In San Francisco, the ease with which you can terminate a tenancy really depends upon when your property was built and received its certificate of occupancy. The rent ordinance dictates your eviction controls.

Rent Control and Terminating Tenancies

For properties built after June 14, 1979, there are no eviction controls and you can terminate a tenancy much like you can terminate a tenancy anywhere else in California. In most cases, you just have to serve your tenant a 60-day Notice of Termination. However, for properties built before June 14, 1979, whether it’s a single family home, condo, or apartment building, you cannot terminate a tenancy except for just cause.

Understanding Just Cause

Just cause as defined by the San Francisco Rent Board includes 16 causes. For all practical purposes, it comes down to nonpayment of rent. That’s the most common way to terminate a tenancy. If you’re an owner and you want to move into your property, you can do an owner eviction. In theory, if you have a tenant who is creating a nuisance, you can terminate the tenancy for that reason. However, it’s difficult. At Gordon Property Management, I have been successful with nuisance termination before, but it was a lot of work. It took several court appearances and lots of documentation. It was not easy.

Basically, in San Francisco, you want to thoroughly screen your tenants before they move in. Once they are in place, you’ll be stuck with them for a long time.

If you need help leasing your property or with tenant screening, contact us at Gordon Property Management. We have a leasing-only program where we can screen and place tenants and then turn the management over to you. We’d be happy to help with whatever you need in terms of property management in San Francisco.