Legislation + Eviction Law News
Providing you with current eviction, tenants rights, owners rights, legislation and San Francisco Bay Area news focused on rental housing. Contact us for further assistance: www.bornsteinlawyers.com and www.baypropertygroup.com!
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Happy Birthday to Harvey Milk

Happy Birthday to Harvey Milk | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
May 22, 1978 was Harvey Milk's last birthday. As a not-so-welcome gift,
a few weeks earlier
Harvey — despite now being a sitting San Francisco Supervisor —...
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

Happy Birthday to Harvey Milk today, he helped SF in so many ways, watch more here:  www.californialightandsound.org,

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Tenant responds to eviction notice by setting apartment on fire

Tenant responds to eviction notice by setting apartment on fire | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
A 58-year-old man who tried to set his Excelsior apartment ablaze after he was served with an eviction notice pleaded not guilty to two felony...
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

Some unstable tenants do not react well to eviction notices... this one in the Excelsior neighborhood is a good example!  

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Could S.F. supe’s bid to halt building market-rate units work?

Could S.F. supe’s bid to halt building market-rate units work? | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
[...] that’s just what many people are championing in San Francisco’s Mission District, where the influx of tech money has resulted in record numbers of evictions as housing prices soar and new developments change the face of the neighborhood. A coalition of housing and progressive groups say they will push for a similar measure on the November ballot. For decades, cities and towns nationwide have imposed them to cope with the unintended consequences of booming — some would say out of control
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

"Campos's idea is counterintuitive, some even say crazy: Deal with the housing crisis by halting construction."

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San Francisco protesters want moratorium on evictions

San Francisco protesters want moratorium on evictions | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
Hundreds of protesters rallied at City Hall for a temporary halt to evictions in a popular San Francisco neighborhood where workers in the booming technology sector are accused of pushing out long-time tenants.
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S.F. Supes Gear up for Battle Over Mission Housing Construction

S.F. Supes Gear up for Battle Over Mission Housing Construction | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
But the legislative fight could be just a prelude to a ballot battle in November.
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

"2,500 below-market-rate housing units would need to be built in the Mission over the next five years to preserve the district’s middle class."

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Airbnb-related violations cited in more and more SF evictions

Airbnb-related violations cited in more and more SF evictions | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
Bigger than the Ellis Act and more disruptive than condominium conversions, San Francisco-based Airbnb is playing a major role in city evictions. A total of...
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

"Nuisances like disruptive behavior and breaches of leases — unauthorized subletting and nonpayment of rent — are still the most common reasons for eviction in The City," said Daniel Bornstein, a prominent landlord attorney. 

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Why California lawmakers can't reform the Ellis Act eviction rules

Why California lawmakers can't reform the Ellis Act eviction rules | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
Another attempt to limit landlords' use of the controversial Ellis Act to evict tenants has failed to move forward in the State Legislature. Here's why.
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

If this sounds familiar, it should: Leno failed to pass a similar bill last year, also pushed heavily by the tech industry and also failing in committee by a one-vote margin.

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Ellis Act Evictions Fall, Illegal Use Evictions Jump

Ellis Act Evictions Fall, Illegal Use Evictions Jump | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
by J.J. Barrow

A handful of activists and tenants stood on the blustery corner of Mission and Cesar Chavez streets Monday afternoon, calling for residents to fight the city’s escalating eviction environment with the Mission District at its epicenter.

Although Ellis Act evictions have decli
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

"Other eviction notices including breach of lease, nuisance, owner move in, and unapproved subtenant each increased more than 15 percent over the past year, according to the rent board"

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Ellis Act reform would make evictions worse

Ellis Act reform would make evictions worse | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
On Tuesday, the state Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing rejected Senate Bill 364 in a 6-5 vote in its first hearing but is expected to take a second vote as early as next week. The bill, co-authored by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, is being promoted as legislation to strengthen the Ellis Act and stop evictions, but it is exactly the wrong approach to address the housing affordability crisis in San Francisco. Even if new property owners were temporarily paused from evictio
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

At the very least, SB364 will accelerate Ellis Act evictions by five years. At the worst, SB364 will cause more evictions, as property owners are forced to evict their tenants as standard practice.


If you’re concerned about Ellis Act restrictions and don’t believe that Leno’s bill is the solution to slowing Ellis Act evictions, write Lee at mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org and tell him so. 

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S.F.’s Airbnb law needs to be fixed at the board, not the ballot

S.F.’s Airbnb law needs to be fixed at the board, not the ballot | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
In the expensive Bay Area, it’s hard to make the argument that people shouldn’t be allowed to raise some spare cash by renting out a spare bedroom or their home — but the cumulative effect of these decisions can be unstable neighborhoods and displaced renters. Lee and Farrell want to cap all vacation rentals at 120 days a year (regardless of whether the host is present), create a new one-stop office for registrations and complaints, and allow neighbors to sue those who are clearly violating the
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

Short-term housing rentals stir strong feelings, and for good reasons. In the expensive Bay Area, it’s hard to make the argument that people shouldn’t be allowed to raise some spare cash by renting out a spare bedroom or their home — but the cumulative effect of these decisions can be unstable neighborhoods and displaced renters. 

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'No way of enforcing’ Airbnb law from S.F. Planning Dept.

'No way of enforcing’ Airbnb law from S.F. Planning Dept. | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
San Francisco’s highly touted Airbnb law — aimed at regulating short-term tourist rentals in private homes and apartments — is unworkable, according to the city department charged with enforcing it. The basic problem, according to a Planning Department memo recently presented at a Board of Supervisors committee meeting, is that “hosting platforms” like Airbnb aren’t required to supply the city with the names of those renting out their homes. Booking data from the online services, so the depart
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

But the fear of a renewed ballot fight by housing advocates — one that might influence the 2015 city elections — has the supervisors trying to work out a second deal.

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2 supervisors want to tighten 'Airbnb law’ on short-term rentals

2 supervisors want to tighten 'Airbnb law’ on short-term rentals | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
The proposed law is part of the back-and-forth between city officials and the popular vacation rental company. Progressive politicians say short-term rentals contribute to the city’s housing crisis by taking off the market units that would otherwise be available for rent. Fans of the company say the problem is with an overpriced hotel industry and that city residents should be able to rent out their rooms or apartments as they want. “We are talking about thousands of units in a market that is
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

"We are talking about thousands of units in a market that is lacking affordability,” said Campos, who represents the Mission District, where the housing crisis is particularly acute.

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Learn More About 315% Rent Hike in Bernal Heights SF

Learn More About 315% Rent Hike in Bernal Heights SF | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
Ever since news broke of the stunning 315 percent rent increase Deb Follingstad faces at her Bernal Heights apartment, the Internet has been obsessed with Follingstad's conflict with landlord Nadia...
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

Ever since news broke of the stunning 315% percent rent increase Deb Follingstad faces at her Bernal Heights apartment, the Internet has been obsessed with Follingstad's conflict with landlord Nadia Lama

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Longtime Rent-Control Tenant Shocked to Discover $6,700 Rent Hike Is Totally Legal

Longtime Rent-Control Tenant Shocked to Discover $6,700 Rent Hike Is Totally Legal | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
On March 1, Deb Follingstad and her boyfriend were living in a rent-controlled apartment in Bernal Heights, paying $2,145 for a two-bedroom above what had once been a gas...
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

"Thanks to a workaround that gives landlords a way to free themselves of tenants without making the relocation payments required under the Ellis Act."

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Mission Tenants Avoid Eviction and Gain a Long-Term Home

Mission Tenants Avoid Eviction and Gain a Long-Term Home | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
An affordable-housing land trust acquires 23rd Street building and helps residents turn it into a co-op.
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

Learn how these Mission tenants avoided an Ellis Act Eviction in SF 

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The "Anti-Tech Backlash" is over, now let's talk San Francisco housing

The "Anti-Tech Backlash" is over, now let's talk San Francisco housing | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it

These actions were not primarily “symbolic,” as was widely reported. Rather than protesting the success of the tech industry, McElroy and her co-organizers were protesting the unlicensed use of public infrastructure with the tacit approval of the city’s political leadership, and the impact this novel private transit solution has had in exacerbating the city’s housing problems.

Former and long-time San Francisco Bay Guardian Editor Tim Redmond was on hand at Don’t Be Awful as well. He provided historical perspective to the city’s housing crisis and discussed a proposed code of ethics for newly arrived tech industry workers.

Redmond, too, finds himself at the helm of a tech startup of sorts. He left the Bay Guardian in 2012 when it was purchased by the deceptively-named San Francisco Media Company, and has since launched a startup online news site from his basement. His site, 48 Hills, is his answer to San Franciso’s lack of a progressive, independent daily paper in the wake of the Guardian’s demise.

In recent weeks, a survey conducted by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office, and a slew of follow-onarticles, have declared the end of “the anti-tech backlash”. Which is great.

Now city reporters can stop chasing an ephemeral “anti-tech” bloc and get to work reporting the sometimes negative consequences of this boomwave without reverting to a broader narrative of entrenched conflict, class warfare, and caricature.

Meanwhile, tech workers can abandon a reflexive, defensive posture and join the discussion without feeling preemptively vilified, and anyone can inveigh against an aspect of the tech industry without getting lumped with other arguments made by other people.

Now that the “anti-tech backlash” straw man has been duly eulogized and laid to rest, maybe it is possible to have more productive conversations in a less stigmatized context, identifying where we agree and where we don’t, and hearing people out rather than shouting over them. The issues themselves haven’t gone away, but hopefully the practice of couching their discussion in the language of warfare has.

Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

“If you live in San Francisco, you are part of this community,” Redmond said. His proposals for addressing the housing crisis include registering to vote and pledging not to move into properties cleared by no-fault eviction. 

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One Fire in a Real Estate Empire Rife with Issues

One Fire in a Real Estate Empire Rife with Issues | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
Disclosure: Mission Local was a tenant of the landlord this story investigates for a year and half prior to January’s four-alarm fire. By most accounts, Hawk Lou was a fairly benign presence in the large mixed-use building he owned at 22nd and Mission—a building, that caught fire more than two weeks ago, leaving one tenant dead, one severely burned, and more than 65 homeless. If not always entirely responsive to tenant complaints, he was frequently on site. To us, he seemed like a mostly nice g
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

“It’s a complaint based system,” said William Strawn, a spokesperson for the Department of Building Inspection.

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Campos to Salvage Increased Eviction Payouts Law

Campos to Salvage Increased Eviction Payouts Law | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
A law that boosts relocation payments for those evicted under the Ellis Act was shot down in federal court last year, but amendments proposed to...
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

Campos, however, introduced amendments Tuesday that he said addresses the ruling and "essentially makes the federal case moot."

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Breaking News: Judge tosses challenge to SF 'Airbnb law’ but future suits likely

Breaking News: Judge tosses challenge to SF 'Airbnb law’ but future suits likely | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
Just days before San Francisco’s “Airbnb law” is scheduled to take effect, a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a challenge to the law from rival vacation-rental firm HomeAway but left the door open for HomeAway customers to file their own lawsuit.
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

“It is now up to individual, nonresident property owners to fight for their right to rent,”

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Rent limits protect child who was original tenant, court rules

Rent limits protect child who was original tenant, court rules | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
[...] the rent limits must stay in place for a tenant who came to the residence as a child and stayed there when his parents left, a state appeals court says. The ruling upheld a decision by the city’s rent board that kept the tenant’s monthly payment at $1,681.75, instead of the $3,295 that the landlord wanted to charge. The owners scored a victory in 1995 when the Legislature passed a “vacancy decontrol” law that removed rent limits when the first occupants moved out and new residents came i
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

The ruling upheld a decision by the city’s rent board that kept the tenant’s monthly payment at $1,681.75, instead of the $3,295 that the landlord wanted to charge.

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Airbnb hosts must appear in person to comply with new SF law

Airbnb hosts must appear in person to comply with new SF law | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
San Francisco’s new law regulating Airbnb will require hosts who use the vacation rental service to register with the Planning Department in the least tech-enabled way — in person. The law, which takes effect Feb. 1, sets limits on people renting space to temporary visitors for less than 30 days, a practice that the city long barred but lightly enforced. Hosts must fill out an application; show a business registration certificate issued by the San Francisco treasurer and tax collector; sign an
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

"The law, which takes effect Feb. 1, sets limits on people renting space to temporary visitors for less than 30 days, a practice that the city long barred but lightly enforced."

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S.F. bill seeks to ensure a third of new housing is affordable

S.F. bill seeks to ensure a third of new housing is affordable | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
San Francisco will monitor how much new housing development will be market rate and how much is in reach of low-income residents — and aim to make one-third of new construction affordable — under legislation introduced by Supervisor Jane Kim Tuesday. The proposal is the compromise outcome of a bitter debate last summer between Kim and affordable-housing advocates on one side and market-rate developers and Mayor Ed Lee on the other. Initially, Kim proposed legislation that would have subjected
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

"If we don’t even know the numbers, how can we know how to meet the goal and what more we need to do to get to 30 percent?”

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SF Anti-Speculation Tax may Pass in 2015!

SF Anti-Speculation Tax may Pass in 2015! | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it
Readers will recall that after a massive campaign of opposition by real estate interests, including the San Francisco Apartment Association, San Francisco voters last month rejected a ballot measure that would have imposed an additional transfer tax on the sale of existing residential properties of 2 units to 30 units within 5 years of purchase. In the case of a property held for less than a year, the additional transfer surcharge would have been as high as 24% of the value of the property. In the case of a property held longer, the additional transfer surcharge would have resulted in lower percentages.
Supervisor Mar’s proposal was designed to discourage the kind of investors that he and tenant activists believe are driving the increased number of evictions in San Francisco by flipping rental properties or by turning them into condominiums or tenancies in common.
Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

Senator Mark Leno almost succeeded in passing a bill (SB 1439) which would have allowed San Francisco to require that landlords hold a rental property for five years before taking it off the rental market.

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What happened to San Francisco's housing evictions?

What happened to San Francisco's housing evictions? | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it

OP-ED - There’s no bigger punching bag in the debate over San Francisco’s super heated housing market than the Ellis Act, a state law that allows property owners to evict tenants to pave the way for a sale.
Housing activists, who hate the law, regularly cite examples involving the elderly, families or long time tenants getting the boot. Landlords respond by claiming the Ellis Act upholds property rights in a rent-controlled city.
High prices and rents are one thing, but the Ellis Act represents something more: the sharp edge of evictions that are fueling a persistent fight over housing policy. (It’s part of broader story about the changing character of San Francisco described in an editorial page series, City on the Edge. A close-up look at gentrification pressures along several blocks of 24th street is detailed in multi-media series, the Mission. )
But is the Ellis Act really a major problem? In 2013, the numbers nearly doubled from 116 to 216, a sizable jump though only a drop in San Francisco’s pool of 377,000 units.
And this year? From the Google bus protests, picket lines outside buildings teed up for the Ellis treatment and an anti-speculation ballot measure last fall, it’s only natural to expect that the total was climbing higher.
But it didn’t. Ellis Act applications dropped way off. From September through December, there were only 10 cases involving 33 units recorded by the city’s rent board.
The drop has no easy explanation, but that hasn’t stopped partisans in the housing wars from offering their thoughts. The tenant side argues that crafty landlords are using other excuses to evict tenants to avoid bad publicity and extra costs. Also, landlords may have worried that tapping the Ellis Act too much would have improved chances for the anti-speculation law, which lost at the ballot, or another measure before the state Legislature which also failed.
There are other theories. Extra city money for eviction counseling maybe helped. A Board of Supervisors law imposing up to six-figure fees on Ellis evictions could have knocked down the problem. But in September a federal judge threw out that law. So why didn’t the all-clear signal from the court lead to a new surge?
It may take a few more months to learn what happened to the Ellis Act epidemic and whether it will return to San Francisco’s housing wars.

Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

Ellis Act applications dropped way off. From September through December, there were only 10 cases involving 33 units recorded by the city’s rent board.

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6 Renting Laws You Need to Know!

6 Renting Laws You Need to Know! | Legislation + Eviction Law News | Scoop.it

There are two classes of renters in San Francisco: those who are protected by Rent Ordinance of 1979 and those who are not. Most renters in buildings predating June 1979 enjoy safeguards from enormous rent hikes and baseless evictions. It's a frustratingly arbitrary system (unless you rent in a pre-1979 building, and then it simply becomes the Way of the Universe). Several of the tips below apply only to apartments that are covered by the Rent Ordinance and, strangely, even to illegal units. In a bizarre twist of red tape, you can sometimes be better protected living in an illegal unit than in a market-rate one built after 1979. With the help of our friends at theSan Francisco Tenants Union, we identified six rights you may not even know you have.

Before we launch into the legal stuff, let's get a few things out of the way. The magic number in the rental ordinance is June 13, 1979. If your building was issued a certificate of occupancy before this date, congratulations, you're protected by the ordinance (with a few exceptions too minute to go into here). If the paperwork was issued after June 13, 1979, our condolences. You don't have rent control, and you can be evicted for almost any reason—because the building's on the market, because it's Tuesday, because the landlord just had a really disappointing burrito. Your friends with Rent Ordinance protection, however, can be evicted only for just cause, which is limited to these 16 scenarios.

And now, without further ado, the dirt you came here for:

1. If your unit is illegal—if your landlord created it without permits—tenant law can still apply. In most cases, you're protected by the Rent Ordinance, even if the unit was created after 1979. That's because illegal units by definition lack a certificate of occupancy. Without a certificate of occupancy, landlords have no way to claim that the unit was created after 1979 and is thus exempt from the Rent Ordinance. You also enjoy eviction protections as any renter covered by the Rent Ordinance would.

2. Even while your landlord is hanging on to your deposit,

Bornstein & Bornstein + Bay Property Group's insight:

"The magic number in the rental ordinance is June 13, 1979. If your building was issued a certificate of occupancy before this date, congratulations, you're protected by the ordinance..."

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