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Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

Owner/Relative Occupancy Evictions
Rent Stabilization Board Public Information Unit

Explanation of the owner's obligations and tenants' rights under the Berkeley Rent Ordinance

See important disclaimer at the end of this document.

These rules apply to all units subject to the Good Cause provisions of the Rent Ordinance, which includes all units subject to the registration requirements of the Rent Ordinance, Section 8 units, newly constructed units, single-family homes and condominiums.

If an owner wants to terminate a tenancy in order to move himself, spouse, registered domestic partner, mother, father, son, or daughter into a unit, the landlord must comply with the following:

1. The landlord must be at least a 50% owner of record of the unit.

2. The landlord must notify the tenant, at the time of giving notice terminating the tenancy, of the landlord's ownership interest in any residential properties in Berkeley where such interest is 10% or greater.

3. The landlord must notify the tenant of the existence of relocation assistance and the existence of tenant protections for families with minor children.

4. The landlord must offer the tenant any unit in Berkeley where the landlord has 10% or greater ownership interest that becomes available before the tenant vacates his or her unit. 

5. The landlord must provide a $16,864 relocation assistance payment to any tenant household that has resided in the unit for at least one year. This $16,864 must be deposited with the rent board within 10 days of service of the notice upon the tenant. The landlord may be required to pay an additional $5,621 in relocation assistance to tenant households that qualify as low-income or include disabled or elderly tenants, minor children or tenancies that began prior to January 1, 1999. A household in Alameda County is considered “low-income” if the annual income is less than the amounts shown on the Notice of Eligibility for Additional Relocation Assistance form.

6. The landlord or relative must move into the unit within three months of the termination and must live in the unit for 36 months.

7. The landlord must give the terminated tenant the right to re-occupy the unit when the landlord or relative moves out. There is no time limit on this requirement.

Evictions for owner/relative move-in are prohibited in the following circumstances:

1.  The landlord owns less than a 50% recorded interest in the property. 

2.  The landlord owns an available (currently or within the last 90 days) comparable unit in Berkeley. 

3.  Where the landlord has at least a 10% ownership interest in 5 or more residential rental units in Berkeley, s/he may not evict a tenant who has lived on the property for 5 or more years and wishes to remain in the unit.* 

4.  Where the landlord has at least a 10% ownership interest in 4 or more residential units in Berkeley, s/he may not evict a tenant who is at least 60 years old or disabled, has lived on the property for 5 or more years, and wishes to remain in the unit.* 

5.  Where an owner has recovered possession for owner move-in by terminating a tenancy, then no other current or future landlords may recover possession for owner move-in by terminating a tenancy in any other rental unit on the property.

*Exceptions: The eviction prohibitions described in #3 and #4 do not apply where all the landlord's units in Berkeley are occupied by tenants described in #3 and #4 and (a) the landlord's relative is at least 60 years old or disabled or (b) the landlord to move in has owned the property for at least five years and is at least 60 years old or disabled.

IMPORTANT: This information is not a substitute for the text of state laws or the local Rent Ordinance. State law establishes the processes for termination of tenancy and eviction. This page summarizes the additional local requirements that have been added to the state procedure. The purpose of this page is to give you an overview of the relevant provisions of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance.

Seek legal advice if you are unfamiliar with the laws. If you are involved in an action to terminate a tenancy for owner or relative move-in, this page should be used to focus your discussion with your legal advisor. Self-help law books on evictions might also be helpful.

Additional information is available in the Rent Board office and by speaking with a Rent Board counselor during office hours.  Housing Counselors cannot provide legal advice.

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