Eviction notices in SF surge to 12-year high

Anyone who’s been watching the great Oakland migration or seen this depressing chart of average SF apartment rates has to be feelin’ pretty lucky about living in The City.

But whether you’re renting a three-bedroom in Noe Valley or sleeping behind a curtain in your buddy’s living room, San Francisco renters should be on their toes.

That’s because a new report from the San Francisco Rent Board shows 1,757 eviction notices were filed from March 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013 — the highest number in 12 years.

Most of the eviction complaints, at 468, came from tenants breaking the terms of their lease. The second most common reason, at 352, cited nuisance violations.

And the stats show tenants aren’t happy either.

Petitions filed with the Rent Board also went up from 1,078 to 1,368 in the most recent fiscal year. These disputes regarded everything from unlawful rent increases to improperly passing costs of utilities onto tenants.

But there is a silver lining behind this cloud of worrisome figures.

Janan New, executive director of the San Francisco Apartment Association, pointed out that not every eviction notice follows through. Many times, notices are withdrawn or taken to court.

New told the SF Examiner that she isn’t seeing massive evictions:

“[The vacancy rate is] about two percent.”

However, you still may want to consider handing in next month’s rent check with a dozen cupcakes.

According to Zumper, a rental finder website, it’s hard to even score a studio apartment for less than $1,500 in The City.

Ted Gullicksen, executive director of the San Francisco Tenants Union, confirmed that the era of affordable rent in The City are “long gone and never coming back”:

“[People who’ve lived in an apartment] for 10 years or more would certainly find it impossible to compete in this market.”