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Ellis Act


The Ellis Act Ordinance applies when a landlord or developer plans to demolish or remove rent-stabilized apartments from the rental market.  This ordinance requires 50% of new apartments built on the site of previously rent-stabilized apartments be subject to the Apartment Rent Ordinance.  On February 5, 2019, the City Council asked staff to research the effects of this re-control provision on development.

The upcoming policy discussions on the Ellis Act Ordinance re-control provisions are scheduled as follows:

 Date  Time  Meeting  Location

Thursday, August 8, 2019

 5:45PM  Housing & Community Development Commission

San Jose City Hall, Wing Rooms 118-120,

 200 E. Santa Clara Street

San José, CA 95113

Thursday, August 29, 2019 8:00 AM  Community Meeting

San Jose City Hall, Wing Rooms 118-120, 

200 E. Santa Clara Street

San José, CA 95113

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 (tentative) TBD  San José City Council Meeting

San José City Hall, Council  Chambers

200 E. Santa Clara Street

San José, CA 95113

Ellis Act Eviction Process

What to Expect for Tenants

Removal from Rental Market - Tenants

A property owner may recover possession of a rental unit either to demolish it or to remove it permanently from rental housing use.

If you receive an eviction notice from your landlord because your landlord wishes to take over the rental unit, you can expect the following:

  • You will receive a Notice to Withdraw that has been filed by your landlord.
  • Your case will be referred to the City’s Relocation Consultant to provide you support during your relocation.
  • The amount of relocation fees you may be entitled to will be determined.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

  • 120-Day Notice of Eviction: You are entitled to a 120-Day Notice of Eviction.
  • One-Year Extension: You may be entitled to a one-year extension from the date the landlord delivered the Notice of Intent to Withdraw if you are low-income, over the age of 62, disabled, terminally or catastrophically ill, or have school-aged children.

Relocation Assistance

You may be entitled to relocation assistance. The City’s Relocation Consultant will determine the amount of relocation benefits you are entitled to, otherwise the determination will be based on the information provided by your Landlord. To view more information about possible relocation amounts, please see the Ellis Act Fact Sheet for more details on the Ordinance.

Studio 1-Bedroom 2-Bedroom 3-Bedroom
Base Assistance $6,925 $8,400 $10,353 $12,414
Qualified Assistance $2,770 $3,360 $4,141 $4,966
Total Base + Qualified $9,695 $11,760 $14,494 $17,380

Interested in returning to the rental unit should it become available?

For units re-rented within five years, rent will be set at the rent paid when the Notice of Intent to Withdraw is given, escalated by the annual allowable rate for the number of years the unit was not occupied. For units re-rented after 10 years, tenants will have the right to return only. If apartments were demolished and rebuilt, tenants do not have a right to return to the newly constructed apartments.

What to Expect for Property Owners

Removal from Rental Market – Property Owners

The Ellis Act Ordinance allows a property owner seeking in good faith to recover possession of a rental unit and remove units from rental housing use if the property owner plans on demolishing or permanently withdrawing the units from the rental housing market.

What You Must Do

  • Noticing – All households must be provided with a minimum of 120 days’ notice. Special populations including residents over the age of 62, disabled, terminally/catastrophically ill, and residents with school-aged children must be given up to one-year notice.
  • Relocation Benefits – All tenants are eligible to receive relocation benefits. Special populations including low-income residents, residents over the age of 62, disabled, terminally/catastrophically ill, and residents with school-aged children are eligible for additional relocation benefits.
  • Right to Return – If the apartments return to the rental market within ten years, tenants have a right to return to their apartments. If the apartment is demolished and rebuilt, the right to return does not apply.
  • Subject to the Apartment Rent Ordinance – If a property owner demolishes existing rent controlled apartments, all new apartments built will be subject to the City’s Apartment Rent Ordinance.

For additional information on this Ordinance, see the staff presentation. Also, view the Ellis Act Fact Sheet for more details on the Ordinance.

Forms Overview & Instructions

Withdrawing Rental Units from the Housing Market: Landlords that choose to permanently remove residential rental units from the rental market must first meet with a Rental Rights and Referral Program Information Coordinator to review the process steps, assign a relocation specialist, pay related fees and begin the process of reporting as required by the City of San José. The following forms under the Ellis Act Process must be completed and provided, as appropriate per Ellis Act form instructions, to the City and tenants subject to eviction through the withdrawal process.

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