Beginning December 30, 2016, Landlords of Rental Units in the City of Richmond may only terminate tenancy if there is a “just cause” to evict. These reasons include:
Failure to Pay Rent
Breach of the Lease*
Failure to Give Access*
Substantial Repairs (temporary termination of tenancy)**
Withdrawal from the Rental Market**
Temporary Tenancy (note: applies only to single-family homes for a maximum period of up to twelve (12) months. The Landlord and Tenant must agree to the temporary tenancy at the start of the lease, and this agreement may not be renewed.) NOTE: Landlords must complete and file a Declaration of Temporary Tenancy with the Rent Program prior to the commencement of the Tenancy.
If the Landlord is terminating tenancy due to the Tenant’s breach of the lease, if the Tenant is causing a nuisance, or is failing to give access to the Rental Unit, the Landlord MUST provide the tenant with a Written Warning Notice BEFORE they can proceed to terminate tenancy. The Written Warning Notice must give the Tenant the opportunity to fix the issue(s) described in the Warning Notice, and the Landlord must provide a reasonable amount of time for the Tenant to comply (RMC 11.100.050(d)).
Landlords are encouraged to refer to the document below, which contains an instruction sheet and Written Warning Notice Template. Landlords are welcome to use their own notice; however, the Template provided below meets all of the requirements of the Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance.
Enroll. Submit an enrollment form for each unique Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) with a rental unit (make sure you are signed in): Richmond Rent Program Enrollment.
Serve the Tenant Notification of Termination of Tenancy. Sample templates are available using the links below; Landlords may use their own notice as long as it includes the information covered in the template. Remember: if the just cause for eviction is substantial repairs, owner move-in, or withdrawal from the rental market, the tenant MUST be served the Notice of Entitlement to Relocation Assistance and the requisite Tenant Assertion Forms, all of which are provided in the templates.
PLEASE NOTE: FAILURE TO FILE A NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF TENANCY WITH THE RENT BOARD (STEP 4) MAY BE USED AS A DEFENSE TO AN UNLAWFUL DETAINER (EVICTION) LAWSUIT (RMC 11.100.050(g))
Termination of Tenancy: Notification Templates
Landlords are welcome to use the templates below to assist with compliance with the Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance. Landlords are encouraged to consult legal counsel if they have questions about the substantive requirements of a termination of tenancy notice. For a guide to free and low-cost legal services, please see the Landlord and Tenant Resources Guide on the Rent Program’s “Resources” page.
Each template is accompanied by an instruction sheet. Please review this information carefully. If you have any questions about how to file notices with the Rent Board, please contact the Rent Program Office at (510) 620-6576 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the Rent Program Office is open Monday – Friday, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. You do not need to make an appointment to speak with a Rent Program staff member.
The Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance requires that Tenants who must move out of a Rental Unit due to
(a) the landlord’s need to complete substantial repairs (necessary to bring the unit into compliance with applicable building codes, and where the tenant cannot reasonably live in the unit during the period of repairs),
(b) owner move-in, or
(c) the Rental Unit’s withdrawal from the rental market, are entitled to Relocation Payment, paid by the Landlord.
Tenants may NOT waive their rights to Relocation Payment. Any agreement, whether written or oral, is a violation of public policy and is void.
On December 20, 2016, the Richmond City Council adopted the Richmond Relocation Ordinance (RMC 11.102) and Relocation Ordinance Fee Schedule. The current Relocation Payment amounts are available on the Fee webpage. The amount of Relocation Payment depends on the size of the unit and whether any of the tenants are Senior (at least 62 years of age), Disabled, or has at least one minor, dependent child. If more than one tenant occupies the Rental Unit, each Tenant shall receive a pro-rata share of the Relocation Payment.
The Relocation Ordinance requires that half of the Relocation Payment is provided to the tenant(s) once they have notified the Landlord in writing of the date on which they will move out of the unit, and the remaining half is provided to the Tenant once they have certified that the Tenant has moved out (RMC 11.102.070(b)). Landlords shall provide payment in the form of a cashier’s check made payable to the Tenant.
Tenants Have the Right of Return and First Right of Refusal
If the Landlord terminates tenancy for substantial repairs, owner move-in, or withdrawal from the rental market, please note that the Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance grants Tenants the Right of Return and First Right of Refusal to return to the Rental Unit if it is ever returned to the rental market by the Landlord or successor Landlord. The Rent charged shall be the Rent lawfully paid by the Tenant at the time the Landlord gave notice to terminate tenancy (RMC 11.100.050(c)).
Notice of Entitlement to Relocation Payment
If Relocation Payment is required, the Landlord must provide the Notice of Entitlement to Relocation Assistance to the Tenant at the same time as the notice to terminate tenancy is served. Please refer to the Termination of Tenancy Templates above to ensure that you are in compliance with all requirements.