 has refused, after written request by the landlord, to execute a written extension or renewal thereof within the written period prescribed by the lease or state law for a further term of like duration with similar provisions.

Refusal to Provide Access. The tenant has refused to give the landlord reasonable access to the rental-unit for the purpose of making repairsorimprovements, or for the purpose of inspection as permitted or required by thelease or by law, or for the purpose of showing the rental-unit to anyprospective purchaser or mortgagee.

Correction of Violations. The landlord, after having obtained all necessary permits from the City of San Diego, seeks to recover possession of the rentalunitfor necessary repair or construction when removal of the tenant is reasonably necessary to accomplish the repair or construction work.

Withdrawal of Residential Rental Structure from the Rental Market. The landlord intends to withdraw all rental-units in all buildings or structures on a parcel of land from the rental market.

Owner or Relative Occupancy.Thelandlord,or his or her spouse, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child, grandchild (by blood or adoption), or aresident managerplans to occupy therental unitas their principal residence.

please see my other guides or for more information.

The information on these pages is to help in understanding the legal process in some aspects of Landlord Tenant law. The information here is not the same as legal advice, which is unique to each set of facts. You must consult with a lawyer to determine the appropriate action in your specific case.

Scott R. Rights, Esq.

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