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SF Supervisors Discuss Alarming Ellis Act Eviction Rates With City Tenants

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A sign advertising an apartment for rent hangs from a fire escape in front of an apartment building July 8, 2009 in San Francisco, California. As the economy continues to falter, vacancy rates for U.S. apartments have spiked to a twenty two year high of 7.5 percent, just short of the record high of 7.8 percent set in 1986. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A sign advertising an apartment for rent hangs from a fire escape in front of an apartment building in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Tenants in San Francisco want the Board of Supervisors to do more about the number of evictions in the city. While the majority of evictions are for non-payment of rent, the city’s budget analyst had previously reported a 170 percent increase in recent Ellis Act evictions amidst the pricey rental market.

Ellis Act evictions allow landlords to essentially go out of business in order to evict tenants.

On Thursday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors heard from tenant advocates and residents who have lost or fear the loss of their home. During the meeting one of them expressed their concern of speculators merging rental units to create a luxury single-family dwelling.

A lone landlord testified that rent-control laws are to blame for many of the evictions. He said landlords, especially small landlords with few properties, are being driven out of business and that their properties are being sold off to tenancy-in-common developers.

State lawmakers hope to modify California’s Ellis Act to make it difficult to reap large profits when it’s used to evict tenants.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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