The San Francisco Chroniclereports that even as rents continue to rise in California – 23 percent from 2011 to 2018 – evictions have dropped nearly 40 percent in the same time period. Closer to the Bay Area, rents in San Mateo County have increased 55 percent since 2010 but the number of eviction lawsuits dropped by 50 percent.
Eviction researchers are not sure why but point to a number of possible reasons. Renters who move out due to a rent increase or a “cash for keys” arrangement are not counted as evictions. Landlords often employ a “no-fault” notice that tenancy will end in two months. Moreover, many landlords avoid eviction notices due to the potential cost, particularly if the renter requests a jury trial which can cost from $10,000 to $15,000, with the potential that the landlord may lose the case.
Finally, landlords now do a much better job at screening applicants so the possibility of the need for an eviction notice is greatly decreased from the start.