San Francisco Nuisance Eviction
There are limited circumstances in which a San Francisco landlord can evict a tenant under the rent control ordinances, and creating a nuisance is one such circumstance. Tenant actions can constitute a nuisance for any number of reasons, ranging from excessive noise to illegal activities to damaging the property, causing problems for neighbors and other issues that interfere with the rights of others.
In an earlier post, we admonished landlords to do their due diligence in the screening process so as to anticipate problematic renters and avoid the possibility of nuisance claims, but should you encounter difficult tenants, Bornstein Law can inform you of your rights and responsibilities under the law.
What is tenant Nuisance anyways?
“Anything which is injurious to health, including, but not limited to, the illegal sale of controlled substances, or is indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, or unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in the customary manner, of any navigable lake, or river, bay, stream, canal, or basin, or any public park, square, street, or highway, is a nuisance.”
California Civil Code Section 3479
There are actions that can be taken by a Bay Area landlord or property manager when faced with a disruptive tenant nuisance.
This begins with informing the tenant in a friendly, non-threatening manner that the tenant’s behavior is disturbing others around them. Ideally, the tenant will turn the noise levels down or correct whatever the nuisance is.
If the nuisance does not cease, however, more formalized actions can be taken to correct the problem, including a three day notice for nuisance tenants that requests the tenant stop the underlying behavior or leave the rental unit. If the nuisance is prolonged, the landlord can serve a cure or quit notice that puts the tenant on notice that failure to correct the problem will result in the landlord commencing an eviction action.
Eviction is the last step after the tenant has been provided proper notice to stop the nuisance conduct, and this raises many issues with what is a proper notice. A recurring theme of our practice at Bornstein Law has been landlords not using the proper documentation and timelines when serving notices, or otherwise failing to give ample warning to the tenant. Contacting us early on can ensure that notices are fully compliant with the laws and maddening regulations.
When all communication with the tenant breaks down and the nuisance persists, Bay Area landlords need to understand that eviction is a legal process that requires a written warning notice and a court summons (an Unlawful Detainer), and this is best approached with the guidance of Bornstein Law.
Our San Francisco Real Estate Attorneys Will Be Privileged To Assist You.
For informed advice and additional insight about your legal options, please contact us today.