The term “eviction” is synonymous with tenants that do not pay rent or breach other terms of the lease. Yet there are certain situations – known as “no fault” evictions – where the tenant can be legally transitioned out of the rental unit even when the tenant has fulfilled their responsibilities under the lease agreement. One exemption is an Owner Move-In Eviction, also commonly referred to as OMI, Relative Move-In, or Landlord Move-In Eviction. Oftentimes, the owner or a close relative wants to occupy the rental unit. Repossessing the rental unit for a landlord’s own personal use is permissible, with a myriad of caveats best journeyed with the landlord lawyers at Bornstein Law.
Download our Owner Move-In Eviction Guide (PDF)
Owner Move- In Eviction laws have already put owners on notice that OMIs require good faith, without ulterior motive and with honest intent, and are only allowed in limited circumstances, and we note that the numbers show that these type of evictions are less pervasive than tenant advocates would lead you to believe.
There are many restrictions to evicting a tenant when the owner or a close relative desires to live in the rental unit, and these complicated set of rules are best journeyed with competent landlord lawyers.
Nonetheless, in the war of public opinion, the tenant rights’ camp has successfully staked their case that OMI’s are overused by landlords attempting to raise rents for an incoming tenant willing to pay it. Regardless of the merits of this argument, municipalities have listened. Though Owner Move In-Eviction rules vary by city, the common denominator is a healthy dose of skepticism regarding a landlord’s motivation to recover possession, resulting in rules to verify principle residence, as well as the window in which the owner or their relative actually move in and reside there.
A word of caution
We note that certain protected groups like the elderly, disabled or catastrophically ill tenants cannot be transitioned out of their unit by way of an OMI.
We also add that these types of evictions are not transactional in nature. Aside from ongoing reporting requirements landlords may be subjected to, it is not rare for tenants to cry fowl later on and claim that they were displaced illegally.
This makes it vital for Bay Area landlords that are contemplating whether to pursue an OMIng a trip down this slippery slope, to seek the guidance of Bornstein Law to evaluate their options and make sure that all of the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed, if they determine an Owner Move-In Eviction is the proper course of action.
As a footnote, one alternative owners may also consider is a Tenant Buy Out Agreement, which carries its own advantages and disadvantages, discussed here.

More Information & Insights

Owner Move-In Eviction Guide (PDF)
From the blog: San Francisco Issues New Owner Move-In Eviction Rules
Oakland Approves Tenant Relocation Assistance For Owner Move-Ins and Condo Conversions

Other Landlord-Tenant Topics

Tenant Buyout Agreements

Security Deposits

Rent Control

Owner Move-In Evicitons

Unlawful Detainers

Just Cause Eviction

Airbnb & Short Term Rental Agreements

Tenant Abandonment

Rent Board Appearances

Tenant Hoarding

Marijuana in Rental Units