As promised, the language of Senator Mark Leno’s bill to curb speculative Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco has been amended. And while the amendment might not be enough to get the bill passed into law, it would create a key exception for individuals if it does.
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 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 without a vote to spare.
The new language which has just been added to the bill:
“The five-year ownership requirement…shall not apply to an owner of accommodations who is a natural person, who owns no more than two properties, and who owns no more than a total of four residential units.”
If the amended bill is passed by the State Assembly, the bill would return to the Senate for another vote as well.
Keep in mind that the bill would still prohibit a person who invokes the Ellis Act from invoking it again on any property acquired within ten years of filing their initial notice of intent to evict.