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Housing & Tenant Protections

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

The City of San Diego



UPDATE: The Tenant Protection Ordinance was signed into law by Mayor Gloria on May 25th, 2023. The ordinance will go into effect on June 24th, 2023. The final language of the ordinance can be found HERE.


Tenants have a right to live in their home without fear of displacement if they are abiding by their lease terms. Strengthening tenant protections is a critical step the City can take to address San Diego’s housing and homelessness crises. Reducing evictions, especially “no-fault” evictions, can help reduce the number of residents falling into homelessness, as well as prevent the negative and lifelong impacts from a lease termination.


The Problem

Evictions in San Diego are increasing and are currently at a five-year high, which correlates with an increase in homelessness. In 2019, California Assembly Bill 1482 strengthened eviction protections statewide, but the bill does not apply in San Diego because of a provision that limits its applicability to jurisdictions without just-cause ordinances. The City of San Diego's Tenants’ Right to Know Ordinance, adopted in 2004, provides fewer protections than AB 1482 and has resulted in San Diegans being more vulnerable to unnecessary evictions.

The Solution

Mayor Todd Gloria and Council President Sean Elo-Rivera have proposed a new tenant protection law to bring San Diego up to the standards set by AB 1482. In a few key areas, the proposed protections go above and beyond Statewide standards, including:

  • Protections apply on Day 1 of a lease, with a narrow exemption for short term leases.

  • Financial assistance when a tenants' lease is terminated through no fault of their own. Currently, no financial assistance is required.

  • Accountability measures to make sure bad actors can’t get away with violating these protections.

The Proposal

In addition to San Diego meeting Statewide standards, Mayor Gloria and Council President Elo-Rivera are proposing additional protections, including:


1. Offers protections beginning on day one of tenancy (with exemptions for fixed term leases of three months or less).


2. If evicted through no fault of your own, you are entitled to 2 months' rent relocation assistance or 3 months' rent if you are a senior or a person with disabilities.


3. Strengthens protections for when a substantial remodel can and can’t be used for a no-fault termination.


4. Ensures tenants have more noticing when substantial renovations will happen.


5. Requires education and resources for tenants provided at move-in by the City.


6. Provides tenants more options for temporary relocation.


7. Provides accountability measures allowing attorney fees, exemplary damages, and a process for buyout agreements, creating additional legal resources for tenants.


Additional Information

Where can I read the final language for the ordinance?

Read the language here: sdd9.info/finaltpo

Where can I read the draft language for the ordinance?

Read the language here: sdd9.info/tpodraft

Where can I read the approved (with amendments) ordinance?

Read the approved ordinance here: sdd9.info/tpofinal


What were the amendments made to the ordinance at the April, 25th Council Meeting?

  • Motion to amend Section 98.0702, to add, “Non-profit transitional housing means temporary housing operated by a non-profit organization for up to 24 months with supportive services to individuals and families with the goal of interim stability and support to successfully move to and maintain permanent housing, which may cover housing costs and accompanying supportive services for program participants” and amend Section 98.0703(f): to read, “housing accommodations in a nonprofit hospital, religious facility, extended care facility, licensed residential care facility for the elderly, as defined in California Health and Safety Code section 1569.2, as may be amended, an adult residential facility, as defined in Title 22, Division 6, Chapter 6 of the Manual of Policies and Procedures published by the California Department of Social Services, as may be amended, or non-profit transitional housing”; and amend Section 98.0706(d) to include “The landlord shall have the right to screen the tenant using industry accepted methods and shall communicate the minimum screening criteria in the written offer for the new tenancy. The tenant shall have 30 days from the date of receipt of the offer to accept.”; and have City staff and Housing Commission to return each year from the effective date of this ordinance to report to the City Council on the impact of this ordinance.


  • Motion to amend Section 98.0703: Exemptions (l)(2) last paragraph to read “For a tenancy existing before January 1, 2024, the notice required above may be provided in the lease. For a tenancy commenced or renewed on or after January 1, 2024, the notice required above shall be provided in the lease.”


  • Motion to amend Section 98.0706: to read, “(a) Requirements Upon Termination of Tenancy for At-Fault Just Cause. If a landlord issues a termination notice for at-fault just cause, the landlord shall do the following:


(1) Notice to Tenant. Before a landlord issues a notice to terminate a tenancy for at-fault just cause that is a curable lease violation, the landlord shall first give written notice of the violation including a description of the violation and an opportunity to cure the violation under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1161(3), as may be amended. If the violation is not cured within the time period in the notice, the landlord may terminate the tenancy without another opportunity to cure by serving a three-day notice to quit.


(2) Notice to Commission. The landlord shall provide written notice to the Commission of the at-fault just cause termination of tenancy under section 98.0704(a) no later than three business days after the date the landlord provided the required notice to tenant. This clause shall not apply until 30 days after the Commission establishes a submission portal and provides the public notice of its creation.

(b) Requirements Upon Termination of Tenancy for No-Fault Just Cause. If a landlord issues a termination notice for no-fault just cause, the landlord shall do the following:

(1) Notice to Tenant. The landlord shall give written notice to the tenant at least 30 or 60 days prior to the proposed date of termination as required by California Civil Code section 1946.1, as may be amended, in no less than 12-point font. The written notice shall contain the following:

(A) The landlord shall provide a description of the basis for the termination.

(B) The notice shall state the tenant’s right to relocation assistance established in section 98.0706(c) by a direct payment to the tenant or rent waiver.

(i) If the landlord elects to provide relocation assistance by a direct payment to the tenant, the notice shall state the amount of relocation assistance available to the tenant and that the landlord shall provide the payment within 15 days from the date of the notice.

(ii) If the landlord elects to provide relocation assistance by rent waiver, the notice shall state the amount of rent waived and that no rent is due for the final corresponding months of the tenancy.

(C) The notice shall state the tenant’s right to receive an offer to renew the tenancy established in section 98.0706(d) and 30 days to accept the offer in the event the residential rental property is offered again for rent or lease for residential purposes within five years of the date the tenant was evicted under sections 98.0704(b)(1), (3), or (4), and that to exercise such right, the tenant:

(i) shall notify the landlord in writing within 30 days of the termination notice of tenant’s desire to receive an offer to renew the tenancy;

(ii) provide the landlord a mailing address or email address for the landlord to send the offer; and

(iii) provide the landlord a change of mailing address or email address.

(2) Notice to Commission. The landlord shall provide written notice to the Commission of the no-fault just cause termination of tenancy under section 98.0704(b) no later than three business days after the date the landlord provided the required notice to tenant. This clause shall not apply until 30 days after the Commission establishes a submission portal and provides the public notice of its creation.”

  • Motion to consider future cap or other modifications to relocation assistance once data is available from the Housing Commission, subject to legal review.

When is the second reading of the Tenant Protection Ordinance scheduled for Council?

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Who can I contact for more information?


Maya Rosas, Deputy Chief of Staff & Director of Strategic Initiatives


Office of Council President Sean Elo-Rivera


Email: SeanEloRivera@sandiego.gov


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