Federal judge tosses San Francisco Rent Control Ordinance

A Federal judge has tossed a San Francisco rent-control ordinance aimed at extending more rights to tenants who have been evicted.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge was a huge victory for apartment owners in the city. Breyer’s ruled that a new law which took effect in June that dramatically increased relocation fees tenants must be paid by landlords who move back in to their properties was unconstitutional.

The law required property owners to pay displaced tenants the difference for two years between the current rent and the amount needed to rent a comparable unit in the city at market rates. Those sums could soar into the six digits in many cases as San Francisco rents continue to skyrocket amid the city’s tech boom.

Breyer ruled the law violates property rights because it holds property owners liable for conditions they didn’t cause, namely the soaring rental rates.

Breyer stayed his ruling until Friday to give the city time to ask a federal appeals court to intervene. Gabriel Zitrin, spokesman for City Attorney Dennis Herrera, said Herrera was “very disappointed” by the ruling and would decide whether to appeal in the next few days.