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San Francisco Landlords Threaten To Sue City Over Increased Ellis Act Fees

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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) — A group of San Francisco landlords said they are preparing to file a lawsuit against the city after the Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to increase the amount of tenant relocation fees for Ellis Act evictions.

Supervisors voted 9-2 in favor of the legislation, proposed by David Campos that would require property owners to pay the difference between a tenant’s current rent, and two years’ rent for a similar apartment when evicting them using the Ellis Act.

Read More:
San Francisco Supervisors Approve Bigger Payouts For Ellis Act Evictions

Janan New, executive director for the San Francisco Apartment Association called the proposed legislation a constitutional denial of property rights and told KCBS that her group would file a lawsuit it becomes law.

“The passage of the Campos relocation legislation will make it impossible for some small-building owners to actually live in the buildings they own,” she said.

San Francisco Landlords Threaten To Sue City Over Proposed Ellis Act Fees

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According to the city controller’s office, a person who paid $909 a month for a two-bedroom apartment in the Mission would get a relocation payment over $44,000. The previous limit was $5,200.

“The fees are absolutely unreasonable and I think any court in the land will strike down these exorbitant fees,” New said.

“It makes absolutely no sense to anybody other than the lefty politicians in San Francisco.”

She cited the predicament of property owner Victor Young and his family who purchased a seven-unit apartment building and planned to move in his parents and children so the extended family could live together.

In order to do that, New said that Young would have to pay tenants there about a half million dollars to relocate.

The legislation still needs final approval of the Board and the Mayor.

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