867-869 South Van Ness

Five months ago, the two-unit Mission District building with an unwarranted in-law at 867-869 South Van Ness was purchased for $1.625 million.

At the time of the sale, the in-law and lower unit were vacant while the upper unit was occupied by a protected tenant, an elderly couple in their late 60s if a plugged-in tipster is correct.

867-869 South Van Ness Top Floor

Yesterday, the building returned to the market for $1.995 million, now listed as “VACANT” and “a great opportunity for a developer or investor to rebuild or a savvy owner-user who wants to create their dream home.” No official word on the fate of the former tenants.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Sierrajeff

    I’m (generally) opposed to rent control, and (definitely) opposed to a lot of the pro-tenant anti-eviction measures that are in place in this city … but I do have a soft spot when it comes to elderly tenants. We’re talking about people who may have lived in the same location for decades, who are likely on fixed incomes, and for whom any move (let alone an involuntary one) can be quite traumatic – not just the in terms of the physical move, but in terms of the sense of loss of control or the finality of one phase of their life.

    • Posted by Hunter

      Im curious why age warrants special treatment (or tugs at your heartstrings) in a way that other protected classes do not? There are many elderly people with money and options that disabled people, very low income earners, single parents, etc. do not have. Food for thought.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        Mostly b/c of the last thing I say. For a lot of elderly (true “elderly”, not just someone who’s 61 and still working 5 days a week, etc.), absent the eviction they might have continued living independently – in a home they’ve known (and settled into) – for quite some time to come. But on being forced out, instead of moving into a new home in a new neighborhood (with new shops and quirks to learn), many elderly might decide to just move into assisted living. And I think it’s pretty clear that doing so can often sap the spirit and just lead to a reinforcing downward spiral of mobility and outlook on life.

        Put differently, sure you can make “woe is me” arguments for lots of classes of people. But most of those people are young and can adapt. At some point it just gets harder to start over and adapt, especially when time and finality are really starting to stare you in the face.

        • Posted by Brian M

          Woah!

          We are introducing humane considerations into SocketSite? By Saint Ayn and All Who is (Atheistically) Holy!

        • Posted by spencer

          Why are elderly people still renting? Sounds like really bad financial planning. They had 50 yrs to save.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            You forgot to add “j/k”. Or otherwise you are completely bereft of empathy and compassion.

          • Posted by soccermom

            “you are completely bereft of empathy and compassion.” Yeah. For sure.

          • Posted by Zig

            Hard to fathom but some people are actually poor. My mom’s parents rented in SF and died with nothing cause they were poor people. There is nothing to save when your a poor person

          • Posted by Zig

            Is this the time then you suggest poor immigrants move to high dessert in SoCal because it’s cheap?

          • Posted by SFresident

            Spencer’s assumption is:
            1. There are no financial advantages to renting
            2. Owning a residence has turned out to be a good investment
            3. Being a renter is a sign of no savings/no prudent investments and a lack of savvy
            4. The elderly tenants did not make a pile of money if they were bought out by the property owner
            5. The elderly tenants were not ready to vacate the premises anyway

            Our assumption is:
            Being an internet troll sounds like really bad mental health planning

          • Posted by ostrich

            Thank you SF Resident

          • Posted by Chris VerPlanck

            You, sir, are a creep.

        • Posted by Freeloader

          I’m mostly against rent control but I think this is well-said. As for calling these folks in their late 60’s elderly, I think it’s justified based on the photo above. My dad is 80+ but I wouldn’t consider him elderly because he is lucky enough to be able to continue to work and earn a good living, eat healthy, go to the gym, and travel the world with his wife. Maybe these “elderly” folks have all of that as well… but it’s also possible that they’ve lived in SF for 40+ years, don’t travel or even drive

        • Posted by NoeNeighbor

          @Sierrajeff: I understand your sympathy for elderly tenants, but we must understand that rent control creates the situation. If you have rented a place for a decade or more and are turning 65, then it totally makes economic sense to try to live their the rest of your life (if you assume that your rent is going to remain unchanged).

          Without rent control, tenants would probably make different decisions at 65 or earlier in their life and not end up trapped in a situation where they must move/adapt etc. The rub is with rent control is that the longer a tenant is under it, the greater the incentives are for a landlord to try to evict the tenant — that equation works particularly poorly for retired folks.

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      I have a lot of sympathy for the elderly and I wish they can live a stable life without the uncertainly of losing their rental home in this market. My problem is landlord should not be on the hook to support them. If there is anyone’s responsibility, it should be the government’s responsibility. The cost should be shoulder by everyone, not just one landlord.

      The morality of tenant law can get absurd. Think about this, you have more obligation to your tenant then to your mother. If she is old and homeless, you have no obligation to provide housing to your own mother. Yet people get far more upset when your tenant lose the lease. Singapore actually has a law that oblige you to support your mother. I think they are lot more civilized compares to San Francisco.

      • Posted by Brian M

        The thing is, this is not simply a landlord issue, but a (probably foreign or out of town) speculative deal. How much sympathy must we have to speculators looking for a quick buck?

        • Posted by lyqwyd

          The issue is that the existing laws create the opportunity for the speculator. Without rent control as it is, the speculator would have to look elsewhere.

      • Posted by EcceMorons

        Bingo.

        If we, as a society, think it’s proper to ensure that a renter who signed a one year lease should automatically have a right to live there for the rest of their lives, at a rent that actually decreases each year, when adjusted for inflation, that’s fine.

        But then, let society pay for it, not just one person.

        It’s like instead of using government $ to pay for food stamps to needy citizens, we assigned a family of food stamp recipients to one person, and said, “Here, it’s now your responsibility to feed this family.”

        That would create a lot of societal problems….

        • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

          Right-o — this is reason #1 why I’m not a fan of rent control.

          Reason #2: it provides an incentive for unit owners to hold units off the market, reducing housing and raising rents.

          Reason #3: it provides an incentive for some tenants to hold on to units longer than they really need, reducing housing and raising rents.

          Reason #4: It provides a disincentive to maintain a rented unit, lowering the quality of the housing stock.

          “Unfair to landlords,” “tenants are moochers,” “taking!” etc. are not compelling arguments, imho, and will never, ever succeed in swaying voters to change the status quo (except, perhaps, to change it more in favor of rent controlled tenants).

          And there are a lot of very pro-landlord laws/policies on the books that should also justifiably be changed or eliminated if RC were to go — prop 13, restrictive building policies, favorable capital gains rates and depreciation rules.

          None of these is going anywhere. So this is all just fun and games debating.

        • Posted by medalist

          I once calculated the Rent vs. Inflation based on one of my tenants who moved in in 1988 at a rent of $800. Their rent in 2014 raised every year under the allowable increase amount is $1,320.94, inflation for that same period brings their rent to $1328.78. So, in fact the tenant is paying and I’m collecting the same rent after 26 years.

          • Posted by EcceMorons

            Since the annual allowable rent increase is only 60% of CPI, your math has to be incorrect.

            Their increase over $800 should be, after adjusting for compounding, well under 60% of CPI increases since 1988.

          • Posted by medalist

            @ecceMorons, The calculations are correct, i could post the spreadsheet but I’m not sure how it would come out on a forum post. It’s calculated US inflation rates not Bay Area CPI index which the RB pegs their increase to. Mind that the CPI rule was not in place in the beginning of the tenancy.

          • Posted by EcceMorons

            Still, something isn’t right there. I don’t recall when the 60% rule was adopted, but if it was more than a year ago (and it was long before a year ago), your 2 rents can’t be only $8 off.

            I did the math, going forward, with the 60% rule in force. So, assume a $1,000 initial rent. Assume 3% per year Bay Area CPI. This gives an allowable annual rent increase of 1.8%

            After 26 years, $1,000 at 3% annual increase = $2,156.59. After 26 years, $1,000 at 1.8% annual increase = $1,590.16

            So, adjusted for inflation, rent at $2,156/month 26 years later is equivalent to $1,000. But you’re only allowed to charge $1,590. So, the initial rent, in real terms, adjusted for inflation, has decreased by $566/month.

            The tenant wouldn’t be paying the same rent, he’d be paying far less than what he originally rented the unit for. (in real terms)

          • Posted by folderpete

            The Rent Board allowables total up to abt 60.4% increases since ’88 (several of those years it was pegged at 4%, in ’92 was the switch to 60% CPI). Still, using the calculator and $800 as the base, this gives you $1611. And I don’t believe that’s compounded, as your rent figure would be if increases were given yearly. Still, $1611 vs $1328 makes sense, in terms of rents being capped at only a percentage of CPI increases. Specially over such a time period, the difference is gonna be significant.

          • Posted by BayviewSF

            Some landlords do not raise rent since they do not know English and can not afford lawyer. They do not understand the ever changing rent control regulations. Actually many highly educated people such as PhDs, doctors and engineers do not understand SF rent control regulations, many of these highly educated people think I am a fool when I explain SF rent control regulations. Many of them do not believe it and they think I am stupid and misunderstand the law.

    • Posted by BayviewSF

      The elderly tenant most likely left voluntarily and happily with some cash grab from the landlord’s pocket. The elderly tenant could have already owned some other houses so they can grab this cash from the landlord and move into their own house. If the elderly does not have a house yet, they can use the money grab from the landlord to buy one or two nice condos in Florida or Texas and live free forever. This is a dream come true for the elderly tenant and someone wants to interfere and prevent this kind of dreams?

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        Wow, just… wow.

        Might there be some evicted elderly tenants with this attitude? Sure. Anything’s possible. But to blithely say that being forced to move – in your scenario, to a completely different state – is a “dream come true” is crass and condescending.

      • Posted by Marco

        Tenants can make over $100k to move… Add in the value of the sub-market rents they’ve been paying for years and that’s a pretty huge cash score.

        • Posted by pity the lords of the land

          presumably, in almost all cases, whatever the tenants make to move is only because the lord of the land expects to make far more. One of many costs of business for the lords of the land of pretty huge cash scores.

      • Posted by sfjhawk

        “The elderly tenant most likely left voluntarily and happily . . . The elderly tenant could have already owned. . . this is a dream come true . . . ”

        I just have to chuckle at this level of presumption and audacity.

        After living in SF for 18 years (just celebrated the anniversary last week!), I’ve been through two evictions similar to this: one in Potrero and a few years later in the Marina. Fortunately, as a young 20/30 something, I was still able to find new housing and survive (thrive? it’s all relative) and eventually get to a point where I now own. The last of the two evictions was especially painful as I watched one neighbor who had live in SF 20+ years and worked at the Italian Consulate make the painful decision to move back to Italy. She wasn’t elderly but consulate wages didn’t exactly enable her to stay on her terms. Even worse were the two elderly women who lived above me: like my other neighbor, they had been in the city even longer and in the building for close to 30 years. One worked in a restaurant downtown, the other in a hospital. With the rates they were paying for a 2 BDRM/1BA in the Marina and what the then market rate was in ’03 (I paid roughly $1350 for a 2BDRM / 1BA), they had no choice but to leave the city. The new owner (acquired the building to convert to condo’s), offered buyouts but nothing that would enable one to “buy one or two nice condos in Florida or Texas and live free forever.”

        And no, they didn’t leave ‘happily,’ and ‘voluntarily,’ nor was it anything close to a “dream come true!”

        I have to believe the above is pure trolling (or, one hasn’t been in SF that long to see neighbors or friends go through this).

        • Posted by san FronziScheme

          The SF market has always had ups and downs. Let’s consider the 2009-2012 period. At that time you could purchase a very decent 1/1 TIC in an average part of the city for less than 350K. With 75K down and TIC financing at 5% that’s less than 1800/month PITI and less than 1600 if you include some possible tax savings.

          In the lifetime of your neighbors, there have been other occasions to purchase, some even better than the one I quoted.

          Yet, they decided NOT to make the move, which would have ensured their long-term housing stability.

          It was a choice. Not anything imposed on them.

          • Posted by pity the lords of the land

            how could you possibly know what were viable choices for those individuals? were you their accountant or financial adviser? or do you have magical powers?

            why pretend to know what you cannot or judge others you do not know based on facts you cannot know?

            are those not your choices, not imposed on you?

          • Posted by BayviewSF

            Exactly, none of us knows anything anything the tenant’s financial situation. Maybe they are wealthy, maybe they live on fat pensions, may they use social security to pay $2000 rent. We know nothing and we are violating the tenant’s privacy to speculate and talk about their financials in a public forum. This conversation should never happen since this article should have never been published.

            We are talking about a non-issue when we know nothing about the people we want to talk about.

          • Posted by SFrentier

            Pity- the point is that rent control enables renters to not think about buying a place of their own. If they rent for a long time, they end up relying on their low rent. And plenty of renters do that, and their landlords are ok with it. But at some point the LL sells the bldg., and the new owner will see things differently. They are not obligated to keep the low rents- they can discuss buy outs, do an OMI or RMI, Ellis act, capital improvements, etc. these are all fully legal procedures. So at the end of the day, the renter is NOT fully secure, but they are given a false sense of security by RC. Can’t you see that?

          • Posted by pity the lords of the land

            anyone who wants to live under rent control without fear of the owner selling could rent one from Sangiacomo cause he never sells.

            anyone, owner or renter or homeless, who thinks they are “fully secure” has a false sense of security. what do you mean by “fully secure” anyway? no risk or only less risk, no worries or only fewer worries? none of Mr. Rumsfeld’s unknown unknowns or only depending on the strangeness of Ms. Rice’s no one could have predicted?

            plenty of home owners go bankrupt and their homes go to the bank. paging Mr. Minor, Mr. Halsey Minor. Halsey even had a private banker. wonder how that security blanket wore as the accounts became less fully full.

            why this compulsion to moralize about the lives of other people you don’t know anyway? san FronziScheme doesn’t know sfjhawk’s neighbors or their personal financial circumstances, but moralizes about them. you don’t know all the many people living in rent control housing in San Francisco, but you moralize about them as if they were some clique you have over for tea and tête-à-tête, trivializing their lives and their decisions and their variety to fit into some tidy narrow vision, like the peas in a pod on your plate. why bother?

            probably thousands of them without the english skills to read what you write. probably you don’t have the language skills to read what they write or to have a conversation with them in their languages either. but you claim to know how they think and why.
            that’s what I see in these writings.

      • Posted by BayviewSF

        Do you think only San Francisco residents need a place to live? People in Daly City, San Bruno, Hayward, Antioch, Miaim, Boston all need place to live. People in San Francisco has no superiority over the people in all the other cities mentioned. Just accept the fact that tenants have no ownership of the property. San Francisco tenants are all treated like Queens and they need to step out of their bubble and experience the real life in Daly City, Boston, Miami and the majority of the US.

    • Posted by Orland

      Any residential property where anybody makes his/her/their home is special and deserves appropriate recognition when it comes to rights and interests therein. It is not just another asset or even commodity as so many here seem to believe. Laws and policies should reflect that. Bravo SF!

      • Posted by san FronziScheme

        But an owner risks his assets, while a tenant doesn’t. Risks should have rewards, but in anti-capitalist SF, someone who takes risks is a speculator and must be punished.

      • Posted by BayviewSF

        Orland, SF laws and policies have reflected the “that” 1000 times over. A home is special to everyone, and this specialness should be equal to people who lives in SF rent controlled building, in SF non-rent controlled building or outside SF. The only reason we even have this conversation is due to the fact that these tenants have been paying rent which is way below market. If you want to support these people, you are welcome to donate money to build or buy housing for these people.

  2. Posted by Joel

    The in-law will be removed, the building will be fast-track condo converted, and the units will flip for even more individually.

  3. Posted by Delaine Zody

    Elderly? Elderly? What the heck? When did 60 somethings become elderly? This whole thing riles me up, but to call the tenants elderly really makes me see red. Late 80s…okay then I would agree to elderly label.

    • Posted by seriously

      most people are still working in their 60s. agreed.

    • Posted by Lurker

      +1. My father will turn 70 next year and works a couple of part time jobs, including one at the Apple store. He sells iPhones, laptops, you name it. He’d be pretty irritated to hear someone his age described as elderly. With all of the focus on health, exercise, diet, etc., 70 isn’t nearly as old as 70 once was.

      • Posted by spencer

        65+ is elderly

        • Posted by folderpete

          Really?

          I guess it depends on who’s defining. 55. 60. 62. 65. These would all be “seniors” in my mind.

          “Elderly” would be something north of … 80?

          • Posted by SFrentier

            If it was up to sfgov 35 would be considered elderly and entitled to special rights.

  4. Posted by MyOddCommentHandle

    LATE 60s and that’s from the non-kale-eating generation of lead paint and asbestos insulation.

    probably closer to 90 y/o in our years. F—-g Mother Theresa here. jeez

  5. Posted by Dave

    This is a case where protected tenants make sense. Apparently they received a payout to leave.

    Its unfortunate a number of people abuse the protected tenant protection as it hurts others who do not. In the sense that this will no longer be rental units. A personal home for 2 condos. Loss of rental units.

    But, given the city and the situation, anyone buying property to rent it out is playing with fire. Unless its a corporate landlord who can afford to lawyer-up.

  6. Posted by eddy

    Not sure how SS manages to keep track of such listings but major kudos as this will be an interesting data point. Would be even more interesting to know exactly how much the owner had to pay to get the tenant out. Would be ironic if the tenant was the buyer.

    • Posted by folderpete

      I imagine that might be listed at the rent board (Buy-out database). However, I’ve seen errors in the DB, so you might never find it – even if its there.

  7. Posted by SueYu

    With people living to their 90’s this couple could have 20-30yrs to go. If you rent (where you’re rich or poor), it’s temporary no matter what, even in SF. ‘Protection’ just gives you a yr to make a plan. It’s better to plan your own fate and live below your means than think nothing will ever change in the future.

    What has America come to? Those who work hard can still achieve the American Dream. It seems to be those who’ve seen the world (especially undeveloped places) see how lucky we are to be in the US. San Franciscans, those who grew up here really do tend to be quite sheltered, thankfully the new people moving here are not.

    City Sups have created do much bad policy that housing providers especially the mom &pop types who are genererally more humane can’t offer a break to anyone without the City screwing them. Too bad for tenants long term.

    • Posted by HousingWonk

      Yes exactly. The poor are just awful people and if they are poor and can’t afford to buy a home, its just their fault.

      I guess sociopathy is not a uniquely American phenomenon.

      • Posted by Brian M

        Plus, living in the Bay Area it is so very, very easy to live below one’s means. I mean, look at the fantastic example of the campers living underneath The Maze in Oakland. Unlike these lazy aging nogoodniks, these urban campers are fulfilling the proud American tradition of thrift and self reliance.

    • Posted by Dave

      Great point. Most folks are decent – landlords too. The Mom and Pop types are generally more humane as you say. I agree. They are the ones being driven out of the landlord business in SF. Good luck with corporate ownership.

      • Posted by Brian M

        didn’t you read the article? These are no long term mom and pop landlords. They are out of town speculators looking to turn a quick buck. Which is not in itself “evil” per se, but…

        [Editor’s Note: We never said anything about out of town speculators. And in fact, the LLC which purchased and emptied the property is tied to a local agent and brokerage.]

        • Posted by Dave

          I was speaking to Ms. Yu’s specific comments about Mom and Pop landlords. Never said the new owners were such. Just that this is the scenario the City PTB have driven the situation to with their regulations.

        • Posted by Brian M

          So LOCAL speculators.

          A superior breed.

          mea culpa…I guess.

    • Posted by BobN

      SueYu, the measure of how things are today in the U.S. is how they were in the 50s, 60s, 70s, not how crap they were and still are in the Third World.

  8. Posted by observant neighbor

    FWIW the previous tenants kept a nice home and seemed like considerate people. If memory serves, they were paying low-to-mid $2000s in monthly rent. The protected tenant “discount” on this building should therefore be seen as a lower bound on the discount in the more typical protected tenant situation, e.g., where the tenants consist of a large family paying <$1000/mo in rent.

    Anyone want to venture how much (if at all) the market has escalated at 20th & SVN over the last four months? I tend to think it's been pretty flat, but maybe it's gone up a bit.

    • Posted by medalist

      I don’t see these flats even with garage being worth much more that $1m each and that would be fully renovated. So yea, don’t think there’s a lot of room for arbitrage here for the flipper which is why they might be trying to get out and sell to another developer but most likely a owner occupier with deep pockets that’s not concerned with a return.

  9. Posted by jlasf

    Is the implication that it took $375,000 to get them to move?

  10. Posted by Bud

    Late 60’s ≠ ‘elderly’ (I’m 30 btw, not a senior in denial!)

  11. Posted by SPORC

    This is the type of thing that makes us sick. $300K to thoroughly disrupt (and likely destroy) someone’s life.

    This property had been owned up until spring of 2015 by a Maria Hernandez (and her trust). It was sold to an LLC run by a Vanguard Properties agent and an apparent sociopathic speculator who goes by the handle @McFlipper on Twitter. They proceed to kick some old people out (unsure how) and putting the building back up on the market in hopes of pulling in $300K above what they paid only 5 months earlier. Could there have been a way to help Ms. Hernandez’s trust cash in without bringing about the disruption and destruction of someone’s life?

    • Posted by soccermom

      What’s the source on the ownership of the LLC? Who are you talking about? The Twitter handle to which you refer is a digital advertising guy – is this the same person?

      “an apparent sociopathic speculator” Yeah. For sure.

    • Posted by parklife

      “Could there have been a way to help Ms. Hernandez’s trust cash in without bringing about the disruption and destruction of someone’s life?”

      I think you already know the answer to that question is no. In every one of these situations, the seller is just as complicit in the eviction (buyout) as the buyer. The sales price is typically set somewhere between the price assuming a lifetime lease and a vacant unit. The buyer just has the lack of a personal relationship to the tenant and therefore feels okay with the eviction process. Ms. Hernandez could have executed a lifetime lease prior to the sale and the tenants would still be in place, although this would have significantly impacted the proceeds from the sale.

      • Posted by SFrentier

        That’s a load of garbage. Seller has every right to all property to highest and best buyer. End of story.

        What’s next? Sellers need to screen buyers, get them to sign a “I swear on my grandmothers grave that I won’t evict any of the tenants”? Or maybe be coerced into selling to a non profit that will keep the tenants? What are you smoking this morning?

        • Posted by parklife

          I agree that the seller has the right to sell to the highest bidder. But, every rent control supporter is more than willing to demonize the buyer (aka “speculator”) rather than recognizing that the seller is equally, if not more so, responsible for the eviction of tenants. At current market prices for SF multi-unit buildings the only way many of these deals work at all is for the tenants to be evicted. Of course, the seller is often a middle class, long term owner who the activists would find more difficult to disparage in public.

  12. Posted by folderpete

    Ok, how about a protected tenant, who is 65 with a 35 yo disabled “daughter”? Rent = $700/. Income-‘protected’ from CI. ‘Protected’ from O&M. They have refused to even discuss their future (buy-out), which is entirely understandable. Oh – and the 35yo is a nuisance who has (discretely) threatened to burn the place down. Yeah yeah, “Nuisance eviction”. But they are good and fly below the radar. Not gonna be easy going down that path. Ellis seems the only option.

    Kicker is that the bldg is approved for condos; so Ellis would be going backwards. However, the minus is that I lose 1/2 million equity in their unit, and the trouble they cause is dings $50-100k from each of the other three units. I want to remain, but the chaos is driving me nuts; its becoming an either/or situation. The only plus seems to be that if I ‘Ellis’, then they would be eligible to jump the line on ‘affordable’ housing. However, I’d be F’d.

    Feels like I’m F’d either way, actually. Ideas?

    • Posted by BobN

      Did you pay for the “1/2 million in equity in their unit” or was your purchase lower specifically because they lived there as protected tenants?

      • Posted by folderpete

        Currently holding as long-term tenant. Expected tenant occupancy = 50+ yrs (w/o new births/marriages-w-children).

        Vacant would yield ~$550k? Sold to an investor at rent level ($700/) would yield … $75k?

        That’s quite a spread; but even still, difficult to duplicate their housing cost, in SF, for that amt.

    • Posted by EcceMorons

      If your building is approved for condos, the way to go is simple:

      1 – convert to condos

      2 – sell condo to a “bona fide purchaser”.

      3 – your buyer will know that condos are exempt from rent control for them, so upon close of escrow, they can immediately issue a rental increase to market rent. So their purchase price will reflect either what the new cash flow is worth – or the tenants will voluntarily vacate after the rent increase, and the unit will be vacant – to move into or to rent out at market.

      Your agent just needs to explain Costa Hawkins to prospective buyers – actually most buyers’ agents will already understand all of this.

      • Posted by folderpete

        Did I not say “protected tenant”, as in “lifetime lease” if converted?

        So, if I convert, then the problem tenant becomes ensconced and virtually immovable; detracting from the enjoyment and value of the other three.

        Or, eschew conversion, Ellis, remove the problem, and suffer the economic consequences. I realize TICs are selling at 90-95% of condos. But having been in a TIC previously, and vastly preferring not to do that again – AND wanting to remain! – it seems like the only other alt is to just sell, pre-conversion, and leave the problem to the buyer.

        Either way, after 30 yrs, I lose and feel stuck. Thank you San Francisco.

        • Posted by observant neighbor

          If they won’t talk buyout now and you own 3 other units in the building which would become condos, it seems like a no-brainer to offer them the lifetime lease so you can convert. After conversion is out of the way, put a big number on the table and maybe they will talk. $150,000? It won’t buy replacement housing in SF but it’ll set them up with something pretty nice elsewhere.

          And even if they refuse to budget, you can still say “Thank you, San Francisco” for the ridiculous amount of equity you have in the other 3 units–equity which of course you’d lack but for the city’s (and the region’s) ridiculous anti-housing policies.

        • Posted by Dave

          What are the options around just selling? If the building is approved for condos that could be an enticement to a buyer.

          You could exchange out of the property to another. Though if you live in one of the units I assume the exchange is a bit trickier.

          Have you spoken to a real estate attorney?

  13. Posted by medalist

    Anyone check the rent board if a buyout negotiation was filed?

    • Posted by observant neighbor

      Great question! Does anyone know whether there’s a private right of action and private penalties for failure to file?

      (Then again, I’ve heard that the filing requirement is often avoided–within the letter of the law–by the owner and tenant agreeing to a buyout to “settle” an unlawful detainer action. The landlord alleges a breach of the lease, the tenant settles, and that’s that.)

      • Posted by SFrentier

        Dang, that’s very interesting. Have you heard this from one of the reputable attorneys in SF that represent landlords? Melikey?

      • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

        There is a private right of action against the landlord under the ordinance.

        And it certainly appears from the text of the ordinance that one could avoid the “Buyout Agreement” filing and other requirements by first commencing an unlawful detainer action, and then settling it with a buyout — this would have to be done before starting buyout negotiations. I don’t see why you couldn’t file the lawsuit and then never serve it.*

        * nb: this is not legal advice, and anyone who engages in a legal strategy based on something they read on a blog is a fool.

  14. Posted by BayviewSF

    Buyout regulation is unconstitutional and it will probably be thrown away soon.

  15. Posted by BayviewSF

    This article has a political agenda.

  16. Posted by BayviewSF

    The only victim is the Previous Landlord who sold her property at a deep discount due to the tenant occupancy and especially a protected tenant occupancy.

    The biggest winner is the protected tenant, who got money to move and who has enjoyed below market rent for many years.

    The seller should also be a winner assuming the property will sell at or above listing price.

  17. Posted by Schaetzer

    The buyout on the 3-unit building at 1084 South Van Ness was $310,000. That’s the highest amount I’ve come across so far. Most appear to be in the $30k-$35k range per unit, although flats and houses seem to be quite a bit higher. And in many cases there are multiple tenants, so the total amount gets split among the tenants. I had to research the issue recently.

    • Posted by observant neighbor

      Was the $310,000 for a single flat in 1084 SVN or all 3 flats? If all 3, I’d say the LL is going to make out well. Those were protected tenants at very low rents, and 4 BR, 2000 sqft units at that location (once renovated) will probably take in $7000-$8000/month, yes?

    • Posted by BayviewSF

      Ellis would be much cheaper. Is the owner crazy to pay 310k?

  18. Posted by Nameless Taggart Employee

    More emotions than facts in these comments. Like watching Trump and the SFBOS/SFTU manipulate people. If these deals were done without lawsuits then it is possible everyone made compromises so that everyone could come out a winner. The existence of some or even many deals with victims does not imply every deal has a victim.

  19. Posted by jenofla

    I recall a medical article defining “elderly” as 65+, with further subcategorization to early elderly (65-75), middle elderly (75-85), and late elderly (85+), and different medical issues to each range. Average age of death for American male is around 76, females 81, so tenants in their late 60’s would have probably last around 9-14 years on average.

    • Posted by Freeloader

      If you are already late 60’s in the US you have 15-20 years to live, on average.

  20. Posted by BobN

    Quibbles about age thresholds for “elderly” aside, I see what looks like a medical chair or walker thingy in the pile of personal property. Someone has some issues, possibly related to mobility. Life on the third floor might have become difficult, and that may have been a factor.

  21. Posted by missiondweller

    The walker thingy looks like a shower seat–speaking as a boomer elder who is responsible for WW II elders.
    Aging in place is popular among elders, but is a lot of work for those who must support them.
    You can’t assume an old person will die in a few years. Some live to be 100, 105.
    Real estate-wise, it would be great if there were more options in SF for seniors–it would encourage us to sell our houses with many stairs.

  22. Posted by BayviewSF

    The elderly tenant did not make any complaint so this is really a non-issue. The only issue or concern might be that some supervisor may lose a vote, which is none of our business and none of the elderly tenant’s business.

    We need to give a little bit of freedom for the tenants to make decisions on their own. None of the supervisors knows more about the tenant’s need than the tenants themselves. Correct?

  23. Posted by Hitman

    The fact that there is specific monetary value in getting rid of anybody or conversely, staying indefinitely, at a property demonstrates the inequality of the system. You won’t see most landlords getting rid of elderly tenants because you would have to be an idiot to rent to one in SF.

    • Posted by BayviewSF

      Exactly, if the elderly tenants rent at a new apartment which has no rent control, the landlord will be happy to have them stay forever for market rent. Landlord do not like vacancy and they would love their tenants never move. The problem is the rent control. Rent control policy evicts tenants, Rent control policy forces landlord to evict tenant.

  24. Posted by Conifer

    “elderly couple in their late 60s”
    This phrase is silly. Most people in their late 60s are not elderly. There are frail people of that age, but the correct description is “ill” just as there are frail people in their 50s. Elderly — meaning the serious decline of the body that may lead to death due to “old age” — is now usually restricted to people in their 80s. There is no reason to give healthy people of 68 preferences.

  25. Posted by SocketSite

    UPDATE: The official listing for 867-869 South Van Ness has been withdrawn from the MLS without a reported sale.

  26. Posted by BayviewSF

    The previous owner has left one unit vacant for two years when SF rent has reached record levels. Rent control has kept rental units off market, this is a sad effect.

    “This unit will be delivered vacant and has been vacant for two years.”

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