Legislation to Give Priority to Ellis Act Displaced Tenants Passes
Supervisor David Chiu's legislation to give priority to Ellis Act Displaced tenants passed the Board of Supervisors last week and is now heading to the Mayor's Office for signature. The legislation is the first in a wave of proposed ordinances meant to address the Ellis Act and Ellis Act-related evictions.
The Legislation: Supervisor Chiu has authored legislation that would give Ellis Act Displaced Tenants higher preference when applying for assistance under all affordable housing programs administered or funded by the City. The legislation attempts to mitigate the impact of Ellis Act evictions on tenants.
REALTOR® Impact: The legislation has no significant impact on REALTORS® as it only applies to rental properties that are under affordable housing programs funded or administered by the City.
Supervisor John Avalos' Ellis Act and Merger Prohibition Legislation Moves to the Board of Supervisors
Supervisor Avalos' legislation, which prohibits a merger of residential units in a building that has had a "no-fault" eviction in the last ten years moves out of the Land Use Committee on December 9 without a recommendation and into the larger Board of Supervisors December 10 agenda.
The Legislation: Supervisor Avalos' legislation changes to the Planning Code to centralize all language regarding Demolition, Merger, and Conversion (DM&C) of Residential Units into the same section of the Planning Code for clarity. It also changes the restrictions around DM&C, pushing the Planning Department and Commission to reject any DM&C of residential units if it takes away an affordable housing unit. It also prevents any building that has had a "no-fault" eviction in the last ten years to merge any of the residential unit within the building.
REALTOR® Impact: Clients who purchase a multi-unit building that has had an Ellis Act eviction, Owner Move In eviction, or other "no-fault" eviction may not merge any of the units in the building together. For example, a two-unit building that has had an Ellis Act eviction is now prohibited from become a single-unit building or a single-family house. In the status quo, such mergers need to go before the Planning Department for approval, where they face a very difficult challenge of getting approved.
Supervisor David Chiu Introduces Legislation to Legalize Existing In-Law Units
Supervisor Chiu introduced legislation to legalize existing in-law units, with tenant protections and pre-1979 rent control standards applying. The legislation is a separate legislation from Supervisor Weiner's in-law legislation, which allows for construction of new in-law units. The legislation is currently in the 30-day hold in the Land Use Committee.
The Legislation: Supervisor Chiu's legislation creates a voluntary program where homeowners with in-law units can apply to legalize their in-law unit. Their in-law unit must be brought up to building code, and if the building was built pre-1979 then rent control applies to the unit. The owner is still liable for relocation assistance for tenants and other tenant protections, as they would be for a full legal unit.
REALTOR® Impact: Clients who have a currently existing illegal in-law unit will be able to apply to the voluntary program to legalize their unit. They should refer to the tenants protections that apply to in-law units, and the other owner restrictions regarding cost pass-through and re-merging the unit in the future. Clients must be able to show that their illegal in-law unit existed prior to January 1, 2014. This voluntary program is viewed as the first stop to creating a mandatory program. SFAR Government Relations staff are closely monitoring this legislation and offering amendments to mitigate unintended harm to homeowners.