Hooshmand Law Group Wins Jury Verdict In Favor of Tenants in Fraudulent Relative Move-In Eviction

The Hooshmand Law Group has obtained a judgment in excess of $460,000 for a public school teacher who was wrongfully evicted pursuant to the Owner and Relative Move-In (OMI/RMI) provision of the San Francisco Rent Ordinance (statute below).  After a two-week trial the jury found that the landlords, who had recently purchased the 4-unit building in San Francisco, had acted in bad faith and knowing disregard of the law when they terminated the Plaintiff’s tenancy on the pretext that their brother would be moving into the unit.  The San Francisco Rent Ordinance requires that a landlord or relative for whom a unit is vacated must have a good faith intent to occupy the unit for a period of thirty-six consecutive months.  Often, however, the owner or relative never move in and instead the Landlord rents the unit out at a much higher price.

The OMI/RMI provisions of the rent ordinance are among the few “no-fault” bases for evicting a rent controlled tenant, and landlords often abuse these provisions to charge higher rents at current market prices.  Indeed, a recent investigative report by NBC Bay Area found that 1 in 4 evictions under the OMI/RMI law could be fraudulent.  (link below)  While landlords are required to register these evictions with the San Francisco Rent Board, the city does not actively monitor OMI/RMI evictions to ensure the rules are followed.  As a result, many tenants move out and never look back to find out if their former Landlords have complied with their end of the bargain.

Tenants evicted under a false OMI/RMI are often displaced from San Francisco entirely, and are forced to find housing at much higher prices in and around the Bay Area.  The Hooshmand Law Group works closely with tenants who have been displaced to determine if their eviction complied with the law.  Where an eviction is found to be fraudulent tenants are entitled to various forms of relief.  If you have been evicted due to an OMI or RMI, contact the Hooshmand Law Group today for a free consultation.

NBC Bay Area News: San Francisco Landlords May Have Wrongfully Evicted Hundreds of Tenants

OMI/RMI Provisions:

San Francisco Rent Ordinance, Section 37.9(a)(8)

(a)  A landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit unless:

(8)  The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith, without ulterior reasons and with honest intent;

(i)  For the landlords use or occupancy as his or her principal residence for a period of at least 36 continuous months;

(ii)  For the use or occupancy of the landlords grandparents, grandchildren, parents, children, brother or sister, or the landlords spouse or the spouses of such relations, as their principal place of residency for a period of at least 36 months, in the same building in which the landlord resides as his or her principal place of residency, or in a building in which the landlord is simultaneously seeking possession of a rental unit under 37.9(a)(8)(i).  For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8)(ii), the term spouse shall include Domestic Partners as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 62.1 through 62.8.