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RCFEs: Eviction Protections for Residents
Residents have rights and protections against eviction actions.
Causes for Eviction
Current laws and regulations recognize ONLY five (5) reasons for eviction:
Please note that a resident may not be evicted for refusing to sign a new admission agreement.
Please also note that it is illegal for an owner or employee of an RCFE to evict or threaten eviction of a resident in retaliation for the resident requesting an inspection or filing a complaint against the facility with the Department of Social Services or the Ombudsman Program.
Written Notice & Documentation Requirements
Generally, the facility is required to give a 30–day written notice to evict. If the resident has lived in the facility for more than one year, it is CANHR's position that the RCFE must give 60 days written notice (Civil Code Section 1946.1(b)), but the state licensing agency disagrees.
The notice must be delivered to the resident, to their agent or legal representative and to the licensing agency. The notice must contain the following elements:
There are some exceptions to the 30–day notice requirement. However, a written notice is still required except when the licensing agency orders an urgent or immediate relocation due to a finding that the resident is in imminent danger and requires inpatient care.
Readmission After a Hospital Stay
RCFEs may not refuse to readmit a resident following a stay in a hospital. If the facility believes that one of the five reasons for eviction is satisfied, it must nonetheless readmit the resident until it has complied with all of the legal eviction procedures.
Can a New Owner Require Me to Sign a New Admission Agreement?
No. Be aware that new owners often ask residents to sign new admission agreements with unfavorable terms. By law, the new owner takes the facility subject to your currently existing admission agreement. The existing agreement is not terminated by the sale of the facility. The new owner may not take an adverse action against you for refusing to sign a new admission agreement.
SSI Residents and Evictions
Private paying residents of RCFEs cannot be evicted if they later qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is common for low-income RCFE residents to qualify for SSI when they spend down their savings below $2,000, the asset limit for SSI. If an RCFE resident qualifies for SSI and is approved by the Social Security Administration, the facility should lower its rate for basic services to $1003 or $1023. See CANHR’s fact sheet on SSI in Residential Care Facilities for more information about eligibility and related issues.
In some cases, an RCFE will claim that it is not an “SSI facility,” and will continue to bill the resident at the private pay rate. However, there is no such thing as an SSI facility in California. A California regulation that applies to all RCFEs establishes a limit on charges to SSI recipients. This regulation states: “If the resident is an SSI/SSP recipient, then the basic services shall be provided and/or made available at the basic rate at no additional charge to the resident.” (Section 87464(e) of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations)
However, be on the alert when care needs increase. SSI recipients are more vulnerable than private paying residents for eviction in this situation.
Because of the seriousness of eviction proceedings and the potential for harm to residents, it is advisable to seek assistance from the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program and/or Senior Legal Services.
Use the approaches listed below carefully. Make sure that the resident’s continuing care needs will be met throughout the process. It can be very detrimental to residents to remain in facilities that are either unable or unwilling to meet the resident’s care needs.
These rights are found in California Law: California Civil Code Sections 1940 and 1946.1, Health & Safety Code, Sections 1569.54, 1569.73, 1569.682, and 1569.683, 1569.37 and in California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Division 6, Sections 87224 and 87612.
Page Last Modified: October 5, 2015