What Can I Get Evicted For?

If you’re a tenant in California, you may have questions regarding what you can legally get evicted for.

Read on to learn the reasons you may be legally evicted.

Reasons You May Be Evicted in California

In the state of California, your landlord is legally allowed to evict you if you do any of the following:

  • Fail to pay your rent within the specified deadline
  • Break the lease or rental agreement and refuse to alleviate the issue
    • For example, your building doesn’t allow smoking, but you insist on smoking cigarettes on your balcony anyway
  • Harm the property which subsequently brings down the value (i.e. commits “waste”)
  • End up being a significant annoyance by disrupting other tenants and neighbors after you’ve been asked to stop
  • Utilize the property for illegal activity

Reasons You May Be Evicted In San Francisco

According to the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, you can only be legally evicted for one of the Ordinance’s just causes. However, if you live in a rental unit with your landlord, the causes may differ. The Ordinance’s just causes are as follows:

  • Failure to pay rent, regularly paying rent late, or bouncing checks often.
  • Violating a term of your rental agreement and failing to correct the violation after your landlord has notified you.
  • Becoming a nuisance or contributing to significant damage to the unit, or creating a "substantial interference with the comfort, safety, or enjoyment of the landlord or other tenants in the building.”
  • Using the unit for illegal purposes. However, this cause doesn’t allow you to be evicted from an illegal residential unit.
  • Your rental agreement has been terminated but you refuse to develop a written extension for essentially the same terms.
  • Refusing to allow your landlord to access the unit as is legally required after you’ve been provided with written notice.
  • Allowing another tenant who has not been approved by management to live in the unit after you’ve moved out.
  • Your landlord or their family member needs to move into your unit (if your landlord is already living in the building). In this case, you have the right to collect relocation payments.
  • Your unit has been sold and then converted into a condominium. Exceptions include seniors and permanently disabled tenants, as they cannot be evicted for condo conversions. You reserve the right to a one-year lease or 120 days of relocation payments.
  • Your unit has been demolished or removed from housing use. In this case, you reserve the right to relocation payments.
  • Cardinal improvements or rehabilitation including all required permits that allow the unit to be briefly removed from housing use. Once the work is finished, you have the right to re-occupy the unit at the prior rent, altered by the Rent Board’s permissible rent raises, for instance, the annual rent increase. In this case, you have the right to relocation
  • compensation.
  • Your unit’s building is going through a “substantial rehabilitation,” rendering it uninhabitable with the required permits. In this case, you have the right to relocation compensation.
  • Ellis Act evictions that mandate the building to relinquish housing use of every unit in the building or a unit detached from the main structure on the same lot. In this case, you have the right to relocation compensation.
  • Lead abatement that’s made necessary by the San Francisco Health Code and requires you to leave the unit for no more than 30 days. In this case, you have the right to relocation payments.
  • Your unit needs to be demolished or permanently removed from housing use according to the terms of a development agreement established by the City under Chapter 56 of the San Francisco Administrative Code.
  • Your Good Samaritan Occupancy Status ends, and your landlord provides an eviction notice within 60 days from the date or your status ending. (Good Samaritan Occupancy Status is granted when you lose your home as a result of a disaster and your landlord provides you with another temporary unit for a reduced cost.)

If you need assistance as a renter, our tenant attorneys are here to help. We’ve helped many other people obtain justice, and we can help you, too. Don’t wait to contact us—we’re ready to help you right away.


Call our San Francisco attorneys today at (415) 915-7445 to speak with an accomplished attorney about your case.

**Source: https://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-eviction.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en