Tenants

Landlord plaintiff in eviction fee case has history of tenant law violations

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San Francisco landlord attorneys filed a lawsuit on Thursday against San Francisco and five tenants in an effort to overturn Sup. David Campos' new law requiring higher relocation assistance payments to tenants evicted under the Ellis Act, but the main plaintiff in the case may not be the helpless victim the suit purports him to be.  Read more »

SF bankers now exporting tenant-displacing TIC loans

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Fractional mortgage loans used to convert apartments into owner-occupied tenancies-in-common have fed the eviction and displacement crisis in San Francisco, where the median home price just surpassed $1 million for the first time. Now, some of the same San Francisco banks that pioneered fractional loans here have started offered them in the East Bay and on the Peninsula.Read more »

Lawsuits go after SF landlords doing illegal short-term apartment rentals

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The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office today filed a pair of lawsuits against local landlords who illegally rent out apartments on a short-term basis, units that had been cleared of tenants using the Ellis Act. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Tenants Unions has hired attorney Joseph Tobener to file more such lawsuits, and he is preparing to file at least seven lawsuits involving 20 units. Read more »

Leno's Ellis Act reform bill clears first legislative hurdle

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Sen. Mark Leno’s Senate Bill 1439 — which would protect rent-controlled housing in San Francisco by amending the Ellis Act, including making property owners wait at least five years after buying a property to evict tenants under the act — cleared its first legislative hurdle today.

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee passed the measure on a 6-4 vote, and it heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee next. The bill has strong support in San Francisco, from progressive constituencies through Mayor Ed Lee to support by leaders in the business community and tech world.Read more »

Is Airbnb's day of reckoning in SF on its way?

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The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is finally preparing to take action against the illegal short-term housing rentals facilitated by Airbnb, something we’ve been hearing that the Examiner also reports in today’s issue, an action that would address the company’s apparent stall tactics.Read more »

A radical proposal: Squat Airbnb hosts' homes to create affordable housing

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When I interviewed attorney Joseph Tobener for the story in our current issue on Airbnb being used to take affordable housing units off of the apartment market, he had a interestingly radical idea for get the attention of this scofflaw company and its political supporters, striking a blow for housing justice in the process.

What if hundreds of people, including many who are now homeless, rented out apartments in San Francisco for a night or two and then simply refused to leave?Read more »

Tenant groups propose sweeping package to ease the "eviction epidemic"

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Tenant advocates today proposed a sweeping set of legislative proposals to address what they’re calling the “eviction epidemic” that has hit San Francisco, seeking to slow the rapid displacement of tenants by real estate speculators with changes to land use, building, rent control, and other city codes.Read more »

Rent Board Commissioner called a bad landlord, sued for $125,000 in damages

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San Francisco renter Deborah Silverman has found herself in a kind of mousetrap. Silverman says she was driven out of her apartment of more than 10 years because of a mouse infestation caused by the unit below her, and she alleges that her landlord, Bart Murphy – who is also a Rent Board Commissioner – failed to address the problem after numerous complaints.Read more »

Everyone but Mayor Lee sees SF's worsening "housing affordability crisis"

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There was a clear theme that ran through yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting from beginning to end, something understood equally by renters, homeowners, and politicians from across the political spectrum: San Francisco has a crisis of housing affordability that is forcing people from the city.Read more »