Senator Mark Leno’s proposed bill to curb speculative Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco has been rejected by the State Assembly’s Housing and Community Development Committee by a vote of 3 to 4.

Drafted “to ensure that real estate speculators in San Francisco do not buy rent-controlled property and empty it of long-term tenants,” Senate Bill 1439 would require a landlord to own a building for at least five years before invoking the Ellis Act to clear the building of tenants and would prohibit any attempt to circumvent the intent of the law.

With the State Senate having initially rejected the legislation and time running out, Senator Leno promised to amend Senate Bill 1439 to include exclusions for “mom-and-pop” landlords and the bill was passed to the Assembly without a vote to spare and then amended.

Leno will have until June 27 to flip another vote in order to move the bill forward.  Or as the Sacramento Bee notes, “the provisions of SB 1439 could be amended into another bill and bypass the Housing committee later in the session.”

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by yertle

    Sacramento kicks SF back to the curb yet again, in the name of sanity.

  2. Posted by Bill H

    Regardless Leno losses my vote forever wasting tax dollars on such nonsense – Please add him to the growing list of never vote for, the worst being communist landlord hater Jane Kim and just awful Chiu and Campos.

    • Posted by anon$random

      don’t forget Eric Mar and his 25% “speculator” tax.

      • Posted by Serge

        They lost my vote indefinitely. Their draconian tax idea proved how senseless they are.

    • Posted by NoeValleyJim

      You are waaaay right to the center of the average San Francisco voter. Leno passes for a moderate in this town.

    • Posted by two beers

      Jane Kim’s a commie now? Thank you for the sophisticated analysis, Senator McCarthy!

      • Posted by San FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

        You know mentioning McCarthy can also trigger Godwin’s law, right?

  3. Posted by MysteryRealtor

    Sadly, anon$random is correct. This bill is chump change compared to flip tax coming in November.

    FWIW: I was at the Assembly Committee Meeting this morning in Sacramento. Both sides were out in force, though we anti-1439’ers outnumbered the renters by 3:1.

    What really struck me was the very high level of decorum exhibited by both sides: Nobody yelled at anybody in the hallway, nobody hissed at anyone. Nobody was removed from chambers– over capacity though, so we had to huddle around an 18″ old kind of TV; set up in the hallway. There was an extra overflow room provided, but no TV was there to watch the proceedings.

    I’ve always seen the opposite happen at City Hall here.

    • Posted by SFrentier

      Apparently it’s easier for SFTU to rally the nutters in SF…half of them “live” at city hall anyways.

      Did you guys get any sense if Leno is going to slime his way into flipping a no vote? (Like he did with the senate committee.) cause it anti over until it’s over!

  4. Posted by SF Resident

    The owners might have outnumbered the tenants 3:1 outside the room, but every seat in the Assembly had an Owners sitting in it.

    Good to see this State legislators does not want the madness pass this onto the rest of the state – and therefore votes this one out.
    So long Leno!

    • Posted by two beers

      Yes, virtually all state politicians/judges are owners, which is why SF needs stronger renter protections.

  5. Posted by MysteryRealtor

    Leno needs to be reminded that he represents all of San Francisco; not just disaffected, self-entitled (mostly white) renters. Or is that just wishful thinking?

    • Posted by strawman scarecrow

      Leno’s district is 38.3% white and includes all of SF, Daly City, and Colma.

      Leno got more than 80% of the vote in both the primary and general elections in 2012.

      He can’t run for reelection in 2016 because of term limits.

      • Posted by parklife

        I am assuming that Leno is intending to run for some city office (Mayor?) once he is termed out rather than try his luck at a statewide office. His pandering to the tenant activists is evidence that he is looking to burnish his “progressive” credentials.

  6. Posted by JustLooking

    Empty Units in San Francisco – some color.
    Look at 120 Graystone Terrace. This is a nine-unit building and I have been told the only resident is the owner. The other eight-units appear to be empty.

  7. Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

    Looks like Mark Leno is giving up.

  8. Posted by jill

    im sure he never thought it would pass anyway, but he can put on his resume that he tried. what a collossal waste of time and money

  9. Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

    All these 1/2 baked attempts do is divide people even more. Landlords feel there’s an open season on them, and renters feel they’re victimized by “greedy landlords and speculators”, even though the “Ellis eviction epidemic” is a tempest in a teapot.

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