“Just Cause Eviction.”

The most challenging and problematic aspect of the rent control discussion in several communities in the San Francisco Bay Area is its corollary known as “Just Cause Eviction.” A more appropriate name for this process is actually “Good Reason for Notice to Vacate.”

The reasoning behind Just Cause Eviction presumes that, as a landlord, you must have a specific and allowable reason for why you’d require a tenant to leave. It’s protection put into place so that a landlord cannot easily remove a tenant who is living in a rent-controlled property. Imagine that, after living in a rent-controlled unit for 10 years, that tenant’s rent might conceivably be 40 percent or more below market rent. Just cause eviction protects tenants from landlords who might try to remove them, in order to “reset” the rent to market value for a new tenant. The complication is that Just Cause Eviction has a more wide-ranging impact, beyond simply those units affected by Costa Hawkins. While Rent Control only affects a small subsection of properties in the rental inventory (multiunit buildings built before 1995), Just Cause Eviction, in most instances that it’s been implemented, affects ALL rental properties. You could have conceivably built a single-family home last year, and that property is still bound to the Just Cause Eviction restrictions.