Landlord / Tenants Rights

Ellis Act and Future Valuation / Financing

The intention of the Ellis Act is to provide property owners with a process by which they can evict a tenant under the premise that the property owner is “going out of the rental business” and therefore wants to take the rental unit off the market. In the past, evictions invoked under the Ellis Act were commonly used in conjunction with a condo conversion. That is, property owners would “go out of the rental business”, evict their tenants under the Ellis Act, convert the units to condominiums, and sell the property.

Tenant Buyouts

Buyouts are different from tenant moving expenses in owner occupancy evictions or Ellis eviction relocation benefits. A buyout is essentially the landlord paying the tenant an agreed upon dollar amount to vacate the property and therefore avoid any eviction processes. 

Bierman Amendment

The Bierman Amendment was enacted in 1998, a few months prior to Proposition G.  The amendment was enacted to curb the rise of owner-occupany tenant evictions. The Bierman Amendment made it such that an owner-occupancy eviction would not be valid unless the owner owned at least a 50% interest in the property. 

Alternative or Comparable Dwelling

There are a number of specific conditions that must be met for a property owner to use owner occupancy as Just Cause for evicting a tenant.  One condition that must be met is that property owner can not evict a tenant on the grounds that the owner intends to occupy the unit if the owner owns a comparable alternative dwelling.  In other words, a landlord can’t have an available 2 bedroom unit at one end of the hall but then evict a tenant renting a comparable 2 bedroom unit at the other end of the hall on the premise that the landlord will occupy the unit.

Proposition G

Proposition G is often referenced in relation to San Francisco housing rules and regulations.  “Prop G” refers to Ballot Proposition G in the 1998 San Francisco General Elections.  At that time, San Francisco was experiencing a housing boom as a result of the Silicon Valley dot.com boom.  The dramatic upward pressure on housing prices enticed some property owners to take aggressive action to rid themselves of renters so they could convert a building to a Tenancy in Common or a condominium and then sell the property for a substantial profit.  Advocates for the poor, the disabled, as well as tenants rights groups battled back to ensure that property owners were not unfairly profiting at the expense of people who had little means or understanding to defend themselves. The result was Proposition G.