Cash-for-keys is a predatory tactic used to displace tenants living in rent-controlled units. If your landlord is offering you money to move out, you have the right to refuse the offer and stay in your home. Refusing compensation (money, free rent, etc.) to move out is NOT a legal reason for eviction. 

Tenants who live in the City of Los Angeles and are covered by the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) have the following rights: 

  1. You are not required to accept or sign the Buyout Agreement.
  2. You may consult with an attorney or call the Los Angeles Department of Housing prior to accepting the landlord’s offer.
  3. You may cancel the Buyout Agreement up to 30 days after signing it without obligation or penalty.
  4. If the owner does not comply with the requirements above, then the tenant has the right to cancel the Buyout Agreement for any reason at any time without obligation or penalty.
  5. If the owner does not comply with the requirements above, then the tenant may assert an affirmative defense to an Unlawful Detainer action and may have a private civil remedy against the owner.

For more information about cash-for-keys and tenant buyout programs in the City of Los Angeles, click here.  



In the City of Los Angeles, tenants who live in rent-controlled units are eligible for relocation assistance money if they are legally evicted for “no-fault” reasons. No-fault evictions happen because the landlord wants to move in, or the unit is being demolished and permanently removed from the housing market, for example.

In addition to paying your relocation fees, your landlord must file a Landlord Declaration of Intent to Evict form with the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD). 

The amount of money you are owed depends on whether you are an eligible or qualified tenant, the length of your tenancy, and your income. For more information, click here.