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Just Cause Requirement Eviction Of Residential Tenant

Concerning requiring just cause for the eviction of a tenant from a residential premises.
2023 Regular Session
Bill Summary

The bill prohibits a landlord from evicting a residential tenant unless the landlord has just cause for eviction. Just cause exists only when:

  • A tenant or lessee is guilty of an unlawful detention of real property under certain circumstances described in existing law, as amended; or
  • The tenant continues to fail to pay rent after the landlord provides the tenant timely written notice of such nonpayment;
  • The tenant commits a substantial violation and does not cure it within 10 days after the landlord provides the tenant written notice of the substantial violation;
  • Conditions exist constituting grounds for a no-fault eviction.
  • The tenant refuses to allow the landlord to enter the residential premises after the landlord has provided written notice of such entry at least 48 hours before attempting such entry, unless the rental agreement specifies a longer period of advanced written notice; or
  • The tenant refuses to sign a new rental agreement with terms that are substantially identical to the tenant's current rental agreement, so long as the landlord proffers the new rental agreement at least 30 days before the expiration of the current rental agreement.

The following conditions constitute grounds for a no-fault eviction of a tenant, with certain limitations:

  • Demolition or conversion of the residential premises;
  • Substantial repairs or renovations to the residential premises; or
  • Occupancy of the residential premises assumed by the landlord or a family member of the landlord;
  • Expiration of time-limited housing operated by a mission-driven organization; and
  • Withdrawal of the residential premises from the rental market for the purpose of selling the residential premises.

With certain exceptions, a landlord that proceeds with a no-fault eviction of a tenant must provide relocation assistance to the tenant in the amount of 2 months' rent plus the amount of one additional month of rent if any of the following individuals reside in the residential premises at the time the landlord proceeds with the no-fault eviction:

  • An individual who is less than 18 years of age or at least 60 years of age;
  • A low-income individual; or
  • An individual with a disability.

If a landlord proceeds with an eviction of a tenant of a residential premises in violation of the new provisions, the tenant may seek relief as provided in existing laws concerning unlawful removal of a tenant.

A landlord's failure to comply with the new restrictions on evictions is an affirmative defense for a tenant to an eviction proceeding. Existing law describes various circumstances under which a person is guilty of an unlawful detention of real property. The bill narrows the applicability of 2 such circumstances to apply to nonresidential and residential real property, respectively. The bill also adds 2 such circumstances, which are:

  • When a tenant or lessee holds over upon the expiration of a residential rental agreement when the landlord has timely offered a new rental agreement with terms substantially identical to the current residential rental agreement and provided timely notice to the tenant; and
  • When the landlord has provided the tenant timely notice of the landlord's plans to recover possession of the property for the landlord's own use and occupancy as a principal residence by the landlord or an immediate family member.

Current law allows a tenant to terminate a tenancy by serving written notice to the landlord within a prescribed time period, based on the length of the tenancy, and for the purpose of such notices to quit a tenancy, certain provisions apply, including the following:

  • Any person in possession of real property with the assent of the owner is presumed to be a tenant at will until the contrary is shown;
  • No notice to quit is necessary from or to a tenant whose term is, by agreement, to end at a time certain; and
  • Certain provisions concerning notices to quit do not apply to the termination of a residential tenancy if the residential premises is a condominium unit.

The bill eliminates these provisions.

Current law requires that, except when posting notices that are required by law or by a rental agreement, the management of a mobile home park must make a reasonable effort to notify a resident of the management's intention to enter the mobile home space at least 48 hours before entry. The bill changes this period from 48 hours to 72 hours.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)




Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details