SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A new report shows a rising trend of San Francisco landlords evicting tenants for alleged nuisances that include cooking late at night and parking a car outside of the lines.
In its second annual report, the San Francisco nonprofit Eviction Defense Collaborative documented an increase in "low-fault" evictions, which contain "just cause" as required by city code, but no hard evidence from the landlord.
In these situations, the report claims a landlord would say a tenant breached their rental agreement with allegations that include pets, subletting and smoking to bring on a lawsuit and evict the tenants.
The most common reason cited for breach of leases was related to a pet, which was four times greater than in 2009. Many lawsuits went initially went unchallenged by tenants.
One example describes a tenant who had lived in his home for nearly three decades and was sued for having a companion animal —a documented service dog for his disability.
The tenant struggled to assert his right to reasonable accommodation for a disability without an attorney. The EDC provided him legal help, and he was eventually able to stay in his home.
"Left unchallenged, unscrupulous landlords will continue to utilize these types of evictions as a 'legitimate' means of displacement," the report said. "This story of increasing 'low-fault' evictions is one that impacts some of San Francisco's most vulnerable communities and ultimately threatens the diversity that makes San Francisco so unique."
Low-income tenants, tenants with disabilities and San Francisco's black population continue to be disproportionately affected by eviction, according to the report.
No-fault evictions, which require additional time for tenants to vacate, receive relocation payments and have long-term consequences for the property are also on the rise, according to the report. The San Francisco Tenants Union reports that Ellis Act evictions, which allow landlords to remove rental units from the market and evict the tenants who occupy them, increased 70 percent from 2012-2013.
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