The San Francisco Treatment

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If you are facing an eviction in San Francisco, the city is supposed to provide you with a lawyer. If you are the tenant, not the landlord. They can get their own lawyers apparently.

This proposition was passed in 2018 but it lacks the funding to fully implement because the city is struggling to pay the lawyers it seeks to employ on behalf of residents. Last year less than 1/3 of the program participants received the lawyers they sought. But even without the actual lawyer, the program still advocates on tenants behalf, helping them remain in their rentals longer than they would have without help.

And why are these tenants being evicted? The program reports that 58% are being evicted for non-payment, followed by nuisance violations at 19% and breach of lease at 16%. No-fault evictions made up only 7% of the represented cases.

So let me get this straight. In San Francisco, you can not pay or be a crappy tenant, and still get a lawyer to help you stay longer, paid for by city tax payers? Meanwhile land lords should rent to you knowing that if you don’t pay, the city will help you stay anyway? What am I missing here?

Side note

We’re launching a new weekly feature here at Morning Invest all about California. We’re open to titles if you have any suggestions. A few ideas so far:

  • California: The Worst State to Invest
  • California: The Reason Idaho is Growing
  • California: Let’s Secede

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