As of Tuesday night, all San Francisco renters will be afforded the same just cause eviction protection, regardless of the year their building was constructed. 

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously passed legislation that will expand eviction protections to more than 35,000 households to ensure landlords can no longer evict tenants without a “just cause.”

Currently, a landlord who wants to evict a tenant from a unit built before 1979 has to give 60-day notice and present a just cause, such as nonpayment or a lease agreement breach.

Ching Wong/SFBay Ron Winter holds a sign during a rally for protesting Ellis Act eviction at 15th Street in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, August 6, 2018.

Until Tuesday’s vote, the same protection has not been extended to tenants of buildings constructed after 1979.

Supervisor Matt Haney, the legislation sponsor, said in the last 40 years, The City’s Rent Ordinance has treated tenants differently depending on when their building was built.

Haney said:

“Now is the time to correct this inequity and treat all units the same when it comes to eviction protections.”

Haney applauded Assemblyman David Chiu’s, D-San Francisco, Assembly Bill 1482, a statewide tenant protection and rent control measure that will take effect in January. The bill passed out of the State Legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom at the end of October. 

But, the new law does not protect tenants who have lived in a unit for less than one year and in buildings constructed in the past 15 years.

Tenants Rights San Francisco
Steve Rhodes/SFBay A sign at a 2012 housing rally in San Francisco expresses tensions over the growing number of evictions in The City. (Steve Rhodes/SFBay)

Haney said:

“Our legislation will close the gaps in the state law and build off of San Francisco’s Rent Ordinance to ensure tenants in buildings constructed after 1979, including tenants who just moved in, those that live in single-family homes, and those that are built within the last 15 years, are protected by strong eviction protections.”

Board President Norman Yee said he would like The City to provide resources and help educate property owners on the changes, especially those who speak limited English, to ensure they understand the new city and state laws.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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