The language for proposed legislation which would require landlords in San Francisco who evoke the Ellis Act to pay their evicted tenants an upfront sum equal to the difference between their current rent and a comparable market rate unit over the course of two years, plus $3,510 per disabled or elderly tenant, has been drafted and is working its way through San Francisco’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee.
While California’s Ellis Act allows landlords to withdraw their properties from the rental market, for whatever reason, it does provide local governments with the power “to mitigate any adverse impacts on persons displaced by reason of the withdrawal.” As such, the proposed ordinance is carefully being positioned as a means by which “to better mitigate the adverse impacts for people displace by Ellis Act evictions,” rather than a means by which to discourage the legal use of the Ellis Act itself.
The relocation assistance due to tenants evicted by way of the Ellis Act in San Francisco is currently capped at $15,795 per unit plus $3,510 per disabled or elderly tenant.
A key line in the proposed legislation: any tenant who has not yet vacated their unit by the operative date of the ordinance shall be entitled to the full two-year subsidy, regardless of whether their eviction notice was served prior to the ordinance becoming operative. The operative date would be 120 days after enactment.
Originally introduced by Supervisor Campos, Supervisors Avalos, Kim and Mar have since added their names as co-sponsors.