October 1, 2014

Trial in San Francisco tenant relocation case

By Trial in San Francisco tenant relocation case

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California will soon hear PLF’s challenge to San Francisco’s Tenant Relocation Ordinance.  This is the law requiring landlords to pay their tenants the difference between the rent-controlled rate they’ve been paying, and the amount it would cost the tenant to rent a comparable apartment at open market rates for two years.  For our clients, Daniel and Maria Levin, that means paying nearly $118,000 just to take back the bottom, one-bedroom unit of their house for their own use.  PLF attorneys are challenging the law as an unconstitutional taking of private property.  You can learn more about the case here, and here.

Details on the hearing:

October 6, 2014, 10:00 a.m.  PDT

District Court for the Northern District of California
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA  94102

Senior District Judge Charles R. Breyer
Courtroom 6, 17th Floor

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Levin v. City and County of San Francisco

Dan and Maria Levin live in the upstairs unit of their two-story home in San Francisco, California. They would like to use the lower unit for friends and family, but a city ordinance required them to pay their tenant $118,000 to withdraw the unit from the rental market. This amount represents the difference between the tenant’s existing, rent-controlled rate and the cost of acquiring a comparable unit at open market rates, for two years. Representing the Levins and others, PLF successfully sued to strike down this ordinance as an unconstitutional taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment and violation of California’s Ellis Act, which guarantees to property owners the right to take property off the rental market.

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