The rent may be too damn high, but in San Francisco it’s going to get even higher.
Citing a number of cases in which evictions for renovations to residential buildings have been used to displace tenants permanently, tenant advocates are urging the Planning Department to create directives around considering existing tenancies when approving landlords’ applications for adding units and when permitting major alterations.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, advocates allege the process currently ignores the existence of any tenants at risk of eviction, and has led to the exacerbation of “renovictions” that turn into legal evictions permitted for capital improvements.
Landlords are entitled, and often required, to renovate their properties, and evictions for capital improvements are legal but must be reported to the San Francisco Rent Board once permits are obtained. The Rent Board does not maintain records on how many tenants actually return to their units following temporary evictions for renovations.
City planners are not tasked with vetting residential buildings for existing tenancies when approving permits for renovations, Planning Department spokesperson Gina Simi confirmed.
If a project is code-compliant, a planner wrote, “At the Planning Staff review level, I do not have the authority to deny a building permit application for an addition or renovation on the basis of tenancy.”
With property values going through the roof in the Bay Area, it’s easy to see why landlords kick their tenants to the curb in order to make more profit. It’s how the Bay Area rolls. They say they care about the poor, but they really don’t.