SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A San Francisco judge on Monday denied a legal challenge brought on by property owners looking to block a new San Francisco law prohibiting landlords from evicting or imposing late fees on tenants who can’t pay because of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Tenant Protections ordinance, initially introduced by Supervisor Dean Preston back in early June, has since been signed by Mayor London Breed.READ MORE: Oakland Police Chief Appeals to Public in Wake of City's 100th Homicide; 'We Gotta Do the Work'
However, last month a complaint filed by attorney Andrew Zacks, on behalf of a coalition of property owners including the San Francisco Apartment Association, the SF Association of Realtors, the Coalition for Better Housing and the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute, sought to challenge the ordinance. The complaint alleged, at least in part, the ordinance violates constitutional and state law by preventing property owners from using eviction procedures.
Arguments first began at a hearing Friday and on Monday Superior Court Judge Charles Haines’ issued an order denying the legal challenge, effectively ruling the ordinance doesn’t violate state law or the Constitution.
“This is a resounding victory for vulnerable tenants in San Francisco,” Preston said in a statement. “I have said from the start, we will not stand by and watch thousands of San Franciscans become homeless because of a pandemic they cannot control, and I’m proud that our legislation has been upheld and vindicated in court.”READ MORE: California Insurance Commissioner: 325,000 Residents Near Recent Wildfires Won't Lose Insurance
With Newsom’s order expiring Sept. 30, Preston said without his ordinance, thousands of tenants who can’t pay rent because of the pandemic could be served with evictions, “unprecedented in scale and irreparable in its harm.”
Preston called the ordinance “one of the strongest eviction protection laws in the country.”
Zacks, Freedman and Patterson, the law firm representing the property owners, was not immediately available for comment.MORE NEWS: 'Boogaloo' Associated Militia Members Guilty Of Obstructing Probe Into Killing Of Oakland Federal Officer
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