Category Archives: SPOSF

Small Property Owners of San Francisco Urge Voters To Vote “No on Prop. 21” This November

The Small Property Owners of San Francisco asked two of its board members, Paul Utrecht of Utrecht Lenvin, LLP and Costa-Hawkins.com’s own Justin Goodman of Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC, to discuss November’s Proposition 21 – a statewide ballot initiative to effectively repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and allow cities to impose vacancy control.

Paul and Justin discussed existing law and the nuances of Proposition 21 – this year’s effort to repeal the operative provisions of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (succeeding a previous effort by Michael Weinstein in 2018, and a legislative effort in 2017).

Paul and Justin also contemplated the likely unintended and perverse consequences of once again allowing the vacancy control that Costa-Hawkins eliminated at the state level back in 1996. We at Costa-Hawkins.com rarely take political stances on potential changes in law, but if for no other reason than we would need a new domain name (and that the change in law would authorize misguided rental housing policy statewide), we urge you to donate and vote!

SPOSF’s mission is to provide owners of small rental properties in San Francisco with the tools and information necessary to conduct business successfully in a difficult regulatory climate, through educational programs, publications, and workshops that seek to help members better understand their rights and obligations, how to work constructively with city and state officials, and how to deal effectively with their tenants. SPOSF also seeks to protect the rights of small property owners against unfair and burdensome regulations through legal advocacy.

SPOSF holds monthly meetings at St. Mary’s Cathedral, located at 1111 Gough Street in San Francisco. You can join SPOSF by clicking here. Members have access to the full monthly newsletter.

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San Francisco Legislative Update (2020) COVID-19 Edition: “Preston Amendment” Ordinance 93-20 Prohibits Evictions Based on Non-Payment of Rent Owed During Governor’s Moratorium

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San Francisco passed legislation, sponsored by Supervisor Preston, which prohibits evictions for non-payment of rent, for any rent due during Governor Newsom’s eviction moratorium, which is currently extended through September 30, 2020. Therefore, for rents due between the original March 16th order and September 30th (as may be further continued), San Francisco landlords cannot collect this rent (and the unit) via an unlawful detainer lawsuit.

Unsurprisingly, several industry groups – the San Francisco Apartment Association, the San Francisco Association of Realtors, the Coalition for Better Housing, and the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute have sued to overturn the ordinance.

The full text of Ordinance 93-20 is available here.

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Small Property Owners of San Francisco Conduct Virtual “Legal Q&A” Panel for June, Amid COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Order

With the continuation of the shelter-in-place order during ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, SPOSF once again conducted its monthly Q&A panel virtually. The June 2020 panel featured Scott Freedman and Justin Goodman of Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC. (Goodman is also a board member of SPOSF. His mustache, a pandemic work-from-home novelty, achieved its purpose in embarrassing Goodman’s boss, Freedman, during a shared public appearance, and was shaved shortly thereafter.)

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Small Property Owners of San Francisco Conduct Virtual “Legal Q&A” Amid COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Order

Amid the shelter-in-place order and the broader uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Small Property Owners of San Francisco unfortunately had to cancel their regularly-scheduled monthly meeting for April 2020. That tough decision came at a difficult time, when small property owners needed updates on rapidly-changing landlord-tenant law more than ever.

Fortunately, the SPOSF board were able to present a “virtual legal Q&A” featuring Paul Utrecht of Utrecht Lenvin, LLP and Costa-Hawkins.com’s own Justin Goodman of Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, PC.

The duo discussed the incredibly rapidly changing area of landlord-tenant law in context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including changes from every branch of government and at ever level of government.

The online video is available here.

Under normal circumstances, SPOSF holds monthly meetings at St. Mary’s Cathedral, located at 1111 Gough Street in San Francisco. You can join SPOSF by clicking here. Members have access to the full monthly newsletter.

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What’s a “Good Faith” Owner or Relative Move-In Eviction? Recent Court Rulings Explore OMI/RMI’s, But Following The Letter Of The Law Might Not Be Enough To Avoid A Lawsuit

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Two recent opinions on owner and relative move-in evictions analyze the murky area of “good faith”.
Continue reading What’s a “Good Faith” Owner or Relative Move-In Eviction? Recent Court Rulings Explore OMI/RMI’s, But Following The Letter Of The Law Might Not Be Enough To Avoid A Lawsuit

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SFAA, SFAR and SPOSFI Sue San Francisco over Sup. Ronen’s Rent Increase Legislation

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This week, the San Francisco Apartment Association, San Francisco Association of Realtors and the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute filed a petition for writ of mandate, seeking to permanently enjoin San Francisco from enforcing Ordinance 5-19, Supervisor Ronen’s legislation aimed at prohibiting “eviction by rent increase”.

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Justin Goodman Featured in February 2019 SPOSF Newsletter

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The Small Property Owners of San Francisco institute featured Justin Goodman’s article on “How to determine if a tenant is just using his unit as his ‘place in the City’, and what to do about it”. San Francisco rent control protects “tenants in occupancy”, and landlords can use the “1.21 petition” (named for Rent Board Rules & Regulations section 1.21) to ask the Rent Board for a finding that tenant is really living somewhere else.

SPOSF’s mission is to provide owners of small rental properties in San Francisco with the tools and information necessary to conduct business successfully in a difficult regulatory climate, through educational programs, publications, and workshops that seek to help members better understand their rights and obligations, how to work constructively with city and state officials, and how to deal effectively with their tenants. SPOSF also seeks to protect the rights of small property owners against unfair and burdensome regulations through legal advocacy.

SPOSF holds monthly meetings at St. Mary’s Cathedral, located at 1111 Gough Street in San Francisco. You can join SPOSF by clicking here. Members have access to the full monthly newsletter.

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Small Property Owners of San Francisco v. City and County of San Francisco (2018) – Cities May Not Impose Land Use Penalties on Property Owners Who Have Invoked the Ellis Act

“By imposing a 10-year waiting period on alterations to non-conforming units where property owners have exercised their Ellis Act rights, the ordinance penalizes property owners who leave the rental market. The ordinance does not regulate the particulars of the remodeling of a nonconforming unit, but rather prohibits any such changes for a period of 10 years after the property owner exits the rental business. By imposing such a prohibition on property owners who have left the rental market, the ordinance challenged here improperly enters the field of substantive eviction controls over such property owners.”

In SPOSFI v. CCSF (2018), the Small Property Owners of San Francisco challenged San Francisco Ordinance 286-13. Prior to that ordinance, Section 181 of the Planning Code prohibited the “enlargement, alteration or reconstruction” of nonconforming units. (These are legally constructed units in buildings that were “down-zoned” after the fact. As this is essentially a “math” problem, a property owner would designate the particular unit in the property that gets the “nonconforming” designation.)

Ordinance 286-13, however, allowed such modifications within the existing building envelop, so long as residential use was principally permitted in the zoning district and the owner had not performed a non-fault eviction at the property. The owner could not make any changes for a period of ten years following a non-fault eviction.
Continue reading Small Property Owners of San Francisco v. City and County of San Francisco (2018) – Cities May Not Impose Land Use Penalties on Property Owners Who Have Invoked the Ellis Act

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Costa-Hawkins.com Coverage of AB 1506 Featured in Small Property Owners of San Francisco March 2017 Newsletter

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Justin Goodman’s thoughts on AB 1506 – an assembly bill aimed at repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act – were featured in the March 2017 Newsletter of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco.

The non-profit SPOSF Institute describes its mission as providing owners of small rental properties in San Francisco with the tools and information necessary to conduct business successfully in a difficult regulatory climate, through educational programs, publications, and workshops that seek to help members better understand their rights and obligations, how to work constructively with city and state officials, and how to deal effectively with their tenants. SPOSF also seeks to protect the rights of small property owners against unfair and burdensome regulations through legal advocacy.

SPOSF holds monthly meetings at St. Mary’s Cathedral, located at 1111 Gough Street in San Francisco. You can join SPOSF by clicking here. Members have access to the full monthly newsletter.

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