16 Nov., 2016 (San Francisco) If you are a former San Francisco Tenant who has been displaced by an Owner Move In (OMI) eviction, you may have learned already that you could sue your landlord for wrongful eviction or fraudulent eviction, if the threat or notice of eviction were not made in "good faith" by the landlord upon his intent to move into the property for at least 36 months after evicting you, or at least move his family into your unit in the same building he lives in for at least 36 months.
If you are in this situation, you should consider filing a complaint with the rent board, or pursuing a civil lawsuit for damages to recover for your financial and emotional injuries incurred. The San Francisco Rent Board website is located at SFRB.org.
If you prevail in a civil law suit for damages based upon a wrongful Owner Move In (OMI) eviction or fraudulent OMI eviction, your former landlord may be liable to you for:
Higher Rents - the difference between your affordable rent controlled payment, and your new market rate apartment;
Moving Costs - every expense associated with moving, whether hiring a moving company, staying at a hotel, or renting a moving truck;
Emotional Distress - for insomnia, stress, dread, humiliation, hypertension, weight gain, hypervigilance, or other symptoms you suffered from the moment you received the fraudulent owner move in eviction notice until they subsided;
Treble Damages for actual and emotional distress damages - under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, you can claim three times your actual damages and three times your emotional distress damages after a fraudulent OMI eviction;
Punitive Damages - an added amount of liability mean to punish the landlord for fraudulent conduct, and discourage such future conduct by the landlord;
Attorney's fees - you may demand that the landlord pay your lawyer for pursuing the case; and
Disgorgement of profits - if the wrongful or fraudulent owner move in (OMI) eviction is found to be an unfair business practice, you may demand that the landlord disgorge the difference between the rents you were paying, and those received from the new tenants since your wrongful eviction.
In other articles in this series, I will further address whether an owner move in (OMI) eviction was fraudulent under the Rent Ordinance, and whether you may sue for fraudulent Owner Move In (OMI) eviction in your circumstances.
Michael Rooney is an attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He is a California consumer attorney practicing litigation in wrongful foreclosure, dual tracking, short sales, and eviction defense in San Francisco County. For more information, please visit http://mikerooneylaw.com.