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Tenant Protection Ordinance

Ordinance Overview

The Tenant Protection Ordinance outlines landlord responsibilities and tenant rights regarding notices to terminate.  Under the Tenant Protection Ordinance, landlords of multifamily dwellings, guesthouses and unpermitted units will only be authorized to terminate tenancy under one of the 12 listed causes below (also view this flyer in Spanish and Vietnamese). Landlords must submit notices to vacate to the Rent Stabilization Program; submit a Notice to Terminate Tenancy with Just Cause using our simple online form.

Just Cause Reasons on Tenant Actions

1. Nonpayment of rent

2. Material or habitual violation of the lease

3. Damage to the apartment

4. Refusal to agree to a similar or new rental agreement

5. Disorderly behavior/disturbing the peace

6. Refuse access to the apartment when requested in accordance with law

7. Unapproved holdover subtenant

Just Cause Reasons Based on Landlord Decision or Consequence of Action

8. Substantial rehabilitation of the apartment

9. Removal of apartments from the rental market under the Ellis Act

10. Owner move-in

11. City code enforcement actions requiring a moveout

12. Convert an unpermitted apartment for permitted use

Relocation benefits must be paid when a tenant is being removed from an apartment for reasons 8-12. Benefits are paid based on the size of the unit occupied by the tenant who receives a notice of termination:

 Studio 1-Bedroom 2-Bedroom 3-Bedroom
 $6,925 $8,400 $10,353  $12,414

The following documents are available for the Tenant Protection Ordinance:

Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

Landlord Responsibilities:
  • If giving a notice of termination, serve a written copy to the tenant with the proper amount of notice according to State law. Ensure that the applicable 12 just causes are included on the notice.
  • Provide a copy to the City within 3 days of service to the tenant. You can submit a copy of the notice online.
  • Provide relocation benefits at the time of service to the tenant, if applicable.

Tenant Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that if you receive a notice of termination, that it is in writing and with the proper amount of notice according to State law.
  • Ensure that the notice has at least one of the 12 just causes listed as the reason for the notice being served.
  • Contact the Rent Stabilization Program to ensure that the landlord submitted the notice to the City correctly. If not, contact the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley's Eviction Assistance Clinic at 408-280-2424.

Council Actions

On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, the City Council took action on the following agenda items summarized below:

Amendment to the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO):  

  • Include dependent child; foster child; minor in the tenant's care; spouse or domestic partner; or parent of a tenant under exempted categories of additional family members allowed under TPO's Just Cause reason for material or habitual rental agreement violation; and
  • Reduce the maximum occupancy limit for adults to the number allowed by the rental agreement or two adults per bedroom, whichever is greater. 

The second reading of the Tenant Protection Ordinance and Apartment Rent Ordinance took place Tuesday, November 28, 2017, and Council approved the changes above so the ordinances will go into effect on December 28, 2017. In the weeks following, staff will begin implementing a plan to reach out to constituents with informational materials and opportunities for additional assistance and education.

In 2018, the City Council will consider criminal activity and immigration status as it applies to the Tenant Protection Ordinance in addition to updating the regulations.