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Recession's Silver Lining: Housing Slump Chilled Ellis Act Evictions

by Matt SmithSf Weekly

San Franciscans received 1,269 eviction notices between March 1, 2009 and Feb. 28, 2010 --  as compared to 1,430 filed during the previous 12 months, the city's Rent Board reported earlier this month.

Much of the decline came from a sharp drop in so-called Ellis Act evictions, in which an owner will boot out tenants to take units off the rental market. In San Francisco, the Ellis Act, permitting landlords to leave the rental business, is frequently invoked so that units can be converted to occupier ownership situations such as condominiums or tenancies in common (TICs). During the 12 months leading up to the end of February ,the city recorded 43 Ellis Act eviction notices, down from 192 the year before.

Looking for an upside to the down economy? Look no further.

Also in keeping with bad economic times, landlords evicted fewer tenants based on the rationale they planned to fix up the place.

So-called temporary capital improvement eviction notices decreased by 38 percent. Owner or relative move-in eviction notices, meanwhile, decreased by 27 percent.

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