Counsel, Advocacy & Representation for California Tenants

Does my landlord have to pay relocation benefits?

Landlords Must Offer Relocation Assistance for “No Fault” Terminations

“No Fault” Termination Defined

If a tenant receives a Notice to Terminate tenancy, and there is no allegation that he or she is at fault, then that tenant may be entitled to recover relocation benefits.

If the basis for termination contained in the notice describes the landlord’s intention to allow an immediate

family member to move into the property, or because the landlord has to comply with an order to vacate the property issued by government, or a court, or because the landlord intends to demolish, or to substantially remodel the real property, then relocation benefits should be offered to the tenant.

Offer of Relocation Assistance

The new revisions to the law require the owner to offer to assist the tenant cover the expense of relocation by either;

  • Assisting the tenant to relocate by providing a direct payment to the tenant,


  • Waive in writing the payment of rent for the final month of the tenancy, prior to the rent becoming due.

Notice Must be Given to Tenant

The amount of relocation assistance, or rent waiver shall be equal to one month of the tenant’s rent that was in effect when the owner issued the notice to terminate the tenancy. Relocation assistance shall be provided within 15 calendar days of service of the notice.

If an owner issues a notice to terminate a tenancy for no-fault just cause, the owner must notify the tenant of the tenant’s right to relocation assistance, or a rent waiver. This information must be provided in the body of the notice to terminate. 

If a Property Owner Fails to Inform the Tenant that Relocation Benefits are Available, then the Notice of Termination is Void

Civil Code §1946(d)(4) states that if a landlord intends to pursue legal action to evict a tenant based upon a notice alleging a no fault termination, but fails to explain to the terminated tenant that he or she has a right to recover relocation benefits, then that notice that is void. This means that the tenant will not be forced to move, and may successfully defend any unlawful detainer action brought by the landlord.

While this provision of the law may prove very helpful to tenants, it also creates a perverse incentive for landlords to attempt terminations based upon the other “at fault” bases allowed under the statute. For this reason, it is very important that tenants act immediately to get legal assistance whenever they are served with any kind of notice concerning obligations under a rental contract.

Get Legal Assistance Before you Make any Decisions About Accepting Relocation Assistance

In order to determine whether you will qualify for relocation assistance, or if you have received any notice to terminate your tenancy, it is strongly recommended that you schedule an appointment to discuss it with an attorney. Even if the landlord is offering relocation money, before a tenant

makes any decisions about how, when and whether to leave, she should understand how to maximize the amount she can recover. Professional legal counsel can greatly assist tenants to assert the strongest position available. You can set that consultation by opening the link below.


More Posts About Tenants' Rights


Tenant Rights During Covid On June 29, the California Legislature enacted new changes to several different laws that significantly impact California renters’ rights. It is

Tenants Rights Attorney

San Diego Attorney Specializing in Eviction Defense & Tenants Rights Marc D. Whitham Marc D. Whitham is a San Diego tenant rights lawyer who has devoted

How Can We Help You?

Get Representation

If you have a situation that is more than a question, and are already having a dispute with your landlord, then information alone is often not enough to settle the matter to your advantage. What most renters need, but seldom have, is an attorney who knows the law, and the landlord’s duties under the law, and is not afraid to advocate for tenants.

Even the most informed tenants can find the court system overwhelming.  Defending against eviction on your own is more than just challenging.  Fort the unprepared and unrepresented it is an ordeal filled with traps.  Tenants who go to court without an attorney frequently enter into bad agreements and suffer humiliation at the hands of the landlord’s lawyers. Having an experienced attorney on your side will make a difference.

Get Informed

If your situation is not a lawsuit in court, but rather a question, or a curiosity about what the law says, there are many places where you can find educational materials, and  every tenant should become familiar with the legal protections for tenants in California law.

Many times the answer to tenants’ legal questions are more complicated than they may first appear.  It’s important to be careful, and not to rely upon every piece of information posted online, or simply accept the advice of friends and neighbors.  Make sure the source of your legal advice is reliable and up to date.

Look around the website and see if we have information to help you.  If you have a question and you can’t find an answer,  click here to send us a comment.  An attorney that specializes in advocating for tenants will reply, and can direct you to the resources you need. 

Don't go to Trial unprepared

Written notices demanding the payment of rent, notices that threaten the termination of your lease, accusations of illegal activity, and notices of changes in terms and conditions of a lease from a landlord or property manager are often the prelude to legal action.  They must be taken seriously.  It is critical for tenants to respond to notice from a landlord intelligently and prudently.

Before you agree to excessive rent increases, or allow the oppressive actions of the owner or management intimidate you, meet with a professional.

Information, early in time, is the key to success.  Often times becoming informed can help you to avoid being on defense.  If you are not able to avoid litigation, then consult with an attorney who stands with tenants and defends their rights.

Don't Waste Time

When a tenant has a legal conflict with the landlord, there is often only a short period of time to act.  Under California law, landlords are usually required to give notice to tenants before they resort to legal action. However, most of these legally required notices give a tenant only three days to act.  When a tenant fails to act within the three days then the landlord can proceed to court.

Once an action to evict (also called unlawful detainer) is filed against a tenant in court, it can move very quickly.   Landlords enjoy a unique legal procedure, which is known as a summary proceeding.   Once a tenant is sued in court, and then served with an unlawful detainer summons, then he or she has only five days to respond.

If your landlord has sued you or is threatening to sue you, then you must act quickly. Hesitation and uncertainty can lead to a loss of money, loss of security and the loss of your home. Don’t wait.  Schedule an appointment for a consultation  immediately to discuss your case.