What protections do I have if I face eviction because my landlord is permanently withdrawing my unit from the rental market?

Under the law, a tenant may be evicted if their landlord seeks to permanently withdraw their rental unit from the rental market (i.e. go out of business) as permitted by the Ellis Act. These are often referred to as “Ellis Act Evictions.”

If you are subject to an Ellis Act Eviction, you are entitled to a minimum of 120 days advance notice from your landlord. If you are 65 years of age or older or disabled, you are entitled to 180 days of advance notice.

If you are subject to an Ellis Act Eviction and your landlord, or a subsequent purchaser of the property, attempts to place the unit, or a newly constructed unit, back on the rental market within two years, they are liable to you as the displaced tenant for triple damages.

Right of Return: If you are displaced due to an Ellis Act Eviction and your former rental unit, or a newly constructed rental unit, returns to the market within 5 years, you have the right to return to that unit under the same terms as your former tenancy and with the same rent, plus any lawful adjustments under Fairfax’s Rent Stabilization ordinance. It is your responsibility to ensure your landlord has your current contact information. Your right to return, however, will no longer be available if the landlord transfers the property to a new owner by inheritance.

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