City Attorney Dennis Herrera has announced that his office will appeal yesterday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer which struck down San Francisco’s recently adopted tenant relocation law, a law which requires landlords in San Francisco who invoke the Ellis Act to pay any evicted tenants an upfront sum equal to the difference between their current rent and the rent the tenants would pay for a similar market-rate unit over the course of two years.
“There should be no doubt that when a landlord evicts a rent-controlled tenant, the immense rent increase the tenant faces is the direct result of the landlord’s decision to evict,” Herrera said. “The district court’s decision is contrary to cases interpreting the U.S. Constitution. San Francisco is facing a housing affordability crisis that’s historically unprecedented, and our tenant relocation law serves a legitimate and lawful public purpose in helping tenants to adjust to the loss of rent control and mitigating the harms of displacement.”
Judge Breyer deemed the city’s tenant relocation law an unconstitutional taking on the grounds that its payments are “untethered in both nature and amount to the social harm actually caused by the property owner’s action.”