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Stricter Owner Move-In Ordinance Passed

Source: Bornstein Law

On Friday, July 27, 2017, Mayor Ed Lee signed the new Owner Move-In Reporting Requirements Ordinance which amends the Administrative Code regarding owner move-in and relative move-in (“OMI”) evictions. This amendment creates more arduous requirements for landlords seeking to recover possession of a rental unit through an OMI eviction and harsher penalties for landlords pursuing fraudulent OMI evictions. This ordinance will become effective 30 days after the signing, August 26, 2017. However, the new requirements will not commence until January 1, 2018. We have outlined the changes below:

  • Requires landlord to provide a declaration under penalty of perjury stating that the landlord intends to occupy the unit for use as the principal place of residence of the landlord or the landlord’s relative for at least 36 continuous months;
  • Requires landlord to provide the tenant with a form prepared by the Rent Board to be used to advise the Rent Board of any change in address;
  • Clarifies the evidentiary standard for finding that an OMI was not performed in good faith;
  • Requires landlord to file documentation with the Rent Board regarding the status of an OMI, with a penalty for not filing such documentation, and requires the Rent Board to transmit a random sampling of such documentation to the District Attorney;
  • Extends from three to five years the time period after an OMI during which a landlord who intends to re-rent the unit must first offer the unit to the displaced tenant;
  • Provides that a landlord who charges above the maximum allowable rent during the five-year period after an OMI is guilty of a misdemeanor;
  • Requires the Rent Board to annually notify the unit’s former occupant of the maximum rent for the unit for five years after an OMI, and authorizes the former occupant to sue for three times any excess rent charged;
  • Extends the statute of limitations for wrongful eviction claims based on an unlawful OMI from one year to five years; and
  • Authorizes interested non-profit organizations to sue for wrongful eviction and collection of excess rent following OMIs.

With these new changes, OMI evictions are now more challenging than ever before, and the margin for error is now slim to none. Please contact Bornstein Law or otherwise seek legal advice if you choose to pursue an OMI eviction so that you can safely navigate through these new requirements and avoid any repercussions for failing to comply.

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