San Diego has implemented new housing laws aimed at addressing rising homelessness and promoting tenant rights. These laws came into effect in June 2023 and focus on two ways to remove tenants from rental properties: "At Fault Just Cause" for lease violations and "No-Fault Just Cause" for situations where the landlord needs the tenant to move out.
Under "At Fault Just Cause," tenants can be evicted for lease breaches, including nonpayment of rent or criminal activity. This aspect of the law remains unchanged. The more significant changes come with "No-Fault Just Cause." In this scenario, it's not the tenant's fault, but the landlord needs the tenant to leave. This can happen for three reasons:
- The landlord or an immediate family member wants to move back into the property.
- The property is to be sold.
- Major renovations are planned. In this case, the landlord must obtain city permits and show the finalized permits to the tenant.
For "No-Fault Just Cause" removals, landlords are now required to provide two months of rental assistance to help tenants relocate. If the tenant is over 62 years old or disabled, the assistance increases to three months' rent.
Good news! There are exemptions for many landlords. If you own the property as an individual, with your spouse or partner, or through a family trust, you are likely exempt. Additionally, properties built within the last 15 years or used as short-term vacation rentals are also exempt. However, if you own the property as a corporation, certain types of limited liability corporations, or as part of a real estate investment trust, these laws will apply to you.
These are just the basics of the new laws, which extend over 15 pages. If you need more detailed information, feel free to call or email me. I’m happy to answer any of your questions.