Thursday, October 8, 2015

Ellis Act Victory for SPOSFI -- Ordinance 68-15 Is Stricken

Another great victory for the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute and Zacks & Freedman: Rent Ordinance No. 68-15 is stricken and found as "unreasonable" as its predecessor, Ordinance No. 54-14. Look at the case's online record here, to see the October 2, 2015, order.

The original ordinance, requiring potentially unlimited payouts for tenants who would vacate under the Ellis Act, was stricken last year, on both the Federal and the state levels. While cases were going through the appeals, a new ordinance was introduced, capping the payments at $50,000. The intent of the new law was, most likely, to create an appearance of a more reasonable approach.

This did not pass muster of the court, which found it even more troubling than the original ordinance, mainly for the reasons of its retroactive application, still over 300% increase over the current level of payments, and its practical impossibility for a low-means landlord to petition for redaction of the level of payments.

As a side note, considering that the deadline for Mayor to veto the new set of tenant-enhancement laws expired, it seems fitting to speculate that some of the newly proposed provisions will follow the path of this litigation. In fact, much of the arguments from Jacoby and Coyne cases can be applied against the "Tenant Protections 2.0." A rule for vacation control after the owner move-in evictions seems to be the fist candidate (rule No. 3 in the set).

[Update: on March 21, 2017, the court of appeals agreed with the trial court and affirmed the judgment]

More real property posts

Your options and available strategies in handling evictions will depend on your case's particular facts. If you want to learn on your options, rights, and obligations in contesting or preserving your real property rights, including the Ellis Act evictions, make your first step toward taking control over the circumstances, and call my office at (415) 987-7000. I will be glad to assist in guiding you through the jungle. The only thing you can't afford is to stay put and uninformed. My office provides a confidential assessment of your particular scenario, free of charge, and I will share with you the results of the analysis along with my thoughts on available solutions.

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