Most tenants know about rent control in various jurisdictions across the nation, however, they don’t understand that for rent control to be truly effectual over time, jurisdictions need to have “just cause” or “good cause” for eviction in their rent ordinances. “Just cause” is the real teeth of any rent control laws and it generally means that in order to evict a residential tenant must have a specifically enumerated reason in a city or county rent ordinance. Common no fault evictions are owner move-ins and Ellis Act evictions (a state law which allows a landlord to pull an entire residential rental property off the rental market for a minimum of five years). At fault “just causes” include non-payment of rent, habitual late payment of rent, lease violations (in certain cases a tenant must be given 3 days to cure the violation), nuisance, and use of a unit for an illegal purpose. These protections are additionally extremely important because they prospectively protect tenants when their landlord is foreclosed upon by their lenders or when their building is sold. There have been numerous Bay Area cities or counties with some form of “just cause” for eviction in their rent ordinances, including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and East Palo Alto. In the 2016 election Richmond and Mountain View became the latest California cities to add rent control and “just cause” for eviction to their local laws.
If a person has lived in a hotel for more than 30 consecutive days they become a tenant and if the hotels are in cities like San Francisco, Oakland or Berkeley then the rent control and “just cause” provisions of the local ordinances will apply to such tenants.