Property Q&A in Oakland>Question Details

A N, Home Buyer in 94610

Can a landlord in California evict a tenant if it is the landlord's only owned property?

Asked by A N, 94610 Thu Apr 30, 2009

There's a property for sale here in Oakland that is rent-controlled, and I'm curious if as a landlord I can evict the tenant because it would be the only property I'd own (I'm a first-time homebuyer) and would want to live in it myself. Does anyone have experience with this issue, can I be successful, and what are the pitfalls?

Thank you for any advice or stories!

Help the community by answering this question:


Oakland Rent Control will allow you to evict a tenant to move into that unit. It is called "owner move in eviction" - this is only in units up to 3. Also, there must not be another comparable vacant unit in the building. If there is, the tenant must be offered that unit at their current rent.
the only successful owner move in evictions I know about are those in duplexes. Please remember that if you do an owner move in eviction, you must live there for 36 months to make it legal. You can do this for your kids to move in, your immediate family members, like your parent(s). All the best
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 2, 2009
A Real Esate Attorney is definately your best bet when dealing with any tenant issues in a rent controlled or eviction controlled situation. Rent Control and Eviction Control are different ordinances. A great attorney to call is Jeffery Woo at 415-627-3607. I have attended seminars with him and he is very knowledgeable about Oakland, Berkeley and San Franciso laws.

Best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 1, 2009
You should consult with an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 1, 2009
Here's a good site you can check out as a resource for your tenant/landlord questions.…

The first thing you should ask before you buy, or if you're already in contract, before you release your contingencies, are copies of the tenant's leases and tenant estoppels to determine what the situation is. If you're in doubt, don't rely on what regular folks, even you realtor, tells you.

To protect yourself and your interests, you should engage a real estate attorney specializing in landlord/tenant issues to explain the terms of the leases, what appropriate notice(s) to give to the tenant, what the process is, should the seller (or buyer) offer cash-for-keys to have the tenants vacate. Do some research by going to the Rent Control Board and get the latest info, etc.

Two of my prospective buyers avoided buying a four-plex when they found out that one tenant was not only protected, but awarded by the rent control damages from actions of the present owner, that resulted in that tenant paying only a token $10/mo for several years! And they would have inherited this tenant and his situation as new owners because the judgment stayed with the property.

Get professional assistance and advice. Otherwise, you may end up being the landlord of the property you buy that has tenants protected under the terms of rent control.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 30, 2009
Hi AN,

You need to comply with the terms of your lease contract. If the terms have expired you need to give them 30 days notice(if that is what you have in your contract).

Just because you were the first time buyer does not give you the legal right to evict them whenever you like. Did you rent to them month to month or do you have a 12 months lease agreement with them?

Prudential California Realty
Mission Viejo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 30, 2009
But owner can move in but not under the first time buyer notion but under the move in because of primary resident, but still have to comply with strict guidelines-- re age, length of tenancy, disability etc, and then you just need to give a year. Please get legal advice
Flag Wed Jan 21, 2015
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