Can You Ask Tenants to Move Out in Case of Property Repair?

If a court rules that the property’s conditions "substantially endanger the health and safety of residents," a landlord will be legally liable if the landlord fails to fix dangerous conditions within a reasonable time. If the landlord must require tenants to move out in order to do the repairs, the landlord may do so, but must:

  • Provide the tenant with similar temporary housing nearby or, if not possible, pay the difference between the old rent and the tenant’s new rent elsewhere, for up to four months;

  • Pay the tenant’s removal costs, including packing and unpacking costs;

  • Insure the tenant’s belongings in transit, or pay for the replacement value of property lost, stolen, or damaged in transit;

  • Pay the tenant’s new utility connection charges; and

  • Give the tenant the first chance to move back into the old place when repairs are completed.

For San Francisco landlords, if the work can be accomplished in 20 days or less, the landlord must pay the tenant relocation expenses of $275 per day. (Civil Code § 1947.9.)