With new reforms he is introducing today, Supervisor Mark Farrell aims to protect tenants from unlawful evictions. Under the new law, owners who oust tenants so they can move in will be required to 1. swear under oath they will follow eviction law and 2. prove they are living at the property on an ongoing basis.
“An eviction can be like a death sentence, especially for elderly tenants,” said Supervisor Farrell. “I’m going to do everything in my power to stem the tide of unlawful evictions.”
Over the past four years, more than 8,000 people in San Francisco have been evicted from their homes. Owner-move-in evictions have spiked more than 200% in the past five years, with nearly 1,500 owner-move-in evictions since 2013. A recent NBC Bay Area investigative report, found up to one in four tenants they surveyed had been wrongfully evicted.
After an owner move-in eviction, the owner is required to keep that unit off of the rental market for at least three years. Additional owner move-in eviction requirements can be found here: http://sfrb.org/topic-no-203-notice-requirements-evictions-based-owner-or-relative-move.\
Farrell’s policy seeks to stop unlawful owner move-in evictions by mandating new reporting and transparency requirements. Farrell’s policy requires all property owners executing an owner-move-in eviction to:
- Sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that they will follow all existing eviction laws. The declaration will be filed publicly with the San Francisco Rent Board along with the notice to vacate the property.
- File “proof of tenancy” documents with the Rent Board to prove that the property owner, or their relative, is residing in the residence where the eviction has taken place. Within three months of the eviction, and every 12 months thereafter for three total years, the owner must submit proof of tenancy documents that include: current utility bills, current automobile registration, current homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, current voter registration, or current driver’s license, or vehicle registration.
“Unfortunately, a financial incentive exists for owners to wrongfully evict someone just to make a buck,” said Supervisor Farrell. “My reforms put people over profits.”
Farrell’s policy is expected to be heard in a Board of Supervisor’s committee in just over a month and up for a full vote at the Board of Supervisors shortly thereafter.