Information Regarding Tenants’ Rights

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URGENCY ORDINANCE FAQs

  1. What type of eviction does the Urgency Ordinance apply to?
    1. This Urgency Ordinance protects tenants from pretextual evictions in which property owners invoke substantial renovation or demolition of a unit as “just cause.”
  2. How is “substantially remodel” defined in the Urgency Ordinance?
    1. “Substantially remodel” means the replacement or substantial modification of any structural, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical system that requires a permit from a government agency, or the abatement of hazardous materials, including lead-based paint, mold, or asbestos, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, that cannot be reasonably accomplished in a safe manner with the tenant in place and that requires the tenant to vacate the residential real property for at least 30 days. Cosmetic improvements alone, including painting, decorating, and minor repairs, or other work that can be performed safely without having the residential real property vacated, do not qualify as substantial rehabilitation.
  3. What information related to the substantial remodel is the property owner required to provide a tenant in the notice of eviction?
    1. All termination notices for evictions based on demolition or substantial remodel of a rental unit shall include a copy of all issued permits, which permits must then be in effect, and not be expired or revoked. The property owner shall include reasonably detailed information in the termination notice regarding each of:
      1. The scope of the work;
      2. Why the work cannot be reasonably accomplished in a safe manner with the tenant in place; and
      3. Why the work requires the tenant to vacate for at least 30 days.
  4. If a tenant already received an eviction notice, does the Urgency Ordinance still apply to them?
    1. Yes.  This Urgency Ordinance shall apply to notices of terminations issued on or after the effective date of the Urgency Ordinance (August 4, 2022) and to tenancies:
      1. Where the tenant remains in possession; and
      2. The period of notice required for notices of termination under California Civil Code §§ 1946.1 and 1946.2 have not expired as of the effective date of this chapter.
  5. Is a tenant entitled to relocation assistance if the property owner evicts the tenant for demolition or substantial remodel of the unit?
    1. Yes.  If the eviction is based on demolition or substantial remodel of the rental unit, the property owner must provide relocation assistance.
  6. What is the amount of relocation assistance that a tenant is entitled to?

The greater of:

a. A rent waiver equal to two months of the tenant’s rent that was in effect when the owner issued the notice to terminate the tenancy; or

b. A payment of $4,500

  1. When is the relocation assistance paid to a tenant?
    1. If the tenant is eligible for the direct payment of $4,500, the property owner shall pay the amount to the tenant in two payments. The first payment shall be two-thirds (2/3) of the rental assistance to be paid within 15 calendar days after the notice of termination is served on the tenant and the second payment shall be one-third (1/3) of the rental assistance to be paid when the tenant vacates the residential real property.
  2. What type of housing is excluded from the Urgency Ordinance?
    1. The provisions of Urgency Ordinance shall not apply to the types of residential real properties or residential circumstances described in California Civil Code § 1946.2(e).
  3. If the property owner fails to provide the required information in the notice of eviction or if the property owner fails to pay the relocation assistance, what happens?
    1. A property owner’s failure to comply with the Urgency Ordinance shall render any notice of termination of tenancy issued void.
    2. The requirements of the Urgency Ordinance may be asserted by the tenant as a defense against an eviction proceeding.
    3. Any owner of residential real property who intentionally violates the Urgency Ordinance when issuing an invalid termination notice shall be liable in a civil action to the tenant for a civil penalty in an amount of up to $15,000 and/or reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, each as determined by the court.
  4. Can I call the City for assistance in enforcing this ordinance?
    1. No. Tenants who believe a property owner has violated the provisions of this chapter should seek outside legal assistance.
  5. Where can I get legal assistance with an eviction?
    1. Tenants who are facing eviction may contact the following local legal resources:
      1. Legal Aid Society – 588 W. 6th Street, San Bernardino; (909) 889-7328
      2. Disability Rights Legal Center-(213) 736-1334
      3. Inland Fair Housing & Mediation Board-(800) 321-0911 or (909) 984-2254 x 101
      4. Inland Counties Legal Services-455 N. D Street, San Bernardino (888) 245-4257; Senior Line: (800) 977-4257