An Overview of San Francisco Eviction Law

Under San Francisco Eviction Law, a landlord can evict a tenant only by providing “just cause.” As a landlord you need to make sure you have legal grounds to evict a tenant.

What does San Francisco Eviction Law Require?

San Francisco eviction law creates a time consuming process compared to other eviction Laws. A landlord can only evict a tenant by providing “just cause,” which means that it usually takes one to two months to complete the process of eviction. Just cause can include failure by the tenant to pay the rent or meet the conditions mentioned in the lease agreement.

What are the Steps Involved in San Francisco Eviction Lawsuit?

  1. Check for legal grounds: The first step for a landlord before filing for eviction is to make sure he or she has legal grounds to evict the tenant. If a tenant fails to pay the rent or causes damage to the property or violates the terms and conditions mentioned in the rent agreement, then the landlord can file an eviction against the tenant. The landlord can evict the tenant by giving a legal notice. After the first notice, if the tenant fails to vacate, then the landlord can give a second notice. Under San Francisco eviction law, the landlord is not allowed to change the locks or cut off utilities.
  2. Three Day Notice: Notice must be served to the tenant by the landlord under San Francisco eviction law. The landlord can serve a three day notice to tenant if he or she fails to pay the rent. Notice should contain correct information, i.e., name, address and amount to be paid. A three day notice can also be served to a tenant for violating terms and conditions mentioned in the lease agreement. The landlord has to give a 30-day notice if he is evicting the tenant from a month-to-month lease.
  3. Wait for Completion of Notice Period: The landlord has to wait to move forward with further eviction processes until the notice period is over.
  4. File a Legal Eviction Notice with the Court: After filing the legal eviction notice, the landlord has to wait for a response from the tenant. As per San Francisco eviction law, a tenant has five days to file a response. The tenant can reply to the landlord by completing a legal form called “Answer.”
  5. Attend the Settlement Conference: Both the landlord and the tenant need to go through the “Settlement Conference.” Usually, through the settlement conference, both landlord and tenant can attain a settlement. If a settlement is not reached and tenant loses the case, then a third notice is served to the tenant by the court. It is called a Sheriff’s notice; it gives the tenant five days to vacate the residence.

San Francisco eviction law is a complicated process and it is always recommended to get the help of an experienced attorney for filing your eviction lawsuit. There are important steps that must be followed for the process to be complete and legal. Having an attorney familiar with the laws is always best.