Ellis Act

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The Ellis Act is a provision in California Law (Government Code section 7060-7060.7[1]) that provides landlords in California with a legal way to "go out of business" short of selling the property to another landlord. It is often used as a way out of municipal rent control provisions.[2]

The Ellis Act "was adopted by the California Legislature in 1985 after the California Supreme Court ruled that landlords do not have the right to evict tenants to go out of the business of being a landlord".[3]

Municipalities can regulate the Ellis Act eviction process to some extent. Those that do typically restrict the property from use as a rental property for a period of time and require that it go back under rent control provisions if it is returned to the rental market.[4]

  • San Francisco requires compensation from at least $5,153 and up (per tenant) to more than $18,000 per unit depending upon various factors like age, disability, and whether a unit has school-aged children occupying the targeted unit. [5]
  • Santa Monica requires an owner get a re-occupation permit before the building can be used for any purpose following Ellis Act evictions.[6]
  • Los Angeles applies rent control provisions to unit built on the same property up to five years later.[7]

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