The Ellis Act is a key mechanism for undermining San Francisco’s rent control laws. The state law gives landlords the right to evict all tenants, even if they have always been good tenants and paid their rent on time. The use of the Ellis act is a legal deception where owners pretend to go out of business. In actuality they aim to create new expensive housing options in the form of group-owned tenancy-in-common flats or condos. Condos are forever exempted from rent protections even if subsequently rented out.
There is no limit to the number of times a building owner can “go out of business”. The data shows some owners buying and Ellising multiple buildings over time. If these new owners do not want to be landlords, why are they buying buildings full of rental units?
The security of rent increase protection applies to only 46% of total housing stock in the city. It is a precious resource that is shrinking everyday.
This map reveals the accumulation of Ellis Act evictions since they were first utilized by landlords in San Francisco. The size of the explosion corresponds with the number of units displaced by each eviction. A timeline of Ellis Act evictions can be found here.
If you have been evicted by the Ellis Act or other means of displacement, please fill out our survey here to put your story on a comprehensive map in the making.