Real estate groups challenge San Fran’s permanent ban on coronavirus-related evictions

Four local real estate trade groups want landlords to be able to boot tenants

New York Weekend Edition /
Jul.July 04, 2020 12:00 PM
San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston and San Francisco Apartment Association Executive Director Janan New

San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston and San Francisco Apartment Association Executive Director Janan New

San Francisco’s landlords are not happy about the city’s recent ban on coronavirus-related evictions.

Four real estate trade groups sued the city this week over the ordinance, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Mayor London Breed signed it on Friday.

The ordinance permanently bars landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent related to the pandemic.

The lawsuit was filed by the San Francisco Apartment Association, the San Francisco Association of Realtors, the Coalition for Better Housing, and the Small property Owners of San Francisco Institute.

They also want a judge to immediately suspend the law while the suit makes its way through court.

California’s state government put in place an eviction moratorium in late March and the state’s judicial authority recently decided they won’t consider any resumption timeline until early August.

Landlords sued over that decision earlier this month.

Beyond that, local jurisdictions have been allowed to craft and institute their own policies on evictions. In late May, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department started carrying out eviction orders that predate the pandemic.

The groups suing San Francisco claim the city’s ordinance conflicts with Governor Gavin Newsom’s moratorium and “will ultimately lead to more evictions as tenants are falsely led to believe that they can just stop paying rent.”

San Francisco City Supervisor Dean Preston, who sponsored the ordinance, called the lawsuit “disgraceful but not surprising,” according to the Chronicle.

Many jurisdictions are under pressure to come up with a more permanent solution. A recent UCLA study warned of a wave of evictions in Los Angeles County once local and state eviction moratoriums expire. [San Francisco Chronicle] — Dennis Lynch


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