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What is "just cause" for eviction in San Jose?

In April of 2017, San Jose followed the lead of other California cities regarding landlord/tenant laws and tipped the scales in favor of tenants. After seven hours of debate, four of which involved solely testimony, the city introduced two new ordinances. One of those ordinances was the Tenant Protection Ordinance, which requires landlords to have "just cause" to terminate the tenancy of month-to-month residents. Santa Clara County Association of Realtors details what "just cause" is.

Under the old state law, landlords could evict month-to-month tenants without cause so long as they provided those tenants with a 60-day notice. Under the new laws, however, a landlord must demonstrate that a tenant's situation meets one or more of 12 requirements in order for the landlord to be able to evict the tenant.

The grounds are not unreasonable, but they do take away what little freedom San Jose landlords had when it came to controlling the type of community they wished to maintain. The 12 "just cause" grounds are nonpayment of rent; damage to the rental unit; frequent or material violation of the terms of the rental agreement; refusal to agree to a new rental contract; refusal to grant the landlord access to the unit; troublesome behavior; unapproved subtenants; governmental order to vacate; substantial renovation to the unit; removal of the tenant under the Ellis Act; vacating an unpermitted rental unit; and/or owner move-in.

If you are a landlord in San Jose, and if you wish to terminate a month-to-month tenancy in a legal fashion, you must prove that you comply with the ordinance by utilizing the form prescribed by the city. You must mail or hand-deliver a copy of the notice to the city within three days of delivering it to the tenant.

The information shared here is for educational purposes alone. It should not be used as legal advice. 

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Lawrence R. Jensen & Associates
95 S. Market St.
Ste. 550
San Jose, CA 95113

Phone: 408-465-0293
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