Eviction Controls Expanded to Cover Newer Buildings in SF

On January 20, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a new change in the law to expand eviction control. The changes are significant in that they extend eviction control to more buildings. Where before, only buildings built prior to June 1979 were covered by the eviction protections of the Rent Ordinance (with some exceptions), the change extended this protection to newer buildings, live-work units, and units that have gone through significant remodeling. Here’s what you need to know. 

If your building was built after June 13, 1979, your tenancy is now covered by eviction control under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance

This means your landlord can only evict you if they have one of the sixteen reasons elaborated in the city’s eviction laws. Your landlord cannot just kick you out when your lease ends or without a justification. This is actually more inclusive than the recent state law passed in California, AB 1482, which only provides protections to tenants living in units that are more than fifteen years old. For more information on the new state law check out our article here

Are there any buildings in San Francisco that do not have eviction protections? 

Yes. Some units/tenancies remain excluded from San Francisco’s eviction controls regardless of when they were built. These include units covered by / regulated by other government agencies, such as those properties in the Presidio (federal land),  commercial tenancies, dormitories, and care facilities, among others. For more detailed information check out the San Francisco Rent Board website. 

What is a “Just Cause” Eviction?

Under the SF Rent Ordinance, “just cause” evictions can be broken into two categories: “fault” and “no fault” evictions. A“fault” eviction is just what it sounds like. It requires an action or failure on the part of the tenant such as: non payment of rent, criminal acts and violating a “material” term of a lease. “No fault” evictions on the other hand include: owner-move in evictions, and the Ellis Act, among others.

Does this mean new buildings have rent control too? 

This amendment does not extend the rent control protections of the San Francisco Rent Ordinance to new buildings. However, newer buildings may be covered under the new California Statewide Tenant Protection Act. This only applies to certain tenancies/buildings as detailed here.  

What if my landlord tries to evict me without just cause?

Because every situation is unique, we can’t tell you what to do in your particular situation. But the short answer is you may not have to move. If your landlord tells you that you have to move out, you should always speak with a tenant attorney or tenant’s rights organization before you start packing your bags. 

If you’ve already moved out and suspect that you may have been wrongfully evicted without a just cause, you may have grounds to bring a lawsuit for Wrongful Eviction. If you find yourself in that situation contact us today to discuss your options.