Wrongful Eviction

An eviction begins when a landlord attempts to re-possess a unit occupied by a tenant. Whether an eviction is lawful or wrongful depends on a host of complicated factors, including type of tenancy, location of the tenancy, reasons for the eviction, and other specificities.

While California has broad state-wide eviction protections, some cities have more strict requirements that limit when and how a landlord terminates a tenancy. For example, San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, and Berkeley have each implemented their own laws controlling evictions within their respective cities. As such, both landlords and tenants should consult an attorney before, during, and after the eviction process.

California Evictions

Before January 1, 2020, California state law allowed landlords to evict tenants for any non-discriminatory reason. However, California enacted AB 1482, which requires landlords to have a just cause for terminating tenancies that are not exempt from AB 1482. Therefore, determining whether a tenancy is protected by just cause requirements depends on whether the residential unit is covered under AB 1482 or a local ordinance.

Types of Evictions That May Be Wrongful Evictions

Each landlord-tenant relationship is unique, so determining whether an eviction is wrongful depends on a variety of facts, including: tenancy location, tenancy lengthy, type of unit, and the reason for terminating the tenancy. The following are some common evictions in the San Francisco Bay Area that may be wrongful.

Verbal Termination of Tenancy: In most circumstances, a Landlord cannot terminate a tenant’s tenancy verbally. Most of the times, Landlords must issue a written notice to terminate tenancy.

False Owner Move In Eviction: Under certain circumstances a landlord or their relatives may be able to evict a tenant so the owner or relative can move in. But such eviction is not allowed if any of the required traits are proven false.

Retaliation: Landlords cannot retaliate against a tenant by terminating their tenancy. Tenants who enforce their legal rights cannot be evicted because they enforced their legal rights.

Self-Help/Lock Out: Landlords cannot dispossess a tenant’s unit by locking the tenant out of the unit. Lock outs are only allowed after the court issues a judgment granting possession. As such, a landlord who self-helps themselves by locking a tenant out of their unit or changing the locks on the tenant is likely wrongful.

Decrease in Housing Services: Landlords cannot attempt to evict a tenant by substantially reducing the services of the rental agreement. Such actions may be considered as self-help eviction conduct. This includes failing to make repairs.

Harassment & Discrimination: Landlords cannot harass tenants for the sake of evicting them. Nor can landlords evict tenants based on a discriminatory purpose.

Nonrenewal: For most tenancies throughout California, landlords cannot terminate a tenancy by “non-renewing” a lease. Most residential tenancies must be renewed, even after the lease term expired.

Anderson Franco has represented tenants, landlords, and insurance carriers in eviction lawsuits throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His unique litigation experience gives him a strategic advantage in anticipating arguments and developing winning tactics. More importantly, he is able to best represent his clients and obtain the best results in eviction lawsuits.

Anderson Franco has represented landlord-tenant disputes in San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and other Bay Area counties.

If you or your loved one has been evicted, contact Anderson Franco for a free consultation.