Update to San Rafael Law: Tenant Right to Return to Unit Following Repairs

Posted on April 12, 2024

Update to San Rafael Law: Tenant Right to Return to Unit Following Repairs

Applicable in the Canal Opportunity Zone Only

Map of Opportunity Zone
Map of Canal Opportunity Zone where policy applies.

What is the existing policy? 

In San Rafael, the law says that a landlord can evict a tenant to perform substantial repairs. If this happens, the landlord is required to pay the tenant a relocation assistance payment, but the tenant does not have a right to return to the unit when the repairs are completed. 

What changed? 

On Monday, April 15th, 2024 the San Rafael City Council adopted a policy requiring landlords to offer tenants the right to return to their unit after repairs are completed. This law only applies in the area known as the “Canal Opportunity Zone,” shaded in green in the map above.  

If the tenant wants to return to the unit after repairs are completed, the tenant must continue to pay rent while the unit is being repaired to maintain the existing lease.  

While the unit is being repaired, the landlord must either: 

a) Pay the tenant a daily amount to cover the cost of temporary lodging; OR 

b) Provide a comparable unit on the property or another property in San Rafael. 

If a tenant does not want to be temporarily relocated and return to the unit following repairs, they could choose to move out permanently. They would be eligible for a relocation assistance payment. 

This policy applies ONLY to homes within the area of the map shaded in green and is in effect through December 31, 2026. 


A full report on this policy is available at the following link:





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