san jose eviction laws

Learn about San Jose Eviction Laws.

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san jose eviction Laws

A Synopsis

Does San Jose Have its own Eviction Laws?

San Jose’s eviction ordinance is called the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) – It can be found in San Jose Municipal Code (SJMC) Chapter 17.23, Part 12, §§17.23.1200-17.23.1290).  The TPO went into effect June 16, 2017.  

Why does the Law matter?

The TPO requires a landlord give a just-cause reason to eviction someone from an apartment with 3 or more units (including condos and townhouses), all unpermitted units (illegal in-law unit, or illegally converted garage), and guestroom in any guesthouse (boarding house). 


The just cause reason must be stated in the eviction notice as the justification for the eviction.

Who does the Laws apply to?

Rental units in San Jose that are affected by the TPO:


  • Rental Property designed for 3 or more families living independently of each other, doing their own cooking (apartments, condominium and townhomes);
  • All unpermitted units (illegal in-law unit, or illegally converted garage);
  • Guestroom in any guesthouse (boarding houses); and
  • Rent Stabilized Units (buildings affected by the ARO)

Are there any exemptions?

The ordinance does not apply to duplexes, single-family homes, in-law units, condominiums, and second units (unless they are unpermitted units).

When does just cause protection begin?

In the City of San Jose, tenant(s) are given just-cause protection the first day of tenancy, unlike the California’s Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which requires 12-months of tenancy. 

Is there other rental related laws in san jose?

The Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO), which limits the annual rent increase on certain properties, together with the TPO, govern the rentals in the City of San Jose.  Rental units that are governed by the ARO have additional requirements as spelled out by the TPO (§17.23.600).

In addition, California has a statewide law, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (TPA), that affords both just cause protection and rent control protection to tenants in certain situations.


Just Cause Requirements – San jose eviction laws

What is the Landlord to do?

A landlord, or agent, must state one of the 13 just causes listed under the TPO in the eviction notice to the tenant(s).  Just cause is divided into two sections, “no-fault” and “at-fault.”  No-cause evictions are illegal and cannot be enforced. 

What’s the difference between no-fault and At-Fault just cause?

Landlords are required to list one of the 13 just causes enumerated under the TPO as a justification for the eviction in the notice to the tenant(s).  Eight of the just causes are categorized as “at-fault” and five are “no-fault” just causes.  Landlords are not required to compensate tenants for “at-fault” terminations but must compensate tenants for “no-fault” terminations with relocation assistance.

What are the at-fault just causes?

  1. Nonpayment of Rent
  2. Material or Habitual Violation of the Tenancy
  3. Substantial Damage to the Apartment
  4. Refusal to Agree to a Like or New Rental Agreement
  5. Nuisance Behavior
  6. Refusing Access to the Apartment
  7. Unapproved Holdover Subtenant
  8. Criminal Activity

What are the no-fault just causes?

  1. Substantial Rehabilitation of the Apartment
  2. Ellis Act Removal
  3. Owner Move-in
  4. Order to Vacate
  5. Vacation of Unpermitted Apartment

How much assistance is required?

The amount of assistance required under the TPO (2022):

Base Assistance:

  • Studio – $6,925
  • One-Bedroom – $8,400
  • Two-Bedroom – $10,353
  • Three-Bedroom – $12,414


Administrative Requirements – San Jose Eviction laws

Other Disclosures requirements

In addition to the just-cause reason required in the eviction notice, landlords are also required to provide a copy of the TPO Required Posting and copy of Resources and References to the tenant(s). 

Eviction Notice Statement

The following statement needs to be included in the notice terminating tenancy:

1) The notice is being served in good faith; and 2) That information regarding the notice terminating tenancy, including information on homeless prevention, is available from the Rent Stabilization Program, 200 E. Santa Clara St., 12th Floor, San José, CA 95112, phone (408) 975-4480.

Copy of Notice to the City of San Jose  

Within 3-days of any notice sent to the tenant(s), landlords must submit a copy of the eviction notice to the City of San Jose through the Rent Stabilization Program’s online portal.

Copy of Summons and Complaint to the City of San Jose

If an unlawful complaint is filed, a copy of the summons and complaint must also be given to the City of San Jose, within 3-days, through the Rent Stabilization Program’s online portal.

Penalty for failure to comply

Non-compliance with any part of the TPO’s requirement is an affirmative defense to the eviction that can be brought up in court proceedings.

Guilty of a misdemeanor, with fines of $500 (first offense) to $1000 (subsequent offenses), if the court finds the landlord guilty of violating a provision or failing to comply with any requirement

And, the landlord can be liable for treble (triple) damages (actual and exemplary), costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

san jose eviction Laws

More Information


California State Law (Full Text)



Eviction Procedures



Santa Clara County Court



If you need help, contact The Law Office of H. Daniel Na, or please contact one of the following local organizations to help you.



San JOse Eviction Laws

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