Last week in the wake of PLF’s victory in Levin v. City and County of San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle published an editorial applauding the court’s ruling. Entitled, The court is right: San Francisco’s Ellis Act fees were too high, the editorial describes the tenant relocation payments as “excessive and unfair.”
It’s not just the amount of the payments, as Breyer points out in the decision; it’s also that the tenants are not restricted in their use of the payouts — nor are they themselves required to be low-income. They get paid simply because they had the good fortune to move into a unit that was rent-controlled. Their landlords, meanwhile, are forced to pay enormous amounts simply because they had the bad fortune to need their property for their own purposes. It’s indeed terrible that the rental market is so ridiculously hot right now, but, as Breyer pointed out, that’s not the fault of property owners seeking to exercise their right to ownership.
You can read the entire piece here.