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Legal • December 26, 2007

Good Cause for Eviction (chapter and verse)


Good cause required for eviction.

A.    No landlord shall be entitled to recover possession of a rental unit covered by the terms of this chapter unless said landlord shows the existence of one of the following grounds:    

1. The tenant has failed to pay rent to which the landlord is legally entitled pursuant to the lease or rental agreement and under the provisions of state or local law, unless the tenant has withheld rent pursuant to applicable law; and said failure has continued after service on the tenant of a written notice setting forth the amount of rent then due and requiring it to be paid, within a period, specified in the notice, of not less than three days. 

2. The tenant has continued, after written notice to cease, to substantially violate any of the material terms of the rental agreement, except the obligation to surrender possession on proper notice as required by law, and provided that such terms are reasonable and legal and have been accepted in writing by the tenant or made part of the rental agreement; and provided further that, where such terms have been accepted by the tenant or made part of the rental agreement subsequent to the initial creation of the tenancy, the landlord shall have first notified the tenant in writing that he or she need not accept such terms or agree to their being made part of the rental agreement. Notwithstanding any contrary provision in this chapter or in the rental agreement, a landlord is not entitled to recover possession of a rental unit under this subsection where a tenant permits his or her rental unit to be occupied by a subtenant, provided: 

a. The landlord has unreasonably withheld consent to the subtenancy; and 

b. The tenant remains an actual occupant of the rental unit; and 

c. The number of tenants and subtenants actually occupying the rental unit does not exceed the number of occupants originally allowed by the rental agreement or the board's regulations, whichever is greater. 

d. Withholding of consent by the landlord shall be deemed to be unreasonable where: 

(i) The tenant's written request for consent was given at least two weeks prior to commencement of the subtenancy; 

(ii) The proposed new subtenant has, upon the landlord's written request, completed the landlord's standard form application or provided sufficient information to allow the landlord to conduct a standard background check, including references and credit, income and other reasonable background information; and 

(iii) The proposed new subtenant meets the landlord's customary occupancy qualifications and has not refused the landlord's request to be bound by the terms of the current rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant; and 

(iv) The landlord has not articulated in writing a well-founded reason for refusing consent.

3. The tenant has wilfully caused or allowed substantial damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear and has refused, after written notice, to pay the reasonable costs of repairing such damage and cease damaging said premises. 

4. The tenant has refused to agree to a new rental agreement upon expiration of a prior rental agreement, but only where the new rental agreement contains provisions that are substantially identical to the prior rental agreement, and is not inconsistent with local, state and federal laws. 

5. The tenant has continued, following written notice to cease, to be so disorderly as to destroy the peace and quiet of other tenants or occupants of the premises or the tenant is otherwise subject to eviction pursuant to subdivision 4 of Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161. 

6. The tenant has, after written notice to cease, refused the landlord access to the unit as required by state or local law. 

7a. The landlord, after having obtained all necessary permits from the City of Berkeley, seeks in good faith to undertake substantial repairs which are necessary to bring the property into compliance with applicable codes and laws affecting the health and safety of tenants of the building or where necessary under an outstanding notice of code violations affecting the health and safety of tenants of the building, and where such repairs cannot be completed while the tenant resides on the premises. 

b. Where such repairs can be completed in a period of 60 or fewer days, and the tenant, within 30 days after the service of a notice of termination of his or her tenancy, agrees in writing to vacate the premises during the period required to complete the repairs at no charge to the landlord, other than abatement of the obligation to pay rent for the premises during the period required to complete the repairs, the landlord may not recover possession pursuant to this subsection (13.76.130A.7.) unless the tenant shall fail or refuse to vacate the premises in accordance with such agreement. 

c. Where the landlord owns any other residential rental units in the City of Berkeley, and any such unit is vacant and available at the time of  service of the written notice terminating the tenancy, or at any time thereafter until the earlier of the tenant's vacating the premises or the entry of a judgment by a court of competent jurisdiction awarding possession of the premises to the landlord, the landlord shall, as a condition of obtaining possession pursuant to this subsection (13.76.130A.7.), notify tenant in writing of the existence and address of each such vacant rental unit and offer tenant the right, at the tenant's option:

(i) To enter into a rental agreement (to be designated as a "temporary rental agreement") on any available rental unit which the tenant may choose, at a rent not to exceed the lesser of the lawful rent which may be charged for such available rental unit or the lawful rent in effect, at the time of the notice of termination of tenancy, on the unit being vacated, said rental agreement to be for a term of the lesser of ninety days or until completion of repairs on the rental unit being vacated by tenant; or 

(ii) To enter into a new rental agreement or lease for such available rental unit at a rent not to exceed the lawful rent which may be charged for such available rental unit. 

d. Where the landlord recovers possession under this subsection (13.76.130A.7.), the tenant must be given the right of first refusal to re-occupy the unit upon completion of the required work. In the event the landlord files an application for an individual rent adjustment within six months following the completion of the work, the tenant shall be a party to such proceeding the same as if he or she were still in possession, unless the landlord shall submit, with such application, a written waiver by the tenant of his or her right to re-occupy the premises pursuant to this subsection. 

8. The landlord, after having obtained all necessary permits from the City of Berkeley, seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental unit, in order to remove the rental unit from the market by demolition. 

9a. The landlord seeks in good faith with honest intent and without ulterior motive to recover possession for his/her own use and occupancy as his/her principal residence for a period of at least 36 consecutive months; or 

b. For the use and occupancy as the principal residence by the landlord's spouse or by the landlord's child, or parent for a period of at least 36 consecutive months. 

c. For the purposes of this subsection (13.76.130A.9.), the term landlord shall be defined as the owner of record, as of the time of giving of a notice terminating the tenant's tenancy, and at all times thereafter to and including the earlier of the tenant's surrender of possession of the premises or the entry of a judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction


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