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Tenant Protection Ordinance

Ordinance Overview

The Tenant Protection Ordinance outlines landlord responsibilities and tenant rights regarding notices to terminate.  Under the Tenant Protection Ordinance, landlords of multifamily dwellings, guesthouses and unpermitted units will only be authorized to terminate tenancy under one of the 13 listed causes below (also view this flyer in Spanish and Vietnamese). Landlords must submit notices to vacate to the Rent Stabilization Program; submit a Notice to Terminate Tenancy with Just Cause using our simple online form.


Just Cause Reasons on Tenant Actions

1. Nonpayment of rent

2. Material or habitual violation of the lease

3. Damage to the apartment

4. Refusal to agree to a similar or new rental agreement

5. Disorderly behavior/disturbing the peace

6. Refuse access to the apartment when requested in accordance with law

7. Unapproved holdover subtenant

8. Criminal activity

Just Cause Reasons Based on Landlord Decision or Consequence of Action

9. Substantial rehabilitation of the apartment

10. Removal of apartments from the rental market under the Ellis Act

11. Owner move-in

12. City code enforcement actions requiring a moveout

13. Convert an unpermitted apartment for permitted use

Relocation benefits must be paid when a tenant is being removed from an apartment for reasons 9-13. Benefits are paid based on the size of the unit occupied by the tenant who receives a notice of termination:

 Studio 1-Bedroom 2-Bedroom 3-Bedroom
 $6,925 $8,400 $10,353  $12,414

The following documents are available for the Tenant Protection Ordinance:

Notice of Termination Dashboard

The Rent Stabilization Program collaborated with the Center for Social Research at Calvin College to develop a Notice of Termination Dashboard on the platform Tableau for the public to view.  The information on this dashboard is derived from the notices of terminations that the Rent Stabilization Program has received, including 3-30-60 day notices of terminations and summons and complaints. The information displayed includes notices received from May 2017 to May 2018.

Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

Landlord Responsibilities:
  • If giving a notice of termination, serve a written copy to the tenant with the proper amount of notice according to State law. Ensure that the applicable 13 just causes are included on the notice.
  • Provide a copy to the City within 3 days of service to the tenant. You can submit a copy of the notice online.
  • Provide relocation benefits at the time of service to the tenant, if applicable.

Tenant Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that if you receive a notice of termination, that it is in writing and with the proper amount of notice according to State law.
  • Ensure that the notice has at least one of the 13 just causes listed as the reason for the notice being served.
  • Contact the Rent Stabilization Program to ensure that the landlord submitted the notice to the City correctly. If not, contact the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley's Eviction Assistance Clinic at 408-280-2424.

Council Actions

Important! The San Jose City Council has made changes to the Tenant Protection Ordinance that may impact your rental properties. These changes are effective as of January 18, 2019.

Here's what you need to know:

  1. Apartment owners are required to post a notice of tenant rights  in a conspicuous place in each building, or provide every tenant with a copy of this notice. 
  2. Any tenant who is charged with a crime has a right to return to his or her rental unit under the following conditions:
    • The tenant is acquitted or the charges are dismissed; and
    • Other members of the tenant's household still reside in the rental unit; and
    • Other members of the tenant's household consent to his or her return.
  3. The City of San José recognizes state and federal protections for tenants who are victims of violence. You can find more information about state protections here and federal protections here.
  4. Whenever you terminate a tenancy, you must include a statement  that states the notice is being served in good faith and provides information about homelessness prevention. The language for this statement is here

Detailed information about the Tenant Protection Ordinance is available here. You may request a paper copy of the ordinance at the Housing Department (12th floor of City Hall) or by calling 408-975-4480.