The Los Angeles Times reported a growing trend as the real estate market heats up and construction increases, evictions under California’s Ellis Act. Evictions from rent-controlled units on the rise in L.A provides a glimpse into non-fault evictions where a tenant is simply evicted because the landlord desires to remove the rental unit from the rental market.

California’s Ellis Act (Government Code Section 7060 et seq.) allows a landlord to remove a rental housing unit from the rental market. Although it generally supersedes local rent control laws, the City of Los Angeles provides a process where a landlord evicts a tenant under the Ellis Act. A summary of the information provided by the Los Angeles Housing Department can be found here.

The Ellis Act generally is used by landlords looking to develop a rental property into a condominium complex, single family homes, or condominium conversion. These evictions were less common during the housing crash; however, are becoming a more popular method for development as real estate prices rise. Ellis Act evictions have been very common in San Francisco, and are gaining more traction in Los Angeles. 

Los Angeles landlords who desire to remove their rental units from the rental market in order to develop the property into another use (condominiums, commercial property, etc.) should seek legal counsel before attempting to perform any evictions because the Los Angeles Housing Department provides very strict guidelines to be performed by a landlord prior to filing any unlawful detainer. Evictions under the Ellis Act are generally more complicated than those for non-payment of rent or breaches of a rental agreement, and can be very contested.