Supervisor Moves to strengthen renter protections in San Francisco

“A loophole in San Francisco’s eviction-control laws: Landlords and building owners can circumvent eviction protections on single-family homes and rented condominiums by jacking the rent up far above market rate, with the intent of making the residence unaffordable for the tenants. District Nine Supervisor Hillary Ronen plans to introduce legislation Tuesday aiming to shut that loophole.”

“Ronen’s ordinance would amend the Administrative Code to specify that an excessive rent increase intended to “defraud, intimidate or coerce the tenant into vacating such a rental unit” would qualify as tenant harassment. Violators would face a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. The ordinance, however, wouldn’t have the power to regulate the rent.”

“Tenant attorney Joe Tobener says his law firm takes 50 to 100 cases a year where landlords force a tenant out and avoid paying relocation fees by simply raising the rent far above market rate.”

“If the rent increases to market rate, that’s fine,” he said. “But if the rent increase is motivated by an eviction, then that’s where we take issue.”

San Francisco Chronicle July 10th, 2018

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