SF Board of Supervisors Pursues COVID-19 Residential Tenant Protections, Adapting to State Law Changes

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors continues to pursue options for COVID-19 tenant protections, in anticipation of the September 30, 2021 expiration of State protections of residential tenants from eviction for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19.

On September 28, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed on second reading amendments to the City’s COVID-19 residential eviction prohibition in the Administrative Code. A prior version of this legislation attempted to provide residential eviction protections for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 from July 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. In June, however, the State passed Assembly Bill 832, which provides such protections only until September 30, 2021, and precludes localities from providing protections that extend past this date. In response, the new legislation provides that any of its non-payment of rent eviction protections for the October to December 2021 time period “shall not be operative so long as [State law] continues to prohibit local governments from enacting or amending local ordinances that apply to rental payments that came due” between October and December, and urges the State to modify Assembly Bill 832 to allow San Francisco to provide such protections.

In addition to the provisions pertaining to non-payment of rent evictions, the Mayor and the Board have provided additional protections in the Administrative Code, through executive actions and legislation, against “no-fault” evictions, such as evictions for owner move-ins or capital improvements. These COVID-19 protections, which were set to expire on September 30, 2021, generally prohibit evictions “unless necessary due to violence, threats of violence, or health and safety issues.” Notably, these protections do not apply to evictions for non-payment of rent, which are covered by the State and local laws discussed above. On September 28, the Board unanimously approved an emergency ordinance to temporarily extend for 60 days the City’s COVID-19 no-fault eviction protections, making findings that an emergency exists justifying prevention of a “wave of evictions on October 1,” and that “it is in the public interest to prevent tenant displacement in San Francisco due to COVID-19 to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

We will continue to provide further updates when they are available.

Contact Real Estate attorneys Dan Gershwin at dgershwin@coblentzlaw.com and Caitlin Connell at cconnell@coblentzlaw.com for additional information.