Ellis Act Information

Overview

The Ellis Act is a provision in California Law (Government Code section 7060-7060.7) that provides landlords in California with a legal way to go out of the rental market business. The Ellis Act was adopted by the California Legislature in 1985 after the California Supreme Court decision in the case of Nash v. City of Santa Monica.

In accordance with the Ellis Act, the Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance (Chapter 11.100, Richmond Municipal Code) identifies "Withdrawal from the Rental Market" under Government Code Section 7060 et. seq. (Ellis Act) as a Just Cause for Eviction in the City of Richmond. The specific requirements of the process to withdraw units from the rental markets in accordance with the Ellis Act are contained in Chapter 5 of the Rent Board's adopted regulations.

Below are the steps required to withdraw units from the rental market in the City of Richmond pursuant to the Ellis Act and Rent Board regulations. Landlords and agents are encouraged to contact the Rent Program and/or seek legal advice prior to initiating the process to withdraw units from the rental market to ensure all requirements of State and local laws are met. The Rent Program is unable to provide legal advice.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Withdrawing accommodations from rent or lease imposes significant restrictions and limitations on the right of an owner and any subsequent owner to rent or lease the accommodations in the future. Please review Rent Board Regulation 503 for more information.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Withdrawing Units from the Rental Market in Accordance with the Ellis Act in the City of Richmond (Rent Board Regulation 503) 

For your convenience, the Rent Program has provided sample forms where appropriate. Please note, the Rent Program does not guarantee the legal validity of "Sample" forms and notices, but rather provides these templates for informational purposes. Please consult with an attorney as to the legal sufficiency of any "Sample" forms and/or notices you choose to serve on a Tenant.

Step 1: Confirm that the Rental Unit is in compliance with all enrollment, rent registration (applicable to rent-controlled units only), and Rental Housing Fee payment requirements.

Access the Rent Program enrollment form

Learn more about the Rental Housing Fee

Step 2: File a Notice to the Rent Board to Initiate Withdrawal of Accommodations from the Rental Market

Deliver or mail the Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations from Rent or Lease to the City of Richmond Rent Program, 440 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 200, Richmond, CA 94804.

Step 2 must be completed using the Rent Program form below:

Notice to Initiate Withdrawal of Accommodations from Rent or Lease

Step 3: Provide written notice to Tenants of the Landlord's Completion of Step 2 and provide a copy with proof of service to the Rent Board

The notification to the Tenants must disclose the following information: (1) the Rent Board has been notified of the Landlord's intent to Withdraw Accommodations from Rent or Lease in accordance with Step 2, above; (2) the notice filed with the Rent Board specified the name of the Tenant and the amount of rent paid by the Tenant as an occupant of the accommodation; and (3) the amount of rent the Landlord specified in the notice to the Rent Board. The notice shall also contain a statement of the Tenant's right to regain possession of the unit and to damages, in the event the accommodation is again offered for rent or lease, under Rent Board Regulation 502.

A copy of the notice must be filed with the Rent Board with a proof of service upon each Tenant by delivering or mailing the notice to the City of Richmond Rent Program, 440 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 200, Richmond, CA 94804.

Sample Notice and Sample Proof of Service Form

Step 4: Record both a Summary Memorandum and Withdrawal Certificate with the Contra Costa County Recorder

All documents associated with Step 3 must be completed using the Rent Program forms below:

Summary Memorandum (to be filed with the Contra Costa County Recorder and Rent Board)

Withdrawal Certificate (to be filed with the Rent Board)

Step 5: Deliver the Summary Memorandum and Withdrawal Certificate to the Rent Board in person or by first class mail

The date upon which the accommodations are withdrawn from rent or lease is 120 days from the date these documents are received either in person or by first-class mail at the Rent Program office, 440 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 200, Richmond, CA 94804.

Step 6: Serve (1) a Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations, (2) a Notice of Termination of Tenancy, (3) Notice of Entitlement to Permanent Relocation Payment, and (4) Notice of Right to One-Year's Notice on each Tenant by either personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested

(1) The Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations must contain a statement that all of the accommodations on the parcel are being withdrawn, the date upon which the accommodation is to be withdrawn, that the owner has paid all fees due to the City or Board, and a statement that all Tenants are entitled to a Relocation Payment and the amount thereof pursuant to the Relocation Ordinance (Chapter 11.102, Richmond Municipal Code.) The owner shall determine whether a member of the household of each unit can speak English and seek appropriate assistance in communicating the importance of the contents of the notice to any household whose members cannot speak English. The notice shall advise the Tenant of the Tenant's rights to regain possession of the premises and to damages as set forth in Rent Board Regulation 502.

A notice stating the owner's intent to withdraw the accommodation from rent or lease shall not be valid unless the Tenants of all of the units on the property are also served with notice that each of their units is to be withdrawn from rent or lease and unless all fees due to the City or Board pursuant to Rent Board Regulation 506 have been paid.

The Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations must be completed using the Rent Program form below:

Notice to Tenant of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations from Rent or Lease

(2) A notice of termination of tenancy having an effective date no earlier than 120 days after the date of service shall also be served on each Tenant at the same time the notice stating the intent to withdraw the premises from rent or lease is served on the Tenant.

Sample Notice of Termination of Tenancy and Proof of Service

(3) In accordance with Section 11.102.040 of the Richmond Municipal Code (Relocation Ordinance), any notice to terminate a tenancy due to Withdrawal from the Rental Market shall be accompanied by a completed Notice of Entitlement to Permanent Relocation Payment and Assertion of "Qualified Tenant Household" status. "Qualified Tenant Household" includes households with a Tenant who is a Senior Citizen, Disabled, has at least one child under the age of 18 living in the household, resides in a lower income household as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 50079.5 (Section 11.102.020(j), Richmond Municipal Code.)

The Notice of Entitlement to Permanent Relocation Payment must be completed using the Rent Program form below:

Notice of Entitlement to Permanent Relocation Payment and Assertion of "Qualified Tenant Household" Status

(4) If the Tenant is (a) disabled, at least 62 years of age, has minor children residing in the household, and/or the Tenant's household is a lower income household and (b) has lived in their accommodations for at least one year prior to the date of delivery of the Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations to the Rent Board, then the date of withdrawal of the accommodations of that Tenant shall be extended to one year after the date of delivery of the notice to the Board, provided that the Tenant gives written notice of their entitlement to an extension to the owner within sixty (60) days of the Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations is filed with the Rent Board. 

Not less than 120 days prior to the date upon which the accommodations are to be withdrawn, the owner shall provide two (2) copies of a notice containing language enabling the Tenant, if they have lived in the unit for at least one year prior to being notified of the eviction, to assert their entitlement to one year's notice prior to surrendering the accommodation on the grounds that the Tenant is disabled, 62 years or older, has minor children residing in the household, or resides in a low-income household.

Sample Assertion of Entitlement to One Year's Notice of Withdrawal of the Rental Market Form

Step 7: File a copy of the (1) a Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations, (2) a Notice of Termination of Tenancy, and (3) Notice of Entitlement to Permanent Relocation Payment with the Rent Board

(1) The Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations may be filed with the Rent Board by delivering or mailing the Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations from Rent or Lease to the City of Richmond Rent Program, 440 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 200, Richmond, CA 94804.

(2) The Notice of Termination of Tenancy and Proof of Service must be filed with the Rent Board in accordance with the Termination of Tenancy Procedure.

(3) The Notice of Entitlement to Permanent Relocation Payment may be filed with the Rent Board by delivering or mailing the Notice of Intent to Withdraw Accommodations from Rent or Lease to the City of Richmond Rent Program, 440 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 200, Richmond, CA 94804.

Step 8: Provide Permanent Relocation Payment to Eligible Tenants (Section 11.102.070, Richmond Municipal Code)

In accordance with the Richmond Relocation Ordinance, a Landlord shall provide the Relocation Payment in the required amount through direct payment to the Tenant. In lieu of direct payment to the Tenant, a Landlord may choose to distribute the Relocation Payment through an escrow account; however, all costs of an escrow opened shall be borne by the Landlord.

The Landlord shall pay one half (1/2) of the applicable Permanent Relocation Payment within three (3) business days after the Tenant has informed the Landlord in writing that the Tenant will vacate the Rental Unit on the date provided in the notice terminating the tenancy and the other half within three (3) business days after the Tenant has (i) vacated the Rental Unit by no more than two (2) calendar days after the date provided in the notice and (ii) removed all of the Tenant's personal property from the Rental Unit and/or from other property of the Landlord, such as a storage unit.

Step 9: File Proof of Permanent Relocation Payment with the Rent Board after each disbursement of Relocation Payment

Proof of Permanent Relocation Payment may be filed using the following online form: Proof of Permanent Relocation Payment

Step 10: Comply with Ellis Act Requirements Should the Rental Unit be Offered for Rent within ten (10) years after its withdrawal from the rental market

Pursuant to State and local law, Landlords are subject to a variety of penalties in the event withdrawn accommodations are offered for rent within two (2), five (5), and ten (10) years from the date the unit was withdrawn. Please consult Rent Board Regulation 502 for detail.