Over the past four months, tenants of 47 rent-controlled apartments in San Francisco have negotiated buyouts to vacate their units, with an average payout of $43,000. The highest buyout was for $310,000.
And in fact, the average buyout reported to the San Francisco Rent Board, as newly required by law, was roughly twice the average of all the offers which had voluntarily been reported to San Francisco’s Tenants Union last year.
As the disclosure of buyout agreements wasn’t previously required in San Francisco, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly how the new law has impacted their use or make any apples-to-apples comparisons. But as the Chronicle reports, eviction filings have increased since the buyout legislation went into effect.
The benefit of quietly negotiating a buyout has been diminished with respect to both disclosure (they’re now public) and impact on condo conversion (they now count as de facto evictions). And as such, it shouldn’t catch anyone by surprise that evictions are on the rise. But in terms of overall displacement from rent-controlled units, there’s no evidence that the law has had any effect, one way or the other.
San Francisco’s Buyout Agreement ordinance is being challenged as unconstitutional in California Superior Court.