An excerpt from this week’s Surreal Estate:
Recently, San Francisco has added protections to make Ellis Acting less desirable. Just this week, the California Court of Appeals upheld a new law that would compel landlords to give each legal tenant 120 days’ notice and $4,500 (up to three tenants) to help with new housing costs after an Ellis Act eviction. Protected tenants are also offered an additional $3,000 and one year to move.
There is also pending legislation that would penalize any property that has been the site of a “dirty eviction” of an elderly or disabled tenant, making it impossible for that building to be converted to condominiums.
Indeed, according to landlord attorney Jeffrey Woo, the extra laws created to discourage owner move-in evictions have largely backfired by making Ellis Act evictions increasingly common.
“People are clearing out more units than ever before,” Woo says. “It has also brought in the speculators. They realized, ‘I don’t even have to live there. All we have to do is Ellis Act it and we can sell the TICs.'”