San Francisco Anti-Harrassment of Tenants Act, Proposition M (November 2008)
The San Francisco Changing the Residential Rent Ordinance to Prohibit Specific Acts of Harassment of Tenants by Landlords Act, or Proposition M, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in San Francisco for voters in the City of San Francisco.
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.
Proposition M was approved with 58.84% of the vote.
A court order not to enforce Proposition M was granted in January 2009. Nearly every provision of Proposition M was invalidated in October 2011.
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."
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.
Text of measure
The language on the ballot said:
- 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?
- List of all measures on the November 4 San Francisco ballot
- Election results
- David Latterman's analysis of the November 2008 San Francisco local ballot measures