Supervisor Daly's Eviction Legislation as Proposed

[Rent Ordinance amendments providing additional protection to tenants subject to Ellis Act and other eviction notices, including recordation of owner-move-in notices, future use restrictions on vacated units, waiver protections, prohibiting settlement bars to cooperation with governmental entities, and notice of evictions to buyers; and conformation to state law re misdemeanor violations.]

Ordinance amending the Rent Ordinance (Administrative Code Chapter 37, Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance) by amending Sections 37.9, 37.9B and 37.10A to provide additional protections to tenants, and to conform to state law regarding misdemeanor violations, as follows: (1) Require the Rent Board to record owner move-in eviction notices with the County Recorder; (2) Require any eviction notices to be in writing and filed with the Rent Board; (3) Subject vacated units to the future use restrictions stated in the Rent Ordinance, regardless of any agreement made between the landlord and the vacating tenant; (4) Require a tenant to be represented by independent counsel in a judicially court-supervised settlement agreement, in order to waive any tenant rights under the Rent Ordinance; (5) Prohibit settlement agreement clauses that bar an evicted tenant from cooperation with a governmental investigation or proceeding; (6) Require the seller of a property to give written notice to the buyer disclosing the reason legal ground(s) for the most recent termination of the tenancy for every each residential unit to be delivered vacant at the close of escrow; and (7) Conform misdemeanor provisions to state law ($1,000 fine plus possible imprisonment in County Jail for up to six months).

 

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deletions are 
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Board amendment additions are double underlined Arial font;

Board amendment deletions are strikethrough Arial font.

 

Be it ordained by the People of the City and County of San Francisco:

Section 1. The San Francisco Administrative Code is hereby amended by amending Section 37.9, to read as follows:

SEC. 37.9. EVICTIONS.

Notwithstanding Section 37.3, this Section shall apply as of August 24, 1980, to all landlords and tenants of rental units as defined in Section 37.2(r).

(a) A landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit unless:

(1) The tenant:

(A) Has failed to pay the rent to which the landlord is lawfully entitled under the oral or written agreement between the tenant and landlord:

(i) Except that a tenant"s nonpayment of a charge prohibited by Section 919.1 of the Police Code shall not constitute a failure to pay rent; and

(ii) Except that, commencing August 10, 2001, to and including February 10, 2003, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover or recover possession of a rental unit for failure of a tenant to pay that portion of rent attributable to a capital improvement passthrough certified pursuant to a decision issued after April 10, 2000, where the capital improvement passthrough petition was filed prior to August 10, 2001, and a landlord shall not impose any late fee(s) upon the tenant for such non-payment of capital improvement costs; or

(B) Habitually pays the rent late; or

(C) Gives checks which are frequently returned because there are insufficient funds in the checking account; or

(2) The tenant has violated a lawful obligation or covenant of tenancy other than the obligation to surrender possession upon proper notice or other than an obligation to pay a charge prohibited by Police Code Section 919.1, and failure to cure such violation after having received written notice thereof from the landlord, provided further that notwithstanding any lease provision to the contrary, a landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit as a result of subletting of the rental unit by the tenant if the landlord has unreasonably withheld the right to sublet following a written request by the tenant, so long as the tenant continues to reside in the rental unit and the sublet constitutes a one-for-one replacement of the departing tenant(s). If the landlord fails to respond to the tenant in writing within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the tenant"s written request, the tenant"s request shall be deemed approved by the landlord; or

(3) The tenant is committing or permitting to exist a nuisance in, or is causing substantial damage to, the rental unit, or is creating a substantial interference with the comfort, safety or enjoyment of the landlord or tenants in the building, and the nature of such nuisance, damage or interference is specifically stated by the landlord in writing as required by Section 37.9(c); or

(4) The tenant is using or permitting a rental unit to be used for any illegal purpose; or

(5) The tenant, who had an oral or written agreement with the landlord which has terminated, has refused after written request or demand by the landlord to execute a written extension or renewal thereof for a further term of like duration and under such terms which are materially the same as in the previous agreement; provided, that such terms do not conflict with any of the provisions of this Chapter; or

(6) The tenant has, after written notice to cease, refused the landlord access to the rental unit as required by State or local law; or

(7) The tenant holding at the end of the term of the oral or written agreement is a subtenant not approved by the landlord; or

(8) The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith, without ulterior reasons and with honest intent:

(i) For the landlord"s use or occupancy as his or her principal residence for a period of at least 36 continuous months;

(ii) For the use or occupancy of the landlord"s grandparents, grandchildren, parents, children, brother or sister, or the landlord"s spouse, or the spouses of such relations, as their principal place of residency for a period of at least 36 months, in the same building in which the landlord resides as his or her principal place of residency, or in a building in which the landlord is simultaneously seeking possession of a rental unit under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i). For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8)(ii), the term spouse shall include domestic partners as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Sections 62.1 through 62.8.

(iii) For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8) only, as to landlords who become owners of record of the rental unit on or before February 21, 1991, the term "landlord" shall be defined as an owner of record of at least 10 percent interest in the property or, for Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) only, two individuals registered as domestic partners as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Sections 62.1 through 62.8 whose combined ownership of record is at least 10 percent. For purposes of this Section 37.9(a)(8) only, as to landlords who become owners of record of the rental unit after February 21, 1991, the term "landlord" shall be defined as an owner of record of at least 25 percent interest in the property or, for Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) only, two individuals registered as domestic partners as defined in San Francisco Administrative Code Sections 62.1 through 62.8 whose combined ownership of record is at least 25 percent.

(iv) A landlord may not recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(8) if a comparable unit owned by the landlord is already vacant and is available, or if such a unit becomes vacant and available before the recovery of possession of the unit. If a comparable unit does become vacant and available before the recovery of possession, the landlord shall rescind the notice to vacate and dismiss any action filed to recover possession of the premises. Provided further, if a noncomparable unit becomes available before the recovery of possession, the landlord shall offer that unit to the tenant at a rent based on the rent that the tenant is paying, with upward or downward adjustments allowed based upon the condition, size, and other amenities of the replacement unit. Disputes concerning the initial rent for the replacement unit shall be determined by the Rent Board. It shall be evidence of a lack of good faith if a landlord times the service of the notice, or the filing of an action to recover possession, so as to avoid moving into a comparable unit, or to avoid offering a tenant a replacement unit.

(v) It shall be rebuttably presumed that the landlord has not acted in good faith if the landlord or relative for whom the tenant was evicted does not move into the rental unit within three months and occupy said unit as that person"s principal residence for a minimum of 36 continuous months.

(vi) Once a landlord has successfully recovered possession of a rental unit pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8)(i), then no other current or future landlords may recover possession of any other rental unit in the building under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i). It is the intention of this Section that only one specific unit per building may be used for such occupancy under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) and that once a unit is used for such occupancy, all future occupancies under Section 37.9(a)(8)(i) must be of that same unit, provided that a landlord may file a petition with the Rent Board, or at the landlord"s option, commence eviction proceedings, claiming that disability or other similar hardship prevents him or her from occupying a unit which was previously occupied by the landlord.

(vii) If any provision or clause of this amendment to Section 37.9(a)(8) or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional or to be otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect other chapter provisions, and clauses of this Chapter are held to be severable; or

(9) The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to sell the unit in accordance with a condominium conversion approved under the San Francisco subdivision ordinance and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent; or

(10) The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to demolish or to otherwise permanently remove the rental unit from housing use and has obtained all the necessary permits on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent; provided that a landlord who seeks to demolish an unreinforced masonry building pursuant to Building Code Chapters 14 and 15 must provide the tenant with the relocation assistance specified in Section 37.9A(f) below prior to the tenant"s vacating the premises; or

(11) The landlord seeks in good faith to remove temporarily the unit from housing use in order to be able to carry out capital improvements or rehabilitation work and has obtained all the necessary permits on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent. Any tenant who vacates the unit under such circumstances shall have the right to reoccupy the unit at the prior rent adjusted in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter. The tenant will vacate the unit only for the minimum time required to do the work. On or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, the landlord shall advise the tenant in writing that the rehabilitation or capital improvement plans are on file with the Central Permit Bureau of the Department of Building Inspection and that arrangements for reviewing such plans can be made with the Central Permit Bureau. In addition to the above, no landlord shall endeavor to recover possession of any unit subject to a RAP loan as set forth in Section 37.2(m) of this Chapter except as provided in Section 32.69 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. The tenant shall not be required to vacate pursuant to this Section 37.9(a)(11), for a period in excess of three months; provided, however, that such time period may be extended by the Board or its Administrative Law Judges upon application by the landlord. The Board shall adopt rules and regulations to implement the application procedure. Any landlord who seeks to recover possession under this Section 37.9(a)(11) shall pay the tenant actual costs up to $1,000 for moving and relocation expenses not less than 10 days prior to recovery of possession; or

(12) The landlord seeks to recover possession in good faith in order to carry out substantial rehabilitation, as defined in Section 37.2(s), and has obtained all the necessary permits on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given, and does so without ulterior reasons and with honest intent. Notwithstanding the above, no landlord shall endeavor to recover possession of any unit subject to a RAP loan as set forth in Section 37.2(m) of this Chapter except as provided in Section 32.69 of the San Francisco Administrative Code; or

(13) The landlord wishes to withdraw from rent or lease all rental units within any detached physical structure and, in addition, in the case of any detached physical structure containing three or fewer rental units, any other rental units on the same lot, and complies in full with Section 37.9A with respect to each such unit; provided, however, that a unit classified as a residential unit under Chapter 41 of this Code which is vacated under this Section 37.9(a)(13) may not be put to any use other than that of a residential hotel unit without compliance with the provisions of Section 41.9 of this Code; or

(14) The landlord seeks in good faith to temporarily recover possession of the unit for less than 30 days solely for the purpose of effecting lead remediation or abatement work, as required by San Francisco Health Code Article 26. The relocation rights and remedies, established by San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 72, including but not limited to, the payment of financial relocation assistance, shall apply to evictions under this Section 37.9(a)(14).

(b) A landlord who resides in the same rental unit with his or her tenant may evict said tenant without just cause as required under Section 37.9(a) above.

(c) A landlord shall not endeavor to recover possession of a rental unit unless at least one of the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a) or (b) above is the landlord"s dominant motive for recovering possession and unless the landlord informs the tenant in writing on or before the date upon which notice to vacate is given of the grounds under which possession is sought and that advice regarding the notice to vacate is available from the Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board, before endeavoring to recover possession. A copy of all notices to vacate except three-day notices to vacate or pay rent and a copy of any additional written documents informing the tenant of the grounds under which possession is sought shall be filed with the Board within 10 days following service of the notice to vacate. The District Attorney shall determine whether the units set forth on the list compiled in accordance with Section 37.6(k) are still being occupied by the tenant who succeeded the tenant upon whom the notice was served. In cases where the District Attorney determines that Section 37.9(a)(8) has been violated, the District Attorney shall take whatever action he deems appropriate under this Chapter or under State law.

(d) No landlord may cause a tenant to quit involuntarily or threaten to bring any action to recover possession, or decrease any services, or increase the rent, or take any other action where the landlord"s dominant motive is retaliation for the tenant"s exercise of any rights under the law. Such retaliation shall be a defense to any action to recover possession. In an action to recover possession of a rental unit, proof of the exercise by the tenant of rights under the law within six months prior to the alleged act of retaliation shall create a rebuttable presumption that the landlord"s act was retaliatory.

(e) It shall be unlawful for a landlord or any other person who wilfully assists the landlord to endeavor to recover possession or to evict a tenant except as provided in Section 37.9(a) and (b). Any person endeavoring to recover possession of a rental unit from a tenant or evicting a tenant in a manner not provided for in Section 37.9(a) or (b) without having a substantial basis in fact for the eviction as provided for in Section 37.9(a) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject, upon conviction, to the fines and penalties set forth in Section 37.10A. Any waiver by a tenant of rights under this Chapter except as provided in Section 37.10A(g), shall be void as contrary to public policy.

(f) Whenever a landlord wrongfully endeavors to recover possession or recovers possession of a rental unit in violation of Sections 37.9 and/or 37.10A as enacted herein, the tenant or Board may institute a civil proceeding for injunctive relief, money damages of not less than three times actual damages, (including damages for mental or emotional distress), and whatever other relief the court deems appropriate. In the case of an award of damages for mental or emotional distress, said award shall only be trebled if the trier of fact finds that the landlord acted in knowing violation of or in reckless disregard of Section 37.9 or 37.10A herein. The prevailing party shall be entitled to reasonable attorney"s fees and costs pursuant to order of the court. The remedy available under this Section 37.9(f) shall be in addition to any other existing remedies which may be available to the tenant or the Board.

(g) The provisions of this Section 37.9 shall apply to any rental unit as defined in Sections 37.2(r)(4)(A) and 37.2(r)(4)(B), including where a notice to vacate/quit any such rental unit has been served as of the effective date of this Ordinance No. 250-98 but where any such rental unit has not yet been vacated or an unlawful detainer judgment has not been issued as of the effective date of this Ordinance No. 250-98.

(h) With respect to rental units occupied by recipients of tenant-based rental assistance, the notice requirements of this Section 37.9 shall be required in addition to any notice required as part of the tenant-based rental assistance program, including but not limited to the notice required under 24 CFR Section 982.310(e)(2)(ii).

(i) The following additional provisions shall apply to a landlord who seeks to recover a rental unit by utilizing the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a)(8):

(1) A landlord may not recover possession of a unit from a tenant under Section 37.9(a)(8) if the landlord has or receives notice, any time before recovery of possession, that any tenant in the rental unit:

(A) Is 60 years of age or older and has been residing in the unit for 10 years or more; or

(B) Is disabled within the meaning of Section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(i) and has been residing in the unit for 10 years or more, or is catastrophically ill within the meaning of Section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(ii) and has been residing in the unit for five years or more:

(i) A "disabled" tenant is defined for purposes of this Section 37.9(i)(1)(B) as a person who is disabled or blind within the meaning of the federal Supplemental Security Income/California State Supplemental Program (SSI/SSP), and who is determined by SSI/SSP to qualify for that program or who satisfies such requirements through any other method of determination as approved by the Rent Board;

(ii) A "catastrophically ill" tenant is defined for purposes of this Section 37.9(i)(1)(B) as a person who is disabled as defined by Section 37.9(i)(1)(B)(i), and who is suffering from a life threatening illness as certified by his or her primary care physician.

(2) The foregoing provisions of Sections 37.9(i)(1)(A) and (B) shall not apply where there is only one rental unit owned by the landlord in the building, or where each of the rental units owned by the landlord in the same building where the landlord resides (except the unit actually occupied by the landlord) is occupied by a tenant otherwise protected from eviction by Sections 37.9(i)(1)(A) or (B) and where the landlord"s qualified relative who will move into the unit pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8) is 60 years of age or older.

(3) The provisions established by this Section 37.9(i) include, but are not limited to, any rental unit where a notice to vacate/quit has been served as of the date this amendment takes effect but where the rental unit has not yet been vacated or an unlawful detainer judgment has not been issued.

(4) Within 30 days of personal service by the landlord of a written request, or, at the landlord"s option, a notice of termination of tenancy under Section 37.9(a)(8), the tenant must submit a statement, with supporting evidence, to the landlord if the tenant claims to be a member of one of the classes protected by Section 37.9(i). The written request or notice shall contain a warning that a tenant"s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected by Section 37.9(i). The landlord shall file a copy of the request or notice with the Rent Board within 10 days of service on the tenant. A tenant"s failure to submit a statement within the 30 day period shall be deemed an admission that the tenant is not protected by Section 37.9(i). A landlord may challenge a tenant"s claim of protected status either by requesting a hearing with the Rent Board or, at the landlord"s option, through commencement of eviction proceedings, including service of a notice of termination of tenancy. In the Rent Board hearing or the eviction action, the tenant shall have the burden of proof to show protected status. No civil or criminal liability under Section 37.9(e) or (f) shall be imposed upon a landlord for either requesting or challenging a tenant"s claim of protected status.

(5) This Section 37.9(i) is severable from all other sections and shall be of no force or effect if any temporary moratorium on owner/relative evictions adopted by the Board of Supervisors after June 1, 1998 and before October 31, 1998 has been invalidated by the courts in a final decision.

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Section 2. The San Francisco Administrative Code is hereby amended by amending Section 37.9B, to read as follows:

Sec. 37.9B. TENANT RIGHTS IN EVICTIONS UNDER SECTION 37.9(a)(8).

(a) Any rental unit which a tenant vacates after receiving a notice to quit based on Section 37.9(a)(8), and which is subsequently no longer occupied as a principal residence by the landlord or the landlord"s grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, or the landlord"s spouse, or the spouses of such relations must, if offered for rent during the three-year period following service of the notice to quit under Section 37.9(a)(8), be rented in good faith at a rent not greater than at which would have been the rent had the tenant who had been required to vacate remained in continuous occupancy and the rental unit remained subject to this Chapter. If it is asserted that a rent increase could have taken place during the occupancy of the rental unit by the landlord if the rental unit had been subjected to this Chapter, the landlord shall bear the burden of proving that the rent could have been legally increased during the period. If it is asserted that the increase is based in whole or in part upon any grounds other than that set forth in Section 37.3(a)(1), the landlord must petition the Rent Board pursuant to the procedures of this Chapter. Displaced tenants shall be entitled to participate in and present evidence at any hearing held on such a petition. Tenants displaced pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8) shall make all reasonable efforts to keep the Rent Board apprised of their current address. The Rent Board shall provide notice of any proceedings before the Rent Board to the displaced tenant at the last address provided by the tenant. No increase shall be allowed on account of any expense incurred in connection with the displacement of the tenant.

(b) Any landlord who, within three years of the date of service of the notice to quit, offers for rent or lease any unit in which the possession was recovered pursuant to Section 37.9(a)(8) shall first offer the unit for rent or lease to the tenants displaced in the same manner as provided for in Sections 37.9A(c) and (d).

(c) In addition to complying with the requirements of Section 37.9(a)(8), Aan owner who endeavors to recover possession under Section 37.9(a)(8) shall, in addition to complying with the requirements of Section 37.9(c), inform the tenant of the following information in writing of the following and file any written documents informing the tenant of the following a copy with the Rent Board within 10 days after service of the notice to vacate, together with a copy of the notice to vacate and proof of service upon the tenant;

(1) The identity and percentage of ownership of all persons holding a full or partial percentage ownership in the property;

(2) The dates the percentages of ownership were recorded;

(3) The name(s) of the landlord endeavoring to recover possession and, if applicable, the name(s) and relationship of the relative(s) for whom possession is being sought and a description of the current residence of the landlord or relative(s);

(4) A description of all residential properties owned, in whole or in part, by the landlord and, if applicable, a description of all residential properties owned, in whole or in part, by the landlord"s grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister for whom possession is being sought;

(5) The current rent for the unit and a statement that the tenant has the right to re-rent the unit at the same rent, as adjusted by Section 37.9B(a) above;

(6) The contents of Section 37.9B, by providing a copy of same; and

(7) The right the tenant(s) may have to relocation costs and the amount of those relocation costs.

(d) Each individual tenant of any rental unit in a building containing two or more units who receives a notice to quit based upon Section 37.9(a)(8), and who has resided in the unit for 12 or more months, in addition to all rights under any other provision of law, shall be entitled to receive relocation expenses of $1,000 from the owner, $500 of which shall be paid at the time of the service of the notice to vacate, and $500 of which shall be paid when the tenant vacates. An owner who pays relocation costs as required by this subsection in conjunction with a notice to quit need not pay relocation costs with any further notices to quit for the same unit that are served within 180 days of the notice that included the required relocation payment. The relocation costs contained herein are separate from any security or other refundable deposits as defined in California Code Section 1950.5. Further, payment or acceptance of relocation costs shall not waive any other rights a tenant may have under law.

(e) Within 30 days after the effective date ofa written notice to vacate thatis filed with the Board as required byunderSection 37.9B(c) the Board shall record a notice of constraints with the County Recorder identifying each unit on the property that is the subject of the Section 37.9B(c) notice to vacate,stating the nature and dates of applicable restrictions under Sections 37.9(a)(8) and 37.9B. If a notice of constraints is recorded but the tenant does not vacate the unit, the landlord may apply to the Board for a rescission of the recorded notice of constraints.

 
 

Section 3. The San Francisco Administrative Code is hereby amended by amending Section 37.10AB, to read as follows:

Sec. 37.10A. MISDEMEANORS, AND OTHER ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS.

(a) It shall be unlawful for a landlord to increase rent or rents in violation of the decision of an Administrative Law Judge or the decision of the Board on appeal pursuant to the hearing and appeal procedures set forth in Section 37.8 of this Chapter. It shall further be unlawful for a landlord to charge any rent which exceeds the limitations of this Chapter. Any person who increases rents in violation of such decisions or who charges excessive rents shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) It shall be unlawful for an landlord to refuse to rent or lease or otherwise deny to or withhold from any person any rental unit because the age of a prospective tenant would result in the tenant acquiring rights under this Chapter. Any person who refuses to rent in violation of this subsection shall, in addition to any other penalties provide by State or federal law, be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(c)Any person convicted of a misdemeanor hereunder shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period of not more than six months, or by both. Each violation of the decision of an Administrative Law Judge or the decision of the Board on appeal and each refusal to rent or denial of a rental unit as set forth above shall constitute a separate offense. It shall be unlawful for a landlord or for any person who willfully assists a landlord to request that a tenant move from a rental unit or to threaten to recover possession of a rental unit, either verbally or in writing, unless: (1) the landlord in good faith intends to recover said unit under one of the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a) or (b); and (2) within five days of any such request or threat the landlord serves the tenant with a written notice stating the particular ground under Section 37.9(a) or (b) that is the basis for the landlord"s intended recovery of possession of the unit.

(d) It shall be unlawful for a landlord or for any person who willfully assists a landlord to recover possession of a rental unit unless, prior to recovery of possession of the unit: (1) the landlord files a copy of the written notice required under Section 37.10A(c) with the Board together with any preceding warning or threat to recover possession, unless the particular ground for recovery is non-payment of rent; and (2) the landlord satisfies all requirements for recovery of the unit under Section 37.9(a) or (b).

(e) In any criminal or civil proceeding based on a violation of Section 37.10A(c) or 37.10A(d), the landlord"s failure to use a recovered unit for the Section 37.9(a) or (b) ground stated verbally or in writing to the tenant from whom the unit was recovered shall give rise to a presumption that the landlord did not have a good faith intention to recover the unit for the stated ground.

(f) If possession of a rental unit is recovered as the result of any written or verbal statement to the tenant that the landlord intends to recover the unit under one of the grounds enumerated in Section 37.9(a) or (b), the unit shall be subject to all restrictions set forth under this Chapter on units recovered for such stated purpose regardless of any agreement made between the landlord or the landlord"s agent and the tenant who vacated the recovered unit. Any unit vacated by a tenant within 120 days after receiving any written or verbal statement from the landlord stating that the landlord intends to recover the unit under Section 37.9(a) or (b), shall be rebuttably presumed to have been recovered by the landlord pursuant to the grounds identified in that written or verbal statement.

(g)Any waiver of rights by a tenant under this Chapter shall be void as contrary to public policy unless the tenant is represented by independent counsel and the waiver is approved in a judicially supervised settlement agreement.Except as provided in this subsectionIt itshall be unlawful for a landlord, or for any person who willfully assists a landlord, including the landlord"s attorney or legal representative, to seek or obtain a tenant"s waiver of rights under this Chapter except as provided in this Section, or to seek or obtain a tenant"s agreement not to cooperate with any investigation or proceeding by any administrative or law enforcement or other governmental agency under this Chapter, or to otherwise seek or obtain a tenant"s waiver of rights under this Chapter. Any waiver of rights by a tenant under this Chapter shall be void as contrary to public policy unless the tenant is represented by independent counsel and the waiver is approved in a Court-supervised settlement agreement, or by a retired judge of the California Superior Court sitting as a mediator or arbitrator by mutual agreement of the tenant represented by independent counsel and the landlord. Any settlement agreement shall identify the judge, mediator, or arbitrator reviewing the settlement, all counsel representing the parties, and any other information as required by the Board. The landlord shall file a signed copy of the settlement agreement with the Board within ten days of execution. Unless otherwise required by the Board, the copy of the agreement filed with the Board shall redact the amount of payments to be made to tenants.

(h) It shall be unlawful for a landlord to knowingly fail to disclose enter into a contract for the sale of any property consisting of two or more residential units without first disclosing in writing to the buyer , prior to entering into a contract for the sale of any property consisting of two or more residential units, the specific legal ground(s) for the termination of the tenancy of everyeachresidential unit to be delivered vacant at the close of escrow.

(i) Any person who violates Section 37.10A(a), (b), (c), (d), (g) or (h) is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a mandatory fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), and in addition to such fine may be punished by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period of not more than six months. Each violation shall constitute a separate offense.

 
 

Section 4. FINDINGS. The Board of Supervisors finds:

(a.) The District Attorney"s office reports that, while investigating illegal evictions, it has become aware that a landlord sometimes threatens to file an Ellis Act eviction notice in order to recover a rental unit from a tenant, without actually filing the notice. If the tenant vacates the unit in anticipation of receiving the notice, and the Ellis Act notice is not actually filed or recorded, the landlord can re-rent the unit at market rate without any of the consequences of an Ellis Act eviction.

(b.) The District Attorney"s office also reports that it has encountered cases where tenants subjected to owner move-in evictions or Ellis Act evictions waived their rights without any legal representation. signing settlement agreements stating that the landlord could re-rent the property at market rate. Some tenants subjected to owner move-in evictions signed agreements stating that the owner or his or her intended family member was not required to occupy the property. In some cases, these settlement agreements also barred the evicted tenant from cooperating with the Rent Board or the District Attorney"s office in the event of an administrative or criminal investigation or prosecution.

(c.) The District Attorney"s office further reports that prosecution of illegal evictions has been further hampered by post-eviction sale of properties, with no notice to the new buyers of the constraints on future use.

(d.) In order to address these issues identified by the District Attorney"s office, and in order to more effectively insure enforcement of the City"s Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance (Administrative Code Chapter 37), the Board of Supervisors enacts the amendments set forth herein.

 
 

Section 5. SEVERABILITY. If any part or provision of this Ordinance, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this Ordinance, including the application of such part or provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, provisions of this Ordinance are severable.

 
 
 
 

APPROVED AS TO FORM:

DENNIS J. HERRERA, City Attorney

 
 

By:

MARIE CORLETT BLITS

Deputy City Attorney