Proposition H Advisory No. 4, December 21, 2000

Proposition H Advisory No. 4, December 21, 2000On December 20, 2000 the court granted the plaintiffs" motion for a preliminary injunction in Quigg v. City and County of San Francisco to stay Proposition H from going into effect until further order of the court or a final decision in the case. The stay is without prejudice to the Rent Board"s adoption of regulations to remedy problems with the Proposition and without prejudice to interim action by the Board on processing capital improvement petitions so long as Proposition H is not implemented without an order of the court. This means that Proposition H will NOT go into effect on Dec. 21st as would have occurred absent the injunction. Refunds mandated by Proposition H for capital improvement passthroughs that are currently being paid will also NOT go into effect as a result of the judge"s ruling.

In oral argument, the judge stated that Proposition H can be constitutionally implemented, but is not constitutional without regulations addressing the problem of landlords who do not have 1978 base year data. The judge therefore gave the Rent Board the opportunity to adopt such regulations.

The Rent Board will consider the effect of the court"s ruling, including possible regulations and how the Board will process capital improvement petitions in the meantime, at the next Board meeting on January 2, 2001. However, the bulk of the discussion on Proposition H regulations will occur at a January 9, 2001 special meeting. The department will try to secure a larger meeting room in City Hall for the 9th. Persons planning to attend this meeting should check the agenda to determine the exact location.

In addition to the 1978 base year problem, the judge stated that retroactive application of Proposition H to April 10,2000 is also a problem. However, the judge did not make a specific ruling on the legality of retroactive application of the Proposition at this time.