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What Happens When My Landlord Wants To Move Into My Rental?

If you’re renting a home in Santa Monica and your landlord suddenly decides they’d like to move into the home, you may be wondering what happens next. Is this legal? How soon can they move in? Do they have to compensate you? In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to know about OMI evictions in Santa Monica.

What Is An OMI Eviction?

An OMI (Owner Move In) eviction is a legal process by which the owner of a rental property can evict the current tenant to move into the unit themselves. For example, if the owner of your rental home wants to sell their current home and move into the rental you’re occupying, they may start the OMI eviction process.

Are OMI Evictions Legal?

Yes. When used in accordance with the law and applicable regulations, OMI evictions are completely legal. They are meant to allow property owners to recover their own property for personal use.

Unfortunately, some landlords have begun abusing OMI evictions, using them to evict tenants in rent-controlled apartments in Santa Monica, and then re-renting them to others at a higher rate. Fraudulent OMI evictions are not uncommon in California. 

What Does A Landlord Have To Do To Move Into A Rental?

There are a few basic things that a landlord must do in order to begin the OMI process, as follows:

  • Provide proper notice – First, the landlord must provide 60 days of notice to the tenant. They must state that they or a relative will be moving into the unit, note where they currently live, and prove their ownership stake in the property and other properties.
  • Landlord must actually move in – After a tenant has been evicted, the landlord must move into the unit and begin living there within 3 months of the current tenant moving out.
  • Principal place of residence – For an OMI eviction to be valid, the landlord must live in the unit as their principal place of residence for at least 36 months. They must actually live there, and be able to prove this.

Additionally, if a landlord does not live in the property for at least 3 years and attempts to re-rent the unit, the evicted tenant has the “right of first refusal” to move back into the unit. If the landlord does not live there for 5 years, the landlord must not re-rent the unit at a greater rate than that which the evicted tenant paid, plus all applicable lawful annual rent increases. 

Can I Sue For Wrongful Eviction?

If you were wrongfully evicted through the OMI process, the answer is “yes.” However, it can be difficult to prove wrongful eviction. You will need to collect evidence regarding the fraudulent eviction, and it’s wise to hire a Santa Monica OMI evictions attorney to assist you in proving this fraud. 

Get Help With OMI Evictions In Santa Monica

Whether you’d like to fight back against an OMI eviction, or you suspect that your landlord fraudulently used the OMI eviction process and you wish to file a suit, our team is here to help. Contact Schwimer Weinstein online or call at 310-957-2700 to speak to an attorney experienced with Santa Monica OMI evictions, and get the assistance you need.

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