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News, City Council, Santa Monica, Housing, Rent Control

City Of Santa Monica Backs Potential Ellis Act Reform

Posted Feb. 18, 2014, 9:15 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

A city known for its favorable rent control practices hopes to be included in legislative reform making it tougher for property owners in Santa Monica and across the State to evict rent-controlled tenants in order to sell the property or otherwise take it off the rental market.

The Santa Monica City Council last Tuesday unanimously backed a request by council member Kevin McKeown to request the City’s staff and lobbyists in Sacramento to ensure Santa Monica would be allowed to opt-in to potential Ellis Act reform.

Adopted as State law in 1985, the Ellis Act allows landlords and property owners to evict tenants from their respective properties if they choose to take it off the rental market. The State law was used to give property owners the opportunity to sell the building.

The Ellis Act, according to the San Francisco Tenants Union, “is a state law which says that landlords have the unconditional right to evict tenants to ‘go out of business.’”

The San Francisco Tenants Union added: “Ellis Act evictions generally are used to ‘change the use’ of the building. Most Ellis evictions are used to convert rental units to condominiums.”

Ellis Act evictions have often been used to circumvent rent control restrictions, hence why Santa Monica is now seeking to be included in any reform of the almost 30-year-old State law.

Parallel pieces of legislation are already in circulation in both the City and County of San Francisco.

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Feb. 18, 2014, 1:47:55 pm

Roger said...

SM in 20 years = a bigger dump than it is now. Filled with losers living in the same ancient apartments for 40 years. Way to motivate people to live better, more productive lives. Let's just create a serious underclass of people so they can live like rats for the rest of their lives! - City of SM.

Feb. 18, 2014, 7:39:43 pm

Jon said...

Many of my neighbors have lived in their apartments for 30 years. They're run down and smell bad and they pay about 1/4 what I pay in a very nice area of north Santa Monica. Had I known that I was being duped into playing $30,000+ a year to live in a Section 8 poor house, I would have gone elsewhere. Sometimes this rent control cr@p goes too far.

Feb. 19, 2014, 12:34:34 am

Gabestepa said...

Rent control is a tool to use the mass of poor people to keep this council in place so the developers can use them in turn to fuck this city up

Feb. 19, 2014, 1:09:07 pm

Richard Neylan said...

Senior citizen residents in Santa Monica ( I am one) desperately need Ellis Act reform. Kevin Mc Keown is on our side please allow Santa Monica to be included in this legislation reform. Sincerely Richard Neylan

Feb. 19, 2014, 2:54:47 pm

Elijah Barone said...

These kinds of practices would help to slow the steady rise in the gentrification of Santa Monica. I have grown up in a rent controlled unit, and me and my family may be considered by Roger as "...a serious underclass of people." Others such as Jon may not understand what it is like to be raised in a "...Section 8 poor house..." As a young adult, I now understand the looming threat of eviction and drastic rent increases that legislation such as this may help to combat, and thus support low income families, who have been here for generations, in Santa Monica.

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