Evictions are too darn quick.
That’s the view of San Francisco Supervisor Dan Preston, a former tenant attorney who introduced legislation that could make the city the first in the state to require a 10-day wait before landlords can serve an eviction notice, a step he says could save thousands from losing rent-controlled homes.
The Eviction Diversion Ordinance would be a “game changer” that gives tenants the chance to seek help from emergency rental subsidy programs or the anti-displacement advocates who helped craft the legislation, Preston said.
“Let’s prevent preventable evictions,” Preston told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday as he introduced the legislation.
Tenants typically receive a three-day notice to fix one of San Francisco’s 15 “just causes” for eviction, including nonpayment or habitual late payment. After that, landlords can begin eviction proceedings and even if the tenant comes up with the rent on the fourth day, Preston said. The legislation would retain the three-day notice but landlords would have to serve a written warning that it’s coming at least 10 days beforehand.
The legislation was inspired by a 2020 change at the state level that required
landlords to provide 15 days notice before an eviction due to nonpayment so that tenants would have enough time to access the rent relief program, which has had long backlogs.
Preston said he wants to “take the lessons learned from the pandemic and create a permanent framework for diverting eviction proceedings.”
The local ordinance’s passage seems all but certain given that Preston has already secured the support of five of 10 other supervisors although the co-sponsors’ votes alone wouldn’t be a veto-proof majority.
Earlier this year, the city passed a debt forgiveness law for commercial tenants that’s being litigated. Another ordinance giving residential tenants the union-like ability to organize will probably advance to the full board early next year.