SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco’s City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed two lawsuits against landlords he believes illegally rented properties to tourists after evicting long-time tenants.

Herrera said these cases are examples of why the Ellis Act needs to be changed. Two of the tenants involved in the Pacific Heights and Russian Hill evictions were disabled.

The Ellis Act is a state law allowing landlords to evict tenants when they remove properties from the rental market.

“They evicted tenants and then utilizing a variety of websites, re-rented those properties out again for both short-term and long-term use,” Herrera said.

The short-term rental of properties after residential tenants have been evicted is allowed under the Ellis Act, but Herrera said the landlords did not go through the required city planning process.

Janan New with the San Francisco Apartment Association added that if the allegations in the suits are true, the problem in these cases is that the defendants were acting as hoteliers, not landlords.

“We are in the business of operating rental housing and giving our tenants long-term leases so they can live in quiet enjoyment in rental housing buildings in San Francisco,” she said.

Herrera said he believes the Ellis Act needs to be amended. Both lawsuits were filed on Wednesday.


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