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Bill To Halt Mass Ellis Act Evictions In San Francisco Revived

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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)

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — A bill that would allow the city of San Francisco to limit the mass eviction of tenants in rent-controlled properties has squeaked through the state Senate after the author agreed to make changes.

SB1439 by Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco would modify the state “Ellis Act,” which allows landlords to evict all tenants in a building when they want to sell a property and get out of the rental business.

Leno says real estate speculators are abusing the law and driving up rents in San Francisco.

But after his bill failed to pass a day earlier, Leno agreed Thursday to make changes to differentiate between family owners and big business interests.

SB1439 passed with the bare minimum votes needed, 21-13, with some Democrats still opposed.

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