As tech companies spread out from Silicon Valley to San Francisco, the landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area is changing figuratively and literally. The evictees range from non-profits that help the unfortunate fighting cancer to longtime businesses and residents, because: GREED.
As Carmen Ortiz, Circulo de Vido’s Executive Director put it, “I guess Vera Cort feels that sitting in front of a computer creating apps all day is more important than providing needed services to Latinos battling a dreadful disease.”
Vera Cort is the owner of the building at 2601 Mission Street, where Ortiz’s non-profit has been for over 20 years. Cort wants to evict Circulo de Vida in favor of DoubleDutch, a start-up with $75 million in startup venture capital–because they are willing to pay more.
The most recent buzz is about a woman named Debra Follingstad at 355 Bocana Street in San Francisco.
Debra recently received this letter from her landlord, Nadia Lama, raising her rent from $2145 per month to $8900 per month. Even though Deb is a longtime existing tenant, Nadia is demanding an additional $12,500 security deposit… Because: GREED.
San Francisco is a rent-controlled city, which is also restricted by the Ellis Act.
In terms of Rent Control, according to the San Francisco Tenants Union, the basic components are:
• Landlords can only raise a tenant’s rent by a set amount each year (tied to inflation). Landlords can also petition for other increases (notably capital improvements for a maximum increase of 10% or increased operating and maintenance costs for a maximum increase of 7%; these rent increases must be documented and approved by the Rent Board before they can be imposed).
• Tenants can petition the Rent Board to decrease their rent if the landlord is failing to provide agreed upon or legally required services—e.g., the landlord takes away storage space, parking, washer/dryer, etc. or the landlord fails to maintain the premises as safe and habitable (e.g. the apartment has uncorrected housing code violations).
• Tenants can only be evicted for one of 16 “just causes.” Most of these deal with allegations the tenant can dispute (e.g., tenant is violating the lease) but some are “no-fault” like owner move in or an Ellis Act eviction. See the Evictions section for more information on evictions.
The exceptions to the Rent Control provisions are:
– You live in a rental unit with a certificate of occupancy after June 13, 1979. This “new construction exemption” is the biggest exemption in San Francisco. Click here for link to Assessor’s database, where you can usually find out the date your building was constructed which will give the approximate date for the certificate of occupancy. Illegal units do not have a certificate of occupancy, so are covered under the Rent Ordinance unless exempt for other reasons.
– You live in subsidized housing, such as HUD housing projects.
– You live in a residential hotel and have less than 32 days of continuous tenancy.
– You live in a dormitory, hospital, monastery, nunnery, etc.
– You live in a single family home.
Now we move on to the Ellis Act, which is a California State Law (yet, if you look at the “pro” Ellis Act site it’s clearly focused on San Francisco) that says that landlords have a right to evict tenants–but it has to be ALL tenants–and is usually to convert long-time rent-controlled apartments into high end condominiums. This is happening a lot in the Mission District of San Francisco. Only the most recent method seems to be by burning the buildings down–and the tenants out of their homes, and often times resulting in death–again and again and again and again and…
Not surprisingly, these addresses magically reappear with multi-million dollar condominiums for sale–at a tidy profit for the arsonist/owners. And by “tidy”, some are going as high as $49MILLION.
As you might imagine, with the cost for purchasing a home in San Francisco seeminly rising by the minute, that also affects the cost of rents. One bedroom apartments are going for $4000 per month–and up.
It’s frightening to think that greed can control an entire metropolitan area like San Francisco, to the point of arson and murder (let me be perhaps the first to call it what it is). It’s beyond disgusting that it appears to be taking over our entire nation, and perhaps the world.
WATCH the buildings burn–so dangerous at times firefighters cannot enter:
Featured image via screen capture