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Owner Occupancy Eviction

Los Angeles landlords may relocate a tenant to recover possession of a rental unit for owner occupancy. This is a No-Fault Eviction and relocation assistance is required by the Los Angeles Housing Department.

Owner Occupancy Eviction Los Angeles

Most of the time that I see Owner Occupancy evictions come up in Los Angeles Rent Control is when a 2-4 unit income property is sold and the new owner wants to owner occupy a unit. The good news is yes you can move one or more tenants out if you or a family member wants to owner occupy the property, however, relocation assistance is required, and there are some restrictions you need to be aware of.

You can read up about Owner Occupancy Evictions on LAHD website:

https://hcidla2.lacity.org/rental-property-owners/landlord-occupancy-owners

Or call their Rental Hotline at 866-557-7368

Who Qualifies for an Owner Occupancy Eviction?

**The landlord must be a ‘natural person’ not a corporation or LLC. 

What are the Resistrictions on Los Angeles Owner Occupancy Evictions?

Some tenants are “Protected Tenants” and cannot be owner occupancy evicted.

Tenants who cannot be owner-occupancy Evicted:

1. Tenants who have resided in the rental unit for at least ten years AND are at least 62 years of age or disabled.

2. Tenants who are terminally ill as certified by a treating physician.

Occupancy Requirements:

You are supposed to occupy the rental unit within 3 months after recovering possession and stay there for 2 consecutive years.

Unit Recovery Restrictions:

VACANT UNITS

If there is a comparable rental unit that is vacant the landlord is required to occupy the vacant unit first before displacing a tenant. 

MOST RECENT TENANT

The landlord must owner-occupancy evict the most recent tenant of a comparable unit. 

MEDICAL EXEMPTIONS

For landlords that must occupy a certain unit for medical reasons (such as a ground unit for someone with mobility issues) an excemption can be made. 

Relocation Assistance Amounts:

2020 LAHD relocation assistance amounts

Eligible vs. Qualified Tenants

Qualified Tenants have almost double the Relocation assistance as Eligible tenants so it is good to know the difference. Also if a tenant has lived 3 or more years at the property the relocation assitance amount increases for both Eligible and Qualified tenants.

A “Qualified” tenant is any tenant who is 62 years of age or older; or handicapped
as defined in Section 50072 of the California Health & Safety Code or disabled as
defined in Title 42 United States Code Section 423; or is a person residing with
one or more minor dependent children (as determined for federal income tax
purposes. This means under the age of 18)

All other tenants are “Eligible” tenants.

Mom & Pop Discount

For Small-time landlords the city of Los Angeles gives a small break in relocation assistance. To Qualify for the Mom & Pop Discount the building must be 4units or less, the landlord has not used the mom and pop discount in the past 3 years, the landlord owns no more than 4 units (including single-family homes) in the city of Los Angeles, and if this Owner Occupancy eviction is for a family member and not the landlord, they must not own any residential property in the City of LA.

How much is the mom and pops discount?

$300 for Eligible Tenants 3 years or less

$1,450 Qualified Tenants 3 years or less

$3,050 Eligible Tenants 3 Years or more

$4,850 Qualified Tenants 3 years or more

Steps for Filing an Owner Occupancy Eviction:

Step 1: “Post 60 Day Notice to Quit”

Start by posting a “60 Day Notice to Quit” Like all evictions posting notice is required. For Owner Occupancy Evictions 60-day notice is required.

Step 2: File “Declaration of Intent to Evict for Landlord Occupancy” with LAHD

visit https://hcidla2.lacity.org/documents-forms To DOWNLOAD. Click on RENT FORMS

There is a filing fee for a Relocation Application with the city.

It is $473 for Eligible tenants and $723 for Qualified Tenants.

Remember to Get a copy of your GRANT DEED so you can prove you are in fact the property owner to go along with your Declaration.

The only way to file the paperwork (Declaration of Intent to Evict) is by going into LAHD headquarters in person- if you are anywhere in the city of Los Angeles- this is where you must go to file regardless. The office address is:

1200 W 7th Street, 1st floor
Los Angeles 90017

http://lahd.lacity.org/lahdinternet/AboutUs/ContactUs/tabid/69/Default.aspx

The door will be on the immediate right if you are entering the building from 7th Street. There will be a maze of cubicle walls leading back to the desk where you pay the application fee and file. They accept credit cards and personal checks. Note that they do not have computers or printers for you to access there, so if you haven’t printed out your paperwork- The closest FedEx Kinkos are:

554 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 623-8129 ‎

181 South Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
(213) 617-0710 ‎

Step 3: Pay Relocation Assistance

After filing the Declaration of intent to evict for landlord occupancy, you are required to pay the tenant the relocation assistance within fifteen (15) days after the posting of the 60 Notice to Quit. The Relocation Assistance amounts are per unit not per tenant.

Some landlords don’t like paying the tenant relocation assistance before they move out. Unfortunately that is how it works, the purpose of the relocation assistance is to help tenants move and that’s why it is required before they move. If you think you have a problem tenant (Maybe a tenant who called an attorney, or is claiming that the property is not habitable when it clearly is) you can escrow the relocation assitance funds. If the tenant is cooperating I wouldn’t go through the hassle of escrowing. There is only 1 escrow company I know of that does this type of escrow although all escrow companies could do it- and that is Wilshire Escrow. Some landlords ask, what happens if I give the tenant the money and they don’t move out? Then that becomes an eviction lawsuit, the Housing Department doesn’t get involved with that so they leave you on your own.

Step 4: Within 3 months after the Owner Occupancy Eviction the landlord is required to file a declaration of occupancy stating that they are now occupying the unit. 
Step 5:  At the end of the  1st   year and 2nd year, the landlord is required to file declaration of occupancy. 

LA Owner Occupancy Evictions FAQ:

Can I use the Owner Occupancy Eviction More than once?

Yes, You can use it as many times as you have family members that can qualify. 

If I owner occupy my unit but then leave does the unit become decontrolled?

It use to be 5 years after you owner occupy the unit it becomes decontrolled. Now I think it is 2 years. 

What if I pay the tenant relocation assistance and they dont leave?

Sorry, you are going to have to evict them 🙁

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