With the number of Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco having more than tripled over the past three years, from 72 units in fiscal year 2011 to a projected 342 units in the current year, Mayor Ed Lee has tripled the City’s fund for free legal advice to those who are facing an eviction to $375,000 and released $700,000 in funding for eviction prevention services.
“An Ellis Act eviction is unbeatable,” [San Francisco Tenants Union executive director Ted Gullicksen] said. “The problem is they are legal, but bad law. You can’t beat them in court. You will lose in summary judgment. But it’s important to have a lawyer to represent tenants and (the money) helps with that. At it very least it can buy additional time and additional relocation money.”
The Ellis Act is the California State law which allows a landlord to clear a building of all tenants, rent controlled or not. And while an apartment which has been cleared by way of the Ellis Act cannot be re-rented for more than the amount the evicted tenant was paying for a period of five years, and an Ellis Act eviction can affect a building’s ability to condo covert, there are no such restrictions on selling the units as tenancies in common or the like.
∙ S.F. mayor commits money to fight evictions [San Francisco Business Times]
∙ Ellis Act Evictions in San Francisco [San Francisco Tenants Union]
∙ Potentially Problematic Condo Conversion Legislation Approved [SocketSite]