From the Bay Citizen with respect to the recent eviction of Ernesto Hernandez from the six-room apartment at 558 Green Street in which he had resided since 1982 and paid $650 a month in rent controlled rent to landlord Paul Marino who bought the building in 2005:
Under state law, owners of apartments governed by month-to-month agreements are free to institute new house rules, and tenants must comply within 30 days. A San Francisco ordinance conflicts with this, saying all parties must agree to the rules.
In June 2009, Mr. Marino instituted house rules that banned subletting the apartment to others. But Mr. Hernandez, who lives on Social Security payments of $600 per month, rented out space in the flat, violating those rules.
“Subletting in a rent-control jurisdiction is a huge offense,” said Karen Uchiyama, Mr. Marino’s lawyer.
Mr. Marino tried to evict Mr. Hernandez, who was defended by Legal Assistance to the Elderly, a local nonprofit that aids seniors.
The court sided with state laws over the city ordinance, ruling for the landlord. Mr. Hernandez also lost on appeal.
According to Ted Gullicksen, executive director of the San Francisco Tenants Union, evictions based on similar lease breaches tripled in the months following the ruling. The director of the San Francisco Apartment Association questions the correlation.
∙ A Dent in San Francisco’s Ironclad Tenant Protections [baycitizen.org]