New Eviction Restrictions?

Image by Rini Templeton

Tenant rights advocates are stirring up the pot again as they take a new measure to City Hall on Monday.

At Monday’s Land Use Committee meeting, Supervisor John Avalos will propose amending the city’s rent control ordinance “to protect tenants from arbitrary evictions without just cause” in apartments built after 1979, he said.

Currently, landlords have to give one of 15 reasons to evict a tenant in any building that went up before 1979.

So called just-cause evictions range from failure to pay rent to owner/relative move-ins. In addition, tenants in pre-1979 buildings have the right to stay on the same terms and conditions if their building is foreclosed and sold to another owner or bank.

Tenants in units built after 1979 don’t benefit from any of these protections.

“In the next few years there will be a significant amount of new construction,” said Supervisor Avalos, signaling one of the reasons why he’s proposing the need to extend protections.

Although the number of evictions decreased 18 percent to 1,315 in the last year, new housing production increased 27 percent to 3,263 units citywide, according to San Francisco’s Housing Inventory Report, released by the Planning Department in April.

In Supervisor Avalos’ district—which includes the Excelsior and Outer Mission—69 new housing units went up. In the Mission District, 64 went up. Meanwhile, foreclosures are on the rise as 179 housing units were lost to foreclosure in the last three months, according to research from DataQuick.

It’s not yet known who on the Board of Supervisors will support the new measure. As for Mayor Gavin Newsom, “He’d be inclined to veto it,” said Supervisor Avalos.

Renters, however, will appear before the Land Use Committee at 1 p.m. at City Hall to demand the expansion of just-cause protections.

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