The Ellis Act and retaliatory eviction defense

The Ellis Act gives a landlord the absolute right to go out of the rental business. The landlord has the right to evict tenants on the basis that the building is being permanently withdrawn from the rental market.

A tenant can possibly defeat an Ellis Act eviction by asserting a retaliatory eviction defense. However, the landlord may overcome this defense if she shows the following: Is the landlord’s intent to withdraw the property bona fide or not? If a tenant can show that the landlord does not have a good faith intent to withdraw her property from the rental market, then the burden shifts to the landlord to show the truth at the hearing by a preponderance of the evidence. This is a pretty low standard.

Some retaliatory eviction defenses include landlords wanting to evict tenants within 180 days if a tenant gave notice to the landlord to repair and deduct, complained to a housing agency with or without prior notice to the landlord. A landlord can still evict a tenant who has done any of the above actions. However, the notice period for the eviction action must expire after 180 days. This defense is not available if the tenant’s rent is not current.

Ready for Aggressive Legal Help?

Talk with an experienced lawyer in an obligation-free telephone consultation. We will personally review your challenging, out-of-the-ordinary case for free whereas other firms charge for a consultation. 

Contact Form

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Mary Catherine Wiederhold

Real Estate Attorney
1458 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Mary Catherine Wiederhold
Rated by Super Lawyersloading ...
Courtney Brown
Rated by Super Lawyersloading ...

Our offices are conveniently accessible to public transportation.

The use of the Internet or this website for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through these media.