On January 28, 2014, SFAR joined its sister organizations San Francisco Apartment Association (SFAA), Coalition for Better Housing (CBH), and Small Property Owners of San Francisco (SPOSF) in filing lawsuits challenging the legality of the legislation known as the Avalos Ellis Act and Merger Prohibition Legislation.
The Avalos Ellis Act and Merger Prohibition Legislation states, among other provisions, that if a building has had an Ellis Act eviction in the last 10 years, its property owner is prohibited from merging any two residential units in said building. The legislation was passed by the Board of Supervisors and had been signed by the Mayor.
The lawsuit states that the Avalos Legislation violates a property owner's rights by attempting to supersede the Ellis Act, which is a state law that allows building owners to take a building off the rental market and convert those units to condos or single-family homes. SFAR joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff to defend the rights of property owners as articulated in the Ellis Act.
A positive outcome of the lawsuit would defend the right of private property owners for the free use of their property as their needs suit them, and would allow individuals and families to utilize the Ellis Act without creating further restrictions on a building they own. A positive ruling may also void the legislation, and uphold the jurisdiction of the Ellis Act in San Francisco. A negative ruling would allow the legislation to stand.