SAN FRANCISCO—On Tuesday, August 21, landlords and realtor groups filed a lawsuit to overturn a law that was passed in January 2019, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. The court ruled that landlords do not have the power to raise rent on single family households in order push the tenants out.

In a email sent from the Communications Director, which is under the Office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera, regarding the San Francisco Apartment Association (SFAA) v. City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) case stated:

“Because Plaintiffs have failed to show that the Ordinance is inimical to Costa-Hawkins or regulates in a field fully occupied by state law, their Motion for judgement on the Petition for Writ of Mandate is denied”.

Attorney Dennis Herrera considered this ruling a victory for tenants and was pleased that regulations will not allow this tactic by SFAA.

San Francisco District 9 Supervisor, Hillary Ronen followed up with a tweet stating:

“It is ironic that SFAA sued the city to deny us the ability to rein in bad faith actions by landlords. For a landlord to use an excessive rent increase to get around San Francisco eviction controls is illegal and it’s harassment.”

Ronen wrote this law earlier this year according to her tweet.

SFAA held a virtual member meeting on Monday, August 17, to discuss the tenant attorney panel. One of the questions was:

“How are they assisting renters with financial hardships during business shut-downs and stay at home orders?”

Based on the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (state law that exempts specific kinds of rent control), the city of San Francisco does not have the right to place rent control on single-family homes, but they can warrant eviction protections. Raising rent on single-family homes during the pandemic is considered a form of eviction”.

Representatives of SFAA, Superior Court, Hillary Ronen, and attorney Joseph Tobener have not responded to the San Francisco News for comment.