Oakland is a “Just Cause for Eviction” city. This means that landlords cannot evict a tenant in good standing unless the owner can prove a violation of one of the eleven (11) “just causes” spelled out in the City’s eviction protection law (O.M.C. 8.22.300). Most Oakland tenants are covered by the “Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance” (also known as Measure EE, which was passed by voters in 2002, and was further strengthened by Measure JJ in 2016. This means you CANNOT be evicted because a new owner bought the building, or the bank foreclosed on the property, or the owner wants to charge more rent, or for any reason not specified in the law.
All rental units in buildings built before 1996 — including rented single-family homes and rented condominium units -- are protected from illegal eviction, with the following exceptions:
JUST CAUSES FOR EVICTION
RELOCATION PAYMENTS FOR NO-FAULT EVICTIONS
In situations listed above where eviction or vacation of the unit is required—either temporary or permanent—and where the vacation of the unit is not due to the fault of the tenant, the tenant is eligible for relocation payments from the owner as set forth in O.M.C. 8.22.450(A) for no fault evictions:
In addition to the stipulated relocation payments, vacated tenants may also collect amounts on deposit, including prepaid last month’s rent, as well as deposits for security damages, and pet deposits.
In event that the owner does not or is unable to make the required relocation payments to the tenant, the tenant may file a request under O.M.C. Chapter 15.60 with the Real Estate officer to be paid instead by the city. The City will then apply available legal means to mandate reimbursement from the owner. The tenant may also file a complaint with the City Attorney who is authorized to bring civil action against owners who violate this Chapter.
Tenants who experience difficulty with owners concerning their rights under the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance may bring civil action in court on their own, but are advised to first seek assistance from these city-financed services:
If you have received a Notice of Unlawful Detainer you can contact the Eviction Defense Center for help in responding.
More information on Oakland eviction protections here.