David Campos’ Ellis Act legislation going before board committee

Tenants evicted through the controversial Ellis Act state law could be entitled to greater relocation compensation under a proposal that is scheduled to be voted on Monday by a Board of Supervisors committee.

Supervisor David Campos has introduced legislation that would require landlords who impose Ellis Act evictions to pay the difference between the tenant’s rental rate prior to eviction and what would have been the market rate for that unit for two years.
“Almost every renter in San Francisco is just one eviction notice away from being displaced from our city,” Campos said when he introduced the legislation Feb. 3. “It is time that we recognize that tenants must receive assistance that is commensurate with market increases in rent if we are to truly address our affordability crisis and check the rampant growth of Ellis Act evictions.”

The Ellis Act allows a property owner to evict tenants in order to get out of the rental business.

Under existing law, landlords are required to pay relocation assistance amounts of approximately $5,261 per tenant capped at $15,783 per unit. Landlords must also pay an additional amount of approximately $3,508 for each displaced elderly or disabled tenant.

Under Campos’ proposal, current law would remain as the minimum relocation compensation. It is thought in most cases the compensation would be greater under the new formula being proposed.

The median rental rate last year for all types of apartments in San Francisco was $3,414.

A new report from the Rent Board showed between March 1, 2013 and Feb. 28, landlords filed 1,977 eviction notices, the most since 2001-02 when 2,101 eviction notices were filed.

Ellis Act evictions in the past year rose from 116 to 216, about 11 percent of all evictions. Two years ago, there were 64 Ellis Act evictions.

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