As expected, Senator Mark Leno has introduced Senate Bill No. 1439, designed to prohibit speculators from buying tenant occupied buildings in San Francisco, evicting the tenants by way of the Ellis Act, and then selling the individual units as a Tenancy in Common (TIC) or together as de facto single-family homes.
Existing law, commonly known as the Ellis Act, generally prohibits public entities from adopting any statute, ordinance, or regulation, or taking any administrative action, to compel the owner of residential real property to offer or to continue to offer accommodations, as defined, in the property for rent or lease.
This bill would authorize the County of San Francisco to prohibit an owner of accommodations from withdrawing accommodations or prosecuting an action to recover possession of accommodations, or threatening to do so, if not all the owners of the accommodations have been owners of record for 5 continuous years or more or with respect to property that the owner acquired after providing notice of an intent to withdraw accommodations at a different property. Among other things, the bill would also permit the county to require an owner of accommodations notifying the county of an intention to withdraw accommodations from rent or lease to identify each person or entity with an ownership interest in the accommodations and to identify all persons or entities with an ownership interest in an entity, which information would be available for public inspection.
As we noted last month, a state bill to amend the Ellis Act so that only property owners who had owned a property for at least 5 years would be able to invoke the Ellis Act to evict tenants was also proposed back in 2007 but died on the Senate floor.