While the details of how it would work or what it would accomplish have yet to be defined, San Francisco Supervisor Julie Christensen is urging the Mayor to create an “early warning system” for evictions in San Francisco.

As proposed, a working group with participation from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and the Rent Board, in coordination with San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, would be tasked with creating the Eviction Early Warning System.

And while the intent of the system has yet to be defined as well, it should soon be flushed out as the resolution urging the Mayor to act has been assigned to the Board’s Budget and Finance Sub-Committee for review.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by ElitistPig

    Like a 30-day notification? Or a 30-day notification of 30-day notification?

    • Posted by anon

      They should stop beating around the bush and do what they really want to do. and that is enact legislation mandating firing squads to be trained at any landlord who evicts a tenant who is truly representative of “what San Francisco is all about.” “What San Francisco is all about” is determined by the Board of Supervisors, based upon a thoroughly vetted criteria of realness and “firstness.”

      • Posted by anon

        Landlords should be required to post notices to all tenants. If tenants uses meetup.com for any purpose, they are at risk of losing their “What San Francisco is all about” designations.

      • Posted by Norton's Empire

        Given how little the rentier class has contributed to SF, this is an excellent idea.

        • Posted by aannoon

          Aside from building the walls that protect you from the elements, sure.

          • Posted by Norton's Empire

            Actually, construction workers build the walls. Try again.

          • Posted by anon

            low paid, union, blue collar construction workers, who wander around their native habitats and build at cost for the nice “real” people who made San Francisco what it is, right? Those guys who work for themselves and for the public good, right? Oh, and they’re all Ohlone, right?

          • Posted by Dixon Hill

            Other than Sangiacomo, I don’t think there are too many current RC landlords in San Francisco who had anything to do with “building the walls”. You *really* didn’t build that! But thanks for being clear about the thinly disguised “makers and takers” meme that runs through these comments.
            The amount of venom directed towards non-homeowners in San Francisco (about 40% of the total housing units) is hard to fathom. I especially enjoy the comments in which people claiming to be landlords brag about the sneaky legal tricks they use to oust their RC tenants while complaining about tenants who take advantage of legal protections available to them.
            Some tenants with rent controlled apartments are bad people, just like some landlords. I just don’t see the need to personalize the debate over housing policy in the city and demonize landlords or tenants as a class.

          • Posted by San FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

            I guess I struck the commie nerve. Without an entrepreneur these places would not have been built. Yes entrepreneurs needed hands just like they needed lumber and nails and piping. But let’s not forget some people lead and others follow. Sometimes people who followed will also lead in the future, but the reality is without a developers a city would not grow by itself.

            The house you live in was built thanks to a greedy capitalist. It sucks to know that doesn’t it?

          • Posted by Dixon Hill

            @Fronzi–The people who now own these RC units, in nearly all cases, are not the entrepreneurs who built them. Also, the entrepreneurs who built them benefited from the streets, schools, sewers, parks, bridges, and cultural institutions that they probably didn’t have a lot to do with either.
            I don’t have any issue with entrepreneurs seeking to make a profit by providing a valuable service to the community and recognizing that they stand on the shoulders of the people who made San Francisco what it is. “Greedy capitalists” (to use your term), attempting to extract what they can from the city without giving much/anything in return, not so much.

          • Posted by San FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

            Owners, builders are different branches of the same tree.

            The wannabe Norton says the “Rentier class” does not bring anything to SF. They provide housing.

          • Posted by Amewsed

            Given the fact that I have gutted and rebuilt RC housing units to provide my tenants, I did build the walls. I also had a part in paying for the streets, parks, public schools, public libraries, and sewers. In exchange I get near market rents for my work. Do I know what is coming down the pipeline of crazy reactionary laws in five or ten years time? Nope. I do know I will sell my properties and some other entrepreneur will take over and build their dreams as they see fit. It has never been a battle of your dream vs. my dream, as if having one meant trampling on the other.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            “The amount of venom directed towards non-homeowners in San Francisco (about 40% of the total housing units) is hard to fathom”

            I think the amount of venom towards homeowners is 10x worse than the amount of venom towards renters. most homeowners could care less about the distinction. renters, not so much. to most of them, homeowners are rich a#shol#s

    • Posted by Serge

      Nailed it.

  2. Posted by gribble

    Or the 120 day notification for Ellis Act that can easily be turned into one year by going to a recommended Ellis Act Dr. that will write you a “prescription” for disability? Things I have seen as making somebody “disabled”: High blood pressure. Neck arthritis. Anxiety.

    • Posted by ElitistPig

      Those all sound like symptoms of paying Bay Area rents…

      • Posted by aannoon

        They sound like the symptoms of handling an emo kid. They’re freaking pains in the neck.

  3. Posted by parklife

    We already have an eviction early warning system. If a tenant is paying less than 50% of market rate rent for their unit, they are in danger of being evicted. If they are paying less than 25% of market rate, then they are in extreme danger of being evicted. It’s as simple as that.

    • Posted by Norton's Empire

      What if the building, through the wonders of Prop 13, is being assessed at 10% of actual market value? When will we stop subsidizing these takers?

      • Posted by parklife

        Agreed, Prop 13 is as bad as rent control.

      • Posted by aannoon

        That horse has been dead, beaten, eaten, its bones buried, sprinkled with salt and doused with lighter fluid. And yet some people will keep on mentioning it.

        Landlords who want rent controlled repealed are ready to give up on prop 13.

        • Posted by Norton's Empire

          Please let me know when the “landlords for Prop 13 repeal” PAC is formed. I won’t hold my breath.

          • Posted by Flash

            He said they were willing to accept paying more, not that they were going to actively fight and lobby to pay more. Why don’t you form a Prop 13 repeal PAC instead? I won’t hold my breath.

          • Posted by sfgwf

            From my understanding, SF Moderates contains many landlords who fully support the repeal of both Prop 13 and rent control.

          • Posted by San FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

            Flash, our fake Napoleon knows that is prop 13 is repealed, Rent Control will quickly be taken off life support.

            Rent control is exactly that: a living entity whose EEG has flatlined a long time ago. The original meaning of its existence has been diluted by the multiple artifices to keep it alive. This artificial sustaining of Rent Control costs a fortune to everyone, except the recipients who just CANNOT survive without it.

            Rent control lost its soul a long time ago. One day people will realize it. But they will also realize they are the patient.

      • Posted by anon

        none of the new would be buyers benefit from prop 13. they all pay current tax assessments. your argument is better levied upon all the people cashing out and selling. you know, the people who made the Mission what it was, and who are now selling out all their tenants for filthy lucre. those sort of folks. they’re the ones who benefited from decades of low property taxes.

  4. Posted by anon$random

    another waste of time that could be spent actually solving our housing crisis. like, maybe we should ban all new housing in a certain part of town, because less housing means., um less housing?

    • Posted by Hola

      Yes, and of course building less housing will magically make existing housing affordable.

  5. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Here, I’ll save the city a lot of effort and write the code for the early warning system:

    if (currentRent < (marketRent/3.0)) printf("WARNING: Eviction eminent !");

    You're welcome.

    • Posted by Serge

      SF would pay someone millions to do essentially that.

      • Posted by aannoon

        Package it into an app and sell it for $5.99 + tax

      • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

        Actually I’ll just make money on the change orders. Need to change that constant from 3.0 to 2.7? That’s going to cost …. $30,000.

    • Posted by Hitman

      You nailed it.

  6. Posted by Joel

    Tuesdays at noon is enough already if it’s going to be a siren. Maybe a simple cannon fire would be appropriate, a la The Hunger Games.

  7. Posted by MommiesforCommies

    And I thought Eric Mar was nuts.

  8. Posted by Amewsed

    As a prerequisite for holding a public official position, I recommend a complete psychological evaluation and exam be performed by a top hospital. Results must be made public. This is a Early Warning System with actual results.

    • Posted by REpornaddict

      Yes., If you pass the psychological evaluation then you are deemed under qualified for public official positions in SF.

  9. Posted by Futurist

    Just more waste and bureaucracy from our inept city government.

  10. Posted by Norton's Empire

    Won’t someone please think of the landlords?!

    • Posted by aannoon

      You seem to think of the landlords a lot. You keep doing that.

      • Posted by Flash

        I think he was trying to visit the SF Tenant’s Union website but followed the wrong link and ended up here somehow and can’t figure out how to leave.

  11. Posted by Medalist

    They missed the first warning 25 years ago when rent contol policies were further entrenched

  12. Posted by FU

    So humor this [near-market-rate] renter being OMI evicted and trying to buy in SF… a 60-day notice…how many of you could realistically find a realtor, put together the financing, look for a home, put in offers on a home, get into contract, and actually close on a house in under 60 days having never been through the process before? Oh, and all while dealing w/ lawyers on the eviction, still performing your 9-5 job, including travel plans that were already scheduled, and taking care of kids? …when the landlord knew they were going to do an OMI eviction 6 months prior when they actually bought the place?

    This seems like a great idea to me. Having 6 extra months would make a world of difference.

    • Posted by parklife

      Your situation basically sucks and does argue for certain basic protections under rental contracts. I think you would find most every landlord in SF would gladly trade extending eviction notice requirements in exchange for making the eviction process less cumbersome. The problem is that under the current system there is a benefit to evicting quickly so as to avoid the possibility of tenants fighting the eviction with whatever means possible.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Was this conveyed by your near market rate tenant to the landlord beforehand? Seems to me the deadline to leave is clear so best to find alternative temporary living arrangements until tenant closes on the house. Not the landlord’s responsibility to wait around for the tenant to hem and haw over trying to find a home to buy which could take years.

      Case in point: my family had a tenant who advised she was purchasing a home and needed to finalize her paperwork. She did not know exactly when she could move into her new home (somewhere between 30-45 days.) We congratulated her on buying her first home (after years of skimping and saving and doing all handyman work herself.) She was an accomplished pianist, mind you. We agreed to waive the normal 30 day notice requirements to vacate if she would let us market the unit for rent. She just had to paid any pro-rated daily rate for the time she was still at our property. Everyone wins and I know if our paths ever crossed again in the future, we would still be on excellent terms.

    • Posted by soccermom

      Sounds like you could use a year to formulate your purchase plan. Why not rent another place for a year and then buy? I don’t think that there is normally an assumption about landlords owing tenants time to buy another property. If you are near market rate, you won’t be that different cash-flow wise. Probably a better move for you first home purchase decision.

      Also, why do you need a lawyer on the tenancy termination? Only if you fail to leave under the due notice period should there be any need for court activity.

      Good luck!

    • Posted by J

      Most sellers expect less than a 30 day close.
      You can go to Redfin.com and select a realtor right now.

      Now you just need money.

    • Posted by anon

      why are you spending money on a lawyer when you’re getting OMI evicted?

    • Posted by gribble

      The owner was likely counseled by a lawyer to not tell you beforehand because giving you a warning ahead of time can be considered harassment and an attempt to bully you into leaving. Why? Because Rent Control lawyers from the Tenderloin Housing Clinic would descend on you like flies and sue the living crap out of your landlord for just giving you a head’s up about his intent.

      • Posted by EcceMorons

        Exactly this. ^

        If your landlord had told you he was intending to evict you before actually serving you with an eviction notice, he’d be sued to Kingdom Come. That’s illegal in SF. If you want someone to blame, blame the “tenant advocates” who “protected you” by getting laws passed that don’t allow a landlord to tell a tenant that they’re considering doing an eviction in the future.

    • Posted by EcceMorons

      You’re making a leap – comparing your current situation (a near-market-rent tenant) to a new situation (a homeowner). 60 days is MORE than adequate for you to go from being a near-market-rate tenant to a market-rate tenant at in a new rental. It’s reasonable to expect adequate notice for you to go from being a tenant there to being a tenant elsewhere. And you received that.

      I wish you well on your plans to become a homeowner, and on your travel plans, and on finding a new rental in the meantime. Although – if you’re gonna hire an attorney and spend time fighting your landlord moving into his/her property, you’re gonna have to find a real sucker of a landlord to ever rent to you again. Any intelligent landlord will check your rental history, and if they discover that you’ve fought against an owner who just wants to move into their own home – no landlord will touch you with a ten foot pole.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Count me in the camp to just find another rental short term. Never rush into a home purchase unless you really have to. You’re at risk of making a large mistake. Compare that to choosing the wrong rental: a hassle but financially no big whoop.

      The shortest time it I ever took to buy a property was eight months from begin of search to CoE. The longest was over twice that.

      • Posted by San FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

        Transition housing for professionals is my bread and butter. I still have a guy who’s been hunting for a place for 6 months and keeps coming back to SF every 2 months. It’s tough buying a place out there.

    • Posted by medalist

      There is usually room for negotiation. Many owners would give more time in lieu of not having the OMI on record. Trouble is now, with the new buyout legislation owners won’t be as willing to negotiate since it’s more trouble that it’s worth.

  13. Posted by Amewsed

    At the end of the day, do you want the freedom and flexibility to work together with the landlord or tenant, or do you want the parties to engage in defensive tactics because of some arbitrary rule and onerous burden? Like all relationships, are you adult enough to navigate the process or do you need a government entity dictating what you can or cannot do on a date, in the bedroom, with how you raise your kids, and how you choose to die?

  14. Posted by medalist

    Christensen had to sprinkle some crumbs for the tenant base with Peskin on her tail.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      She, and all other politicians, should stand on her own two feet and positions without giving crumbs to Peskin or anyone else. I never did like Norman Yee as district supervisor but he got the mindless Chinese vote.

  15. Posted by Dianne O'Connell

    For buildings that where rental income is 50% or less than market value, how about the city makes up the difference by paying the landlord! Not all evictions are motivated by “greed”. There comes a point where the rental income just isn’t nearly enough to cover the cost of maintaining the building in a livable condition. There is no annual cap on the cost of painting, plumbing, roofing, sidewalk repair, etc. etc. etc.as there is on rent increases. I suspect there are landlords who would be happy to keep their low-paying tenants undisturbed as long as they were being directly subsidized by the city. Cheaper and immediate relief rather than pursuing the illusion that enough affordable housing can ever be built here.
    Quilp

    • Posted by pity the lords of the land

      We could call it ‘The Lords of the Land Maximum Income Guarantee Act’, a necessary adjunct to their existing price protection for property taxes: Prop 13.

      • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

        I like it, only the government supplement should kick in at 1 cent below market rate, not 50% below. We could put a tax on food staples, laundromat wash cycles, and dollar store purchases to pay for it. That way, we’d put the burden where it properly belongs.

      • Posted by anon

        the fallacy of your equivocating prop 13 and rent control has been pointed out many times

        • Posted by pity the lords of the land

          Equivocating? No attempt to equivocate here. My meaning should be almost as clear as the meanness of an income guarantee for lords of the land. If you know what I mean.

          Hopefully, no one would mistakenly use “equivocate” when they meant “equate”. And similarly, hopefully, no one would equate Prop 13 and rent control in California. The economic relationship is not an equality, it is an inequality: Prop 13 has done far more economic damage than rent control. The political relationship is more of a complementary than an equality. And blogwise or unwise, they do both seem to be able to stir the passions and generate fallacious commentary. Whether they are equal in that I leave to the lords of the page and click count to decide. Would you like to feed them another cookie?

          • Posted by anon

            you do equivocate. you continue to interject a flat “but prop 13” as if you’re saying something, when you’re simply not. all it does is spin off the argument into nothingness. so yes, equivocate city, usa

          • Posted by pity the lords of the land

            No buts about it, Prop 13 provides price protection for property taxes. Some Lords of the Land ask for additional forms of economic protection, as above. N’est–ce pas? Comprendez-vous? Are we (mis)using the same language here or wha’?
            Mmmm, trollhouse butter cookies.

          • Posted by anon

            nope. no trolling here. merely someone who sees you conflating all sorts of things and calls you out on that. prop 13? well, renters pay zero property tax. so why talk about prop 13? buyers/landlords of buildings in today’s market pay today’s tax roll assessments, so why prop 13?

          • Posted by anon

            “buyers/landlords of buildings in today’s market pay today’s tax roll assessments, so why prop 13?”
            Ummm, just like renters in today’s market pay today’s market rent…
            Do you not understand how prop 13 and rent control work?

          • Posted by pity the lords of the land

            “conflating all sorts of things” being relating two government economic interventions to benefit lords of the land: an oft-wished for income floor guarantee for a subset of lords of the land and an existing tax ceiling guarantee for all lords of the land.

            Do you (anon the “nope. no trolling”) sincerely not know the California property tax rolls have many assessments way below market because of Prop 13?

            Extra nutty batch of trollhouse butter cookies today.

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