Can I end a lease on a month to month tenant?

4 Replies

I rented out my former personal home in Ventura when I moved out of the area. The tenants have been there 4 years on a month to month lease with no rent increase.

I would like to end the lease and begin to use the home myself as a second home rather than a primary residence.

I am thinking about giving them an informal written notice that I will be ending the lease with a 60 day notice when the moratorium is over. Is this a good idea? I would like to give them a head's up.

I am not sure if the moratorium will be extended and if it is, I would like to end the lease anyway. The current moratorium in CA ends Sept. 30th.

I'm not sure I would be allowed to proceed with an eviction if necessary. It is my understanding that under the moratorium, you can evict for owner-occupy. I am not sure if owner occasional use would fit? That is why I think I might have to wait until the moratorium is over, and then I don't have to provide a reason to end the lease.

Also, if you do state owner-occupy, does anyone know how long you have to occupy before you could rent it out again?

My goal is to get the place back, do some remodeling, then decide if I want to use it, sell it, or possibly rent it out again. It is frustrating that I can't just get the place back without worrying about all the moratoriums.

Any help anyone can provide is greatly appreciated.

@Marti M.

The moratorium is an eviction moratorium not a notice moratorium. Give the notice (minimum 60 days since they have lived there for over a year) and see how they respond. If they say they won’t leave, let them know that eventually they will get evicted and that will wreck their credit and their ability to rent or buy in the future. If they have trouble leaving, try to help them get on their way if you can.

If you’re not affected by any kind of rent control you could raise the rent enough so you feel ok about not using the property or pay for renting another place when you want a vacation. You might want to raise it regardless so you don’t get stuck with a low Fraser rent if it is initiated in the future. Just in case the moratorium is extended there. 

Thanks for your comments. Those are some good ideas. 

The property is not under rent control.

I believe we can only raise rent 10% right now due to anti price gouging or something? But I could at least do that.

I go there and maintain the property so unfortunately I have probably gotten to know them too well. Am trying to be as fair as possible, they have been paying on time and overall good tenants.

I suppose I could raise the rent and just let them know it would be my preference that they move out. 

I think they know how hard it would be if they had an eviction to find another rental, but will be sure to point it out.

In CA especially, it is hard to get people out.  It can be a long process, even before COVID.  Your best bet is to make THEM decide to leave on their own.  Assuming you are not under rent control, find out what the going rent would be for your house and give them a rent increase of 5% to 10% MORE than the going rate (NOT more than their current rate, which is probably 50% under market).  Give them a 60 day notice notice now.  Hopefully they will decide you are crazy and leave on their own.  That will take you to Oct 1.  

By then you will know how the courts are doing/or not doing with evictions.  And if you have to wait to get your house, at least you will be making more $.

If they do not leave on their own, give them the 60 day notice, but chances are good they will be gone before that 60 day rent increase takes affect.

And by putting your rent above market by a significant amount, it becomes cost effective for them to pay to move.

BTW, do NOT take any of the COVID government rent.  That will make you agree to letting them stay, which is against your purpose.  Just say you do not believe in that type of assistance for you.