Indicator H.2.b No-fault evictions

Descriptive Title: Number and rate of no-fault evictions

Geographic Unit of Analysis: Census tract

No-Fault Evictions by Type between 2005 and 2010
Year Owner Move In Ellis Act Demolition Substantial Renovation Condo Conversion* Total
2005 267 298 59 0 0 626
2006 226 262 41 6 3 539
2007 181 236 43 0 3 463
2008 169 194 38 0 2 403
2009 120 48 33 0 2 203
2010 127 70 31 0 4 232
Total 1,090 1,108 245 6 14 2,466
*This does not capture all of the condo conversions which occurred during this time period.  Only those evictions filed with the SF Rent Board for the specific purpose of condo conversion are counted.  There were over 3,600 condo conversions b/t 1995 and 2005 alone.  It is likely that the majority of evictions occurred as OMI or Ellis Act evictions prior to the condo conversion.

Why Is This An Indicator Of Health and Sustainability?

Displacement occurs when current citizens are pushed to move outside an area due to housing market forces. The housing market force in such cases is usually the result of a sharp increase in housing or median rent prices in areas where household income declines or remains flat. Displacement indicates a lack of affordable housing and or the increased use of deteriorated housing. Lack of affordable housing can have serious health implications.

Households that are displaced often experience unhealthy situations due to the loss of social relationships within a community, the difficulties and stress associated with finding new housing that is affordable, as well as, the added time, energy and money needed to relocate. Frequent household moves have been linked with negative childhood events such as abuse, neglect, household dysfunction and increased likelihood of smoking and suicide in children.a Frequent family relocation also leads to children repeating grades, school suspensions, and emotional and behavioral problems.b Childhood residential instability has also been found to predict lifetime risk of depression.c In contrast, residential stability in childhood has shown to have positive effects on health at midlife.d Creating opportunities for affordable and safe housing forms a stable and healthy household environment which has long-term positive health implications, particularly for children.

For additional information on the connections between housing and health, visit: The Case for Housing Impacts Assessment by SFDPH, Program on Health Equity and Sustainability. Accessed online on October 19, 2006:

Interpretation and Geographic Equity Analysis

Evictions are mandated by law to be reported to the San Francisco Rent Board when they involve rent-controlled units which are protected by local tenant's rights laws. Non-rent-controlled units continue to be protected by California Civil Code from unlawful evictions, yet laws are less stringent. The data presented here includes only those evictions filed with the San Francisco Rent Board and may not capture the universe of no-fault evictions which have occurred in San Francisco. There is no enforcement mechanism to compel filing with the Rent Board. Evicted tenants can file a complaint with the Rent Board for procedural irregularity if the landlord has not properly reported the eviction. This typically occurs when a tenant goes to file a complaint with the Rent Board for an alleged wrongful eviction and discovers that the eviction has not been filed.

Just cause evictions are those evictions where a landlord may legally evict a tenant under the law. Just cause evictions can be due to a number of reasons, all of which fall into two categories, at-fault evictions and no-fault evictions. At-fault evictions include those tenants evicted for such reasons as non-payment of rent, illegal use of the unit, and breaking the terms of the rental agreement. No-fault evictions classify an eviction due to no fault of the tenant. Permanent no-fault evictions are allowed by law for the following reasons:

1) Owner/relative move-in under Section 37.9(a)(8),
2) To sell a unit in accordance with a condominium conversion under Section 37.9 (a)(9),
3) Demolition or permanent removal from housing use under Section 37.9(a)(10),
4) Substantial rehabilitation under Section 37.9(a)(12), and
5) Ellis evictions under Section 37.9(a)(13)

As shown in Table 2 above, Owner Move-In and Ellis Act evictions are by far the most common forms of no-fault evictions in San Francisco. As also noted in the data, there was a decreasing number of no-fault evictions in San Francisco between 2005 and 2009 (626 to 203). The number of no-fault evictions increased slightly from 2009 to 2010 but did not reach previous eviction levels of 2008 and before. San Francisco neighborhoods with the highest rate of no-fault evictions from 2005-2010 were Seacliff, Castro/Upper Market, Bernal Heights, and West of Twin Peaks. However, the neighborhoods with the highest number of no-fault evictions in 2005-2010 were the Mission, Castro/Upper Market, Inner Richmond, and Outer Sunset. In both cases, the Castro/Upper Market neighborhood stands out as the neighborhood with both one of the highest rates and number of no-fault evictions, which may demonstrate a high level of displacement and change in housing costs in this area compared to other San Francisco neighborhoods.


No Fault Eviction data was retrieved from the SF Rent Board, by the individual housing unit, dating back to the last update.  Renter estimates were generated from the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census, by census tract. New no fault eviction data was merged with the existing no fault eviction data into one table and geocoded. To calculate rates, the number of evictions in each census tract or neighborhood was divided by the number of renters using 2000 Census numbers for periods ‘95 – ‘99 and ‘00 – ‘04 and 2010 Census numbers for ‘05 – ’10.

Below is a brief description of the types of no-fault evictions. More information on evictions in San Francisco can be found at the SF Rent Board website.

Owner Move-In (OMI) Evictions result when an owner, or an owner's relative, wishes to move into a unit previously rented. The owners or relatives must act in good faith and remain in the unit for a minimum of 36 months.

Condominium conversions are allowed if the following conditions are met: 1) the residential building is 2 to 6 units, 2) meets owner occupancy requirements, 3) wins a conversion lottery, and 4) satisfies "tenant rights" rules. Tenant rights include the right to purchase their unit at the owner established price. Tenants who cannot buy or choose not to buy the unit are entitled to remain at their current rent for one year after the conversion is complete. Tenants over 62 are entitled to lifetime leases. (San Francisco Department of Public Works,

Demolition provides landlords the opportunity to permanently remove a rental unit through demolition from housing use. The landlord must act in good faith and relocation fees are required. Substantial rehabilitation evictions allow landlords to carry out large-scale rehabilitation to residential units. Demolition and substantial rehabilitation differ from capital improvement evictions in that they are considered permanent evictions. No-fault evictions for capital improvement are considered temporary and evicted residents, by law, are given the right to move back into the improved property at rents prior to eviction.

Ellis Act Evictions refer to a state law which requires municipalities to allow property owners to leave the rental housing business. The displaced tenant has first right of refusal if the property is placed back on the rental market within ten years. The landlord may only charge the rent-controlled price if rented within the first five years, then market rate thereafter.

Section 37.9C of the Rent Ordinance requires the landlord to pay relocation fees to tenants for no-fault evictions, including OMI, as well as capital improvement, demolition, removal of unit from housing use and substantial rehabilitation evictions. 


The data presented here includes only those evictions filed with the San Francisco Rent Board and may not capture the total number of no-fault evictions which have occurred in San Francisco.

The data presented here does not capture temporary no-fault evictions. These are allowed by law under the following reasons:

1) Temporary evictions to do capital improvement work under Section 37.9(a)(11),
2) Temporarily recover possession of the unit solely for the purpose of effecting lead remediation or abatement work under Section 37.9(a)(14).

Finally, foreclosures do not affect rent control rights.  There are currently many foreclosures happening throughout the country.  In San Francisco, foreclosures do not affect the rights of tenants under the Rent Ordinance. Thus, tenants in units subject to the Rent Ordinance have the right to stay in the unit after a foreclosure on the same terms and conditions of tenancy as before.

Data Source

Number of renters: U.S. Census 2000 and 2010.

Evictions: San Francisco Rent Board.

Maps and tables prepared by City and County of San Francisco, Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section using ArcGIS software.

Map data is presented at the level of the census tract. The map also includes planning neighborhood names, in the vicinity of their corresponding census tracts.

Table data is presented at the level of supervisor district. Detailed information regarding geographic units of analysis, their definitions, and their boundaries can be found in the SCI at the following links:

  1. Dong M. Childhood residential mobility and multiple health risks during adolescence and adulthood. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2005; 159: 11-4-1110.
  2. Cooper, Merrill. Housing Affordability: A Children's Issue. Canadian Policy Research Networks Discussion Paper. Ottawa, 2001.
  3. Gilman SE, Kawachi I, Fizmaurice GM Buka L. Socio-economic status, family disruption and residential stability in childhood: relation to onset, recurrence and remission of major depression. Psychol Medicine 2003; 33: 1341-55.
  4. Bures RM. Childhood residential stability and health at midlife. American Journal of Public Health 2003; 93: 1144-8.