Owner Occupancy Eviction

(If you want to demolish the property or permanently remove it from the rental market, this is legal eviction reason#10, also known as the ellis act, and has different set of rules)

Visit www.lahd.lacity.org to get started.

Under Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) there are 12 legal reasons for evictions. Reason #8 pertains to owner evictions:

Reason #8

The landlord seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental unit
for use and occupancy by the landlord, or the landlord’s spouse, children, or parents,
grandparents, grandchildren provided the landlord is a natural
person (not a corporation or LLC). The landlord may
use this ground to recover possession only once at a time for that person.


A landlord cannot owner evict if a comparable unit is already vacant. Also, the landlord must evict the most recent tenant to occupy a unit with the needed number of bedrooms (if you have enough units to have a choice), unless the landlord needs a particular unit because of medical necessity as certified by a treating physician (for instance: the downstairs unit for ease of access).


Some tenants cannot be owner 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.


If you meet all these requirements, you are ready to proceed with an Owner Eviction. Start by posting a “60 Day Notice to Quit” and Declaration of Intent to Evict on your tenants door and file the “Landlord Declaration of Intent to Evict” form with LAHD.


Next, get ready to write a check. Owner evictions require Relocation Assistance, to be paid by landlord within fifteen (15) days after the posting of the Notice to Quit. The Relocation Assistance amounts are per unit not per tenant.

Note, you can qualify for a reduced owner eviction relocation fee if you are considered a “Mom and Pop” outift. The reduced Mom and Pop fee applies if the property is 4 units or less, the landlord owns no more than one other single-family home on a separate lot in Los Angeles, and the eligible relative moving into the rental unit does not own residential property in the City.


*Relocation Amounts Effective July 1, 2010 thru June 30, 2011 are:



Type of Tenant Less Than 3 years 3 years or more Less than 80% HUD Average Medium Income “Mom and Pop” Owner Eviction **4 units or less**
Eligible $7,300 $9,650 $9,650 $7,050
Qualified $15,500 $18,300 $18,300 $14,150

HUD 2010 Area Median Income Limits 80% AMI (Los Angeles):

1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person
$46,400 $53,000 $59,650 $66,250 $71,500




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.

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

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

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



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 check. 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 ‎

The other general thing I’d like to make you aware of, is that you probably will want to get the clock started on the 60 days as soon as possible. So have your real estate agent request from the title company/title rep before closing to get a copy of the grant deed when it is recording- that way when you go in to LAHD, you can prove that you are the new owner of the property and file the same day the property closes.

As an owner doing an owner eviction, you must move into the unit within 3 months of vacancy and intend to occupy the unit for at least 2 years. The landlord is required to file a re-rental notice with LAHD within 3 months of owner evicting the tenant, and on the 1st and 2nd year filling anniversary after the tenant vacates the unit, state that you still occupy the unit.


Hopefully the tenant uses the relocation assistance and voluntarily vacates the unit you are owner evicting and you are good to go. If they refuse to leave you may start the eviction process.


I’d advise you to call the Rent Hotline at 866-557-7368 or visit LAHD’s website to learn more about the owner eviction process



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One comment

  • Richard
    March 1, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Dear Mr. Campbell;

    I have a simple question about LA rent control that I hope you can answer.

    I am thinking about buying a four unit rent controlled complex and putting myself in one unit and my daughter in another. Is this allowed or can I only evict one tenant . The section 151.30(I think) says

    Landlord or relatives(s) or resident manager.
    To me this means just one unit. How do you think it reads ? Or what do you think the law is?

    Thank you. Richard.

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