Legislation would give DA’s Office teeth to prosecute illegal owner move-in evictions

by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

photo by zrants

The City is tackling fake owner move-in evictions. Finally.

Yes, I can hear the groans already. This will be the third week On Guard has written about these evictions, where landlords say they’re evicting a tenant to move in their relative — a mother, a brother — but actually lease the apartment on the market, and charge rents that would make your eyes pop.

Supervisor Mark Farrell is taking the lead, and today will introduce legislation to strengthen the rules around owner move-in evictions at the Board of Supervisors.

“We want to keep these tenants in San Francisco and fight for them,” Farrell told me Monday.

To that end, Farrell plans to give the District Attorney’s Office the tools to do the job.

The problem the District Attorney’s Office identified was simple — intent. The burden of proving whether a landlord actually intended to fraudulently evict someone, a criminal act, or if plans had simply fallen through, was too onerous…

The legislation is complex, but at its heart it requires landlords to write under penalty of perjury their intent to OMI, which would give the DA a way to hold them accountable for that intent in court. It also requires landlords to submit certain information to the rent board to prove tenancy of a relative, or themselves, annually after an OMI eviction. Third, it requires that information to be posted publicly on the rent board website…(more)

 

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