San Francisco Anti-Harrassment of Tenants Act, Proposition M (November 2008)

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A San Francisco Change in the Residential Rent Ordinance to Prohibit Specific Acts of Harassment of Tenants by Landlords Act, Proposition M ballot question was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in San Francisco, where it was approved.

Proposition M prohibited 15 different acts that a landlord might have taken against a tenant, with provisions for triple damages and for the landlord to have to pay the costs of the tenant's attorney.

A court order not to enforce Proposition M was granted in January 2009. Nearly every provision of Proposition M was invalidated in October 2011.[1]

Election results

Proposition M
Approveda Yes 195,023 58.84%
These final, certified, results are from the San Francisco elections office.


2011 ballot measure litigation

The San Francisco Apartment Association, the San Francisco Association of Realtors and the Coalition for Better Housing filed a lawsuit against Proposition M shortly after it was approved in November 2008, winning an injunction against it going into effect pending a full hearing.

The court ultimately said that the provisions of Proposition M were "an attempt to bypass the judicial system and permissibly endow the [rent] board with judicial power constitutionally reserved to the judiciary."[1]

Three provisions of Proposition M survived the lawsuit. These are provisions that allow the Rent Board to decrease a person’s rent if the landlord fails to fix tangible physical damage.

The city will have to pay $122,500 to the attorneys of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.[1]

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Proposition M: "Shall the City's Residential Rent Ordinance be amended to prohibit specific acts of tenant harassment by landlords and to provide for enforcement by means of court orders, rent reduction, monetary awards or criminal penalties?"[2]

Path to the ballot

Proposition M was referred to the ballot on July 29, 2008 by a 7-4 vote of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

In favor: Supervisors Ammiano, Daly, Maxwell, McGoldrick, Mirkarimi, Peskin and Sandoval.

Against: Supervisors Alioto-Pier, Chu, Dufty and Elsbernd.

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 San Francisco Examiner, "San Francisco's Prop. M legacy will be a bill for $122K," November 1, 2011
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.